Do You Know A Man Who Could Use a Good Punch in the Mouth?
Written By: Mark Smith
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In football when an offensive lineman says "we've got to punch them in the mouth" he means that their goal is to be stronger and to move the line of scrimmage. Please don't be offended by the title of the Blog as I don't mean an actual physical punch in the mouth. I mean a firm, caring verbal blast of hard truth shared out of love and concern. I'm talking about an intervention launched upon stubborn blind spots. In the book of Proverbs (27:6) it says "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy." Through the years, my direct style as a therapist has earned me a lot a lot of 'friends'. Most men respond well to a cutting, abrasive, firm, non-reactive punch in the mouth from someone they know has their best interest at heart. I've heard "Thanks, I needed that, when shall we meet next week?" a million times as the guy wipes the proverbial blood of his mouth.
Most men don't hear half hearted, weak feedback from people they don't respect. They are right and they are in control. There is no need to stop and ask for directions. They are convinced that they know where they are going even if they are as lost as a goose flying north for the winter. In working with the wives of such fellows, the first order of business for them is a lengthy training camp with the goal of building muscle and getting tough in preparation for intense battle. Do you hear the 'Eye of the Tiger' Rocky theme playing in the background? It isn't that their husband can't hear criticism. It is that they can't hear it from their powerless, tentative and beaten down wives. Effective marriage counseling does not make things better at home initially. Effective counseling is all about truth and the truth about a man can be down right brutal at times. If therapy is going full steam, at the six month mark the big guy is softening, feeling and becoming more human while girlfriend is applying 'Braveheart' war paint to her face in preparation for battle.
If a woman mounts enough energy to get past her husband's hardened defenses there are usually some ugly reactive booby traps waiting for her...over sensitivity to criticism (shame) and then intimidating rage. A quiet, controlled, smug, know it all, patronizing fellow then turns into a defensive, loud, dramatic, tantrum throwing little boy. Then he might withdraw and pout for several days after that. It takes energy and fire in the belly to generate a strong voice. Getting back to football, I loved how an angry, long haired Tom Brady went off on his teammates after a failed third down attempt last week. He was showing strength and leadership. His strong voice inspired his team to work harder and play better and ultimately beat the Steelers. His guys didn't get defensive or talk back to him. They heard him because they respect him. His punching them in the mouth was a very positive thing for his team. They took it as a well deserved message of accountability. This type of mutual accountability will make a healthy team in a marriage.
Next week I plan to release my fourth E-Book this year entitled 'Do You Know A Man Who Could Use a Good Punch in the Mouth?'. It is written for and about men. I will elaborate on the topic of this blog with an emphasis on accountability, Counterdependence, addictions, intimacy and childhood wounds. For women who read the book, I will be coaching them on how to become powerful enough to 'move the line of scrimmage' with their particular powerful and resistant 'opponent'.
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