Walking away from the false self, we feel vulnerable and exposed. We will be sorely tempted to turn to our comforters for some relief, those places that we’ve found solace and rest. Because so many of us turn to the woman for our sense of masculinity, we must walk away from her as well. I do not mean you should leave your wife or soul mate. I mean you need to stop looking to her for your strength or to validate you, stop trying to get your answer from her. For some men, this may mean disappointing your partner. If you have been a passive man, tiptoeing around your wife/girlfriend for years, never doing anything to rock the boat, then it’s time to rock it. Stand up to her; get her mad at you. For those of you violent men, it means you stop abusing her. You release her as the object of your anger because you release her as the one who was supposed to make you a man. Repentance for a driven man means you become kind. Both types are still going to the woman. Repentance depends on which way you’ve approached her.
If you have unreasonably made a woman your life, the sun around your universe, around which you orbited, it’s my candid advice that you break up with her. A man needs a much bigger orbit than a woman. He needs a mission, a life purpose, and he needs to know his name. only then is he fit for a woman, for only then does he have something to invite her into. In the Masai tribe in Africa, a young man cannot court a woman until he has killed a lion or any wild animal. That’s their way of saying, until he has been initiated. Many men commit a kind of emotional promiscuity with a young woman. He will pursue her, not to offer his strength but to drink from her beauty, to be affirmed by her and feel like a man. They will share deep, intimate conversations. But he will not commit; he is unable to commit. This is very unfair to the young lady. After a year of sort of relationship a dear friend said “I never felt secure in what I meant to him.”
When we feel the pull toward the golden-haired woman, we must recognize that something deeper is at play. According to Bly,
What does it mean when a man falls in love with a radiant face across the room? It may mean that he has some soul work to do. His soul is the issue. Instead of pursuing the woman and trying to get her alone… he needs to go alone himself, perhaps to a mountain cabin, for three months, write poetry, canoe drive a river, and dream. That would save some women a lot of trouble.
Quickly, this is not a permission to divorce or let her away. A man who has married a woman in anyway has made her solemn pledge; he can never heal his wound by delivering another to the one he promised to love. Sometimes she will leave him, that is another story. Too many men run after her, begging her not to go. If she has to go, it is probably because you have some soul work to do. In essence, I mean the that the masculine journey always takes a man away from the woman, in order that he may come back to her with his question answered. A man does not go to a woman to get his strength; he goes to her to offer it. You do not need the woman to become a great man, and as a great man, you do not need the woman. Don’t get attach by the trap of love, the trap of addiction because we’ve taken our soul to her for validation.
But there is an even deeper issue than our question. What else is it we are seeking from the Woman with the Golden Hair? What is that ache we are trying to assuage with her? Mercy, comfort, beauty, ecstasy- in a word, God! What we are looking for is God.
There was a time when Adam drank deeply from the source of all Love. He, our first father and archetype- lived in an unbroken communion with the most captivating, beautiful, and intoxicating Source of life in the universe. Adam had God. True it was not good for man to be alone, and God in his humility gave us Eve, allowed us to need her as well. But something happened at the fall; something shifted. Eve took the place of God in a man’s life. Read 1 Timothy 2:14 for further explanation.
Adam chose Eve over God. Simply look around you today. Look at all the art, poetry, music, drama, prose devoted to the beautiful woman. Listen to the language men use to describe her. Watch the powerful obsession at work. What else can this be but worship? Men come into the world without the God who was our deepest joy, our ecstasy. Aching for we know not what, we meet Eve’s daughters and we are history. She’s the closest thing we have ever encountered, the pinnacle of creation, the very embodiment of God’s beauty and mystery and tenderness and allure. And what goes out of her is not just our longing for Eve, but our longing for God as well. A man without his true love, his life, his God, will find another. What better substitute than Eve’s daughters? Nothing else in creation even comes close.
Try giving a piece of advice to a young man who had never been without a girlfriend since he started dating to breakup, calling off all dating for a year. From the look on his face you’d have thought he was told to cut off his arm… or something worse.
But if this is the water you are truly thirsty for, then why do you remain thirsty after you’ve had a drink or more? It’s the wrong well
We must reverse Adam’s choice; we must choose God over Eve. We must take our ache to him. For only God will we find the healing of our wound.