Many men in relationships pride themselves on being a rock for their partner and family members.
Being a strong, reliable partner provides stability in relationships when issues seem to be too big for one person to handle alone.
Many guys aspire to be a tough, strong bloke. Solid as a rock!
These guys appear as brave, caring superheroes standing tall and strong in the face of all kinds of emotional turmoil.
The Man Rock
Men share common characteristics when describing their rock-like role in their relationships.
I call it the ‘Man Rock’!
Here’s how some guys describe it:
At first glance these qualities help men carry the world, and the world of others, on their shoulders. They enjoy protecting the people they love and care for.
Lean on me, when your’e not strong!
I hear a song in my head!
Being a rock helps relationships in some important ways. Such as:
Providing undivided attention is a hallmark of supportive relationships. This allows expression of emotion and talking openly and honestly.
Listening attentively and caring about your partner enhances the likelihood of solving problems together as a couple.
Similar to problem solving, making plans and taking action helps relationships move forward.
Whilst the intentions of being a rock in a relationship are good, there are some major problems that emerge for some blokes.
Too many guys hide behind the rock!
Relationships become one way traffic as men:
Deny or ignore their own needs.
Believe emotional turmoil is the domain only of their partner.
Convince themselves that it’s not acceptable if they appear emotional or needy.
Bottle up, delay or suppress their own feelings and thoughts.
Place heavy demands on themselves to be self sufficient and independent.
The wear and tear
When a man hides behind the rock, the stability and security in his relationships can be threatened and cracks appear leading to conflict.
I meet many men who realise their own needs for love, understanding and care are pushed way too far down their list of priorities.
I remind them:
“Being the person other people turn to for help and advice can be exhausting. It does not mean that you don’t need someone to lean on.”
Relying upon the resources of their partner for help is an experience every man needs throughout their lifetime.
How do you do it?
In a committed relationship BOTH partners need to share the role of being the rock for each other. Every relationship needs:
Be a man and start dancing!
Being attentive to your needs AND that of your partner is the dance of your (and every) relationship.
Each of you have your own dance moves.
Too many guys end up watching their partner do the dance whilst standing frozen and solid as a rock!
Here’s a few moves gentlemen!