Ladies, allow me to tell you something you already know, but you maybe forget occasionally; men aren’t bulletproof. We all have been fed this bulletproof, fearless, always strong, relentless image of what men are. We have been told a thousand different ways what a man is supposed to be. Well, newsflash; no man is like that. There has never been a man like that in the history of humankind. It has never happened, and it will never happen. You will never meet a man like that, simply because he doesn’t exist.

Another newsflash: men are human beings first and foremost. To come and think of it, that is all we are; simply human beings with everything that entails. A human being has feelings, flaws, qualities, insecurities, shortcomings, failures, successes, drive, ambition, weaknesses, strengths, fears and so much more. In every man, there is a mixture of all those things. Sometimes, the mixture creates something positive and stable. And sometimes, the mixture is like nitroglycerin; it is unstable and ready to explode, and chaos ensues when that happens.

Every woman I have ever met says she wants a strong man, as she should. Hell, every man I know says he wants to be strong, in whatever form that may be. So, let’s recapitulate the whole thing; women want strong men and men want to be strong. It sounds like a match made in heaven.

However, we seem to conveniently forget that no man, is strong all the time. It is impossible. Sometimes, men are weak, ashamed, beaten down by life and responsibilities. Sometimes, men are lost. They don’t know what to do and yet, the pressure on their shoulders pushing them to stay strong and bulletproof never goes away. It is a conundrum and a predicament that is hard to explain because it is even harder to comprehend.

Ladies, your man will be weak at some point. He will, I promise you. Life will break your man, more often than you think because that’s how life is. I don’t have to tell you that life is hard, unforgiving and great simultaneously. I don’t have to tell you that because you already know it. Yet, when the tough moments take hold of us, that’s when things go south, and men can lose themselves. It happens more often than we care to admit.

Therefore, when life is being unkind or cruel to your man, please allow him to feel secure and give him the time, space, and care, so he can find the strength to be vulnerable in front of you. Allow him to feel secure, so he could tell you what is ailing him. Allow him to express himself freely, so he could vent and voice his frustration. And for the love of all the Gods, do not shame him for being human. Do not shame him for being lost, desperate, hurt, or ashamed. These are normal human feelings we all go through. Those feelings are gender-neutral, for crying out loud.

Most importantly, do not believe this idiotic shit that’s been fed to us about our alleged and mythical invincibility. We don’t possess any and we never will. We are human like you are. We stumble and fall. We cry. We need help. We are weak at times. We don’t know what to do sometimes. We are lost, hurt, and confused.

Nevertheless, because we are expected to do a million things, we suppress those feelings of fear and shame and things become a million times worse. We try to project strength when we are not strong. We try to project calmness when we are not calm. We suppress those negative feelings and the hole in our heart gets wider and deeper. Is it a surprise that 75% of suicides are men? No, it isn’t. The despair and helplessness men feel is a real problem. If you add to that, a partner who isn’t patient enough or mature enough to understand you… Things become a billion times worse!

When a man shares his struggles and insecurities, he is usually mocked and ridiculed because it isn’t “manly” to talk about feelings or to show weakness. Suddenly he is less of a man for admitting he cannot deal with something. What do people expect a man to do when he loses his job or worse, when he loses a parent or if depression hits? Or if he loses his business becomes the economy is a fickle thing and a monster waiting to swallow us all? If only you knew how shameful it is to come home and tell your woman that you got fired. Suddenly there is only one income. You, the man, are not a provider anymore. Do you know what that does to a man’s psyche? To his self-esteem? To his overall self-image?

I couldn’t put my shame and despair into words when it happened to me. I got unceremoniously fired, and I had to tell my woman. I remember my lady’s disappointment. It was written all over her beautiful face, and her attitude towards me changed. Then again, I cannot blame her. Youth and inexperience are powerful agents of discord, and they create misunderstandings. She didn’t know how to handle the whole thing at the time, and that’s ok. I simply hope, with all my heart, she would handle it better today if her man was ever to get fired. I hope she has acquired more empathy, patience, and an ability to listen and understand more. After all, isn’t that what growth is? That’s how we get wiser.

So, I would like to ask the ladies, to be patient with us. I understand how tiring and hard it must be for you as well to see your man when he is down, but trust me, no one feels it more than the man himself. Please be patient with us. Please, give us the space and time, so we can share our issues with you. I guarantee you; we want to tell you about the things that are eating us inside. But we cannot. For a myriad of reasons, whether they are cultural and/or traditional.

Ladies, please be patient with your men. Please. Find a way to create, both of you, a space where there is no shame, just dialogue and an active process of understanding each other. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it is always a work in progress. Men have a lot of pressure. Be the partner who takes some of that pressure off their shoulders. I beg you.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile and go on with your day!

Freeman. B

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