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A writer for CLM Magazine and CLM Social Pages, Achelle is also an independent blogger, giving her two cents on personal and social issues from an educated Filipina's point of view, especially those relating to love and relationships. She has a knack for tackling issues from unique angles that are often left unexplored, posing questions that move and challenge readers to view a certain issue from a wholly different perspective. Achelle is happily engaged to her childhood sweetheart and is currently based in the Philippines. Achelle's writing is a delight to read and highly enlightening, entertaining and thought provoking. You're going to see lots of her on our Emagazine, Blogs, Social Pages and Hubs. Enjoy
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What It Means to Be A Man in A Relationship    

By Achelle Vinzon
4046 Views | 14 Comments | 9/2/2014 3:47:23 PM

This should be a good topic for discussion on the CLM forum; but here are my thoughts on it. Does it mean being the partner that makes all the decisions? Does it mean always having the final say? Does it mean showing he is in charge, any way he can?



Does it mean being chivalrous, being a gentleman, being respectful?



And what does it mean when they say that a man is “whipped?”



In these days of gender equality and radical feminism, there are so many instances when it seems that the man has lost his “traditional” place in a relationship – that of having the dominant role and being in command. 



In these times when women are more assertive, aggressive even; when they exert more independence and luxuriate in it, it is clear that they have shed the traditional mantle of the meek and submissive female partner in a relationship. 



With their gender roles evolving, the definition of “being the man” in a relationship may already seem obsolete.  But when one considers how women still choose their ideal mate, it also becomes evident that we still find conventional, masculine characteristics highly desirable.  No matter how strong a woman is or may appear to be, she still consciously or unconsciously needs and craves for the feeling of security that a strong and dependable male can provide. 



With the roles of men and women in a relationship evolving, the definition of “being a man” has also evolved, but there seems to be confusion about and disagreement on what it takes to be a man in a relationship.  The women have different opinions regarding this, of course.  This is most likely one of the biggest reasons why so many men now are suffering from some sort of identity crisis, or a “masculinity” crisis, if you will, regardless whether they admit it or not or whether they are conscious of it or not.



Whenever men complain or observe that women are difficult to understand and are hard to please, this is partly because they are unsure about their role, as the man, in the relationship.  Do they sincerely want to understand women and what they want?  Do they genuinely want to know what they can do or how they can change to make a woman happy?  These are questions for another discussion. 



Setting aside a woman’s view of what it takes to be a man in a relationship, how do you, men, define “being a man”?  And what do you think does it mean to be “whipped”?



Does “being a man” mean doing everything you can to make your woman happy?  If you only do things for her to avoid making her mad, does this mean that you are “whipped?”



When your whole world revolves around her and you show her that you treasure her in every way that you can, is this “being a man” or being “whipped?”



When you let her have her way because you love her and want her to be happy, or because you simply want to avoid a fight, are you “being a man” or being “whipped?”



When you prefer to take charge and often feel the need to put your foot down because you’re the man, are you “being a man”?



Does “being a man” only mean doing gentlemanly things, knowing how and when to compromise, and not exerting any authority because you want your woman to have an equal voice in the relationship?



When your woman is pushy, demanding, and controlling, what does it mean, then, to “be a man” in the relationship?



When you let a woman get away with disrespecting you, or even just letting her voice her emotions (with or without the intention to be hurtful), and you don’t feel the need to “put her in her place,” does this make you less of a man or more of a man?



Do you have to have an iron fist to be a man?  Do you have to know how to control your woman?  Or is it your capacity for compromise and sacrifice that define your being a man in a relationship?



When you know when to take the blame, when to apologize, when to be quiet, and when to say something, is this what it means to be a man?



While we can set aside a woman’s opinion on what makes a man, it is clear that the kind of woman that a man has for a partner does influence how he is as the man in the relationship.  This does not necessarily mean that the woman has control over the man’s behavior; how a man reacts is still his own choice.  But as I’ve mentioned in a previous blog, every action has an equal and opposite reaction.  The degree to which a man lets a woman influence him is also his own choice.  How he wants to be defined as “a man” is his own choice.  What kind of role he wants to play in a relationship is his own choice. 



Conversely, the choices that he makes “as a man” or “to be a man” also stimulate a reaction from the woman.  So it is a continuous cause-and-effect.  Whether this series or cycle of cause-and-effect makes the relationship a strong and lasting one should tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.  I personally believe that taking responsibility for your own actions, treating your woman with respect, and having the right priorities and motivations are the elements that make a man. 



