Thursday, November 17, 2016
Same Sex Partnerships
In general, heterosexual dads struggle to find meaningful, emotionally close relationships with other dads, or other men for that matter. Although a lot has changed over the past fifty to a hundred years, it is still a norm that men struggle to find emotionally close relationships with other men. As dads, the stakes are even more crucial because the research is clear that dads who are emotionally connected to others will, in turn, become more emotionally available to their kids and/or their spouses and partners (Gottman, Raising and Emotionally Intelligent Child). Our kids, partners, and families reap the benefits in their own lives.
For dads who are emotionally connected to themselves and others, we have an opportunity to form same sex partnerships with other dads in order to influence and support one another in raising our children. In my particular situation, my wife is my closest ally, but I and others need emotional connection with other dads in our various communities. Many men who fought in World War II reported that their relationships with the other men in their units were lifetime friends. This is the sort of thing that we need to be going for in forming same sex partnerships with other men and groups of men in our lives.
I recently started up a book club for dads, and we are reading Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child by John Gottman, Ph.D. This is an opportunity I have to fight for the emotional well being of myself and other dads in my community. In addition, it benefits my daughter and my wife. My desire is to continue to be in the business of forming same sex partnerships with other dads as we fight for the emotional well-being of our families.
Two things you can do: Look for dads' groups on Facebook or Meetup.com, or maybe you are part of a faith community that has such a dads' or men's group. If you are an entrepreneur of sorts, then start one up in your area. It is these sorts of same sex partnerships that we need in order to influence one another and influence our children and families for the better. The research is very clear that an emotionally connected life on our part and the part of our children leads to more fulfilled lives for them and for us.
If you would like to start a Dads' Book Club or any other type of dads' group in one of your communities or networks, then please feel free to contact me for support.
(photo taken with permission from flickr creative commons by Mike Maguire at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mikespeaks/)