My father was driving, we were all in car asking

Are we there yet?

Asking for help

Is this really where we are going?

The destination was dinner with a new acquaintance, we were late, the address was the puzzle that was yet to be solved…GPS a mere thirty away.

I remember my mother asking several times if we needed to stop and ask for directions, which soon became the echo of the young voices in the backseat as we wanted to eat. The reply I recall my father speaking was something in line with,

“We are close, I will find it – I am sure.”

The interesting thing is that I often hear women say that men never ask for help yet men say that women hate to be told how to do things (need I mention trying to learn golf from a spouse, which would be a completely different post to explore). I am not a huge fan of absolute statements that encompass and join people by assumed stereo-typed behaviors yet I have to admit that these two statements do hold some merit.

Do men know they are in need of help?

When driving men are rarely lost, in their own mind. They have complete faith that they will find where they are going and looking, seeking is part of the hunt. While women might see this as arrogance, men see it as fact, I am completely capable of finding this.

To stop…

roll down a window…

ask for help…

ends the hunt…

someone else takes over their adventure.

I admit that I love watching the Amazing Race.  Consistently the best teamwork comes when the men and women work together, recognizing the strengths and weakness of one another and navigating each obstacle.  While real life is not lived in the “timed” challenges and roadblocks, there is a common key – they recognize first who they are AND see one another.

How does this play over into men not willing to ask for help, seek counseling?

Men need to have a purpose in counseling a destination they are seeking, not the random or seemingly endless world of thinking they are going to be “told” the direction. Is part of the obstacle that we as women often define the direction before inviting the men on the adventure of discovery?

We define the “help” needed without recognizing the ways they are already looking for help. Do we see the ways that we experience “help” as the one way that men will also receive “help?”

Counseling is often sought after accumulated issues have risen. It is “needed” in order for the relationship to survive. A demand can be laid down, with a predetermined outcome that has to be met. Rarely is this an invitation, but instead a 911 call.

What would it be like to invite men into a deeper adventure?

How could the relationship be enhanced, what is there to learn, together?

I have found that a man who comes into counseling by invitation to discover how he and the one he loves, can work together is a more willing participant…often sweaty palms, fidgety and feeling lost, he can recognize the adventure of deep and intentional work within a relationship BUT the process is different for men.

Men need to know they are needed in the process of learning and navigating, that the value they bring to relationships matters and that how “help” finds them might just be different than how it finds a woman. I find that often men respond to counseling with practical application and finding solutions that amaze me.

Which way to go....

Interesting that GPS was invented by Ivan Getting, at a price tag of $12 billion (taxpayer dollars) for the Department of Defense. Could this be in response to the multiplicity of hearing, “Do we need to stop for directions?”

The resounding answer was creating a small device that partners with eighteen satellites and multiple ground stations in order to not have to stop,  to stay in the hunt.