Just a Thought with Tom Gentry
Just a Thought
She Wants to be Your Partner, Not Your Mother
This episode features a passage from The Road to Hell is Paved with Suppressed Emotions, by Tom Gentry. It was published February 24, 2023, on Substack.

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When we teach men that we should never cry, once the floodgates inevitably open, it’s a mess. So, when a man finally does cry, he looks like a basket case.

Then we hear things like “women say they want men to be sensitive, but they really don’t.” Men will say, “I tried being vulnerable with my wife once, and she was turned off.”

It’s not that she doesn’t want you to be sensitive, or vulnerable.

It’s that she wants to be your partner, not your mother.

She wants you to be emotionally literate, rather than emotionally crippled.

Of course, when a man bottles up his emotions and suddenly explodes in tears in front of his partner, she is repulsed by it. It’s not because he’s sensitive or vulnerable, it’s because he doesn’t know how to be sensitive or vulnerable without being a basket case.

She sees this behavior as weakness, because that’s what it is. He is weak, because he’s never been taught that he can embody strength and show emotion at the same time.

Emotional intelligence, emotional literacy, whatever we decide to call it, it’s a strength, and we need it. But, there’s no room for it in the status quo that would have you believe feelings are feminine.

Our false, dysfunctional, patriarchal beliefs around emotions and masculinity yield a society full of men who have numbed themselves from their feelings. Disconnected from ourselves and disconnected from others, we are all, more or less, emotionally crippled. That’s what we get for pretending not to feel.

When we pretend that men don’t, or shouldn’t, have emotions, how can we teach men how to have emotions?

So, Just a Thought. Ask yourself. What do I need to do to grow emotionally? And, how do I become more connected to myself?

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© Copyright 2023, Tom Gentry; Music: Worky Worky by Andy G. Cohen, edited for use. Used with permission from the artist under a Creative Commons license. Cover photo by Sam Barber on Unsplash.