black couple arguing

“I Am My Own Man” Syndrome

A while back I wrote an article titled “Independent Woman Syndrome” and it received a lot of attention. It spoke on women needing to learn how to balance their independence once in a relationship. Many agreed, and some took offense. At the end of the day I stand by the belief that balance is needed for a relationship to grow in a positive manner. Many can choose to not understand or receive the message as it was intended, but it does not change the reality of the issue. Becoming consumed with your independence while entertaining or in a relationship can very be damaging. With that said, men are not at all exempt. This is correct, many men have an issue themselves that needs to be addressed. It is what I call “I Am My Own Man” Syndrome and here are some symptoms.

You view “checking-in” as soft and being punked.

I don’t expect you to strap a tracking device around your neck so your woman can monitor your whereabouts. I’m also not saying that you need to report to her every stop you make and when you make it. What I do want you to understand is that your perception that this goes against your manhood is off base. You are so caught up in your “I am my own man” syndrome that you feel you don’t owe any explanation or need to let your woman know where you are. You are in a relationship and therefore you do owe it to her. The purpose is not to punk you, it is to create an environment that your woman can feel comfortable knowing she has some idea of where you are. How often do you need to do it, well that depends on the woman you are with. If you are married you definitely should not be out all hours of the night and she has no clue what is going on. All your pride is doing is making her feel unsettled and making it harder for her to trust you. Then you want to attack her with things like “you are being insecure”. Stop right there, don’t come out your mouth to call someone insecure when your behavior would make anyone feel unsettled. If the tables were turned you would probably be questioning her too, and feel some kind of way about it. Honestly if you would adopt the practice of letting her know where you are, her need to hear it will decrease. She will reach a point where she knows you are always willing to let her know about your whereabouts. That comfort is all she is really looking for. If you think that makes you less of a man to do this, then chances are you may already have some issues that make you feel less of a man. That’s not to insult you, but I just have to keep it real with you, so you should go handle that.

You don’t include her in your dreams and decisions.

I was speaking to a client one day. He was married and he started to tell me about all these big ideas and dreams that he is in the process of pursuing. When he finished I asked him, “did you speak to your wife about it?” He said, “I’m a grown ass man, I don’t need to run anything by her”. I laughed my butt off, but then I stopped and said “naw man, you shouldn’t be doing that”. As a man when you don’t include your woman in the things you want to do, you make her feel less valued. That may not be your intention, but that is what will usually happen. Once in a relationship, your decisions have an impact on the both of you. It is only right to share these things with her. By doing that she feels more important in your life, and you avoid the negativity that comes from excluding her. Keep leaving her out, and now she can’t trust you. She never knows what you are up to, and lets just hope you don’t act on an idea that fails and hurts the both of you. You just made it 100 times harder for her to support you when you need it. The next idea you have that you want to act on, she now has to be hesitant and ask one million questions to make sure you aren’t hiding anything or leaving stuff out. Bottom line you have contributed to an unsettled environment because your “I Am My Own Man” Syndrome got in the way. You want to make decisions on your own, then go be single. Otherwise accept that you change your approach to this issue if you want more peace in your relationship.

The last thing you want is for your woman to hear about your whereabouts or dreams from another person. This can stir up trouble, but when she can reply “I already know” that diffuses the potential threat. A relationship should be about two people who are fully capable of being independent, getting together and learning how to depend on each other. It does not take away who you are, it is just recognizing that you are now a team and you cannot operate the same way you did alone. Lebron and Dwayne Wade were stars on their own teams, but together they had to find the right balance if they were going to make it work. When they finally figured it all out, what happened? They won a championship. So you can continue to be consumed by your “I Am My Own Man” Syndrome and fall short all you want. I’d rather work as a team and win championships every year of my relationship. It’s on you.

Related Article: Independent Woman Syndrome