Masculine and Feminine Balance in Relationships
— By Elena Michaels, PhD, CCH, LMFT
By “masculine” and “feminine”, I’m referring to qualities and attributes in both men and women. When integrated in a balanced way, masculine qualities can be very empowering for a woman, and feminine qualities can be very empowering for a man. Yet men who have denied some of their masculine qualities, and women who have denied some of their feminine qualities, may feel powerless and empty. Initially, we may be attracted to partners very different than us, drawn to that person to learn to love that underdeveloped part of ourselves. Yet, we frequently become frustrated or resentful of the very qualities that originally attracted us to them!
Bob, a soft-spoken man originally attracted to Karen’s confidence and assertiveness, is now complaining that she is “too pushy”. He may also be resisting his own underdeveloped assertive, masculine side, and may have been originally attracted to Karen as a way to learn to accept that part of himself. Bob felt “whole” and “more complete” when they originally met and fell in love, as Karen expressed the qualities that Bob wanted more of in his life. Lynn, a successful businesswoman, originally attracted to Alan’s gentleness, kindness, and sensitivity, is now frustrated and upset with him because she thinks he’s “too weak and passive”. She may also be resisting the underdeveloped gentle, sensitive, feminine parts of herself.
The magic that was originally felt in these relationships, has temporarily disappeared. But it can be rediscovered and experienced in new and exciting ways through balance and change. Someone changing in an empowering masculine way, takes charge by changing behavior, working things out with another person, or if necessary, avoiding the person or situation causing stress. However, someone whose masculine energy is very out of balance, may try to literally eliminate another person by physically harming or intimidating them. Changing in an empowering feminine way, means adjusting attitudes or beliefs, and improving the situation through acceptance, forgiveness, and love. But someone who is very out of balance in a feminine way, may remain in a threatening situation or relationship by rationalizing and accepting the intolerable behavior of another. An abusive and/or violent relationship is an example of out of balance male and female energy. Incorporating both male and female empowering methods of change regardless of gender, can be very helpful.
If you are reading this, you desire more knowledge, and knowledge is power. Having knowledge allows us to be consciously aware of something, and responsible for knowing it. We become more “response-able”, more able to respond to, respect, understand, and accept, that person in front of us. In doing this, we have become more able to respond to, respect, understand, and accept, ourselves. In becoming more “response-able” to ourselves, we are better able to emotionally take care of ourselves, and less demanding that our partners be emotionally responsible for us. We are then more able to enjoy being who we truly are, expressing all the facets of ourselves. A diamond shines more brilliantly and reflects more light, when all of its facets are clear and being utilized!
As we meet more of our own emotional needs we can be more present in the moment, without the excess baggage of limiting childhood conditioning that keeps us from seeing clearly that the one in front of us, is very similar to us. We can open our hearts to experience the oneness that is deep within all of us. Harmony in our relationships requires the development, awareness, and balancing of our masculine and feminine qualities, being all aspects of ourselves and fully human.
I have found a wonderful list of “Rules for Being Human” by an anonymous author and if you would like a copy of it, have your masculine side take action and request it, by emailing me with “Rules for Being Human” in the subject line.
Elena Michaels has been counseling for decades (she won’t say how many). She is a licensed psychotherapist, Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT), and certified clinical hypnotherapist who has taught hypnosis, led numerous workshops, seminars, and groups on various subjects, and is currently writing a book on the power of personal rituals. Elena is also a Level II EMDR Practitioner (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), and sees clients in Santa Clarita and Valencia, California. She can be reached at 661/250-4395 and