Men and Women: We’re in it Together

Sunday, May. 15th 2011 9:07 PM

I was recently invited to attend a lunch hosted by a friend and fellow blogger (BlackGirlGrown). Being a breast cancer survivor, she thought it prudent to gather several local (Washington, D.C.) bloggers and request support for the upcoming Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure®.  I was the only man in the group.  As we discussed this devastating disease, I started thinking about the distinctions we draw between “women’s issues” and “men’s issues” – in health, in politics and in relationships.

Most of us think of breast cancer as a disease that affects women. The notion is reasonable; after all, they are pretty much the “keepers of the breasts” (in all seriousness, men do get breast cancer, but it is very rare). It could also be said that prostate cancer only affects men. But neither of these perspectives is complete. My grandmother received a mastectomy almost 30 years ago. She has two sons, a grandson and five great-grandsons. And I can confidently tell you that each of our lives would have been different had she not received treatment in time to save her life. She has been and remains my family’s matriarch. She has contributed so much richness to my life that I will not even attempt to capture it with words. Breast cancer infiltrated her body, but if it had been fatal, it would have had a lasting effect on the men closest to her.

The same could be said of any issue that we typically associate with one gender or the other. The lives of men and women are inextricably linked, because most people have both men and women who matter to them – men and women (or boys and girls) whose actions, well-being and fate affect their lives and happiness.

This logic also applies to relationships – to the individual man and woman in any romantic partnership. It is easy to assume that your issues, struggles, hurts and worries are unique, or that they are your own burdens to bear. But while dealing with them may be your responsibility and your decision, you are not the only one affected – especially not when you have a partner and/or children.

For instance, if problems at work are causing me unusual amounts of stress, my family will probably also be affected. My mate doesn’t work with me, but even if she doesn’t know what is going on, what happens with my job will probably affect my mood and maybe our joint finances. And if my wife had a close friend who died, even if it was someone I had never met, her grief would also hurt my heart and the hearts of our children, because we all want to see Mommy happy.

It’s not about women’s issues vs. men’s issues, or my issues vs. her issues. Men and women are in it together, because what affects you affects the ones you love – especially your partner. This intimate connection does not mean that we get to tell each other what to do or that you should not make decisions that are in your own best interest. But being a Powerful Person in a Partnership

means being aware of how what we are going through affects others – and understanding that coining your pain as greater than someone else’s is not productive … or accurate.

So, when you are going through something hard, don’t just assume that your mate doesn’t understand or care. If you want to keep that person in your life (which is certainly your choice), remember that he/she is going through it with you and acknowledge that both of you have a right to your own pain – and that neither of you is a victim.

P.S., I look forward to seeing you in a month at the Race for the Cure®.

Keep Rising,

Frank Love

PS: To become a Frank Love sponsor you can make a one-time contribution or contribute monthly by clicking on the amount you’d like to donate each month: $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $35, $50, $75, $100, $200 or $500.


…and please do not multi-task when driving.

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Leave a Comment: Let Us Know Your Thoughts

How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship

8 Comments on “Men and Women: We’re in it Together”

  1. Martha Says:

    I believe your concept is true for almost everything we do in life. In other words, “One Monkey Can Stop the Show!” Sometimes, one person can bring the whole ship down with a bad or even sad mood.

    I have experienced this at home, work, even the grocery store!

    It is so much better, when we all are happy and healthy! Amen?

    I am a Breast Cancer Supporter! Hope For Cure For All Diseases!

  2. Renee Says:

    Namaste Frank.

    I liked your article. And yes it seems that the human aspect in all of us tend to generalize everything based on gender issues. Yet I thank you for raising that awareness in me and probably a few others who did read your note.

    As we say we are Metaphysicans, then we need to recognize that we are all one and the same in Spirit and in the Universe. And it is also time for us to come together and assist each other in a loving and worldly manner to see more, and do more as a united front.

    Thanks again.


  3. Shiv Talwar Says:

    We are expressions of the same Reality, or children of the same mother nature howsoever you like to put it. As such, we are all one on the inside though different on the apparent outside.

