Is it possible to navigate masculinity and relationships in today's society without succumbing to the pressures and expectations placed on men? Listen as I share my personal struggles with self-worth in past relationships, as well as the growth and communication I've embraced in my current one. I'll reveal how I've learned to be a human and not a machine, showing up in every way I can, and the importance of understanding one another.
Together, we'll dive into the societal pressures men face to be perfect, and how these unrealistic expectations can lead to the breakdown of relationships. Discover the value of investing time in getting to know someone before committing and the crucial role that communication plays in fostering a successful partnership. Remember, you're not alone in your quest for excellence, and you deserve the best the world has to offer. So, join us on this journey and don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Excellence Above Talent for more inspiring discussions!
You're listening to Excellence Above Talent, a podcast where we have the hard conversations about the lives of men and what leads us to achieve greatness and suffer defeat. Hear from other men's journeys as well, as we all learn and grow together to become inspirations to ourselves and those around us. And now your host, aaron Thomas.Speaker 2:
What's up, my beautiful people, aaron Thomas, with Excellence Above Talent, i wanted to make sure that I don't fall back into not posting content on my podcast. I was out of town last week in Austin for a retreat and I didn't have a podcast in the queue, so I didn't do one. But it's been on my heart to make sure I put it out a podcast weekly. So this week you will be getting two. You'll be getting one today and then one on Friday, because I really want to be intentional with putting out this content, because a lot of people don't like or share the podcast. They don't comment, they don't let me know as far as like, feedback or anything. But I see a lot of people and they say I've listened to your podcast. So, regardless of them liking it or sharing it, there's still some. There's still support. I'm not going to say some. There still is support there because they are listening to it. So you know, i might be looking at the metrics, i might be looking at the downloads, the likes to shares, but at the end of the day, metrics has nothing on impact And that is what I am trying to do, the legacy that I'm trying to leave. I don't want to leave a legacy of metrics. Oh well, he did this and he got this many downloads And, at the end of the day, no one cares about the metrics. When you're all, when you're dead and gone, no one cares about your metrics. No one cares about your money, no one cares about the power that you perceive that you had, no one cares about your influence. Nobody cares about your impact. What impact did you make while you were living on this earth? So, in not looking at the metrics and just putting out content, every week someone said something and it's just a motivation to keep doing it, to keep talking, to keep allowing my voice to be heard, to be courageous and the things that I say, to keep fighting for the people who most people overlook or might not be fighting for themselves. So, pushing through and figuring out a way to grow this podcast, grow this movement of men not being OK and finding places to go to where they can hear and learn from other men not being OK and figure out what they did to prepare themselves forward. I was thinking about there is a dynamic, a power dynamic that I saw in my first marriage, that I see now in this relationship that I'm in, but it's completely different. So there's just. There's just, i feel, this attack on men. So we're toxic. I mean, this is what society is pushing down Everyone's throat right now. They're toxic males. They're not good fathers. They have to go over and beyond to prove that they are a man in a relationship And in my last relationship, there was nothing I could do that was good enough. There was nothing I could do that was good enough. There was always more that was being wanted, and there was never a a time of appreciation, there wasn't a time of affirmation, it was just I want more, i need more. They're doing the bare minimum of what a person should. And now, as a man working through his traumas and issues, i realized that I was not just doing the bare minimum. I was doing a lot to show appreciation, to show love, to make sure that she was okay, and in return it was nothing. But I wasn't enough. And in doing the work, i realized that I use sex to try to create that enoughness. I wanted to feel enough. And so if I was getting sex, i felt that closeness, i felt enough at that time. But after a while the sex became mature. So in my head I'm thinking like damn like. I show up for everything. I don't try to skirt around issues. If she wants something, she gets it, like I was doing. I was doing way more than a bare minimum. But in this society, in this world, they have a lot of women thinking that a man has to kill himself, work until he dies And that is like looked on as like, oh okay, that's a badge of honor. Or if the guy has money, then there's not a