Couple sitting on a bench

A Conversation About Men And Relationships [Everybody Hurts]

Many men seem to have problems in relationships. Often they are men who have a reputation for an inability to commit to long-term relationships. Is this true? Does this represent your experience.

I write about transformation, spirituality and masculinity. I explore what masculinity means in relation to the rest of men's lives. I love to talk to others about the issues that face men. Dr Vibe invited me to have a discussion on Men and Relationships, to explore how men react in relationships. This seems to be a problem for men who have a reputation for an inability to commit to long-term relationships. Is this true? Do men avoid women for anything other than sex? What is the truth about men and relationships?

Men and Relationships

Watch the video, a discussion on men and relationships between me and Dr. Vibe.

Some of the conversation topics were:

Men And Intimacy—Why Do They Shy Away?

Men often have difficulty dealing with intimacy, particularly when a relationship appears to be out of their control. The interesting part of the issue of men and intimacy is that many men have difficulty with this.

Men usually sublimate the emotions into actions that they can understand. Men and intimacy are words that just don't seem to fit together. I understand this, I have been there.

Man Shying Away

Recently I read the following sad account of a man shying away from intimacy because of a situation he had caused. The wife said, in the account,

My H had an affair for about a year before I discovered. After two years of sitting on the fence and in limbo, he made the decision to stay in our marriage, especially because of our children. He fell in love with this woman and this woman was trying everything in her power to stay in contact with him because of his feelings for her. These are her words to me. 'You have him physically but he is with me emotionally.

It has been almost a year since their final breakup. He has since been very good to me except being intimate. He shows affection in other ways but when I want to be sexually intimate, he rejects me...but in a subtle sort of instead holding me, or my kissing me on my cheek and smiling. When I ask him about it, he says, he is still having a hard time but it doesn't mean he loves me any less. If we are intimate it is once every two weeks, and it is because I initiate it..never him. But we never go through the full intimacy.

Intimacy Issues

I don't know what the cause of his shying away was but it seems to me that the cause lay way before he had an affair. It's the intimacy issues men deal with by having an affair. I wonder why he had the affair in the first place. It is usually because he feels there is something missing in his marriage, something that he feels he las no control over. Children are mentioned, that often causes an emotional split in a marriage. I suspect he had an affair with a woman with no children who was able to idolise her man.

Having created this situation he both feels guilty and he clearly has not resolved the original issue, hence his continuing lack of intimacy with his wife. When the children are older he may well have another affair or leave his wife.

What is the answer? Unfortunately for the wife she cannot solve it, no matter how hard she tries. Only the person with the problem can solve it. So, only he can deal with it, but the question is will he. The evidence says probably not! He has to face his emotions and acknowledge what is going on. He has to look at his relationship with intimacy and be honest about it. Sadly too few men go this far.

Sex is something we all want, but do we enjoy it? Sex is something we all have, but does it make us feel better? My experience of sex left a lot to be desired. I did not understand my Male Sexuality.

Everybody Hurts

Too many people just accept that life throws them curved balls and that life is crap. REM penned one of the most popular songs about this, their only advice... 'hold on...'

When the day is long
and the night, the night is yours alone,
When you're sure you've had enough
of this life, well hang on

Don't let yourself go,
'cause everybody cries
everybody hurts sometimes

Sometimes everything is wrong.
Now it's time to sing along

When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)
If you feel like letting go, (hold on)
When you think you've had too much
of this life, well hang on

'Cause everybody hurts.
Take comfort in your friends
Everybody hurts.

Don't throw your hand. Oh, no.
Don't throw your hand
If you feel like you're alone,
no, no, no, you are not alone

If you're on your own in this life,
the days and nights are long,
When you think you've had too much
of this life to hang on

Well, everybody hurts sometimes,
Everybody cries.
Everybody hurts sometimes

And everybody hurts sometimes.
So, hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on, hold on,
hold on, hold on, hold on

Everybody hurts. You are not alone

Believe me there is more than this, life can be faced and dealt with, you don't need to hurt.

Why Do Men Cheat—The Dirty Lowdown Of The Affair

Women seem to talk constantly about why men cheat. There is a perception that men cheat all the time, is this true? It creates an impression that men are not to be trusted, do you find this?

Since 1950, when the famous Kinsey sex study found that 50% of American men cheat, the number cheating hasn't changed much, even with all of today's opportunities at our fingertips, including the internet and chatrooms.

Why Men Cheat in Relationships

When both men and women are asked why do men cheat, the immediate responses are often,

These answers come mainly from Urban Myth, are they true, are there any facts to back them up?

Is Infidelity A Given?

How true is the idea put forward by men that 'It's our biological nature'?

Scientific research has taught us that there are three hormones inside our body that determine how monogamous we are: oxytocin, arginine vasopressin, and testosterone.

Oxytocin makes people want to stay together. It is the hormone that forges the bond between a mother and her new-born baby.

Arginine vasopressin supports the desire to support your mate or offspring, an important aspect of bonding between couples.

It's the receptors for these two hormones in the brain that determine us as monogamous.

Then there is Testosterone, associated with libido and sex drive, and also male characteristics such as muscular structure.

Testosterone conflicts with the bonding effects of Oxytocin in driving a person to seek more sexual partners, to be single-minded and to take risks. Men usually have up to ten times more of it than women.

Our brain makes constant, calculated guesses regarding the consequences of our actions. A high level of testosterone seems to influence our calculation in favour of the satisfaction of the immediate desire.

Does that mean men can blame their Testosterone level for the fact that they cheat? Absolutely not, although influenced, we still are responsible for deciding whether to act upon our impulse. So hormones are not the answer to why men cheat.

What other reasons do men have for cheating in relationships?

Many men have difficulty talking about their feelings, let alone showing them. Sometimes it can feel safer to meet with someone new than to speak up at home and perhaps jeopardise their long-term relationship.

Often men are cheating because they don't know how to be in a successful relationship. Instead of dealing with their hang-ups, like fear of connection or fear of intimacy, they entertain the idea that an affair remains superficial and, therefore, safe.

There are men who cheat because of their own feelings of loneliness, or suppressed anger. Instead of stepping up and addressing those issues they run away and hide.

It seems that cheating can be closely connected with men's inability to address issues in their lives.

Five Types of infidelity

It is recognised that there are a number of different types of infidelity. Each type of infidelity indicates a different cause of why men cheat:

Opportunistic Infidelity

You have a partner but give in to the attraction you feel for someone else. Driven by lust in the moment, the time is right and usually a little risky. Many men specifically enjoy this type.

Obligatory Infidelity

Based on the fear that not giving in to the sexual advances of the other person will result in rejection by them. This stems from the need for approval.

Romantic Infidelity

You are lost because your relationship is petering out and you look for a replacement, look for affairs. To quote the legendary B.B. King, the 'thrill is gone'.

Conflicted Romantic Infidelity

You have a strong sexual desire for several people at the same time, as well as being in a committed intimate relationship. You feel confused and that confiding in the intimate partner is not an option, unless you are in an 'open relationship'.

Remembrance Infidelity

When you fall completely out of love with your current partner and want to get back to when you were in love.

Who Are You Really Cheating, Your Relationship?

Usually you are cheating yourself. Most infidelity involves pretence and lying to yourself. Personal honesty is key to preventing this. Don't promise to be anything that you are not. If you like hunting women, if that is you at your core, stay true to your word. Don't start creating false pretences by telling women you always want to be with them. Because you know you don't.

Remember you will always feel the pull of polarity. The decision to take it further, however, is always yours to make or not. Your Testosterone creates urges, it does not control you.