Dear You:  Dear Stan,  Men and I Matter   Letter #2

​Dear Stan, 

 It has undoutedly taken me longer to get to know youa as in this wider world of supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children and families there is still such an overdominance of women .  I know I don't need to tell YOU that!    Yet over the years of my practice I have seen that when it comes to the mental health and wellbeing of children men have an absolutely key role to play but they are too often undrerrepresented in the discussions. 

So one of the reasons I love working with you  Stan is that you are a really committed hard working and caring man who has been clear enough and strong enough to insist that you do want to be actively involved with your child and with children in spite of the fact that finding other men who are active in that caring world can be more challenging.  You are someone who knows that relationships are important.   Being involved can present some challenges for you but  you have hung in there undaunted by all those female companions and I for one really appreciate that you have.

Relationships are pretty complicated  though aren't they!   They are not something we learn much about until we are right in the middle of them wondering what exactly is happening.    It is surprising really that there isn't more around to help us understand what makes good relationships work.  Relationship education seems to be reduced to those rather uncomfortable school conversations about sex or we can find ourselves turning to the internet and what we learn there or from soaps and crime thrillers about relationships  can sometimes all add up to a pretty sad picture.   

Perhaps one of the truths about good relationships is that they take up quite a lot of time - learning to trust another person depends on learning to trust ourselves and so navigating those moments when things don't appear to be working well at all is all part of it.  So when I first got to know you it was clear that there were also some challenges in her relationship with your partner.  You were a bit cautious about this I Matter stuff but I sensed you were ready to contribute if it wasn't too weird and didn't take up TOO much time.  
 
I am so glad that you did decide to take part  (as not all partners do take part) yet as several years later it has been great to see how  working together to help your child has really deepened your relationship.  In fact it is one of the great privileges of my work that I get to see the impact of I Matter Framework Training not just on the health of adult-child relationships, but also on adult-self relationships and on adult-adult relationships.  How good it is to see you now on that more hopeful path too as I know full well how tough it was for you too at times.  

As we go forward I am keen to find a way to make I Matter accessible to more men   Nonetheless II did laugh the other day when at our first focus group meeting of the I Matter community wheel you explained to me that really what you wanted from a social group of other men was acceptance and just hanging out at the bar and talking about sh+++e,   

With thanks for your commitment!    


Cathy

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