lot of issues because she's getting the things that she wants. But if there's a man who might not have all the money but he shows up in every other way in the relationship And I'm not saying he doesn't have money, he has money, it's not, it's just not what she wants. So he has money, just not enough money. But he shows up in every other avenue in her life. If she's doing a project or an event, showed up, volunteered, helped out in any way. If anything happened in her family or with her family, showed up, no matter what. Even if I didn't want to do it, i showed up and I did it. There was a lot of growth that was happening, trying to figure things out, like I wasn't able in my first marriage to be a human. It was very mechanical. I do this, i get this, i don't do this, i don't get this. And it's not like a shot or me being negative. It's just two people trying to figure it out from the traumas that they experienced while growing up And, unfortunately, we wasn't able to figure out what it was that we needed to do in order to continue the marriage. So the marriage didn't work. And it's not all like me trying to push blame, it's just. This is my feelings and emotions. While in it, i didn't feel enough, i didn't feel worthy, i felt like I had to do, i had to be Superman because I was already doing a lot and it wasn't, and that was the bare minimum. So my expectation was like what more can I do for this person to see me, to acknowledge me, to show love to me? And it was simply nothing, because it had nothing to do with me. There was issues that she had to figure out and go through, and it's totally fine. And if she felt like getting a divorce and walking away with what she needed in order to find herself, but then there's nothing wrong with that. It sucks because you, you were building something and, regardless of how things were going. I saw it Eight years in and there was the assumption that that was it. There was no more growth, there was nothing that I could could do or accomplish, so walk away. But I saw, and I think that's why I took it so hard in the very beginning It's because I saw the progress and the work that we had done and what we're doing, but it just simply wasn't fast enough, and I'm not sure how fast is fast enough when we talk about a lifetime and forever. So it ended up being something that I was trying to force myself to be, just like a better man, a better man, a better man, a better man. And in doing so, i still got divorced. So in my head, i'm like man Elf, trying to be a better man, be the man that God had called you to be, walking, walking that purpose, walking that light, and then let's see what happens from there. And I'm now in a relationship where it is the complete and total opposite. I don't have to fight for validation, i don't have to fight for love, i don't have to fight for appreciation. I show up and I do my best and I try, and she sees it, she acknowledges it and she appreciates it, which makes me just want to try even harder, grind even harder, try to figure out myself and how to grow what we have. Even harder, because I'm 36 years old and this is the first relationship that I've been in that I feel seen and heard as a man. There is no pressure, there are no expectations. It's just show up and be the best person that you can be that day And I'm going to show you love, regardless. And if the honeymoon phase, so all this could change. But I don't think so, because how it started and I'll be honest, how it started was I wasn't ready for a relationship, i wasn't looking for anything, i was running around being a thought, but she kept showing up week after week, ask me if I need anything. She kept showing up And at first it was weird because I didn't think I deserved I person like that. I was a bad man, so I need to be punished. I didn't deserve the love of anyone, so I fought it for as long as I could. But then God is a God that doesn't punish you. God is a God that loves you through your issues, and sometimes you put yourself in situations where God's love have to be tough at times. It doesn't mean he doesn't love you. Love you, it means he loves you so much that he's willing to push you to grow. And that's where I was at pushing me to grow. And I don't know when I saw it It would like four months ago when because she had, she had voice to me, like she wants to be in a relationship, and I told her I wasn't ready. So we were just friends. But about four months ago there's a Bible verse in the Bible that says God, a man doesn't chase after a woman, he finds a woman. And I have a whole new meaning of that scripture because I wasn't chasing after Yanni, it was just a friendship growing and learning with each other. And in that friendship I found something more. So instead of chasing and trying to make something happen, i pulled back and was this living life. And four months ago my eyes are open to OK. We have been friends for close to a year, talking off and on going on dates, but I guess the eight month mark my eyes were open to OK, this could potentially be somebody that can spend the rest of my life with, because it wasn't something I was chasing. I found pieces, bits and pieces of the things that I was looking for in a