I’ve had my fair share of these, more than I should probably publicly admit, but I wanted to share one personal story with you now because I suspect it will resonate with many women (and equally, men) who have lived similar experiences, and who may also be re-calibrating what true partnership looks like for them. My hope is that it benefits both during this time of expanding consciousness.
Quick disclaimer first. This is not an attack on men, nor a case of a woman telling men how they should be men. It’s also not an admittance that fault lies entirely with my exes, because we were equal co-creators of our relationship. I take full responsibility for what I brought, and took, from our unions.
As I said, brothers and sisters may recognize their partner, or themselves here, regardless of sexual orientation, so let’s all check our baggage at the door now and dive in with open hearts and minds, and remember, I am not speaking (or passing judgment) as a therapist here, I am speaking as a woman who has clocked up some serious self-sabotage mileage of her own over the years, but through it all has learned how to transmute pain into a superpower and live from a more embodied, forgiving place. This is my lived experience, so take it or leave it, as you will.
Human relationship has been deliberately distorted for eons; we know this. There are countless inflated and conflated examples of “heroic”, “romantic”, “tragic” and “fantastical” relationships scattered throughout the history books we have all come to know and (finally) understand as false records of reality here on earth. The creators of Fabio & Co. and similar chronicles, also have a lot to answer for their part in more recent years, painting soft porn pictures of unattainable unions that (to put it mildly) have captured and distorted people’s expectations when it comes to basic human relationships and what is required to maintain a healthy one. God knows Hollywood hasn’t helped either, what with its MO of trans-gendering, grooming, and catapulting manufactured actors into the limelight as the next “icon” and “uber-star” before most have even hit puberty. With role models like these, it’s no wonder humanity is experiencing a mass identity crisis.
One thing is true across all mediums however: men and women have been struggling to understand one another for a very long time.
Not everyone is lucky enough to meet their soulmate right off the bat. Very few of us meet our “perfect” mate at preschool, and even fewer lock lips at prom, fall instantly in love and go on to marry, procreate the species and live the white picket fence dream forever. Most people spend years – sometimes decades – working through various encounters, both traumatizing and tantalizing, until they find their ideal partner, or at least, someone with whom they find companionship and deep trust, sexuality aside. We’ve all kissed some frogs before finding the right mate.
“It takes two to tango” however, as the saying goes. The woman who always wants or needs to be the space holder, the authority “wearing the pants” and controlling the strings – an alpha or sigma for example – is in truth, playing out her own version of co-dependent savior programming; and she does this (unconsciously) to fill the ever-growing void she intuitively senses between her and her partner. I identified this trait within myself a long time ago, and was only able to resolve it through deep, spiritual, and psychological process. If we really want to transmute our shadow and live free and authentically, plus respect all aspects of our humanness, we actually have to work hard at seeing, allowing, owning, and then integrating, “the good, the bad, and the ugly”; physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually/energetically.
Staying in the driver’s seat, or appearing to, is the “dis-empowered” or “wounded woman’s” way of justifying (to herself) that she is worthy and up to the task of maintaining an adult relationship. Of succeeding in love and avoiding being “left on the shelf” as she grows older, or more tellingly, hoping to be the one to “tame” or “change him”. An ever-increasing lack of emotional connection between her and her man, however, is destined to trigger dormant scars in and around her guarded heart, making it near impossible for her to remove her armor and soften into her feminine self because she can feel in her womb that he can’t hold her as she so desperately wants and needs. It’s not so much a case of her being unable to lean into him, and more of an energetic mismatch, a co-creation of unavailability, and ultimately, it’s neither parties’ fault, it’s just the dynamic they are experiencing in real time and for the benefit of their “higher” selves.
The responsibility falls to both man and woman to recognize their own sore points and patterns and strive to communicate openly and without judgment so both can feel heard, held, and supported in a way that nourishes a deepening of the bond they already have.
This requires next level surrender and the willingness to “go there” with someone, especially when your attraction is strong, but the prerequisite for this journey that most don’t understand when they find themselves in the eye of the storm, is that both individuals need to share an intent to build upon existing chemistry and connection and own their unconscious habits that threaten true connection and trust.
