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“I Am My Own Man” Syndrome

black couple arguing

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

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37 thoughts on ““I Am My Own Man” Syndrome”

  1. Miss Nicole

    Thank you, Stephan. The degree of validation that you provide for many women in this article may well be immeasurable. It helps to hear a strong, grounded source expound on traits that can either add to or subtract from the degree of manhood one possesses.  I’m definitely looking forward to your next blog!

    1. Thank you, and I am happy you enjoyed it. Hopefully men will take heed and apply this principles in their relationship.

  2. KT

    I agree with this.  It’s all about respect.  

  3. Joelle Paule

    *Drop mic* 

    Great article hope they are reading…

  4. Kbaby0910

    Great Post..I’ve been saying this to my mate for the longest…I guess the fact I keep saying is showing me a lot. This was much needed for me. Peace and Blessings

    1. Well Kbaby0910 it also depends on how you are saying it. If you are coming at him in a negative manner then naturally a person may not be receptive to that. If you have attempted to address this in a calm, genuine, and loving manner, yet he continues to disregard or dismiss it, then that is a problem.

  5. Rumpunchdrunk

    So true what you have said here. You got into a relationship to become a couple where you share your life together. This involves letting each other know what’s going on your life too. What’s so hard about saying what time you will be home? or where you are going? or who you are going out with? No big deal, I say. 

    One thing I can tell you from experience is, if my spouse is not home by a certain time, I can guarantee you 2 things. There is a delay by public transport or my spouse has had an accident. If I don’t receive a phone call by a certain hour I know exactly what to do. 

    If any of us go out independently, we give each other details of where we are going, who we are meeting up with and a time that we expect to return home. I even get a courtesy call to tell me they are on their way home, and I do likewise. It’s not about control or who is the man, its about being in a relationship with someone. 

    We talk together quite a lot so we know each others dreams, goals, ups and downs and we don’t make any decisions that may have an impact on any of us without first discussing it. I have seen many marriages fail and relationships end because each person is trying to live totally independent lives. It doesn’t work that way.   

    Your post is so spot on but I guess that’s because you are a professional. What a good read again. 

    1. Thanks Rumpunchdrunk, and it is great to see that you and your wife operate in this way. We need more to follow this example because as you said this is about being in a relationship with someone. I will say this though, my ability to understand what is best came more from establishing a relationship with GOD then it did from my education. When we stop being selfish, and we understand how to be selfless, it will allow you to move in a great direction with all relationships.

  6. Victoria

    This guy that I used to date was the same way when it came to checking in. He never gave me ANY word on where he was going or when he was coming back, yet he had the spare key to my apartment. Honestly, he acted like a kid any other time, so I knew I’d get a childish response when I asked about him not letting me know when he was leaving, where he was going, and how long. As women, we worry. A LOT! We’ll wait up for a guy that we care about. I got so tired of that and many other things. He was his own man. A stupid one at that. Now I have a great one and wouldn’t trade him for anything in this world! Bet mister selfish still hates that I’ve moved on. Lol

    1. You make an excellent point, women do worry a lot. It is part of that motherly nature that most women have. Glad to see you did what was best, and now you are getting to enjoy a great blessing because of that. 

      1. Rich

        We as men are groomed and told a man needs to do this or that to make the woman feel this way or that yet we are told if you do not do it this way or that way your relationships will fail. So im sitting here waiting to hear women you need to do tgis or that to make your relationship work. Yet you state its part of that motherly nature is that 100% true or what? Because I do not by it. Just likie it is in a mans nature to cheat however I do not by that either. We use that term nature for valid reasons and sorry to say but we use that as an excuse to do the things we do.

        1. Rich

          Fyi… I hate smart phones they arent so smart.

  7. Pooblyshus39

    I agree. Knowing where you are at times will keep you alive. She’s your better half and she worries too. She wants to know if you’re safe. Things happen to men as well as women. When you stated that “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.” it is a great way to help you as well as her. comfort = trust;-)~smile~

  8. Rooxee

    So true.I am married for 12 years to this kind of man.I never know where he spends his nights or what his plans are .I have three children but now I want to quit .I m fed up of his dominating attitude

  9. Let me just say that some men may have an issue letting their woman know where they are, bu tif you have a woman who isn’t concerned about where you are maybe you should be concerned about where SHE is.  I do worry about where my man is and he lets me know, for the most part (still working on that.) And when I am going somewhere, talking to someone, whatever, I let him know. And he lets me know as well. When you get into a relationship you more or less agree to share your life with someone else and its pretty rude to go all over the place, be with this person and that person and not tell your woman or your man. Because most people would be upset or at least bothered if the tables were turned. And please don’t use that old, “oh, well I thought I already told you about that.”

