A Walk with Men Who Want Better Relationships

“Man, I never realized how sexual women could be!” He puffs as we walk up a steep hill together. “I thought it was us guys that were the horndogs.”

We stop when we get to the top of the hill to catch our breath.

“I learned that a few years ago,” I say, “and it’s made all the difference between me and my partner.”

We start on our way down the hill and continue chatting on our morning walk. We talk more about desire and rekindling it with our partners. We talk about temptation, cheating, ethical non-monogamy, polyamory, and fatherhood.

We’re all waking up to see the bullshit around us…

While we both like music and sports, the focus on our walks is always about where we men fit into our relationships with the women in our lives. It’s about partners, wives, daughters, and sons. It’s about family.

Our walks are a means of self-exploration of what it means to be a good man, a real man, and for that, I’m so grateful I’ve found my tribe.

I live in a community that’s predominately made up of people not like me. I joke and say it’s a community of old football players that married their cheerleader girlfriends and are now producing future football players and cheerleaders.

I talk about how my mother and father were in a sexless marriage…

While they’re friendly for the most part, I yearn for a deeper connection with people, one of lively discourse, talking of grand ideas, and how to be a better person.

Over time I’ve found a small circle of men that I can “vibe with,” ones I can have these types of discussions with, and they range around my age (40’s to 50’s) to their late 80’s.

Each one of these men has a partner/wife and each one of them has questioned the status quo and what we’ve been taught growing up to be men.

We’re all waking up to see the bullshit around us and trying to navigate our way out. If you’re in a dark room, you just have to start walking in some direction and hope you find the light and way out. We did that and happened to bump into each other along the way.

I’m sorry about your Dad,” he says, “he was a great guy.”

“Yeah, thanks. Thanksgiving won’t be the same this year.” I say.

We start to talk about what it means to be a son to aging parents. His are in their mid 90’s, my mother is in her early 80’s. My late father was 78.

We talk about how our parents weren’t perfect in raising us and how they were just people. I talk about how my mother and father were in a sexless marriage for at least 30 years.

We realize that for a brief but important window, we have the power to effectuate change in our families.

We talk about how important sex is to a marriage or any relationship.

He tells me he’s pretty sure that his parents had a sexless marriage for over 50 years and how he could never live that way.

We talk about how and when things go wrong in a relationship and if you can fix them in time. What if you can’t fix it? What do you do? Do you break up your marriage because your sexual needs can’t be fixed?

And then an epiphany happens, the “it was never like this in the beginning, it all changed when we got married. What happened?

I tell him how I changed my perception of my partner, I no longer call her my wife. I tell him how I’m trying hard to be a partner now and not just another responsibility for her, and how that’s made all the difference in rekindling our desire for one another.

He pauses for a moment and says, “I never thought of it that way, good point.”

We round the last corner, our walk is almost over.

We talk about how our parents never had these kinds of talks with us. How our fathers did what they did because of societal expectations and never questioned it.

Our fathers thought this was what was to be expected. Once you get married, it’s game over. Maybe have a few years of regular sex, then get your spouse pregnant, have a few kids, go to work, and then be in a miserable sexless marriage till you die.

But we’re questioning it now. Both of us are fathers and see how serious these questions are. We want our sons and daughters to grow up not just physically and mentally healthy, but sexually as well.

We realize that for a brief but important window, we have the power to effectuate change in our families. We have the power to pass these pearls of wisdom down to our children and have these kinds of talks with them. We have a chance to listen to our partners, to get to know them again and to become better lovers.

We have a chance to break a cycle of misery and spawn happiness and fulfillment for generations to come.

But we men have to make a conscious effort to do this and for me, it starts with one morning walk at a time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.