He’s not being challenged by his female therapist.

March 11, 2014

Dear Wayne,

I have been seeing a therapist for a while to help me cope with a loss in my life. It helped me to deal with the grief. But I want to feel stronger and more capable of dealing with things like this in the future. I do not feel as if I am building those skills with this therapist. She has been very helpful, but she does not challenge me in a way that I think I need. Do you have any suggestions?




Dear Unchallenged,

You were lucky to have had her there when you needed to deal with the pain. But now you’re feeling as if you haven’t been given the tools to deal effectively with pain or challenges like this in the future. To put it into the language of BetterMen, you’ve been mothered, now you want to be fathered.

The challenge you said you’ve been missing is to be the man you want to be, no matter what life throws at you. The only place to learn to be that man is in the company of other men. No matter how loving, competent, caring or committed, a woman cannot teach a man to be the man he wants to be—although a good woman can certainly inspire a man to become that better man.

She can be supportive, but she can’t lead you. That can only come from other men who are willing to guide, advise, listen, hold you accountable, share their experiences, and kick you where you need to be kicked in order to break through your barriers, resistance and fears. The energy delivered from man to man is something unique, necessary for all men, and not available from women.

The last couple generations of men are disconnected from their masculinity. They are feminized. That means they have been influenced primarily by women—and men who had little sense of themselves as men—and have grown up to see the world through their mothers’ eyes. As a result, these men continue to seek out other women, rather than men, when they need help with their emotional worlds.

What these men need is to be introduced to something they so desperately needed when they were boys. These men need to be fathered. And it’s not too late.

No matter how old you are, you can benefit from the support of other good men. Seek out a men’s group, reach out to buddies, reconnect with the men in your family, or find a male life coach who can give you the masculine energy and guidance you need.

Men expecting women to fix them and to solve their problems has been the cause of far too many failed relationships, personal and professional. We need to give our women a break. Go be with the men, and then come home as the man you’ve always wanted to be.