Masculine Vulnerability

Written by June 28, 2021 8:51 pm Categories:

From an early age we as men are told, “Do not cry!” and various other phrases that are
related to this concept of being tough. Masculinity in our culture is defined as being strong
mentally, emotionally, and physically.

This masculinity is a mask. When we are hurt, we put on the mask by internalizing the
pain and moving on. When we feel disrespected or when our feelings are hurt, we put on a
mask of anger to hide our pain. When we desire male friendships or “bromances” as some like
to refer to them as, we put on a mask that says, “I am self-sufficient, independent, and I do not
need anyone.”

This mask that we have created because of society’s expectation and definition of
masculinity is one of the most destructive things that we as males can experience. This mask is
destructive because it sets us up for failure in our marriages. We wear and hold onto this mask
in our marriages because over time this mask has become second nature to us. Without the
mask, we are left with vulnerability, and we fear this vulnerability because it exposes us to the
possibility of showing the person we love most a part of us that is not “masculine” or in other
words, that is not mental, emotional, and physical toughness.

Getting rid of this mask of masculinity is important for our marriages because the mask
forces us to become emotionally distant to anyone and everyone, even our partner whom we
love most. As human beings we are bonding mammals. We bond with our partner by being
vulnerable. Being vulnerable means sharing deep parts of ourselves. The mask does not allow
for this to happen because it hides our vulnerabilities from our partner. Our partner wants us to
be vulnerable. They want us to share those deep parts of our hearts with them. They want this
because it is bonding. They do not want the fake mask; they want our hearts in all its frailty and
vulnerability. If you want more intimacy, deeper connection, and better communication with
your partner, then get rid of the mask.

As a father, one of the greatest gifts that you can give to your son or daughter is,
yourself without the mask. Without the mask you give your daughter an example of what true
masculinity is. You give her an example of what vulnerability is and what it looks like to be
emotionally and securely attached to a spouse. Without the mask you give your son an example
of true masculinity. You show him how to be vulnerable and how to be emotionally bonded and
securely attached to a spouse. This example of a healthy and securely attached relationship is
priceless.

Together, let us do ourselves and future wives or wives or future children or children
and society a favor by getting rid of the mask of masculinity and embracing and embodying
masculine vulnerability!

Here at Revolutionary Change, located in Apollo Beach, we have a team of therapists,
including male therapists, that can help with male issues as it relates to your relationships and
mental health.


-Riley Arnemann
Marriage and Family Therapist Intern

Written by June 28, 2021 8:51 pm Categories:

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