A man is a man because he is born with the Y-chromosome; what he does with it, especially when he’s in a relationship, is what gives his “being a man” depth and form. 



What are your thoughts, men and women of CLM and ALM?         


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 10 of 14) 1 2 More...
#2014-09-02 16:01:18 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Achelle, you've gone deep into the soul of the issues that are coming to the fore between men and women in modern times. For me, the questions you've asked of us here are not easy to answer. In fact, they're not easy to even face and force myself to think about, because I'm not sure I want to know the answers. But over the next few days I'll try to steal and hour and do so, for my own self awareness, for better or for worse.

I'll be keenly interested to see how other male members respond as well.

#2014-09-02 23:30:15 by Grace172 @Grace172

Wow... I love this article so much! (y)
"But when one considers how women still choose their ideal mate, it also becomes evident that we still find conventional, masculine characteristics highly desirable. No matter how strong a woman is or may appear to be, she still consciously or unconsciously needs and craves for the feeling of security that a strong and dependable male can provide."
Yes, I am this kind of woman. I love my bf to be a leader in our relationship even though he is so bossy sometimes.

"I personally believe that taking responsibility for your own actions, treating your woman with respect, and having the right priorities and motivations are the elements that make a man."
Yes, I believe too. (clap)

#2014-09-03 00:14:59 by anonymous11655 @anonymous11655

I find this article extremely amusing and quite the beginning of a shit storm of varied replies.

Being the man in a relationship for me is whatever I choose it to be.......

I do not worry about feminism very much, I do worry about men allowing themselves to be neutered emotionally and in society......

thanks for the chuckle.....(y)

#2014-09-03 09:54:24 by anonymous11665 @anonymous11665

Being whipped means jumping through increasingly difficult hoops for your woman, and all for a tiny bit of sex in return (every 4-6 weeks if the man is lucky).

I have seen big burly men become stay-at-home nannies to watch the kids. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but I see the look of fear in their eyes as they jump up once their wife has arrived home from work. They quickly get the kids ready and prepare the meal (complete with pink apron) for the wife who is usually bitter and screaming as she walks in the door.

I have always wanted to say "Man up!" to this sort of guy, but it is not my place to say. I just watch him run around like a frightened animal obeying the wife's every command. "Yes dear! Of course dear! On my way dear!"

And all for that little bit of sex he may or may not receive...weeks from now.

The roles truly have reversed. Today's male has zero masculinity. And the women are all men now, barking orders and telling the guys over and over how they are "idiots" and how "they messed up...once again".

I am of course referring to western women. The Chinese women I have met still retain their femininity. But for how long? The pics of the women showing their underarm hair truly frighten me...(sweat)

#2014-09-03 15:01:33 by warm1 @warm1

Well, I guess that is how some women see it, but I think your sources and information is a little outdated. I would be greatly relieved to have a women walk shoulder to shoulder with me. It would take some of the stress and burden off my life. Of course, the women would have to do this on a permanent basis-- not just when it is convenient or beneficial to them. They also would have the pleasure of taking the good AND bad of making these decisions. I think a lot of women like the way things are now. The feminist movement of years past was popular until the last bra was burned, and then everything was status quo. I guess they didn't like mowing the grass, maintaining the car, or picking up those $200 fancy dinner checks. But if you insist........

#2014-09-04 09:16:39 by aussieghump @aussieghump

Essentially the 'extremists' in every camp have missed the essential points in this all - we are talking about a 'relationship' that is essentially the play of 'power'. In any situation where you have an extreme shift of power, someone will essentially 'suffer' along a scale from lack of appreciation to mortal danger. The perpetrator needs a victim and the victim needs a perpetrator - the key is not to be either!

In 'healthy relationships', the 'will' of one person will be slightly strong (that being they have more vested interest so will insist more or appear to get their 'way'). For example, my priority for where I live is relatively limited - I need a safe and secure area that is not so far from my work...my partner will have her own criteria. Viewed from the outside, my position might be submissive to my partner - but in fact it is fully compatible... I have my basic desires in a package that she may have selected to suit her. For example, close to shops and schools for children, in a 'safe' environment for her, nearby family, with a view, with 3 bedrooms- whatever! You can take the view that I have been 'whipped' into living where my partner desires but in fact, that is not true! I have what I need, she has her desires so we are both happy!

Even to extend this, around the home where the woman's view on beauty and need may be different to mine, I am quite happy to allow her wishes to prevail - this does not mean I am 'whipped'... It just means that in her predominant domain (an area she spends most time and takes most pride in maintaining), she can have the things that are needed, with little negative affect on me. Around the home, the task of 'putting out the rubbish' is a chore that should be shared and an agreed 'level of comfort' on dust needs to be attained and while I might tend to have my 'naturally occurring' environment a little 'messier' than our shared environment but it isn't an anomaly - I can happily live in both!

