According to Relate the Counselling Relationship Charity the best way to get men to come to couples counselling is that one of the outcomes will be more sex. Relate counsellors were interviewed and asked about their work. Men do not recognise when the relationship is in crisis. Men want to resort to check lists and action plans to fix the relationship out. For men the reward is better communication will mean more sex.
Men and sex again.
Women want to talk and learn what the underlying problem. How the relationship is going wrong?
Problem solving versus talking about feelings.
So what is it about men? Is it their brains? The relationship with their mothers? Fear of intimacy?
The stereotype continues. Men do not know how to look after themselves. Men do not visit their GPs. Men do not have adequate social relationships to cope when things go wrong.
Who are these men? Are these men at Relate attending couples counselling under pressure. From partners who have had enough?
There must be many men and women who this does not apply to. What about women who resort to action plans and check lists?
Are there lots of men up and down the country who do not visit Relate, because they are adept and skilled in having relationships? Men who can talk about feelings. Men who invest in their relationships. Men who do not need the help from Relate.
All Charities need funding. All Charities need a reason to exist. Relate is a National Charity with well trained practitioners who are skilled in helping couples through emotional difficulties. But again there is no context. It is like saying all those people who attend hospitals are ill. Yes they are. But it does not address the people who are good at maintaining their health. The people lucky enough not to have to use hospital services.
There are many men who fit this stereotype. Stereotyping makes headlines.
Is it too difficult to recognise the changes between men and women because the position of women has not improved?
After years of clarity and suffrage of women the role of men is unclear. It is a pity that all the work done by men goes unrecognised. Men are under attack. Caveman or Househusband? There are still many examples of inequality between men and women. Politics – sex claims surrounding Lord Rennard. Sport – Oscar Pistorius, women in the world of work, domestic abuse across the world.
But then more men are looking after their children. More men are trying to have different relationships with their partners than their fathers did with their mothers.
These men who are going to Relate should meet more men who don’t need to go to Relate.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.