  10. Brittany bianne Price

    🙂 this is like my 4th article I’ve read by you.. I am so glad this gives me insight to this relationship issue. I am a victim of this. How can I get him to have empathy, to truly understand where I am coming from.? He is way toooo masculine but its appealing but his Manly Pride isn’t; He is suffering from this immature setback, how can I get him to agree and keep me happy.? Its still early but we have such a great bond, if this were solved we can have a blessed , beautiful relationship.

    1. Thank you you very much : )…All you can do is express your concerns to him in a loving and positive manner. Be open and honest about how you feel and discuss what can be done to improve things. If he dismisses it and is not willing to put in any effort then you may have to consider walking away. Communication is the first step.

    2. Mrs. Spock

      Please don’t get caught up in the determination to have a relationship that you overlook the fact that he is what he is. You can’t change him and you can’t make him change. He has to want to be different. You’re not a victim. You’re just tolerant by choice. Make a decision for yourself.

  11. Cynthia

    Am I being to over bearing with a situation? I’ve been dating someone I really like for three months. We get along really well and we are extremely sweet to each other to a ridiculous point. However, we are both just as strong headed as the other one. I think he just broke up with me for the second time. I invited him for dinner at my house ( I love to cook for him). We talked for at least an hour before he came over. He was driving home from work out of town. He asked me if I still wanted him to come and I said of course. He said he was hungry so I said “well I better get myself together then” So I prepared dinner and he called last minute asking if I would mind if he cancelled. I assumed he was tired from the long day and told him it was okay because I knew he was probably really tired. He knew I had already prepared dinner though. Later that evening he was over at his friends with his buddies fixing dinner with them and drinking. As he stated “hanging with the guys”. Normally not an issue. However, he cancelled on my already prepared dinner to go fix dinner with his buddies. I told him it hurt my feelings. He made excuses and said he was sorry it hurt my feelings but that was not his intentions. That doesn’t make me feel like he has any intentions of not doing it again. I don’t want to be in a relationship where I am expected to think that’s okay. I remained upset and just didn’t talk to him for several days. But he wasn’t attempting to speak to me either. Like two kids holding their breath. His final result was to break up. I’m kind of confused as to what just happened.

    1. I think many would agree with you being upset that he cancelled your prepared dinner to go make dinner with his buddies. He may not have seen it as a big deal and it seems he could of handled things better when you expressed your hurt feelings. I think the both of you should have continue to communicate with each other rather than go the route of ignoring each other. It seems like pride on both sides cause that to happen. If you are confused then take a moment to put an end to it by speaking to him and having an open and honest discussion about what just happened. Maybe you two just aren’t on the same page or just need to learn you have to talk if you want to truly resolve any issues.

    2. Mrs. Spock

      That’s that foolishness. I’ve dealt with a man like that before. I finally got fed up with him after five years. A man like that is just selfish and immature. Don’t waste your time on him. Take heed of these signs early and push on. Don’t look for change or improvement. Its called arrogant and self absorbed.

  12. Bridget M. Earl ED


  13. Christina Sanchez

    Great article. So true. As a woman why would I want to babysit a grown man? Sharing about your day, activity is not checking in, it's sharing your life. Too bad my last boyfriend never grasped that.

  14. Reina Kay Hadnot

    <~~~~ stands up and gives a standing ovation.

  15. BetterOff

    It is like you talk about my Ex, Stephan. He never understood that, always felt caged, even though we saw only on weekends. We talked every day but in the beginning he forced hisself to do that. He needed a lot of freedom… He told me, he is not a kid in training when I tried to explain some of your relationship basics. He always claimed he know who he is… I was his first relationship after a four year player time. Ego should never reign over your relationship. So that is one reason why he is my Ex. Thank you so much for making me read it tonight and not feeling I ever controlled this man…. He is just “A man of his own”. Good luck to him and I deserve better.

    Once again Stephan I am so grateful for your advice.

  16. Cece

    Instead of separating us under stereotypical gender types, you should simply write an article about independent syndrome. Honestly you make it seem that only men have a problem with checking in and only women are always trying to do everything themselves. I know both parties men and women are guilty of making decisions without thinking of their partner as well as taking each other for granted. At times when women do help out, they are given sarcasm, furthermore there are men who like having an idea of where his loved one is. I just don’t think it’s enough to say ohhh if the tables were turned. THEY DO TURN IT’S NOT ONLY HE DOES SHE DOES, IT’S US AS HUMANS WITH INDEPENDENT SYNDROME. I am only pointing this out because I, as a women related more to this so called “I AM MY OWN MAN” Syndrome.

  17. Carolina Sander

    It requires complete fidelity in a relationship. Mutual respect and respect towards each other. You became one from the time you become couple. Just saying. I have here one product that really compliments fun and laughter. It is called the new fake Ultrasound design from fakeababy. It is the best gift ever. Also best fro gags.

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