I can tell you from personal experience, when a man tells a woman he cannot commit to her or “go deeper” emotionally because she isn’t “in her feminine”, it’s like a red rag to an (often) already bloodied bull.
When Dan* told me he wasn’t sure if he could “do relationship” – with me or with anyone else for that matter – and that he was going to give celibacy a try, it wasn’t that much of a surprise to be honest. This was, mind you, after we’d already been reunited for six months and seeing each other every day and most nights. We had spoken at the start about keeping things casual yet exclusive this time round and were honest about our intentions to remain open to developing our feelings for each other again. The reality is there is only so long two people can sleep together before emotions become inevitable, and I have never been someone to have vacuous sex without some sort of heart-based connection. We’ve all done such in our youth of course, it’s part of the human template, but as we mature, we usually start to realize what a waste of time and energy casual dalliances are, and our spirit begins to yearn for something more honoring and real.
Dan and I had dated for about three years in the past, so we already had this great rapport and familiarity with one another. With all that had been going on in the world in regards the “pandemic” and people getting vaccinated with poisonous and (who knows, possibly) transmissible “vaccines”, it was a godsend to reconnect with someone on the same page and whom I knew to be as much of a stickler for energetic health as I was. Our reunion was as passionate as it had always been and offered us both a chance to decompress and have a good releasing laugh at the global pantomime unfolding around us. Gradually though, I started witnessing the same old behaviors returning week by week, things like his trademark unpredictability, not responding to messages, giving mixed signals, and generally contracting into his stories on a regular basis, which all made me feel like I had to pursue him if I wanted things to progress. I couldn’t relax in my head or my heart and kept coming up against this wobbly energy of “unavailability” whenever I tuned in. In hindsight, my sacral response was giving me “clear and present danger” signals all the time, but I refused to heed them because our bond was so intense, and well, if you’ve been there, you know that's like. Sadly, it's also the kind of fire that extinguishes itself at some point.
Feeling like I had to be the first to reach out all the time was exhausting and ended up being a deal breaker for me because I had spent a long time reconciling my own wounded “inners”, my broken masculine and feminine selves, and undoing an old, learned habit (born from fear of abandonment), that told me I must instigate and control relationships to feel safe.
I have spent a lot of time reassuring the wounded child within me that she is worthy of the love she imagines for herself, and resolving the lingering aspect that always felt like she had to “chase” men to feel loved and appreciated, and so had determined years ago that I wasn’t going to back track down that old pathway again; not for anyone. I was also acutely aware of my pattern of “saving” damaged men, or rather, over-giving of myself (time, love, energy, and money sometimes too), and how that was me living in my masculine too much, as well as being disingenuous with myself; and them. Once I understood that was what I was doing, I physically couldn’t go back to that place again. I would rather be alone because I knew now that I wouldn’t be lonely. I had finally reached the point where I couldn’t be with someone who compromised my core values to such a degree that I lost sight of myself, and who didn’t see, respect, and accept, the full me, in all my colors.
I had organically reached the space where I was ready to rest into my feminine power completely, knowing that, as much as I may like one, that I didn’t need a mate, and that I am ready to share the good things in life only with someone who is equally self-aware, response-able, and receptive. Even after all these years, and several relationships since our first one, I sense Dan still hasn’t found himself, nor managed to set himself free, and the man I see and believe he could be, continues to elude us both.
I did love him, but I wasn’t in love with him, and there’s a huge difference. Turns out, despite the depth of our bond, he wasn’t for me after all, and whilst that was a bitter pill to swallow and took some time to clear, it was also empowering. Where my younger self would have clung to his “potential” and kept forcing a partnership to grow by sacrificing more of herself each day, I saw the writing on the wall instead, and thus chose to release him with love. I chose my emotional safety and energetic integrity, over something that was never going to nourish me, body, mind, and soul, and I believe I did us both a big favor by doing so. I also know that this closing experience has been the one to cement the vibration of self-love in my cells like never before.
“I can no longer, I will no more”, to quote one of my wise mentors, and at last I can say I know who (and what) I am worthy and deserving of.
