Monday, January 2, 2017

Relationship Tips For Men from the Master. Can you force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn?

This is an excert from Robert Masters book: To Be A Man

Many men misunderstand, neglect, or ignore what works and doesn’t work relationally 

for the women they’re in partnership with (or are considering being in partnership with). What follows describes some areas of concern regarding what women need from men in relational contexts, and what can be done about each. None of this is meant to imply that women don’t also have work to do in these and other areas to deepen their relationships with men.

• Listen to her without trying to figure out solutions for what’s going on, and listen with your whole being.

 Your job isn’t to fix it, but to genuinely take in and resonate with what she’s feeling. Stay alive and fully present in your listening, doing so not as a duty but as an act of intimate interest and care. And don’t be passive in this! If your interest wanes or it’s not good timing, don’t pretend to be listening. Either refocus or let her know in a non-shaming way that you’d like to continue the conversation later on when you can be more present.

• Get more emotionally literate and attuned

Become a student of emotion and emotional expression, learning the lessons by heart rather than trying to get good grades.

• Don’t give in to any neediness you feel, including sexually

Instead, separate your neediness from its desperation and manipulativeness, until you’re in touch with the raw need (and emotional pain) that you’re letting morph into neediness. Remember that neediness and sensitivity are not synonymous.

• Give her more real and unsolicited appreciation, including for “small” things.

 Don’t assume that she’s necessarily fine with not getting this, just because she’s not saying anything about it. And don’t make her ask for it.

• Cut through your tentativeness

If you’re touching her, don’t do it gingerly, as if asking a question or trying to see if she approves. No walking on eggshells — and no going to the other extreme (being pushy or aggressive). When you feel tentative, clearly say so, and tell her what’s going on for you emotionally.

• Do what it takes to be trustworthy, being a safe place for her, protective but not possessive

 This is not about being on your best behavior, but about working on yourself deeply enough to be incapable of betrayal or any sort of abuse.

• Neither let the little boy in you run the show nor push him away

 Get to know him very well, and make sure she knows him well, too. Keep him close to you, but not so close that his take on things becomes yours. If your relationship with him remains unhealed, you’ll be crippled in your capacity for healthy adult relationship.

Stop making excuses for your crappy behavior

And don’t run from whatever shame it might induce in you; stay with your remorse and make amends as soon as possible. Explore the roots of such behavior — instead of just promising not to do it again — and include her in your exploration.

Give her some unexpected affection and caring, and not just now and then

Don’t make her earn your affection and caring.

Cherish her, daily. This means, in part, not taking her for granted. 

Keep your gratitude for her and for being with her alive and well.

• Meet her fully. Choose to see her as she is, rather than her surface presentation or potential. 

Don’t pull back from her when she expresses herself fully (assuming, of course, that she does so nonabusively).

• Stop treating her like something to fix when she’s upset

Put away your repair tools, doing whatever you can to be a compassionate and grounding presence for her at such times, focusing not on her content but her energy, keeping a solid but flexible boundary around her and you as her feelings pour forth. Sometimes all she wants is for you to hold her.

• Instead of trying to create closeness through getting sexual,

 establish (or re-establish) closeness first, and then  if it’s mutually natural  move into the s*xual. Let s*x be a deeply embodied expression of already-present loving connection. Let your connection with her be the aphrodisiac.

• Stop saying “Accept me as I am” when you actually mean “Accept my sloppy or unkind behavior.” 

Accepting you is not the same as excusing you or letting you off the hook when you’ve been disrespectful, rude, neglectful, or abusive.

• Initiate more when it comes to addressing relationship difficulties

Don’t wait for her to bring this up; share the responsibility for doing so. If you’re feeling cut off from her, don’t blame her for this, but instead share your feelings regarding being thus disconnected, and do so vulnerably.

• Don’t leave your unresolved wounds and conditioning unattended

Work on yourself, and keep working on yourself. Dig deep, feel more, come more alive, doing whatever healing work is needed, without making her push you into doing so.

• Stop trying to turn her on by quickly going for or overfocusing on her erogenous zones

Slow down. Attune to the whole woman, not splitting her into s*xy and not-s*xy parts, or buttons to be pushed. Let her presence have your full attention, and you may find that her entire being can be an erogenous zone.

Don’t neglect personal hygiene

Stale sweat is rarely a turn-on. Same with bad breath, food stuck between your teeth, and unwashed body parts. Some women may not bring this up, not wanting to hurt you, but not doing so just keeps their aversion in place, with you staying unaware of why she seems a bit reluctant to physically engage with you.

Don’t compare her to your previous partners/lovers

Comparisons here can set up unwanted and messy triangulations, impaling both her and you.

Stop overemphasizing the visual in sexual functioning

Getting too caught up in how she looks keeps you insufficiently focused on the rest of her. By all means appreciate her appearance, but also stay attuned to her energetically — which is much more about feeling than seeing.          

If you and she have children, don’t assume that helping out is enough

Avoid the attitude that they primarily are her responsibility and that you are “babysitting” them when you’re with them. Truly co-parent. Be aware of what and how much she is doing to take care of them, and step in more, without her having to ask. Don’t undervalue how much energy and attention she is putting into their upbringing. When the kids are little, does she have to ask you to look after them so she can simply take a shower? You may not think about asking to take a nap or shower while she handles the kids; don’t make her ask.

Look deeply enough at her to see more than her surface presentation

See her vulnerability, her wounds, her uncertainty, her subtle signals. Notice when her facial expression and energy don’t match her words. Sense what she may not be saying. Sense her feeling you seeing her.

If you’re doing something for her in the hopes of having sex with her, while acting as if this isn’t the case, admit this not just to yourself but also to her, explore what’s motivating you to do this, and STOP

An example: You’re giving her a massage to increase the odds of having s*x with her; she can feel this no matter how “clean” your massage strokes are, and will be much less at ease than if you were giving her massage for no other reason than your love and care for her. Another example: A woman comes home to a beautiful dinner just made by her husband, followed by a special bath drawn by him, with everything carefully and esthetically placed, and she feels a growing unhappiness, knowing that she’ll be expected to be s*xual with him afterwards. Don’t pressure her with your mounting expectations.

• Be vulnerable without losing your spine.

• Treat these points not as” shoulds” but as invitations. Persist in this, not to be a “good” partner, but a full partner.

(Excerpted from Robert Masters book To Be a Man

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