  4. Kelley Springer Says:

    Everything in the know and unknown Universe is made up of Male and Female energy. We grow up as human beings reflecting off of each other. So it is natural when seeking to find the root of our un resolve it look into our Male and Female little self. The inner child within is both male and female. I specialize in inner child healing and soul integration, ancestral thread healing,Multi-dimensional healing and sacred ceremonies

  5. Gwindolin A. Landry Says:

    Pain is pain and only when we selfishly are willing to believe it’s all about “me” then we are not in relationship with anyone other than ourselves.We must be strong enough and open enough to share it all only then will be in relationship.

  6. David Hopgood Says:

    The Earth represents the feminine and the sky or Space the masculine. A powerfully healing exercise can be done either laying down or standing comfortably: breathe softly, deeply and regularly, and when settled, visualise the feminine rising through you, and the masculine flowing down with each breath. Try the rising feminine on the in breath, and the descending masculine on the out. Then switch to see what you prefer. I each yoga, meditation and massage with a Holistic Bodywork Practice and an ongoing development manual where new members are always welcome.

  7. Penny Cohen Says:

    I recently did a class on couples strife for men only. I told them basically what women wanted from their men: to be heard, validated and be empathized with. One man said, “But isn’t that what they have girlfriends for?” The men all agreed that they didn’t feel appreciated and often walked around with a sense of anticipatory failure, which the women couldn’t understand. In the end it all boiled down to both men and women wanting to feel loved, important and special in the relationship. That is difficult to experience until we experience our own love, Self importance, and our own specialness.

    Staying in touch and in love,

  8. James Says:

    I think Penny nailed it all in condensed form. GOD’s word does say “Love thy neighbor as thyself”. How many of us really internalize this powerful command and use it in our relationships? (whether they be social, sexual, physical, emotional, co-worker, etc. etc. etc.)? It doesn’t matter what type it is because, the type starts from within “SELF”; not from another person, our mate, or any outside entities.

    If men really learned the art of “Listening” to a woman instead of “Hearing” her, then maybe, just maybe, there would be less divorces, breakups, killings, and so on.

    I’m not an expert on this topic but, I can only draw from my life experiences and different types of relationships with women overall which in turn, has helped me vastly in my current relationship with my Fiancee’ who is also Bipolar and despite all of the “negative” stigmas that are placed upon mental illness within the black community, the only thing that matters is being secure mentally, emotionally, & spritiually within “SELF” first; that way, I can be more secure in my relationship(s), regardless of the type.

    I pose a vital question to all readers who may/may not reply to this post: (How can I love myself without compromising my values and morals for the other person)?

    “Self-Love” is a lifelong process yet the ultimate reward is INNER PEACE and acceptance of myself (positive & negative)in turn, I can learn to love & accept my mate “unconditionally” while still maintaining my bounderies and limits within the relationship because whenever my “Sweetheart” is going through something, I feel it as well at some point, regardless if she’s next to me in bed, or away on a trip; and vice versa.

    Self destruction is never the answer. I say that based on my “rock bottom” landing as a result of drug abuse, homelessness, jails, shootouts, trying to sell drugs, and on and on, and on, and on however, until I was able to ask GOD for help, I was unable to help myself, let alone anyone else.

    Sure mankind has many entities in place to deal with all aspects of self destruction; the ultimate entity is GOD.
    Not trying to blow my own horn but, as a result of seeking help through/from GOD, I’ve been Clean & Sober going on 14 years and it’s all one day, one hour, one minute at a time of which, I take no credit for, other than doing the footwork to get to this stage in my life.

    The best way to sum this up would be coining the universal phrase “until you (meaning: any other human being regardless of ethnicity); walk in the other person’s shoes, you can only assume an understanding of what that person is going through”. A lot of times we (humans); create our own personal prisons by our choices in life and the sad part, is that the “prison bars” cannot be removed by man/woman alone; GOD has to touch the “prison bars” before the doors can be unlocked.
    Our reflection in the mirror is not physical but, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

    How deep, how far, and how much must we sacrafice and,are we willing to look or, do we just like what we see on the outside?

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