After getting married and having kids, most of us men dedicate ourselves to work and family. Any friendships we had in school or college fall by the wayside. We’re surrounded by people, yet not deeply connected to anyone. Then we feel guilty for taking time, energy, and resources for ourselves or to invest in relationships with other men.
Today we have Stephen Mansfield on The Dad Edge Podcast. He is a NY Times bestselling author, a speaker, and media consultant. His book Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men reveals the secrets and virtues of great men.
Stephen Mansfield is here today to talk about how we’ve lost the lore of men, why we need a band of brothers, and the skillset needed to form relationships that will help us become our best selves.
Stephen Mansfield rose to global attention with his book The Faith of George W. Bush, which was the source of Oliver Stone’s movie W. He appears frequently on TV and speaks all over the world. He believes not just in being a man, but a great man.
As a kid, Stephen’s dad was in the military. They moved around the United States and spent a few years in Germany. Stephen went onto college and spent some time as a pastor. As he got married and had kids, he realized something was missing. He was not given the skillset needed to handle all the challenges of manhood.
In history, men had a built-in male community of extended family members, villagers, and other men whom they depended on for survival. There was a craft of manhood that was shared among these close-knit bands of brothers.
In modern society, these relationships are no longer built-in. After marriage, men’s relationships drop off or deteriorate into what’s called a “rust relationship.” Rust relationships are those that once had meaning but end up being loosely maintained for nostalgia. They do not have enough substance to rely on in any deeper way.
Stephan currently lives in Washington, DC, with his wife Beverly. He has two adult children, a son and daughter with whom he maintains a close relationship. Stephen says he went through some tough times with marriage and parenting, and feels that he would’ve done much better if he had a tribe of men to pass the lore of manhood down to him.
What You’ll Learn
- Why most men don’t have deep friendships in the western world
- Why we have to be active and build relationships with intention
- Why men need to put on their “oxygen masks first”
- How your job, marriage, and kids will suffer if you don’t become the man you were meant to be
- Why we must straighten out our own souls before coming to our wife and kids
- How to stop feeling guilty for investing in relationships with other men
- How the teaching about men in many churches or men’s groups typically has to do with being the man you’re supposed to be for your wife and children, not for yourself
- How many men don’t know who they are before throwing themselves into domestic life
- Why men end up unhealthy, unfulfilled, and dying inside
- Why time spent investing in yourself is an investment in your wife and children
- How to educate your wife and family about the value of time alone or with a band of brothers
- What the skillset of a great man looks like
- How men and women socialize differently
- Why men socialize best with an indirect connection
- How introverts can build connections
- Why we don’t have to be engaging or charming to make friendships
- How Stephen’s band of brothers saved the marriage of their friend who was having an affair
- How he enlisted many valiant men in the raising of his son
- How to get past the ego and accept help
- Why the idea that we have to do everything by ourselves is a lie
- How having a band of brothers speeds up your learning
- Practical steps to connect with other men
- How to explain this idea with your wife
Stephen Mansfield’s Parting Piece of Wisdom
Stephen says that men often don’t realize the power of their words, but almost every man remembers something a significant man said in his life that has echoed in his soul ever since. Telling your children that you love them and believe in them will ensure that they don’t think negatively about themselves or let others treat them badly.
Words fashion destinies.
Stephen Mansfield’s links
Originally published on The Good Dad Project
Photo courtesy of author