Man to Man Talks: Household Stress

man to man talks

 Having a Man to Man Talk with HouseholdStress.com About Household Stress, Why Men Don’t Talk and the Bible – to name a few. 

 

As the new editor for the Marriage Section I’m always on the lookout for people and organizations who are doing great things for men and marriage. While websurfing I came across a site called HouseholdStress.com. HouseholdStress focuses on men in marriage and hosts a hit radio show called Married Men Don’t Talk where they cover topics like guilt, rejectiong, “I didn’t sign up for this!” and more. Today, I do a man to man interview with Rodney Turner of HouseholdStress.com to get some tips and insight about household stress for the married man.

 

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AA: Where did you come up with the name Household Stress?

RT: Established in January 2009, Household Stress, LLC is the brainchild of Tony Hawkins.  The team consists of Tony, Rodney Turner, and Darren Smith, with Patrice Echard serving as a consultant. Tony and a friend were talking about this concept of stress in the household one day and the name was born.  Household Stress was a name that Tony felt everybody could relate to one way or another.  Thankfully the domain name was still available at the time, so he went with it.

 AIA: What do you guys do over there at household Stress?

RT: Our primary goal is to build stronger men, stronger husbands, stronger fathers, and therefore stronger families. Other counseling endeavors focus on communication between humans, but our focus is on first improving the lines of communication between God and the husband, the head of the house.  Not to knock what professional marital counselors do, but our approach is radically different.  What started as a weekly conference call has evolved into the bona fide ‘Married Men Don’t Talk Show’.  Broadcasting live weekly on Tuesday nights, we simply provide a weekly internet radio forum for men, married or unmarried.  Household Stress was designed to improve communication primarily between the husband and wife, but has also been proven to improve communication amongst all relationships in general. Our mission is to give men the tools necessary to truly be the head of their household so that their family not only survives, but thrives.

AA: How did you come up with idea for the Married Men Don’t Talk Show?

RT: The concept was simply to give men a forum to express themselves to improve communication in the household.   One thing that we’ve found to be certain is that married men generally only talk about certain issues outside the home: sports, yard work, vacations with the family, worthless family members, children, co-workers, and the occasional details about the extramarital affair.  We’re taught at a young age to ‘man up’, hide your emotions, and never wear them on your sleeve. Anything else would be considered weakness, so the consequences of your friends knowing that there’s a problem in your marriage could be detrimental.  The last thing married men want to talk about is their marital problems!

AA: Why Do you think it is that Married Men Don’t talk?

There are a myriad of reasons why:

  1. Married men prefer not to acknowledge their marital issues. We all know that every marriage has issues, some more than others, but many people are in denial.
  2.  Generally speaking, men have a lot of pride and ego and aren’t interested in getting outside help when necessary. One shining example is how we don’t like reading an instruction manual or asking for directions. We feel that we can figure it out on our own.
  3. Married men really don’t have a forum to express themselves on a regular basis. At a backyard barbecue or watching/attending a sports event with your friends is not the ideal time to bring up your marital issues. And if we do, it’s definitely seen as not the masculine thing to do.
  4. When given the forum, we still have to learn how to express ourselves. A lot of men didn’t have a good fatherly example that showed them the way. If they did, their father properly never sat them down and explained the dynamics of marriage to them. We try to flip it and make talking about our feelings the masculine thing to do, which is easier to accomplish amongst our peers rather than with our wives. We try to learn from simply sharing our experiences; each one, reach one.

The name of the show is actually an oxymoron because we have no problems getting married men to talk and be vulnerable, no matter the subject.  It’s only by the grace of God that we’ve been so successful over the years.

AA:  Do you think married men have an outlet to voice their relationship issues?

RT:They didn’t until we created Household Stress!  We invite and encourage any man from anywhere in the world, married or unmarried, to participate in one of our live shows.  We have everyday men on our show every week who are married, divorced, widowed, newlywed, engaged, and even single.  Our show will always be open to new listeners and participants because married men do talk and want to talk!

AA: How does your site help married men?

RT: Effective communication is the key and we want to help men reach their fullest potential and be the best communicators they can be.  Most married men don’t know how to effectively communicate, especially to their wives. It helps when we’re able to communicate with our peers before we communicate to that lucky lady in our lives. Household Stress provides a safe house with a ‘no judgment zone’ so men can just get some things off of their chests or literally just blow off some steam. We need that, and often!

