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“The guys at work are the only people other than me that my husband even talks to, so when some of these men retire, they expect their wives to be their source of entertainment and even get jealous that they have a life.” Johnson jokes that women her mom’s age seem to be waiting for their husbands to die so they can finally start their life.“I’ll get a call saying so-and-so kicked the bucket and sure enough, his widow is on a cruise around the world a week later with her girlfriends.” But unlike women in our mothers’ generation, Gen X’ers and millennials are starting to hold their partners accountable—or they’re simply leaving.“They can get a lot of insight from this process.”But individual therapy—which can cost upwards of and is rarely covered by insurance—isn’t financially viable for everyone.Group therapy is an accessible alternative (ranging from - per session), but the practice faces added stigma because of its association with inpatient psychiatric hospitals and rehab facilities, as well as court-ordered treatments for anger, domestic violence, sex offenses, and substance abuse.Toxic masculinity—and the persistent idea that feelings are a "female thing"—has left a generation of straight men stranded on emotionally-stunted island, unable to forge intimate relationships with other men. , but she does remember neglecting her own needs to the point of hospitalization.“I talked him through his aspirations, validated his opinions, and supported his career.
“Men are taught that feelings are a female thing,” muses Johnson, whose husband often complains about her wanting to "talk deep." Though Johnson brags about how wonderful her husband is—grateful he doesn’t exhaust her with his neediness like a lot of her married friends—she does wish men were encouraged to examine and explore their emotions in a safe setting, like therapy, before they boil over.
I had to be his emotional guru because he was too afraid to admit he had any emotions at all,” recalls the 24-year-old English teacher, who was studying for her Ph D at the time.
Kelly’s boyfriend refused to talk to other men or a therapist about his feelings, so he’d often get into “funks,” picking pointless fights when something was bothering him.
), making it seem totally normal—even ideal—to find the man within the beast.
Unlike women, who are encouraged to foster deep platonic intimacy from a young age, American men—with their puffed up chests, fist bumps, and awkward side hugs—grow up believing that they should not only behave like stoic robots in front of other men, but that women are the only people they are allowed to turn to for emotional support—if anyone at all.