5 Myths That Keep Men Stuck Part 5: Men Intimidated By Powerful Partners
Welcome to Part 5, the final post of my five part series on the five “myths” or beliefs or perceptions about men that keep us stuck in our relationships and in our lives. They are stereotypes that keep us disempowered and prevent us from fully expressing who we are in the world.
You may review the series, beginning with Part 1 by Clicking Here.
In no particular order, the “Five Male Myths” are:
1. Men don’t like to communicate or share their feelings 2. Men are afraid of commitment
3. Men’s top priorities are power, success and money.
4. Men are only attracted to looks and are only interested sex.
5. Men don’t want to be with or are intimidated by powerful/smart/successful partners.
Now let’s move on to the final myth.
MYTH #5: Men don’t want to be with or are intimidated by powerful/smart/successful partners.
This myth seems to cater to the idea of the fragile male ego. We can’t tolerate the “competition” of a partner who is too smart, too successful, too powerful. The myth is that we want someone that WE can dominate, that WE can take care of. Anything else makes us feel too insecure.
While it is true that we have the deep, biological instinct to take care of our mate, to take care of our family, to take care of our community, I think that the myth gives us too little credit. Yes, we enjoy feeling strong, feeling powerful, feeling in charge, no doubt about it.
However, at the same time, we DO want to be challenged in a relationship. We DO want to be faced with a partner who can stand up to us, show us where we have weak points and can help us to grow. Why else be in a relationship if it doesn’t stimulate us to grow and be more than we can be alone?
What is behind the myth perhaps, is the fact that as men, we have certain basic needs in a relationship. And I’m not talking about the other myth-based needs of having a “trophy wife” or someone to have hot sex with. I’m not even talking about the need to have someone to raise children with or to share our feelings with (perish THAT thought!).
What I’m talking about is more basic than any of this. What I believe that men REALLY want in a relationship, is a safe place to recharge and renew themselves in order to go back out and face the world and “fight the good fight.” What we want is a safe, secure, STRESS-FREE environment where we can recover from dealing with the “rat-race” and just relax.
What men want is a place where we can be ourselves, without putting on the facade that the world sometimes demands. We want a place where we don’t have to be on our best behavior, where we don’t have to walk on eggshells and where we don’t have to pretend that we’re something we’re not.
We want a place where we can be accepted for who we are and for who we are not! What men want is consistency and routine, because that is what relaxes us. “Same place, same thing” calms us down.
Yes, we like change and excitement from time to time, but what we really want in our primary relationship is a place where we can be at peace, where we don’t have to have our “fight or flight” response triggered. We’re activated enough in the work world, we don’t want our relationship to be like a second job!
And perhaps it is too challenging for us to get this “recharge” need met if we are partnered with someone who is focused primarily on their own success. Perhaps they are too driven and don’t know how to recharge, don’t know much about self-care. Perhaps then we are TOO much alike.
I don’t believe it’s hopeless though. I believe that we can collaborate in partnership. I believe that TOGETHER we can to learn how to care for ourselves AND each other. Perhaps we can teach ourselves and each other or perhaps we need the support and guidance of a therapist, counselor or coach. However we do it, I believe that we CAN put this myth to rest.
If you’ve enjoyed this post on Myth 5, you may view my thoughts on all five of the myths that keep men stuck by downloading that Special Report, available immediately when you subscribe to my complimentary Passion Doctor Newsletter at the box at the upper right of this page.
Dr. Adam Sheck
P.S., If you are a man interested in exploring these types of issues and more, I facilitate ongoing Men’s Support Groups by teleconference line. Please contact me for more information on the Men’s Group or my other services by Clicking Here!