Guest Blog by Ministry Partner, Rob Maroney
Since publishing “Hope After Hurt” we have been asked some great questions, such as, “Who is your audience? Is this book just for women, or couples? Is this a book just for marriages in trouble? and Why should men read “Hope After Hurt”?” I want to focus on the last question. Let me share with you 3 reasons why I believe men should read this book.
Reason #1: We need to be taught about relational health
For most men, the ability to relate to others in a healthy way does not come naturally. Most of what we learned about relational intimacy was caught, not taught, and becoming relationally healthy does not happen just by dating or getting married. Looking back, I’m not sure what I expected or what I was prepared for when we got married. Based on what I saw in my parents’ marriage, my understanding of love and intimacy was seriously flawed. Without good role models or a solid foundation for how to genuinely love someone sacrificially, I was floundering, and this became painfully obvious in the years ahead.
I pictured marriage as the place where I would be loved and accepted unconditionally, no longer needing to prove myself, and in many ways, this was true. I felt truly loved for who I was, and I didn’t have to earn her love. But I was still haunted by the belief that I was flawed, inadequate, and that I should keep my insecurities deeply hidden. I also believed that once I got married and sex was available and permitted without guilt, my sexual appetite would be satisfied.
I didn’t understand the extent to which my intimacy ignorance was linked to my poor self-image, my false beliefs about love and acceptance, my lack of relational courage, and my misunderstanding of the difference between sex and intimacy. It was several years into our marriage before I could admit that we were building a marriage on a faulty, and flawed, foundation, although we seemed compatible and happy on the outside.
Reason #2: The world has hijacked our thinking
This is a tough but important journey for most men. Our highly sexualized culture and faulty role models have hijacked our thinking and delivered a tainted message to both men and women about their value, creating distorted views of sex and intimacy. If you ask men about their role models growing up, they will likely have difficulty coming up with any. For most men, they were few and inadequate. Looking at role models in our culture we might go to “Sexiest Men Alive” in People magazine, advertisements for men’s personal care products, actors and famous athletes, or even just to the window displays in the local mall. Beneath the surface, however, these lives don’t represent healthy masculinity either.
Most men have developed a worldview of sex and intimacy based on faulty thinking and lousy information. I’ll say it again: faulty thinking and lousy information! This toxic combination often creates great distress in a relationship and calls for much more than a makeover or a mere “paint job.” Instead, a healthy understanding of true intimacy needs to be redefined, reformed, and restored.
Reason #3: Men need to understand their Core Terror – “Weightlessness”
Author and teacher, Larry Crabb, said there is a “Core Terror” in the heart of every man and woman. The core terror of a man is “weightlessness.” A man asks, “Do I have any weight to make a difference?” “Am I significant to the people I live with, and in the world I live?” “Do I have the weight to impact the lives of others for good?” “Does my life matter?”
Women also have a core terror – “invisibility.” It’s the fear that no one will see something in her that they want. An authentically feminine woman is so at rest in God’s delight in her that she refuses to be a slave to her ongoing fear of invisibility. She fully enjoys the beauty of the God whose love casts out the power of her fear.
It was about 20 years ago – and we’ve been married 47 years – Roxanne said to me, “I’m want to grow and I’m moving on in my spiritual life.” That was a show-stopper that certainly got my attention and we spent a long time discussing her comment. These were hard conversations, and in my head I was asking the question, “Do I have the weight – do I have the adequacy – and do I have what it takes to touch this woman’s soul?” I didn’t think I was being a bad husband, but to be honest I had become luke-warm in my spiritual life, not thinking about the impact it was having on her. “What’s going on here?”, I asked. I felt threatened, and I felt inadequate. I felt like I wanted to run away … just quit and hide. But right behind those feelings, I got angry and defensive and wanted to lash out at her. I was becoming more aware that I had to deal with this stuff.
At the risk of sounding self-serving I encourage men to read “Hope After Hurt”. Our chapters on broken thinking, broken self-image, broken trust, broken intimacy, broken love styles, and broken communication relate to both men and women alike. We believe “Hope After Hurt” can help men and women unpack what’s going on inside them individually, and lead to a healthier relationship as a couple.
Men who struggle with feeling inadequate or that they don’t have what it takes will go out to find wherever he can to feel adequate. If that’s working in his business, he’ll become a workaholic. If he’s prone to alcohol, he’ll become an alcoholic. If he’s into pornography, he’ll double his viewing and increase his life of secrecy. He will pursue any way to feel like he has some adequacy and something he can control, whether it’s superficial or whether it seems more socially acceptable, like making a lot of money. Either way, he’s settling for a counterfeit and a false substitute for something real and authentic.
Please reach out to us with any other questions or feedback. It’s our prayer that “Hope After Hurt” becomes a valuable resource and road map for men, women, and couples at all stages of their relationship.
Roxanne and Rob Maroney are the authors of “Hope After Hurt” and they can be reached at:
Email Us: Hopeafterhurt.firstname.lastname@example.org
Hope After Hurt
By Roxanne & Rob Maroney
In Hope after Hurt, Roxanne and Rob reveal not only how their marriage was rescued from becoming another casualty but how they were set on the path to creating something entirely new. Opening up about secrecy, lies, broken trust, loss of connection, and damaged intimacy, this is not just a story of two flawed people and their need for repair but also an honest account of more than forty years of healing using practical tools for greater connection and intimacy in marriage. Hope after Hurt offers real-life examples and a roadmap to healthier relationships for all couples.
Whether single, dating or married, this book will transform your relationship. If you struggle to find hope, read Hope after Hurt before you do anything else.
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I also provide one-on-one coaching; if you want to improve your relationships, let’s connect through e-mail at ‘email@example.com’. My hope for you is that through these blogs, references, and resources, God will transform you from being bruised or broken to an abundantly blessed child of God.