The two words, "men" and "relationships", often are not mentioned in the same sentence without a "punch line" following them. In addition, men are often stereotyped as being "insensitive" or "uncaring" when it comes to the needs of their partner. It has been my experience in coaching men that these stereotypes cannot be further from the truth.

The men that I work with almost always describe the same experiences in their relationships: feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, inadequacy, powerlessness, etc. In addition, the fear of rejection from their partner is always a constant in the back of their mind, influencing their every action within the relationship.

The biggest trap that men fall into within committed relationships is when they look to their partner for validation and approval. This is extrememly common, and in doing this they give away their inner power to their partner and as a result become resentful and passive-aggressive.

Since anger is the only emotion that is socially acceptable for men to express, men are not taught how to, 1) identify their feelings; and 2) express them appropriately. The hurdles within their relationships may be different than women, however their concern about showing up honestly within their relationships is the same. The men that I coach often express feelings of relief and empowerment as they re-learn how to contribute authentically within their relationships.

Author's Bio: 

Ray Kadkhodaian, along with his wife, founded the company The Lighthouse, which works with individuals and couples to create the life and relationships that they want to have. They both coauthored the book Good Boundaries-Great Relationships and reside in Illinois with their two sons.