by Catherine of Expansive Connection Coaching
Why I am launching a guys group course…
I am lucky that I have always had wonderful, complex, deep and supportive female friendships in my life. These women have laughed with me, cried with me, pushed me, pulled me, supported me, and time and time again helped me to be an always developing, and better version of myself.
When my husband and I started dating 18 years ago, and we got to the vulnerable very open level of our relationship, I was struck and saddened to realize that was not the case for him. Sure, he always had plenty of guy friends, but none that he connected with on the same level of depth that feels commonplace for me in my female friendships. I realized that I was my husband’s only source for vulnerable, deep connection.
Over the last 18 years I have watched him strive to develop male friendships that go beyond the typical surface connection around sports, shit talking, and drinking. Don’t get me wrong – he likes connecting with his friends in those ways too but has always felt a little lonely in friendships that stay on that level. He has had some successes in this quest, but they are hard won. The ability for him to find, make and sustain those connections seems extraordinarily more difficult than it has been for me and for most of the women I know.
As a counselor, I have always seemed to jive well with male clients. I have been honored to hear their worries, secrets, and to hold a space that is safe enough for them to be vulnerable in ways that some couldn’t/wouldn’t share with their partners. I would always ask about male friendships and support in their lives. Their answers often echoed my husband’s…
“Sure I’ve got some guys to watch football with.”
“yeah Jim and I play golf together”
“My college buddies still get together for some debauchery in Vegas once a year”
They would report what they DID with their buddies, but not about how they supported each other in the emotional arena that they all reported wanting.
When I coach non-monogamous men, they report that the atmosphere of openness really appeals to them, yet they stumbled when the opportunity to take the conversations deeper are presented.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard my male clients “admit” something to me, feeling sure they are the only man struggling with the issue he presented. I also can’t tell you how many times I have normalized the same concerns and told male clients that if they would just be brave enough to ask other NM men, they would very likely be seen, heard and understood.
I decided to do something to try to affect some change in this! The idea for a men’s group course hit me and I quickly reached out to Mr. Jones and some of my male clients to float the idea and survey them. I got resounding “Yes this is so needed!” along with pages of thoughts, ideas and insights. I used what they shared to develop Beyond Bros.
This first go around is a beta test group bootcamp style – quick and dirty 😉 6 weeks.
You can click here for the details: