The Men’s Group
Ten years ago I started a men’s group. I was a new dad and completely overwhelmed by that role and responsibility. I also worked mostly at home by myself and was feeling very isolated. So I called nine friends and asked them if they were interested in getting together. They were enthusiastic. And so for the last decade we have been meeting once a month.
A whole lot happens through the years. One guy dropped out and one moved away. Of the core group of seven, not one of us lives in the same house and four of us have gotten divorced. Besides divorce we have dealt collectively with marriages, births of kids and even grandkids, deaths of parents, failed businesses, career changes, lawsuits, affairs, illness, and one of us nearly died of a heart attack. 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 literally drips from the wall when we meet. We tolerate little BS from one another and everyone speaks their mind. We have cried nearly as hard as we have laughed. One guys wife told him she wanted a divorce. Right out of the blue and not only that she wanted him to move out of their house immediately. It wasn’t a great marriage but still. We all took a day off and joyfully moved him into an apartment, celebrating his chance at renewal. It was the best thing for him in 20 yrs.
When I mention my men’s group to women 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 and they are a continual topic of conversation. But we have also dedicated meetings to our mothers, fathers, children, money, poetry, and we even had a focused discussion one evening on penises. Believe me that subject is as off limits to most men as how much money they make. But for us nothing is taboo.
Thanks guys, I look forward to another ten years of honesty.
This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.