What Men Won't Talk About With The Women They Love
author mark israel has captured (in an interview based format) the hidden truths, secrets and pain which historically men have kept from the women they love. from decades of silence about sexuality and emotions to opening up about love, jealousy, and infidelity - the poignancy of the men's words is sure to make women ask the men in their lives what they're not talking to them about and why? More
over 250 men of all ages, races, and religions sat down with author, educator, and television writer, mark israel, to answer one question. “what men won’t talk about with the women they love” the result? an often emotion-filled hour in which long-held secrets were purged and where patterns of commonly shared experiences emerged. they shared experiences about their pasts, their insecurities, and their sexual habits. thoughts on infidelity, monogamy, and feminism. their experiences with love, marriage, and sex. to the man, whatever he deemed most sacred was consistently considered too risky to reveal to the woman in his life. for author mark israel, it was the pain and humiliation of having gone without a job for the past two years.
full of intimate stories of men struggling within their own hearts and minds, the overriding affect and value is that “what Men won’t talk about with the women they love” humanizes men again. while the very term “man” is being redefined and relationships are in an evolutionary flux, men instinctively know they have already become an evolutionary contradiction. what he doesn’t know is how to erase a lifetime of conflicting generational messages.
Israel’s intention in compiling these modern-day stories is for men and women to ask each other if these are the patterns we want to repeat and pass along to our children? or can we divert the cycle of divorce and misunderstanding. It is his hope that men are encouraged by women to explore the full range of themselves without shame or remorse, and at the same time hold steady in what we know is innate to all men.
in an attempt to live up to the mixed messages of the past as well as the present expectations of women today, the answers revealed in the stories of “what Men won’t talk about with the women they love” give a cultural snapshot of men as they struggle through a historical transition. like an urban anthropologist, israel documents his discovery of - a man caught between “a rock” - the stereotype of the unflinching 1950’s “man’s man” - and “a hard place” - his post-feminist heart which he wants to reveal to the woman in his life. So, why doesn’t he? ironically, for fear of losing the love and respect of the woman he loves.
“what men won’t talk about with the women they love” is a combination of a collection of deeply heartfelt personal stories where men finally speak about moments of self-revelation and self-criticism. the larger picture that emerged of men confused by redefining their roles while in transit between old definitions of “manhood” and contemporary relationships where rules have yet to be written.
the directive to men and women at the end? for men to risk opening up. and for women? to be ready to accept emotionally available men without judgment. pieces of Israel’s own relationship history is the book’s thread woven into each chapter. transitioning from the childhood angst of becoming a man - to a broken first marriage in which he felt incapable of communicating - to being emotionally honest in his second marriage thanks to a strong unconditionally loving woman.
and finally to all the mothers, sisters, daughters and girlfriends, “the transitional man” is a book about the men, the brothers, the fathers, the sons, the boyfriends, and the husband you love. all who have one thing in common. their individual stories as well as their secrets. Secrets borne of their soul. secrets that have been hidden too deep and for too long.