I've been working with men since 1980. I appreciate what you say about our fear of being perceived as weak either by others or by ourselves as a significant source of shame. I really like the question, "How do women feel about men owning and expressing their vulnerability?" My best hunch is that when women are running a paternal projection upon the significant men in their worlds. they likely will have some attachment to men maintaining a persona of bravado. There is also the threat of losing that part of their identities which had them be the providers of emotional intelligence to the relationship. However, likely an even bigger deal is that women are very often raised by women who taught them to be needed by men. Hence, women tend to organize their psychologies and their rapport to men in a way that keeps women needed by men. These women often have let go of any attachment to being loved by men and have settled into being needed. Once a man begins to live from his vulnerability, the psychological construct of being needed is threatened. The result is some profound insecurity and fear related to: Will I actually be loved? And what does being loved look like? Do I have to betray my father in order to be loved by a man? Will we dare to build emotional intimacy based upon my man's new found ability to be vulnerable? And what in God's name will that look like?
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