One of the biggest hurdles for Dan was stepping off the merry-go-round of childhood trauma and releasing the resentment he holds towards his mother. As a mother myself – and a woman who has had her share of mother issues in the past, as we all do – I wondered how any of us can succeed in building a safe and secure union, when our man cannot resolve such a dilemma within himself? What Dan and I were working on, in our unique way, was the same old story everyone else on the planet faces as they grow up and grow older, the micro reflection of the greater macro lesson, which is, learning to love ourselves. It’s also got a lot to do with boundaries.
When we rely upon (and/or expect) our partners to be everything for us, it creates immense pressure on several levels, and in my experience, this again can only result in the eventual breaking of boundaries and sounding of death knolls, even for the most fervent and seemingly soul-mated of relationships. When a man seeks to better understand himself by identifying, accepting, working on, and then integrating his own childhood wounds – outside of the relationship he shares with his woman – I believe this is one of the greatest gifts of “service” he can offer the union.
There’s you, him, and “the relationship” as a separate entity that needs to be curated and nourished, every day, by both partners.
The woman is not designed to be mother to her partner, and yet often and in way too many relationships, this is exactly what we see unfolding. The felt (or demanded by the other) responsibility to care for him above all else, replaces and/or supersedes her own needs for primal intimacy and support, and when that happens, it’s a steep and slippery slope to the bottom of the attraction pit, I’m afraid.
The emasculated man is a curious beast. This is the man who always feels like a victim to his woman’s changing emotions and desires, and yet is simultaneously capable of appearing as stout as Samson at certain times. Underneath whatever façade he presents however, be it spiritual, corporate, or action man, he is painfully vulnerable to circumstance, prone to making wild assumptions based on what he perceives is happening through his current lens of reactivity and block, and unconsciously participating in recreating his own dramas, over and over again. For example, he will always take things personally and jump to conclusions before time and space allows for mutual communication – and yes, this has a lot to do with his core relationship with the Divine Feminine and all aspects/people/and archetypes related to this sacred frequency.
He will complain about what is lacking in his relationship with you and often play avoidance games without realizing everything you share (or don’t share together), rarely has that much to do with you, and is more a direct reflection of the quality of relationship he has with himself.
It is very difficult to get a read on where this man stands on any given day because his inner landscape is so reactive to the world, it tends to keep him caught and weighed down with anticipation of the next rejection, or the next moment he may be challenged to do or say something that he feels will be too much for him to cope with, or give. His anticipation of failure and not being able to live up to what he thinks his partner expects of him, distorts what is really going on in the partnership, thus his ability to live from his heart and share more of himself without fear of retribution, creates an empty distance that if ignored for long enough, or is habitually glossed over without identification, cannot sustain a healthy alliance for any length of time.
It's a fine balance between finding peace and partnership within a union and losing oneself in another because they have become your sole source for everything, your world. Naturally, this works both ways, but this article is about the emasculated male, not the dis-empowered female; something I will write about soon.
The emasculated male exhibits many traits, habits that become ingrained over time, and that tend to spill over into the workplace as well. They are usually fine-tuned over the course of several relationships. Here are some you may recognize:
1. Conceding all decision-making to the woman in your life.
2. Always second guessing yourself and needing assurance.
3. Irresponsible when it comes to work, managing money, and general commitments.
4. You avoid intimate conversations and so change the topic and/or deflect with sex.
5. You regularly get stuck in your head and reliving the pain of the past.
6. Self-esteem and confidence issues seem to plague all your relationships.
7. You feel more comfortable shifting the blame, than owning your stuff.
8. Jealousy and emotional outbursts are common in your relationships.
9. You don’t have any solid life goals or visions on how to better the future.
10. When the time comes, you choose to break up with a woman via text.
Commonly, the man who chooses to continue wallowing in his past pain and failures and blaming “another” (often the mother first, then transferring this to you), does so because his soul essence is collapsed and shattered. His heart is burned beyond any ability to experience true love or freedom without that familiar (yet unhealed) voice in the background, calling him to doubt, reject, or run away altogether. It’s hard to imagine (or know) someone living “well” in that space, but I have and it’s not pleasant to witness, which is why I can, with hindsight now, comprehend how my own trauma has drawn me to toxic liaisons like this over the years. You may also have (or have had) your own experiences with someone similarly traumatized, yet who on the surface appears so happy and “all together” that it becomes impossible to reconcile your differences, despite your affections for them.
