Men’s Group 20 Years
Twenty years ago this month I invited nine men to meet with me. I needed some male support. I was a new dad and completely overwhelmed by that responsibility. I also worked mostly at home by myself and was feeling very isolated. They were enthusiastic. And so for the last two decades we have been meeting once a month.
A whole lot happens through the years. One guy soon dropped out; it was way too intimate for him. One fellow moved away. And though many men have asked to join, we have only added Harrison to our group in all these years. We are exclusive. Not one of us lives in the same house and five of us have gotten divorced. Besides divorce we have dealt collectively with marriages, births of kids and grandchildren, loss of parents, failed businesses, career changes, lawsuits, affairs, prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s, autism, and depression. Bill nearly died of a heart attack. But the most painful for us was the loss of not one, but two newborn babies by our dear friend Mike.
We have cried as hard as we have laughed. All through these things we have been holding each other. We have created a safe place to be vulnerable and honest. None of us are New Age male wimps; the testosterone drips from the wall when we meet. We tolerate little BS from one another and everyone speaks their mind.
When I mention my men’s group it invariably elicits a sarcastic comment about drumming. Well I confess we have drummed several times. But what we do not do is play poker, smoke cigars, drink beer and complain about women. We are perplexed, intrigued, amused, and totally committed to understanding the women in our lives. Mothers, daughters, wives and girlfriends are a continual topic of conversation. But we have also dedicated meetings to politics, children, money, and poetry. For us nothing is taboo. Thanks guys, I look forward to another twenty years of honesty and friendship.
This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.