With the divorce rate at 68% and climbing, along with almost everyone we know openly admitting that the relationships they are in are either dysfunctional, abusive, unsupportive, manipulative, draining, or too demanding, we are in a relationship crisis unlike any other time in recorded history. In fact, many young people, after looking at the failed marriages all around them, are opting to either put off marriage until they are in their 30′s or not to marry at all. Others are beginning to question the sustainability of a patriarchal institution originally based on women as the property of their husbands. As a result, the entire institution of marriage appears to be headed for a paradigm shift. Moreover, the increasing propensity toward same sex couples appears to attest to the fact that traditional male-female relationships are at risk, or in the very least headed for an overhaul. Some questions that naturally arise are: What is at the root of this crisis? What can we do to heal the distrust and hurt that stands between men and women having inter-dependent versus co-dependent relationships?
Recently, I asked six critical thinking classes of approximately 300 students if they were in a functional, satisfying relationship with the opposite sex. Not a single person raised a hand. Last semester, out of six similar classes, when I asked that same question, one lady out of all six classes raised her hand and this was her second marriage. As Marvin Gaye would say, “What’s going on?
It appears we are at a crossroad in human relationships. We’ve tried women’s liberation and it isn’t working. Men complain that too many women have become masculine, too independent and too distrustful of men, while women complain that too many men have become afraid of women; refuse or fail to give women the support they need; or have taken on feminine traits such as expecting the woman to take care of them financially; to pay when they go out on dates; to pursue the male; or to initiate within the relationship.
Answers may lie in looking at the out of control masculine principle in society today. Originally, nature created a balance between the masculine and feminine energy that resides in both men and women. Today, however, the out of control masculine energy, in both males and females, takes a tremendous toll, creating difficulty sustaining healthy, functional relationships. The problem is that today both genders have lost sight of the basic function of the masculine and feminine principles: Nature designed the masculine principle to initiate, protect and provide for the female that he chooses as a mate; whereas, the feminine principle was designed to be a receptive, nurturing, caretaker.
Nature set it up so that the male, as aggressor, initiator and hunter, would chase the chosen female, fighting off competition to gain or maintain the title of alpha male. The winner walks away with the prized female. Today, many men still engage in territorial battles over females with the prized female going to the guy with the best financial portfolio, fastest car, biggest house, best looking body, most charm, highest intellect, or most muscle. Any combination of these assets assures the female that she and any future offspring will be taken care of while she is pregnant and while the child is young and dependent. This symbiotic role was created to ensure the healthy survival of the species.
Even though many women today can financially provide for themselves and take care of their young, almost all of them confess that, ideally, they would prefer to raise a family with a strong male at the helm of the ship. Moreover, even females who do not want children, still prefer a strong, alpha male. Nature always seeks to balance itself out. With that in mind, a man whose masculine energy is too feminine, cannot hold on to a female whose feminine side is in balance; she will be naturally drawn to her polar opposite, a more masculine male. By the same token, a male whose masculine energy is balanced, will be naturally repelled by a female whose masculine energy is dominating her femininity. With that in mind, it is easy to see that men who are attracted to other men are unconsciously seeking to compensate for an imbalance in their masculine energy which is too feminine. By the same token, women who are attracted to other women tend to be dominated by their masculine sides and are attracted to the energy they need to balance out in themselves; the feminine.
In heterosexual relationships, females have an innate need to feel safe, special and desired; whereas, males have a need to be respected and appreciated. In actuality, this is true of all human relationships. At any rate, when this balance is stuck, a female will automatically respect the male, and will not hesitate to show her appreciation for him.
The question that pops up is how to figure out how to get ones needs met in a relationship, regardless of gender. The answer lies in figuring out (by asking or through observation) which of the following five modalities makes one’s lover feel loved.
