Here is a very recent article about intimacy from a male perspective.
It strikes me that one value of the internet and its free following exploitation and exploration of human sexuality is that one can find hard-won honest insight. This article is a great example.
This one man’s experience is in no way representative of all men’s experiences. It is, however, instructive. I basic insight is that the “past is present“. The past is always present.
What undermines one’s ability to engage in a healthy relationship today, is often lingering resentment one carries forward from yesterday. One’s past does not simply go away. The challenge is to learn from the past and keep moving forward.
The article models the kind of healthy reflection on one’s legacy that is more than narcissistic navel gazing and the rehearsing of a self-justifying personal narrative expressive of nothing more than a resentful circle. The article models what it means to embrace one’s legacy as gift and an opportunity.
Here is his key insight:
These (childhood) experiences instilled a distorted sense of adulation and fear of potential ‘care-givers’ and unsurprisingly the romantic relationships I would later enter, fell prey to a dysfunctional marriage of false beliefs and unrealistic expectations that constituted, what I naively believed to be, my personality. My love-life became riddled with the same themes that stilted my childhood only this time, unbeknownst to me, I was slowly becoming the tyrant.
Once secure in a new relationship it would only take one argument to truly engulf me in paralysing vulnerability. This became a chief activator of my addictions and the ugly character flaws that drive them.
Here is an honest man.
Many of us who work in recovery like to say: “Addiction is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.”
The first bit helps a person over the shame that motivates them to avoid the hard, emotional work of digging through the wreckage of bad luck, unfortunate circumstances, and poor choices that are a part of every. The second bit helps a person stand up and get on with the business of living.
Image by Ian Line