Truly, only when a relationship is balanced (and that may be along 'traditional' lines if desired by the partners or some other arrangement) then there shouldn't be any real issues and others 'looking in' have no business in commenting on it!

it is only if we fall into a situation out of complacency or apathy that the situation becomes undesirable. This silly convention of describing tasks and responsibilities as 'men's job' or 'women's responsibility' is pretty debilitating as is the notions into manliness and 'pussy-whipped'...

- Forget the comparisons and jockeying positions!

- Forget the names and conventions, the feminism and the 'man empowerment'.

- Forget the 'man vs woman' crap

Come to a mutually beneficial living arrangement that meets the cumulative needs of the team! Sorry, but how difficult is it???

#2014-09-04 10:23:32 by anonymous11675 @anonymous11675

Another thing I have noticed about western women these days is they work out so much they have become ultra muscular. Their arms have extreme muscle definition and they are very manly in appearance. Many women now have 6-pack stomachs which is VERY unappealing. There is nothing like getting ready to make love to a woman just to discover you will be making love to a man's body...man to man...man on man...(puke)

#2014-09-04 19:14:08 by anonymous11681 @anonymous11681

I think most marriages in the West works fine but in some cases, and perhaps increasingly, it can go as in the description of the anonymous 11665.

When the marriage is concluded the man is tied and the Western woman is well aware of it and will be more and more dominating the family life.

The fact that the woman has a job and a good education and maybe have a higher salary than the man, the result may be that it is she who becomes the family breadwinner in the first place and the man stays at home and takes care of the children. Then she can start pushing around the man. No man like this but realize it too late.

The only solution that remains for the man is perhaps like in the story of the two men talking to each other, and both bemoaned their dominant wives and did not know how they could get out of this situation.
After a few days the two men met again and one of them said, "Now I have taken control of our house for today I went into the kitchen and banged my fist on the table and shouted that from now on it's me who is boss in the house ".
Oh, said the second man. It was very brave of you. How was the reaction of your wife?
I do not know, said the first man, because she was not at home.
The conclusion is that everything proceeds as usual.

This is probably a contributing factor why the Western men more and more begin searching for Asian women in the hope that they still retain their femininity and are more family oriented. Moreover, the Chinese women are generally much more beautiful than the Western counterparts.

Most Western men are probably intent on it must be mutual understanding of family life. For that we are brought up to. We are prepared to respect our wives' femininity but do not want the marriage to be developed as the anonymous 11665 description.

#2014-09-05 11:54:47 by fj1383 @fj1383

Let's face it, manhood is in the eye of the beholder and for that matter womanhood too. The concept of a "real man" is subjective for each individual and it's really a waste of words to try to pinpoint what a real man is or a whipped man is. Specially nowadays you can find a large variety and types of REAL men, from the most feminine ones to the most masculine ones, from the most traditional ones to the most open-minded ones. So who are we to say this is a 'real' man and this one is not??! Just look at some of the current women in our society, plenty of them go for the sensitive type of man or the korean physique type of guy, lol, not that is anything wrong with that but I just can't agree any less with the statement "But when one considers how women still choose their ideal mate, it also becomes evident that we still find conventional, masculine characteristics highly desirable." because it's utterly wrong. At the end what matters the most is the compatibility between a man and a woman and how they can lead a happy and harmonious life together without the childish need of keeping track of each other's mistakes or flaws. If a couple sees themselves as a real man and a real woman, then who cares about the rest.

#2014-09-05 15:57:46 by melcyan @melcyan

@aussieghump
Well said Garreth.
I like your use of the word “team” in describing a relationship between a man and a woman. A good team member looks after their own well being – to not do so lets down the team. A good team member looks after their team mate – to not do so lets down the team. Good team members recognize that the needs of the team must come first. Good team members recognize that when one member of the team falls down the whole team suffers. Good team members recognize that it is their best interest to give the other team member maximum support. Good team members take on the role of leader or follower or equal roles depending on the nature of circumstances being faced and what is best for the team. Good team members value team success more than individual success. Good team members understand that as the demands facing the team change their skill set must change . There will also be times where team members will need to swap roles for the good of the team.

How difficult is this? It is very difficult for someone who is not a team player or someone who is not willing to learn how to become a good team member or someone who always wants to blame others for any problem that they face. Avoid someone like this when you try to form your “relationship team”.

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