In our previous blog post we talked about how the harmful ideals of toxic masculinity can negatively affect men’s mental health. The American Psychological Association outlined specific issues in masculine ideology which were especially hurtful to young men which included anti-femininity. By way of other social constructs, love is seen as entirely feminine and men are somehow meant to be anti-love in some way. Though romance movies always rule the box office, the perseverance of the traditional masculine ideology makes love a fluffy, feminine thing which men should be inspired to swat away at first account. As a result of this damaging messaging, men block themselves off from the many benefits of loving and being loved in friendships, familial relationships, and romantic relationships.
Loving can be a difficult thing to do, depending on what we were taught about love in our youth. As men, we may have been shown tough love, hurtful love, or no love at all. The boundaries of love may have been crossed in traumatizing ways sexually, emotionally, or physically. Whatever lessons we gained about love in our youth stick with us throughout our lives until we learn to define love for ourselves, in each capacity.
Familial love enriches our relationships with our family members and strengthens the bond of the family as a whole. Growing in love with our family helps us grow as a family, building trust, communication, and joy.
Friendships are one of the bright spots of our lives in recovery. As men in recovery, it is especially important to us to have friendships with our peers. Through treatment, we learn how critical it is for us to operate as a team and build a brotherhood around us to help us maintain our sobriety.
Romantic love is the stuff of life according to authors, poets, philosophers, artists, dancers, and just about any other kind of creative expression in the history of the world. Though we may not know it upon getting sober, being a man in recovery makes us an excellent partner in a romantic relationship. We learn through great difficulty how to be in a relationship with ourselves and then we are prepared to be in great relationship with others.
Tree House Recovery of Portland, Oregon is a men’s addiction treatment center that teaches our clients how to roll with life’s punches and use the tools they’ve learned throughout the treatment process to stay on top of anything life throws at them. Call (503) 850-2474 to see how we can help you today.