Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Daddy Issues

Once upon a time in a prehistoric mindset, before gender equality existed and sisters were doing it for themselves, a man was referred to as 'hunter'. Strong, powerful, virile man-beasts whose sole purpose was to provide, breed and protect the supposedly weaker and lesser sex. It was a victorious time for men, a time where the size of his loin cloth was measured against his primal prowess and the ability to make fire. He was without a doubt the King of the cave, the ultimate object of desire, a god amongst the gatherers, a Cro magnon cutie whose brutality commanded the attention of their female counterpart. How times have changed...

Flash forward to the present where modern-day men are no longer required to act like apes in order to get a female to notice them. Those who managed to hop on board the evolution express will soon realise that a modern day gal is more likely to choose her mate based on intelligence, EQ and the ability to make her feel loved and wanted. Raw brawn and muscle, although extremely easy on the eyes, are no longer the same ideals we hold as our prehistoric predecessors once had, especially when it comes to procreation and starting a family.

It's no secret that bringing a child into the world can take a serious toll on one's relationship. Something inside a woman changes not only physically, but emotionally and psychologically. In this Oedipal twist of events, a man can suddenly become obsolete, no matter how supportive or caring he may be during and after the gestation period. It's almost as if she becomes the hunter, ready to protect and strike at any threat that comes in between her and her child. The world suddenly revolves around this tiny little bean growing inside your belly leaving little to no time for the man that helped you create this special gift, and while women certainly do carry the bigger share of the burden, I couldn't help but wonder...where does it leave the man?

It's a very rare occasion that you hear a man's honest perspective on fatherhood and the challenges he faces both personally and collectively. Not only is his life about to change forever, particularly from a time and financial point of view, but also from a priority perspective. His needs no longer take precedence, and while a woman finds this much easier to accept for some biological reason unknown to man, the pressure to provide all types of support for the next eighteen years can easily send a man into an early mid-life crisis.

Whilst having my usual double skinny latte at the local Vida, I locked eyes with a tall handsome stranger staring at me from across the room. He had a boyish smile that lit up his muscular visage and he could not have been older than 37. He'd noticed me glancing over at him for quite some time until he finally swaggered on up towards me. He was confident in his approach and introduced himself as Doc Martin.

We developed a friendship over the next few weeks in which I would vent to him about my tragic relationship woes in exchange for an inside look at the life of a married man struggling to deal with the pressures of being a dad and the effects it had on his relationship.

"It's no wonder so many men in my situation cheat on their spouses. Their ego needs the validation. They become so subordinate and forgotten to this new love in her life, so secondary and unimportant. I know this sounds selfish but men also need to hear how attractive and important they are from time to time. Women expect it constantly and we tell them what they want to hear even when they're 10 kilos overweight and bloated from pregnancy. We embellish because it makes them feel special and loved. It's such a double standard, one that can seriously damage the intimacy in your sex life not to mention ruin an already fragile ego." 

Who'da thunk? Do men secretly feel insecure and threatened by the relationship between a mother and child? Was Doc Martin simply acting like a little boy bitch looking for tea and sympathy to entertain his pity-party for one or was there something seriously unspoken about the neglect men feel in this type of situation? Were daddy's issues the real deal or were they just an excuse to justify the behaviour that comes with your typical mid-life crisis? Has the need for a more emotionally in tune man threatened the traditional traits of masculinity or are some men just as sensitive as women?

"If you ever want to put your relationship to the test, have a kid. They zap every, single, little bit of energy out of you. There's no time for anything else other than the routine you have in place, especially when you both work for a living. Don't get me wrong, I love the little fucker but I sometimes wish I could turn back the clock and just go back to a time where I did not have to feel guilty for wanting some quality me time. Your life becomes consumed by this unstoppable force and all your needs and goals get put on the back burn because you just don't have the time for anything else."

Not making enough time for yourself as well as your partner is a common relationship mistake that most of us make, and a sure fire way to end even the strongest of unions. We are all individuals who have needs and in order to make a partnership work, we need to respect, acknowledge and support those needs, especially when you decide to add one to the equation. Regardless of gender or sex, both man and woman will be challenged in ways they never thought possible. It's finding the strength to work together during these trying times that will keep the fire that you both started burning. 

When it comes to defending the caveman, is it absolutely necessary to put daddy in the corner?

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