woman And now that we're in a relationship it has been nothing but grace and kindness and gentleness. I am heard and seen and respected And it feels so damn good The very first time I felt this way in any relationship that I've ever been in. Granted, i'm a different type of person now As far as the maturity level of trying to learn and grow and be the best that I can possibly be, best that I can possibly be as a man, and I feel that has helped in this process of how I feel in this relationship, because I still have to put in the work each and every day to make sure that I am in a good place And that's the crazy thing I am. I am in a good place because there has been a different level of appreciation shown to me through her that I haven't seen. And there's a lot of people out there, just you know, bashing men and saying men ain't this and men ain't that. But in that relationship a lot of those women don't even show love and appreciation. They feel like they can have more from another person, that they're not getting enough from that person that they're with, while they are not even putting in the work to try to make themselves better. It's only, it's a one side affair. That will never work if only one person is expected to be perfect and the other person can screw up, and it's totally fine. And if you don't change quick enough or fast enough, i'll divorce you and go find somebody else, and that's totally fine too. But at the end of the day, you don't give up and quit on people because of a feeling that you have at that moment in time, and I think a lot of times. You know we talk about the divorce rate and women initiate divorces 70 to 80 percent of the time. It's a feeling that they have versus logically thinking like damn if, let me, let me just hold back and see from year one to year eight, what has that looked like? How have we grown? And then if it going to get better or worse. And sometimes you hit those hard patches, but you don't give up. You don't give up on people because you have hit a hard patch, but a lot of women do. A man can't struggle. A man can't go through issues in life because society has has viewed or looked at a man and said you have to be on your game 100 percent of the time And if you're not, the woman that you're with will go and find somebody else who's at their game at that time at 100 percent, knowing that at some point that dude was going to lose percentages. Because life. But we have or we're trying to condition men to be perfect. We are conditioned in men that's showing up and being there for someone is the bare minimum. When it's not, that's everything. We are conditioned in men that money is the key to happiness in any relationship, in a simple, not because rich dudes who have money gets gets cheated on. They do. It doesn't seem like it's never enough for the opposite sex If you're a man, so you just keep trying and trying and trying and trying and trying And trying and trying. What is no effort or energy put back into you to help replenish you, it's just take, take, take, take, take, take. And I'm in something where I'm doing the same things Take, i mean give, give, give, give, give. But every day I feel like she tries to do something. Yanni tries to do something to make. That makes me feel seen and heard, understood or appreciated every single day. So it makes it a lot easier if I'm going through something or if I'm trying to figure it out makes it a lot easier, because I'm not saying life is hard. Life isn't the heart of the woman, but life is hard of the man, the invisible pressure that we feel each and every day within our feelings, with our peers, with our friends. Out and about in the community. There is an immense amount of pressure that men feel every day to put on, to be this person that has to have it together and have to have money. And you know, be emotionless, don't show fear, don't back down from anything, fight for what you believe in, and those are all good qualities, but you have to have emotions. You sometimes have to have people fight for you. Sometimes you hit a spot where money is tight. What does that look like as a man? So if you are in a relationship or you are getting divorced, everything is going to be OK. Everything will be OK. Focus on yourself, work on you. Don't settle for anybody that comes into your life. Don't chase a woman. Be friends, learn about that person, grow with that person and then see Is there someone I can see myself being with forever, forever, and if that answer is yes, pull the trigger. There's no point in waiting. So if anyone haven't told you today they love you, let me be the first to say I love you. You're awesome, you're amazing. You deserve the best that the world has to offer. Do not give up, do not quit. The world does not get easier, but you get stronger. Y'all have a bless Tuesday and I'll see you on Friday. Bye, bye.Speaker 1:
Thank you for listening. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss an episode And for daily motivational and up to date content. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram at Excellence Above Talent. And remember keep moving forward, never give up And you are never alone in this battle. We'll see you next time.