Decoding Manhood: Women Unveil the Toughest Struggles Faced by Men


Have you ever wondered what it really means to be a man?

Controversial definitions of masculinity abound, and societal norms about how men should behave are constantly being redefined.

To better understand this complicated concept, we have the perspective of women, mothers, daughters, friends, and mentors, on the unique struggles faced by men today in living up to this idealized version of manhood.

From deeply entrenched gender-based expectations to feelings of vulnerability around expressing emotions, these women revealed some of the toughest obstacles that men face when trying to decode modern manhood.

#1. Financial Responsibility

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In many traditional relationships, there is an expectation that men will handle the finances.

This may be based on outdated gender roles that assume men are better at managing money or have a natural inclination towards financial responsibility.

However, this expectation is not always fair or accurate.

Every individual has their own strengths and weaknesses, regardless of gender, and it’s important for couples to find a financial arrangement that works for both partners.

#2. Not Asking For Help

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Men have long been taught to embrace their independence and approach problems with an unyielding sense of self-sufficiency.

As a result, asking for help can often be seen as a sign of weakness or failure, something to be avoided at all costs.

Yet, with mounting societal pressures and the ever-increasing complexities of modern life, it has become clear that the ability to seek assistance is not only necessary but vital for personal growth and overall well-being.

#3. Struggling With Mental Health

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Just like women, men also struggle with their mental health from time to time. 

This is something that has often been seen as a “taboo” subject, so men often keep their feelings to themselves and don’t open up about it. 

As a result, many men suffer in silence and aren’t able to get the help they need.

#4. Lack of Paternity Leave

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Society of moving forward with giving women more time off after having a child, but men are still expected to put work first.

Most companies give Dad’s a few days off but that is it.

The good news is some companies are changing this, but it’s a slow go.

#5. Not Being Taken Seriously When It Comes to Abuse

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Building off the previously mentioned point, few take men seriously when they say their partners are abusing them. 

Men do and can experience domestic violence. 

Sometimes, this goes on behind closed doors and does not get reported. 

In other cases, abuse may happen in public, and no one may bat an eye because a man can handle themselves and deal with the situation. 

Of course, if some retaliate, this could be equally problematic.

#6. Being Expected to Be Better at Physical Labor and Always Do More Dangerous Work

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Let’s face it; it’s a common stereotype that men know how to do dangerous, dirty work and will be more than ready or willing to do so. 

Some people see men as naturally good at picking up heavy things or tackling construction jobs simply because they’re men. 

Others expect they will get their hands dirty with a car or fix the plumbing because that’s just something they believe men are supposed to know how to do. 

The reality? Not everyone knows how to do those things or even wants to!

#7. Challenges in Relationships

frustrated couple
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For decades, the man was to provide for his family and rarely took part in raising the kids.

Men also weren’t expected to show or share their feelings.

The dynamics are changing now.

Men don’t need to be the breadwinner and are expected to show their emotions.

But not always. Some women still prefer the traditional male role in a relationship, so men have to figure out which they are supposed to be, making relationships more challenging. 

#8. The Stigma That Comes With Being Present in a Child’s Life

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For this mention, we’re talking about the specific issue of others seeing men as a potential threat when they’re around a child. 

For some, seeing men engage with children or be around spaces where children play makes certain people uncomfortable. 

Of course, many women see this as ridiculous, as men should be able to take care of children in their careers or be around children when they have their own children. 

However, that doesn’t mean that will change how people tick today. 

#9. Not Having Your Emotions Taken Seriously or Validated

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Some aspects of how society treats men or expects them to act can harm their development and impact how they navigate daily life. 

One thing that women pointed out is how men are expected not to have feelings. 

Men are supposed to be stoic and never express themselves in ways considered weak. 

Moreover, if they do reveal that they have feelings, these feelings might be laughed off by others, criticized and ridiculed, and remain invalidated. 

This could lead some to push their feelings down so that they never come up and turn to emotions that are considered acceptable, like rage and aggression, or even adopt destructive coping mechanisms like heavy drinking to avoid feelings.

#10. The Doubt That a Child Might Not Be Theirs

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Some women pointed out that, should they become pregnant, they never have to worry about whether or not the child is theirs. 

Men, on the other hand, might not know. 

This can be troubling if they have a sneaking suspicion that a partner might be cheating on them or if their child comes out with features that make the child look nothing like them. 

There are certainly stories where men have discovered that their child wasn’t theirs years after the fact, which can always be a life-changing revelation.

#11. It’s More Difficult for Guys to Get Dates

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The advent of online dating and its increased presence in our society has undoubtedly leveled the playing field regarding getting dates. 

However, some women who look at dating dynamics regarding in-person interactions believe it’s more difficult for men to get dates. 

While times are changing, many men still expect to make the first move, which could be difficult for some and even more difficult if they aren’t sure whether or not a woman is showing interest.

#12. Being Considered a Possible Threat by Strangers

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On the other end of the spectrum, people think men are a threat even when they’re not around children. 

Women talked about how men are always seen as aggressive and could snap and hurt someone immediately. 

Some men even shared their own experiences of their treatment around others. 

One man was pepper sprayed by someone when they were on a run because they got too close to a female jogger on the street. 

While some people might be justified in their caution, it still doesn’t make others feel better as they go about their lives. 

#13. The Expectation That Men Would Welcome Confrontation and Fight

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Many men see men as the protector, meaning that if they find themselves in any situation where self-defense is necessary, the man in a group should jump in and fight and protect. 

The problem? Not all men know how to fight, have the physique to fight off a threat, or believe that the best way to manage such a situation would be responding with violence. 

If a threat arises, others expect men to respond by acting as the defender of the person or group they’re with. 

#14. Not Being Taken Seriously About Topics Like Being Inappropriately Touched

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Some people believe certain things do not happen to men. One of them is sexual harassment. 

Others do not take men seriously when they say someone else is inappropriately touching them. 

One reason this might happen is that others believe men should be able to take care of themselves and put a stop to the situation if it happens to them. 

Often, it’s due to a pervasive belief that men want this attention and should be lucky that they got it in the first place.

#15. Dealing With The Pressure Of Society’s Expectations

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Society has always had certain expectations when it comes to men.

These expectations range from having a successful career to being in control and strong all the time, even when they are facing difficult times.

This can be a heavy burden for many men and can result in depression or anxiety as they feel like they cannot meet the expectations placed upon them.

#16. Others Thinking That You Don’t Want to Be Involved With Your Family

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Women have pointed out that their husbands or other dads they’ve seen encounter different treatment when they’re out with their children. 

Some of society sees children as more of a burden to their fathers, believing that a man out with a child doesn’t want to be doing it and that the wife must be busy. 

This is insulting and can affect a child’s relationship with their father if others view them as something their father doesn’t want to deal with. 

Plenty of involved fathers take care of their children just as much as mothers do. 

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