Strong Men Can’t Cope With Breakups?
Why do some men feel like it’s a male thing to be “stronger than a woman,” but when a relationship ends, it’s often the man who “can’t cope”?
Why do some guys handle their distress with violence?
Why do some men feel entitled, yet have such low self-esteem that they explode after a breakup?
Colin Kingston was so upset when Kelsey Annese, his girlfriend of three years, broke up with him that one day he went back to her apartment and killed her, along with Matthew Hutchinson, who was in the same room. And then he took his own life.
“What the hell is going on with men like this?” Bob wonders.
Entitled + low self esteem?
How can some guys feel entitled, yet have low self-esteem at the same time?
Colin seemed to have felt entitled to a relationship with Kelsey. And he clearly felt entitled to kill her. AND someone else. He was also privileged, coming from a prominent family. And privilege often brings a sense of entitlement. Plus, Colin is male, and patriarchy brings men a certain privilege and status.
Strangely, entitlement and low self-esteem can go hand-in-hand.
Entitled people face high expectations, and they may feel insecure about their ability to live up to them.
Colin was white, male and his family was prominent, so he probably felt he should be successful. That can be a heavy burden. Especially when you’re not.
News reports say that Colin had not returned to college. Instead, he had been working as a farmhand on the family farm, and as a sales rep at GNC (nutritional store). He seems to have yearned for more. On his LinkedIn page he called himself an “aspiring businessman.”
Maybe entitled people can fly off the handle when the part of themselves that isn’t sure they are living up to expectations is pricked.
Why can’t strong men cope with breakups?
A lot of people say that women are the weaker sex. Yet breakups are often harder on men?
Clearly, the notion that men are mentally tougher is a stereotype. One that can backfire on them.
Since men are supposed to be strong we teach them to be stoic. “Boys don’t cry!” So men can end up denying their very human emotions.
It all gives the appearance of toughness, when reality doesn’t necessarily back up the façade.
And since they’re supposed to be so tough and independent, many men resist getting help when they need it. Like seeing a therapist, if necessary.
Plus, they might feel they can’t talk with their friends about about their so-called “weak” emotions, like sadness or depression. So men can have these troubled feelings, but no way of handling them.
But because it’s okay for women to be emotional, it’s easier for them to get in touch with, express, and deal with their feelings. And they are more likely to get support and guidance.
Men: taught not to communicate, or listen to women
Another reason why breakups can hit men harder is because they’re less likely to communicate and hear what their partners have to say.
She’s probably been complaining for a long time. But he doesn’t really hear it. Or “get it.” Sometimes men are taught that the things women say aren’t important. Sometimes men aren’t taught to communicate much at all.
And maybe he’s overconfident. It doesn’t occur to him that she will leave. So it’s a big shock.
Why handle a breakup with violence?
Since men supposedly can’t have “weak” feelings like dependence, sadness, depression or suffering, many do “emotion work” to turn the “weak” feeling into a “strong” one — like anger. Or they work to gain power over someone.
Some take the ultimate power by taking lives. Or at least unleashing a great deal of harm.
He feels powerful in the moment, but really, that’s what a powerless person does.
Not all guys who are dealing with these issues behave the way Colin did. So something else must have been going on with him, too. But women almost never do this sort of thing, yet we hear about men committing these sorts of crimes on an ongoing basis.
Add it all up and I must agree with Bob on this:
It makes me sad for women being the victims. And also sad for men, who may find themselves in the path of some other guy’s rage.
It feels like something pretty bad is going on in our society where, I don’t know, some men are lost, or something, in their quest for masculinity.
This was reposted by The Good Men Project
Posted on January 22, 2016, in feminism, men, psychology, relationships, violence against women, women and tagged breakups, Colin Kingston, feminism, Kelsey Annese, men, psychology, relationships, violence against women, women. Bookmark the permalink. 84 Comments.