Morris Kunz: solving masculine dilemmas

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Morris Kunz: solving masculine dilemmas

Jessica Wise

founder – The Litas

Devin Townsend

recording artist

Pat Bagley

Pulitzer finalist political cartoonist

Sean Whalen

men’s coach

Robert Clark

National Geographic photographer

Kurt Bestor

Composer, pianist, trumpet player Kurt Bestor

composer

Richard Dutcher

black and white portrait of filmmaker Richard Dutcher

filmmaker

Marianne Willamson

author & spiritual teacher

Steven Wilson

Grammy nominated musician & producer

Peter Breinholt

Singer / songwriter Peter Breinholt photographed by Paul Duane

singer / songwriter

Genpo Roshi

black and white portrait of Zen Master Genpo Roshi

Zen Master Genpo Roshi

Speaking of masculine dilemmas: I just finished reading THE TRUTH by Neil Strauss. This is one of the most fascinating journeys through traditional and non-traditional relationships (and sex addiction therapy!) that I’ve ever heard. I actually did HEAR it. I used Audible to listen to the book, which was narrated by the author, Neil Strauss, himself. This is by far the most entertaining, engaging way to digest a book. Get a free audiobook of your choice and a free 30 day trial of Audible by clicking on this banner. Enjoy!

Everyone wants good love. Fellas, there’s nothing like getting involved with a woman to reveal the places you need to grow in. Intimacy expert Morris Kunz shares some ideas on how men can grow and show up in their full power.

“Men, when your woman speaks to you, remember, it’s a message directly from God. Women – be nice.”  – Gary Acevedo

Nuggets of wisdom from Morris:

“The more loving we can be in EVERY conversation, the better results we have. I don’t care if you are doing business or whatever…”

“Be sweet to yourself”

“A woman will follow a man who is chasing something that is bigger than her.  Start dreaming again.”

“It’s about having fun and dancing with the ladies in our life.” 

Radical Intimacy Facebook Group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/168516880412002/

I DO

He said it like a man who had worked hard all day in the heat and was being offered a tall glass of perfectly chilled ice water.

She said it like a woman who knew exactly what she wanted and knew she deserved to have it.

“I do”

Over the course of my career, I’ve heard countless couples say the words, but I’ve never heard the two syllables said with more joyful certainty, solidarity and knowing, than Rachel and Jonny.

Beethoven once said,

“Don’t only practice your art, but force your way into its secrets, for it and knowledge can raise men to the divine.”

As an artist, there comes a point where unconditional dedication to the instrument opens up a world of secrets that only the wholly committed are permitted to enter. There are days when your fingers are sore, but you practice anyway. There are days when you feel like you are a worse player than you were last week and you wonder how you could suck so much… you practice anyway. There are days when practicing is easy and playful – you practice anyway, because you know it’s part of something vastly bigger than your disposition today and are honored to be part of it. In forcing your way into the secrets of your art, you learn things about yourself that you could never know otherwise. It becomes a mirror that creates a singularly unique vantage point to see yourself, your relationship to the world, and ultimately, The Divine.

As it goes in the practice hall, so it goes in marriage. We are all souls at various stages of development in the cosmic scheme of things. Nothing is for everyone, not even marriage. For some, however – I believe that the lifelong commitment of marriage can raise men – and women – to the Divine.

cookies, toys, playtime, and why your wife doesn’t respect you

Marriage was a special kind of hell for me, and here’s why:

No matter how hard I tried to make her happy, it never ended well.

It’s not that I married a bad woman – she’s a really good person and a good mother.

I misunderstood the basic dynamics of how grown men and grown women need to deal with each other. Let me give you some background:

As a little boy who was raised in a traditional family (stay at home mom, dad went to work all day), Mom was the gatekeeper for everything I wanted during most of the day.

Cookies.
Toys.
Permission to play with friends.

If I wanted it, Mom would have to grant it.

Our relationship with the parent of the opposite sex as a child, is, for the most part, the template we use to relate to the opposite sex as adults.