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AA: HouseHoldStress.com states that men should be the leader and the head of the household as stated in the Bible. Do you get a lot of hate mail from women or do you find that women are usually okay with this?

RT: On the contrary, the response from women has always been 100% positive.  We believe that the man should be the leader and head of his household, as stated in the Bible.  Women, married and unmarried, are actually our biggest fans.  They’re able to learn so much from the minds of married men since it’s like being a fly on the wall!  They applaud us for the subject matter we tackle on a weekly basis since no one else in the world does it like we do.  We’ve never received any hate mail from women or anybody else for that matter.

AA: How do you balance your biblical views of men leading the household while still being respectful to wives and all they do?

RT: Well, part of the man leading the household is being respectful to his wife, so they actually go hand in hand.  Communication, respect, and healthy dialogue are the keys to a happy home.

AA: Thank you Rodney, for taking time to talk with me.

You can find out more about HouseHoldStress.com by visiting their website or following them on Twitter.

 

Photo Credit: Flickr/Elvert Barnes 

 

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About Aaron Anderson

Aaron Anderson is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and owner of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He also writes for several publications online and in print all on the topic of marriages, families and men. In his spare time (whatever that is) he is secretly preparing to be the next great chef. You can find him on Twitter @MarriageDr and on Facebook giving great info without the psychobabble.

Comments

  1. AA: Do you think married men have an outlet to voice their relationship issues?
    RT:They didn’t until we created Household Stress!

    Hmm. And here I thought that vanity was supposed to be a no-no if you want the bible to guide how you live?

    For the record, some of us (married men) do have outlets, do have support for our relationships issues. And, frankly, “men should be the leader and the head of the household as stated in the Bible” sounds very much like a core part of the problem and not at all as part of a solution.

    • Lars, I think you totally missed the sarcasm in the statement: “They didn’t until we created Household Stress!” LOL But you are absolutely correct that some men do have outlets. However, a lot of men don’t. Our outlet is simply one of many across the world, but possibly one of the more unique outlets. And whether you follow Biblical principles or not, you’re welcome to join us on our show any time that your schedule permits. One of the more interesting facets of our show is that we have hardcore Bible-believers discussing similar marital issues alongside atheists and agnostics. The commonality is simply that we all have marital problems. So no matter where you fall on the religious and/or spiritual spectrum, our program is open to any man and is not exclusive to any one group, class, or race. Furthermore, the men don’t even have to be married, so you and your male friends are welcome on our show anytime. Thank you so much for your comments and take care.

      • Thanks, Rodney. Glad to hear that you have an open participation policy. Just to be clear, I have no issue with the fact that you are Christian or that your forum is a Christian one.

        My issue is with the premise that “men should be the leader and the head of the household”, no matter where that comes from. To me, that premise is toxic. After 25 years of marriage, not only do I not see that as a premise that would contribute (or could have contributed) to my relationship or my family, I’m certain that it would have been destructive to try such an approach. I also think that if you tell yourself that you must be the leader and the head of the household, you’re making it much harder for yourself to open up, to talk, and to get support. It seems to me counter-productive to what you want to do.

        • My pleasure, Lars. And congrats on your 25 years of marriage! The premise comes from 1 Corinthians 11:3 that states: “But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” This is God’s design, not mine. Furthermore, it’s not toxic and/or destructive when the husband leads with the love of Christ in his heart. It’s simply about the proper order of the familial design. Not to turn this into a whole biblical discussion, but the Bible also states that the woman is the “weaker vessel”. Now this is not saying that a marriage should be a dictatorship because as I already alluded to in the original article, husbands should absolutely listen to their wives and value and respect their opinions. But man and woman are not equal for all intensive purposes. At the end of the day, the final decision rests with the husband. This concept only becomes counterproductive when the husband and/or the wife doesn’t subscribe to this biblical principle in conjunction with submission. A similar analogy would be President and Vice President. Both positions are valuable, but one has slightly higher authority over the other. This is very complex subject matter, but I encourage you to listen to our many archived shows regarding this topic just so you can completely understand the dynamics of where I’m coming from. Thanks again for your feedback, Lars.

    • Aaron Anderson says:

      Hi Lars,

      I have to say that I agree with the writers that many married men don’t have outlets to talk. It’s just not socially acceptable for men to talk about relationships. It’s unfortunate. Even in my practice about 70% of my clientele are women. Sure, men have outlets – they have to. Just not as numerous or as acceptable as women.

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