When a man like this lacks the strength and the courage to do things differently, you simply cannot do it for him.
This is interesting because if you try to – when this dynamic appears and continues between you for any length of time – it becomes extremely difficult to maintain attraction for one another, including mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual, because each of these layers of one’s being, are inter-connected and reliant upon the other. For example, most women need to be first turned on mentally and/or emotionally before getting in flow for intimacy. A generic statement perhaps, but men are more known to be more visual and touch-oriented, although I am sure there is a percentage of women who will resonate with that as well. There’s also love languages to consider, but it doesn’t matter anyway because my point here is about alignment.
If you are out of alignment within yourself, you will eventually create misalignment within your relationship as well.
The harsh truth is that many men are incapable of holding their ground in the company of an empowered, truth-filled woman, especially one in her element, independent, “on fire” or triggered and moved by hormonal fluctuations beyond her control. They panic and cave in and will always reject the kaleidoscope of expressions that she can offer, whilst their own spectrum remains unchecked.
By nature, men like to “fix” things, but they cannot fix their woman. If they feel they must, and then keep failing at doing so despite all attempts, their frustration and displeasure is only going to increase and then ricochet in any number of ways until someone gets hurt, literally sometimes, as in the case of the man unable to temper rage energy. Moments of conflict, or disagreement, are great tellers of truth when it comes to how individuals engage during conversation and digest information that they wouldn’t ordinarily agree or resonate with, blurting out things and regretting them later. A bit like Dutch courage, but worse.
It's taken me many “practice runs” to get to the space I live in now where I simply will not sacrifice myself for the sake of great sex, or (perceived) security for that matter, anymore. Physical crumbs of pleasure that could only ever offer temporary relief when my soul craves the full five-course meal, have totally lost their appeal. I spent most of my twenties, thirties, and even a good chunk of my forties, giving my attention and affections to the “wrong” men – boys in truth – who were only interested in my body, and because I was still caught in and attached to my physicality and sexual self at the time, I gave permission for them to use me in that way, and for me to use myself in that way as well.
Thankfully being single isn’t the stigma it used to be, and I know a lot of other women who are now choosing to abstain from random rendezvous and love themselves up instead.
I am also hearing a lot of spiritual folks saying they’re going “to abstain completely” this year and it amuses me somewhat because I can totally relate to that reactive state. I appreciate conscious (physical) abstinence, but I don’t believe disassociation from one’s natural urges, or denying oneself intimacy completely, is the answer either. Sure, containing your energy in this way is beneficial and can initiate a lot of deep healing, but perhaps we need to be hyper aware of shutting ourselves down to the possibility of genuine connection because our head tells us it’s too hard to do otherwise. Engaging from the heart, however it may be hurting, takes real discipline. Choosing to remain open and willing and allowing the space for someone new to come in and take a chance with, might just be the greatest “work” any of us will do here.
After reading all this, you may ask, what have I learned from my experiences with emasculated men?
The main teaching (and lesson) for me, was two-fold. Firstly, I recognized that we all carry an imprint of the emasculated male (and the dis-empowered female) within ourselves, and that being human is a daily challenge that we each struggle with in our own ways. Secondly, I learned to appreciate the myriad opportunities that arise within relationship, and to identify, confront, dissolve, and resolve these elements (along with all associated triggers), as they exist within our own energetic systems, and trust the practice of cultivating compassion, gratitude, and energetic equanimity as much as we can, will stand us in good stead as we move forwards and complete the cycles our soul needs to complete.
Relationships come in all shapes and sizes, out of the blue, and last for as long as they are mean to, and I truly believe that each one is an offering to learn more about who we are, and where/how we can become more embodied, more than anything else.
When a man realizes that his partner – or ex-partner – is a direct reflection of how he organizes and compartmentalizes within himself, he will start seeing conflict with women as a gateway to personal freedom, not the door slamming shut in his face (as it felt, and may have been in the past). If he can stay in that sensitive space and allow himself to feel, like, really feel his feels and all the layers of traumatized tissue he’s buried so far down it’s hard to even know what to feel anymore, then he’s well on his way to forgiving and resurrecting his Divine Masculine; and Mother.
Maybe he’ll even find the love of his life along the way.
Hint: that’s himself.