As adult men, we still want “cookies”, “toys”, and, to play with our friends.

…. and SEX. Let’s be honest. Sex is the ultimate prize that the woman in your life is the supreme gatekeeper for. If she’s not in the mood to give it to you, you aren’t getting it.

The temptation to do whatever it takes to “make your woman happy” is rooted in the most fundamental drive of our species. A mature, healthy sexual relationship is the supreme challenge and holy grail of human connections, for this reason. It pits you against your strongest impulses – impulses that may not actually serve you well.

In my 20’s, (my married years), I was still operating from this unchanged paradigm from my childhood – “make the woman happy by doing what she says”.

There were many times when my truth was quite different from her truth. I found it really difficult to tell her my personal truth when I felt like it would upset her, and jeopardize my access to cookies, toys, and playtime. This misguided pursuit of “making her happy” led to the decay of our relationship.

I had never been so frustrated and defeated in my life – how in the world could all of my good efforts have led to so much destruction and unhappiness? It caused me to even go so far as to think about suicide. I felt completely broken and hopelessly flawed.

Guys – how many times have you “sacrificed” your personal truth for her, thinking you were acting selflessly?

I can’t speak for you, but I will tell you my experience:

Sacrificing my personal truth to “make her happy” is a supremely selfish and immature act. The only thing motivating it, was my desire to maintain access to cookies, toys, and play time. There’s nothing selfless about it.

She doesn’t want your “obedience”.
She wants your TRUTH.
She wants to be able to trust you.
She wants to feel safe with you.
She wants to know that no matter what crazy mood swing she comes at you with, you will remain stable.
She wants to know that when you are out in the world, you will be the same man she loves at home.

When she can count on you to be real, authentic, and firmly rooted in your own truth – she feels free to be fully feminine.

(By the way fellas – this is why women “put the pants on” in a relationship – if they can’t trust your masculinity, they’ll just do it themselves and drag you along for a while).

A real woman doesn’t want your obedience.
A real woman wants your strength.

You don’t have to be a jerk to be strong in your truths. It’s possible to be kind, AND strong.

That’s the magic combination.

If you think kindness means sacrificing your authentic feelings – you’ve misunderstood the word. You’ll need to learn what true kindness is before you will be able to deeply satisfy a mature, healthy woman.

True kindness is the utmost kind of strength.

Kindness doesn’t’ show up when you are agreeing with each other.
Kindness doesn’t show up when you feel lovey-dovey.
Kindness doesn’t show up when you are in a great mood.

True kindness shows up when you are sick, angry, disappointed, or otherwise really don’t feel like showing up….

…and you do it anyway.

That is serious manly strength.

much love –
Paul Duane

The King Eats First: Sean Whalen

Our culture is in the midst of a masculine crisis. Too many of our men are broken, perpetuating many of society’s problems. Men’s coach Sean Whalen, of Lions Not Sheep, joins us to talk about these quintessential masculine dilemmas.

https://www.facebook.com/swhalen

http://frescoshirts.com/collections/lions-not-sheep

 

 

Mark Lawrence of Restore Our Humanity

Mark Lawrence director of Restore Our Humanity joined me on the show today to talk about recent human rights happenings in Utah.  One particular item of interest is the annual convention for The World Congress of Families that will be taking place in Salt Lake City in October.  The WCF is an organization that pedals intolerance and violence, cloaked in a pro-family guise.

A coalition has been formed to do three things:

  1. Educate the public on what the World Congress of Families is truly about
  2. Educate the public on the involvement of the LDS Church with the WCF
  3. Create a TRUE pro-family platform that will pervade the local culture, firmly establishing Salt Lake City as the most family – friendly city in America.

Restore Our Humanity is seeking people who are willing to donate a mere $5 per month for 12 months. These $5 donations will simply be automatically paid out of your credit / debit card account without you needing to worry about it. Visit  http://www.restoreourhumanity.org/donate/  to add your support to this very important cause.

