There are a lot of pressures on men in our society, the expectation that they will find work and keep doing it till retirement, to provide for a family, to be the main breadwinner, to work your way up the greasy pole till retirement beckons, to be strong, to be the family disciplinarian, to not show emotion but…
Men are 3 times more likely to commit suicide, 5,000 each year in the UK, they are much more likely to go ‘missing’, 3 times more likely to have substance addictions, twice as likely to be a victim of violent crime, twice as likely to be a murder victim, every month in the UK 1,000 men will be raped. 1 in 5 men die before they are 65.
Of the prison population 95% are men, 90% of rough sleepers, 84% of sofa surfers, men are more likely to have personality disorders, to be bullied at school, 3 times more likely to be excluded and 20% behind girls in the GCSE stakes.
One million children in the UK have no contact with their fathers and 96% of court applications to access children are by men. 87% of men would like to spend more time with their children but believe that they have to be the main breadwinner and 250,000 men in the UK are primary carers.
Men are always expected to make the first move, assumed to be sexual predators, expected to always be ‘in the mood’ to take responsibility for an ‘unplanned’ pregnancy and to be commitment phobic.
The reasons men come to counselling are often about the pressures put upon them or their expectations for themselves, the symptoms can be anger, aggression, work burn-out, risk taking behaviour, mid-life crisis and alcohol or substance abuse.
Half of men think that society believes that they should sort out that their problems for themselves but whilst half of you believe that you should be strong even when nervous or scared or feeling trapped, beliefs you have mainly got from your parents, 20% of you have thought about suicide over the last 2 weeks.
The major issues for men are finances, anxiety, relationships; with a wife or girlfriend, with children, parents, in laws or work colleagues, sex, infidelity, loss, retirement and, looking for the meaning in life, ‘what’s it all for?’.
… from those early days of wanting sex without commitment to the later days of wanting sex and not being able to perform, to wanting love and marriage but fearing that it cannot last forever, to feeling that you are only wanted for your salary, to feeling trapped, to falling into a pattern of ‘grumpiness’ that’s its difficult to let go of, to feeling unheard.
Copyright © Ros Welch 2020. All rights reserved