By: Sarah Iaccarino, AMFT #112252
A new wave of woman is sweeping over our culture. She is someone who is interested in participating in society in a significant way. She wants to be seen. She wants freedom to craft her own value system. She is angry and frustrated and tired and excited and curious and newly connected to her community…and, oh, generally doesn’t like to be defined. So, that’s enough adjectives for now.
I’ve noticed this in my office. I’m watching as women are evaluating their lives, expanding their ideas of what being female looks like, and re-assessing their roles as co-workers, girlfriends, friends, wives, and mothers. Women are navigating day to day life with a fresh, conscious mindset and having new ideas about household chores, conversation style, how they are represented in political office, dynamics during sex, how a story is told, parenting, relationship to power/authority, what media is considering interesting, how projects are assembled and carried out, etc. I’m so enjoying holding space as women ask these new questions and explore their sometimes totally messy and deliciously deep answers. It’s generally feeling very good for my female clients to be (sometimes quite fiercely!) deciding what is best for her.
So, great! And then, a couple comes in.
In the specific context of *heterosexual romantic relationships, all these new ideas are yielding a bit of conflict. Couples are so intertwined with one another; I mean, if one partner takes up running, for example, the other may feel some impact! But this is…big. Huge. Hard to explain. Emotional. I’ve noticed that many men are left feeling flummoxed, and understandably so! For some, this could be a shift that is taking place decades into the relationship. It’s surprising, unnerving, and annoying for some. Even men who are self-proclaimed feminists may find themselves feeling uncomfortable or resentful of this change, especially within their own relationship. Others may be totally supportive but confused as to how to incorporate it.
Truthfully, growth is almost always uncomfortable, and oftentimes even painful. But moving through the discomfort can offer amazing rewards. I am dedicated to helping you navigate this new chapter of your relationship. Contact me for assistance in rediscovering each other and invigorating your connection. In my experience, gently and appropriately allowing this cultural movement into your relationship can yield deeper connection, newfound mutual respect and acceptance, and a renewed sense of love.
*While I’m certain that all relationships are feeling the impact of the women’s movement, I’m simply choosing to focus on heterosexual romantic ones here. I’m open and enthusiastic about exploring this between/among any combination of interested people; please contact me with questions or comments!
Sarah Iaccarino, Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Employed and Supervised by Hallie Gnatovich-Gates, LMFT # 52775