On a less serious, yet related note…  One of the songs that played on the way to a break was  “Gay Agenda” by The Toros – click to listen (which happens to be a band I played bass in).  This was purely coincidental. The commercial break songs are chosen at random by a computer… yet, there could not be a more appropos song at that moment in the show!

 

Group Therapy Wed: Sunny Strasburg and the Four Horsemen of Relationship Apocalypse

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Today’s edition of Group Therapy on The Paul Duane Show featured Marriage & Family Therapist Sunny Strasburg.  Sunny has one foot firmly in Jung’s theories, and another firmly in Gottman’s empirically driven, groundbreaking work on relationships.  It’s fascinating to talk with someone who operates effortlessly and simultaneously from such different paradigms. Sunny mentioned something about one aspect of relationships that really got my gears turning: Witnessing.

The need for “witness”.  The need to look into the eyes of another, and to see that knowing depth in their eyes that says, “I see you. I acknowledge you as a human, being right here, right now. Your experience just went from being something theoretical in your head, to something real because now a separate being from you – I – am in on it.  You’ve become something more than a brain-in-a-bottle. My witness of you, in this moment, has made you real. It’s the observer effect. It’s science, it’s quantum physics, it’s poetry, it’s love – the Holy Grail.

It is not good for man to be alone, they say…

According to Sunny, it’s essential for parents to make this connection with their kids when they are small.  An insufficiency in this realm tends to sow seeds for some kind of attachment disorder in adulthood. Ever meet someone that has problems with intimacy? You can bet that their parents fucked up this stage of parenting for one reason or another.

We spent some time talking about the “Four Horsemen Of The Relationship Apocolypse”, a phrase coined by John Gottman. These 4 phenomenon are the harbingers of relationship demise. Gottman can predict with 94% accuracy which relationships will survive and which will perish, depending on the prevalance of the following:

  • Criticism: stating one’s complaints as a defect in one’s partner’s personality, i.e., giving the partner negative trait attributions. Example: “You always talk about yourself. You are so selfish.”
  • Contempt: statements that come from a relative position of superiority. Contempt is the greatest predictor of divorce and must be eliminated. Example: “You’re an idiot.”
  • Defensiveness: self-protection in the form of righteous indignation or innocent victim-hood. Defensiveness wards off a perceived attack. Example: “It’s not my fault that we’re always late; it’s your fault.”
  • Stonewalling: emotional withdrawal from interaction. Example: The listener does not give the speaker the usual nonverbal signals that the listener is “tracking” the speaker.

Another number of interest: Couples that stay together display a certain ratio of positive interactions to negative ones – 7:1, to be exact. How are you doing in your relationship?

Visit Sunny’s website to learn more about booking an appointment:  www.sunnystrasburgtherapy.com

Learn more about John Gottman’s work here: www.gottman.com

 Listen to the show ↓

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Thoughts. Ideas. Weirdness from my brain, delivered into your mailbox: In your mail box:

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The Most Absurd Story

There once was a man and woman who fell in love, got married, and bought an attractive home together.  The husband grew up in a home with many children and an overworked mother who struggled to keep the house clean. Dust, disarray, and clutter were the norm. Though he greatly appreciated neat tidy spaces, it could also be said that he was at perfectly comfortable in a mess.

 

One day, he found his wife pouting on the sofa.  He had known something was amiss for a few days, perhaps it would now finally come to the surface.

“What’s wrong?” he inquired.

 

“I know that you resent me for not keeping the house clean, but I have been so busy with my responsibilities on the committee, my boss has given me extra work, and this flu has sapped up all of my extra energy this week. I know you are always mad at me for the house being a mess. I am really hurt that you are so upset with me. That’s why I’ve been staying away from you, that’s why I won’t hug or kiss you, that’s why I’m so cold – because I know you are mad at me. How am I supposed to be loving to you when I know you are angry with me over something like this?”

 

The husband was shocked. In his own mind, just earlier that day, he had been contemplating how beautiful their home was and how grateful he was for it. The current state of housekeeping was vastly superior to anything he had grown up with. In his eyes, he didn’t even see a mess. All he saw was a beautiful home with an angry wife.