(1) Quality time; (2) gifts or tokens of appreciation (cards, phone calls, flowers, etc); (3) acts of service; (4) words of encouragement (men really have a need for this one); and (5) physical touch (non-intimate as well as intimate).
For example, if you are giving your lover gifts and what he/she needs, in order to feel loved, is for you to spend more quality time with him/her while doing things that he/she wants to do, not just what you want to do, then that person will not feel loved.
Much suffering in society ensues when the masculine and feminine energies in males and females are out of balance or when one person in the relationship is not getting his/her needs met. For instance, if the father does not assume his natural role as protector and provider of the family, the mother suffers by being thrust out of her feminine role of nurturer and caretaker by assuming the masculine role of sole provider and protector. By necessity, someone other than the mother then has to take care of the children while she works. If she has no family members or close friends to lovingly care for the children in her absence, the children often wind up casualties of physical and/or emotional abuse or neglect.
Moreover, when the father is absent from the house and does not create or maintain a close, bonded relationship with his offspring, children end upwith abandonment issues that create insecurity, feelings of unworthiness, or of not being loveable. In addition, boys with absent fathers have no role model to teach them what it is to be a man, while girls get left without a model of what it is like to be protected and provided for by a man.
If the father or mother is present but are abusive or controlling, due to the out of balance masculine, children will often end up with trust issues around the gender of the parent who was abusive, creating problems later. In many cases, children will imitate the abusive parent, viewing that parent’s behavior as a model for how to treat the opposite sex or the same sex, depending on the situation; or, they will attract the same abusive qualities in a mate.
Even though many women today can financially provide for themselves and take care of their young, almost all of these women still confess to preferring a male who is a real man, while most men profess to wanting women whose feminine energy is balanced.
Thus, the solution lies in balancing the masculine and feminine sides in both men and women. If the correct balance was 50/50, men and women would be androgynous with no noticeable difference in their energies other than the obvious physical differences due to males having an XY chromosome and females a matching XX chromosome. Since the male does have an X chromosome, which is the female half and all fetuses start off female, it stands to reason that for males the percentage to be balanced would be around 70/30 masculine/feminine and for a women, 30/70 masculine/feminine. For men, this balance is tempered by the feminine so that the male energy will not become too aggressive, insensitive, domineering or disdainful of the feminine principle. For women, it is important that they have 30% male energy in order for them not to become too dependent and to enable them to be able to initiate action and make decisions. Ultimately, when either sex falls too far below this ideal balance, within a relationship, this imbalance will automatically trigger an imbalance in the other partner. Again, this is because nature always seeks to balance itself.
Women cannot balance this problem by themselves, neither can men. Both have to take an honest look at themselves, then make a commitment to take care of their own needs and character deficits first. One cannot expect others to do for them what they are unwilling to do for themselves. In addition, two half people cannot come together expecting to create two whole people. The result will still be two co-dependent half people instead of two inter-dependent wholes. Both must come to a relationship whole and balanced if there is a chance to have a happy, fulfilling and loving relationship.
Thus, love of self dictates that individuals invest in their own emotional health and welfare first before coming into relationships expecting their partners to fix them or to make them whole. Buy the same token, one cannot go into a relationship expecting to fix what is wrong in someone else; that is their job and theirs alone. All we can do is provide loving support to those we love when they are working to heal themselves. It is impossible to change anyone but ourselves and we’re not doing too good a job at that.
A willingness to come out of denial and work together within an authentic, honest and accepting relationship is required to make relationships work, combined with an unwillingness to settle for anything less.
It’s all about love, love of self first, which dictates that we deserve to be with someone who respects, honors and appreciates us and is fully capable of committing to and loving another completely. Otherwise, leave such people to work on balancing their own masculine/feminine sides; each individual already has enough work just trying to get him/herself together. When one fixes him/herself others will either: (1) react differently; (2) reflect it back, or (3) will not be able to handle the higher energy vibration, thereby dissolving that relationship to make room to attract a healthier relationship.