Emotional honesty, the topic of my last blog post, received more than 2,000 comments. It's clearly a hot topic, and it pushed a lot of men's buttons. Emotional honesty isn't part of any feminist agenda, and contrary to some comments, being emotionally honest with a woman actually strengthens a man's position in a relationship. I've been advocating for men for over 20 years, and I also support women's rights. The two are not mutually exclusive.
The notion that emotional honesty isn't necessarily the best path to follow in relationships sounds like something a lawyer might say to cloud the truth. Honesty in all its forms is non-negotiable. Frankly, men who insist otherwise puzzle me. Whether or not every woman respects or appreciates a man's emotional honesty is irrelevant. Living in integrity as a man is what matters, regardless of the consequences.
Standing up for your manhood has absolutely nothing to do with hiding your feelings or attacking women, both of which are fear-based. Living in integrity reflects how we feel about ourselves as men. Emotional honesty reflects our highest male character. Men who have the strength of character to live in integrity are admired.
Being emotionally honest with a woman is where the rubber meets the road in relationships. Men who allow their fear to dictate their behavior sell themselves short. If a man tells a woman how he feels about her or their relationship, he may hear something in return that he didn't expect or want. Whatever he hears is that woman's truth, and I can't imagine why a man wouldn't want to know that. The truth always comes out anyway, so avoiding it seems counterintuitive.
Women respect men who live in integrity, and the few who don't likely aren't women most men want for a long-term relationship. What's the downside of telling your emotional truth? If a woman dumps a guy because she isn't interested in his honesty, was she his best choice?
The ideal relationship that every man dreams about is one in which he can be completely himself and be loved for the man he actually is. A man who can't share his emotional truth with a woman is in the wrong relationship because he can't be honest. There's nothing ideal about that.
There's another issue that came up that reflects the fear some men have of other men. There is nothing unmanly about men getting together to talk about their issues in confidence. Men who are secure in their manhood don't ask women for help them with their male-specific issues, because women don't have the first-hand knowledge. They're cool about being open with other men because they have the confidence that comes from friendships built on trust.
Authentic men friends don't judge each other. They support each other unconditionally. That's how evolved men relate to other men. That's the basis of authentic male friendship. If you don't already enjoy authentic friendships, consider creating them.
We're men after all, and men speak their truths, emotional or otherwise, without fear. I've never met a woman who didn't appreciate emotionally honest men. I'm not referring to men who whine pointlessly, but rather men who feel secure enough in their manhood to articulate their feelings confidently and skillfully without concern about the reaction.
A man who develops his highest sense of manhood never worries about whether or not women appreciate him. The strength of character he manifests from being 100 percent authentic is noticeable, as is his self-confidence that comes from feeling comfortable in his male skin. A man who lives in integrity with himself is authentic, and is willing to be his own man regardless of how others view him. He is a role model for other men.
I've rarely seen a man victimized in a relationship because he expressed emotional honesty. Considering all the games men play in relationships, mostly to protect their feelings, the simple truth would seem preferable. Men who work to achieve their highest male self attract the kind of women who value strong men, not weak ones. If you live in integrity, you'll never have to look over your shoulder to see if the truth is catching up with you. There's great comfort in that.