 

He tried to console her, but she did not believe him. She continued to attack him for being angry at her for not keeping the house spotless.  This pattern continued for some time.

 

The husband felt helpless, like a shipwrecked boy floating at sea on a tiny life raft, with no help in sight for months. At times his desperation started to taste something like anger for her construction of this artificial problem – but it wasn’t real anger.  Few things could sadden him more than her accusations of him feeling a way that he truly did not. A deep, profound despair took residence in his heart  as he contemplated the futility of the situation.  There was nothing he could do to convince her otherwise. If he helped more around the house, she would see it as evidence that he was, in fact, so upset with her that he was taking matters into his own hands. If he did not help, she further resented  that he was part of the problem. He was utterly powerless to help her – not because he himself lacked power, but because she would have no part of it.

 

If housekeeping was the only area in which the wife experienced this way of thinking, their marriage would have been salvageable.  Humans typically don’t compartmentalize habits of the heart, though. Her self criticism crept into every other area of life. Money, friends, work, sex… Brick by brick she laid an impenetrable wall, turning their marriage into a stale cavern of tears. Eventually, the marriage ended.  Both were devastated, both had radically different stories about what happened.  So much potential, so little realized.

 

So it is with our relationship with The Divine. (Call it what you want. For the sake of brevity, I’ll call it a few simple things, sometimes I’ll use the word God.) We emanate from a Source of ultimate creative power that we don’t fully comprehend. It is our heritage, and our destination, to grow eternally in our powers of creation.  If a God exists, I am certain that it’s main objective is to nurture us into beings like unto itself, masters of all creative powers.

 

Look at the ancient and modern wisdom that’s been put on the earth: Vast amounts of it are aimed at convincing humans to stop judging.  God has gone so far as to play a cosmic game of Santa Claus – a temporary charade that’s intended to get us going in the right direction, even if we aren’t fully mature enough to understand the real reasons yet.  He’s allowed the perpetuation of stories that should empower humans to relieve themselves of the judging duties and hand them off to someone that’s better equipped for the job: Think of the thousand of tales in all cultures that God, in fact, is the great judge, that there will be a great day of judgement, and thus, no other human needs to be concerned with judging. Taking it a step further into near absurdity,  there even exists a story about God sending his only Son in the flesh, to come down here, get horribly abused, suffer, and die, on behalf of all “sinners” – taking upon him the sins of all the world – just in an effort to convince us humans to CALM DOWN AND STOP JUDGING. There are countless ceremonies, rites of passage, rituals, all of which are a “Dumbo’s Feather” of sorts – intended to give each of us permission to feel “clean”, “forgiven” so that just maybe we’ll stop judging – others, and ourselves –  and get on with the joy of creation.

 

While it’s true that on some level, the wife was judging her husband, it all emanated from judging herself.  In the court of her own self criticism, she became the judge, jury, and executioner – and thus, unable to consider any evidence to the contrary. All of the promises of marriage became impossible and moot.

 

The dilemma of the married couple is a dilemma of human nature, and may be rightfully multiplied by many thousands as we contemplate our true relationship to God.  God loves us vastly more. The minutia we judge ourselves against are, in the grand scheme of things, irrelevant. The consequences of the rift between you and God are cosmic in scale.

 

God does not judge us. As we let go of the baseless assumption that God disapproves of us, as we accept our own unique perfection in God’s eyes, we’ll find that relationship to our Creative Power improving exponentially. This, I believe, is where the bliss begins.

 

much love-
Paul Duane

 

the saddest picture EVER

This may be the saddest thing I have ever seen. It was in a book about “bucket lists”, ie, things you want to do before you die:

Just look at that picture.  I’m tempted to congratulate that person for being brave enough to be honest about what their heart truly longs for.  At the same time, I’m not sure that this truth is going to serve them in any productive way.  Part of me is very sad for them.

Truth can be an unforgiving task master.

A few weeks ago, I went to lunch with James, and old friend of mine. He told me about his fictional Facebook profile, one in which he was a hot bisexual girl,

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