Do men just start out as boys and then end up as men? Why on earth are men just the same literarily? Why are some not in- touch with their emotional side? Picture a quadrant in your mind and in each you would find the different stages of Manhood. The Boy, The Man, His Mentor and The King (or Fool in some cases). Caution: Not all men move from stage to stage, some are still in one stage and some still exhibit the characteristics of each stage.
The BOY – stage 1
In every man is a boy who fighting for expression. What qualifies him as a boy you would say?
Playful – he just doesn’t take anything serious but fun appeals to him (especially video games).
Indecisive – you need to push him to get things done every time. He does not know what to prioritise.
Mama’s boy – He is tied to his mother. Unfortunately a lot of men are still like this.
Adventurous – He would want to try anything new. That is what I have come to discover as restlessness.
Greedy – He wants everything. Sugar is an addiction (You are free to read meanings into this)
Loving – His boyishness makes you smile.
It is at this stage that mothers should be careful how we nurture the boy. If you are too tender, he becomes soft, if you pour out some of your gentleness he becomes metrosexual (which I believe is the best way to be for a man, he respects loyalty), if you are neither then he becomes hardened. This looks like I am telling you how to relate to your child, Nope! I am saying this is how to act when you identify this in your man, TAKE THE LEAD.
The MAN – stage 2
Women don’t realise that to know a man, you need to ask a man. This stage is what I call “search for an Identity”. Most men don’t grow beyond this stage as it is where a lot of soul searching happens, it usually prolongs as a phase because a lot has to do with personal fulfilment and if as a woman you don’t understand your man it can really be frustrating. This is usually an aspiration or desire that was left untapped in the teenage years.
A man is only happy when he is productive. Please note that unlike women who can balance life in a circle (i.e. cook, work, take care of children, handle in-laws, school and even run businesses), all things are linear to a man. It all falls in line behind him being productive. That is why when he is out of Job the whole world stops. Don’t mess with a man when he is searching for his identity because love takes second place. A man who has gone into marriage still in this stage needs to be handled with care.
It is at this stage he is; self-centred, work centric, goal driven, in pursuit of money. Shows and talks about not being fulfilled, would experiment anything to find success. If he is unsuccessful in his pursuit, he becomes demotivated, anti-social and lackadaisical. Most times these men take on vices to give them temporary happiness. As a woman, if your man is in this boat then there are steps you need to take
1. Ask him what would make him happy (make sure you are direct and that it has nothing to do with love, sex or the family just him.)
2. Do your research about it, Make that interest your interest.
3. Give him options to reach his goals. Remember men think linear and do not weigh options on reaching that goal. Psst: little wonder why most men don’t last long in bed.
4. Be his administrator and project co-ordinator. Champion his ideas for him.
5. Tell him what you feel about it at each point in time as a woman, wife and mother.
6. Then let go and let him fly. Remember if he makes you happy then you would be productive.
NB: In this stage time is a risk, he might not be there all the time.
His mentor – stage 3
This stage is a little bit tricky as this has nothing to do with fulfilment but affirmation (I am the man). This is the stage where a man wants to beat his chest like King Kong and be proud that he has conquered the world. His ego is at stake. Often times there is a senseless pursuit for more in life and this is where many men of old begin to marry second wives, live ostentatiously just to satisfy his ego. Many women have mistaken this for a drive for greater heights but failed to identify the risks. He has seen someone (a mentor) he wants to be like and now struggles to outdo himself. It is during this stage women ask themselves, what else their husband is searching for.
Little wonder why men who have no knack for politics, business and even ventures just go into it just because they want to say “I did it too” like my mentor did.
Does he exhibit these traits?
1. He has found a male friend that you are uncomfortable with but he insist he is the man (another word for mentor)
2. Does he always come home to say this is what that friend said about every matter?
3. Is that friend the climax of bedroom talk that bores you silly?
4. He seems not to have an opinion of his own like he used to do.
5. Does he jump when that fellow calls? It often feels like he is cheating with this person.
6. Does he talk of taking very high risk to achieve his aim and you are no longer a voice of reasoning?
7. He lives by what that person says and does. As he feels that this is the yardstick of success.
It is not all that bad but be observant. It is at this stage men want to be known, pleasure from doing his work is not just enough and ambition (with pride) sets in.
I have only one advice for the women. Fight. Be outspoken because his ego is on a prowl and the family would suffer. Demand to know every step of the way because ambitious men do not have a plan B. Please note the thin line between “His Mentor” and “The Man” stages are in this stage he lacks vision and he just wants to be a me too(ambition) at all cost. Nothing is more important than his drive. Fight! I say fight to be carried along because if it works out you would also share the benefits; and also be in control of keeping the family unit together.
The King – stage 4
This is who the man is when you complete him. It is regarded as the impact of having a good wife, a companion throughout life’s journey. Then you would question why this is a stage. It is because most men realize this at the at the end of life. Recently heard Bill Clinton talk about his wife and said that (with smiles) his whole career was built and supported solely by Hilary and not anyone else. Women please listen! This might sound like a cliché but it is very true that there is a King and Fool in every man. Chose the one you want to support or guide, the ultimate goal of every other stage is for you to present the man as royalty or the courts jester.
Like a bird, what care are you taking to prepare and govern your nest (home)? How supportive are you for your husband to know he has a cheer leading team in one person (you) behind him? All men want to know is that they have you as their rock and the rest is history. Be more prayerful! Be his listening ear! Give him hope at all times! Make him feel unique! After all, he is your first born, the man who is still a boy craving for a woman’s support
It sounds like we as men are passing so much responsibility to you but the truth is ITS A WOMAN’S WORLD.