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Articles by our Therapists


Scratching the itch - Men coming into alignment

Men's work

Posted 01/25/10 by Tom Fuller

There is an itch that many men live with that is really hard to scratch. There is a disconnect between who we feel ourselves to be in our deep nature and how we find ourselves acting in the world. A lot of times, even the things coming out of our mouths feel like they are not really coming from us! In order to create more congruence in ourselves, we need to become more familiar with who we are deep inside. Once we do that, our words and actions will make more sense to us. We will be living closer to our core! This discrepancy between who we are and how we act can contribute to confusion in relationships between couples. There are two ways to go about fixing this: one is to have discussions with your partner, and the other is to have discussions with yourself. It is generally good to start the conversation with yourself. That way, when you approach your partner, you can do so with more clarity and have a much better chance of improving the situation.

What is required is to start directing the attention that you normally focus on events out there in you life towards things going on inside. This can take a bit of work getting used to because most of us have been trained to distract ourselves from what is going on with us emotionally. But it is possible to do this, and once you do, the internal world can open up to you. You may find some things that relate directly to this incongruence addressed earlier. You might find that you are not speaking your truth about what you want to see going on in the relationship. You may be following a go along to get along policy that is contributing to a build up of resentments in your heart. You may try to have a conversation about these feelings, but because of the buildup, your partner just winds up feeling blamed. Once you get clear about what your own needs and desires are under the resentment, it is possible to communicate those to your partner in a neutral way. You will have a much better chance that they will be heard then, and a much better chance of moving the situation in a direction that feels better for both of you.

If this goes well, not only can it help you get an ally in sorting out some confusion and unsatisfying behavior patterns, but it can also enhance the intimacy between you!

You may want to employ the services of a couples therapist who can teach you both how to discern the inner messages and beliefs that are causing you grief and also how to communicate skillfully about them. Clearing up this kind of confusion and resentments can lay the groundwork for much more intimacy, happiness and satisfaction in your relationship . *** *** *** *** Tom Fuller has been a licensed marriage and family therapist since 1992 and has been involved in men's work since the 1980's . He melds his therapy work with the insights gleaned from 25 years of meditation retreats and the study of Buddhism. contact him at tom@tomfullercounseling.com 503.422.7235

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DISCLAIMER: Awakenings Wellness Center is a cooperative effort of healing practitioners with individual businesses at 1016 SE 12th Avenue in Portland, Oregon (hereafter knows as "Awakenings"). Despite the cooperative nature of our healing community, each practitioner at Awakenings is a sole proprietor and not liable for the practices of, or potential claims against, other practitioners at Awakenings or against Awakenings LLC. Awakenings LLC is a property management company that leases offices at Awakenings to healing practitioners, and rents the studio and other facilities to instructors and other facility users. All facility users, instructors and practitioners operating at Awakenings are sole proprietors, and Awakenings LLC is not liable for their activities or any claims that may arise therefrom. Furthermore, use of this website is for informational purposes only and contingent upon acceptance of the conditions spelled out in this disclaimer. Awakenings LLC and the Awakenings wellness community do not warrant its accuracy or reliability.