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But How Can You Respect a Man When…?
Written by Allison Ricciardi, L.M.H.C.   

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In my previous article I made the point that we need to respect men for who they are and not wait until they “earn it”.

A question posed in reply is a good one and worthy of consideration.  How do you respect a man who, by his own actions, or serious omissions, has lost your respect , or worse, earned your disrespect? How do you deal with that?

Now there are a number of actions or omissions that could result in a wife’s losing respect for her husband, but one of the most common today is when a man is addicted, especially to pornography.  Although some men may debate it, the use of pornography is a form of adultery and every woman knows it in her heart.  A woman is left feeling deeply betrayed, and for good reason.  The intimacy he is supposed to share only with her is being shared with fantasy images on the screen.  And competing with an airbrushed fantasy woman who doesn’t truly exist is nearly impossible.  

But it goes deeper than that.  Because of the addictive nature of pornography, a man is rendered powerless and out of control.  Addictions also tend to turn men into liars as they try to cover their tracks and rationalize their behavior.  Now if there is one thing that challenges a woman’s ability to respect a man is that kind of weakness and dishonesty.

Think of the God ordained roles of men: leader, provider and protector.  All of these imply strength.  So when a man is failing in one of these roles, or is helpless against pornography, like Superman with kryptonite, it’s a recipe for disaster.

Read more: But How Can You Respect a Man When…?  [But How Can You Respect a Man When…?]
 
Free Sex: A New Right?
Written by Manuel P. Santos, MD   

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Perhaps it is only a matter of time until the Supreme Court weighs in on the question of whether access to free contraceptives is a fundamental right guaranteed to us as Americans, tucked away in the penumbra of the U.S. Constitution, much like the right to abortion, which was found hiding there in 1973 in the now infamous Roe v. Wade decision. 

The recent Hobby Lobby decision (Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.) seems to have emboldened conservatives and outraged liberals, unmasking a deep divide in our country.   How did we get here? Surely, the Affordable Care Act, along with the HHS mandate on contraceptives didn’t just 'happen' out of the blue.  Or, did it?  Few would argue that 'Obamacare' was bipartisan, given that it was passed on party lines.  The words "rammed through Congress” come to mind, despite assurances by our President that he would bring the nation together by ushering in a new era of non-partisan politics.  Somewhere along the line the word 'healthcare' was hijacked and redefined to include condoms, Viagra, and “the pill”.  Over time, some women objected to the evident disparity in the overall availability of contraceptives.  After all, if men can have Viagra covered by their health insurance, then as if channeling Saint Peter in a perverse turnaround, they cry out, “not only ‘the pill’ but also RU-486? And what about Plan-B?"  The stage is set, the savior arrives! Obama hands down the edict.  Insurance companies must cover contraceptives for women.  As if on cue, Sandra Fluke comes on the scene.  The ersatz damsel in distress, deprived by a villainous Georgetown University Law School Health Insurance plan of her “god given right” to free contraceptives.       

Rarely do I have the opportunity to use the word “Orwellian”, but it seems appropriate given the way this Obama Administration has managed to impose its agenda.  In the fourth chapter of his classic dystopian vision, Orwell describes the qualities of media entertainment for “Proles” (the 85% of the population that do not belong to The Party): “Here were produced rubbishy newspapers containing almost nothing except sport, crime, and astrology, sensational five-cent novelettes, films oozing with sex, and sentimental songs.”  (Orwell's "1984".)

 

Read more: Free Sex: A New Right?  [Free Sex: A New Right?]
 
Men, Identity, and Friendships
Written by Sean E. Stevens, Ph.D   

sean-e-stevens-psy.dSomeone commented to me about a sentence from my previous “As the Deer Longs…” article: “For many men, our last experience of a really close male friend was in high school or college, although we may have many acquaintances.” She agreed that this seemed to be true and wondered why that might be.

It’s a great question. What first came to mind was C.S. Lewis’s chapter on philia (friendship) from The Four Loves. Commentators on this chapter have noted that C.S. Lewis’ description of friendship applies well to male friendships, of which he had many, but perhaps not so much to female friendships; not surprising, given his experience of being in almost exclusively male environments from the early death of his mother on. In the following, I have friendships between men in mind.

Lewis notes that an appropriate portrait of friendship would feature two faces in profile looking at something else together – unlike romantic love, in which the two faces would gaze at each other. Friendship, he writes, arises as an unforeseen but delightful byproduct of a shared, intense interest. This is certainly true for men: e.g., I and an acquaintance both like hunting; or poker; or the Chicago Bears; or playing and singing 70s soft rock; or golf outings; or English literature; or Marvel comics; or Halo. We get together to do these activities or talk about what we’re a fan of. 95% of our time is focused on the common interest – but in the process, we start to get to know each other, in bits and pieces. We learn a bit about each other’s parents and siblings; a fair amount about each other’s spouses and children, and each other’s workplace and colleagues.

Read more: Men, Identity, and Friendships  [Men, Identity, and Friendships]
 
Catholic Psychotherapy Association - Annual Conference 2014

 

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ct angel "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths."  Proverbs 3: 5-6