People often ask me, when I tell them what I do for a living, what do I mean when I say I “help guys who have lost their way in life”.
Often, it’s not obvious that these guys have lost their way. The guy has a decent job, and is earning decent money. They don’t have some serious mental illness. They have friends and they’re not what you’d call creepy losers.
But there tends to be this quiet desperation about them. Usually they’re lonely, or they feel like they’re going through life without being acknowledged or appreciated as being of any sort of value.
Often, they’re single, but even guys who are married can still feel like they aren’t connected to anything.
I want to share this email with you that I received from a client as an illustration of a guy who has lost his way. He’s given me permission to share this in the hope that it illustrates just how desperately lost guys can get:
Hi Stuart, just discovered your work. I think what your doing is awesome.
I am single but I recently had an affair with a married woman. We ended up getting caught by her husband not long ago. Apparently, he had an iPad that was connected to my girlfriends’ phone and he sat there watching quietly as she and I sexted each other all night. (Imagine being the husband, just watching your missus send all these dirty messages to some other guy. Telling each other what they’re gonna do to each other behind your back. And you’re just sitting there reading this. Maybe the signs were there that something was wrong, but you just missed them, because you were busy at work or whatever. Imagine the betrayal you’d feel. You’d feel like you were being treated like some sort of joke.)
Anyway she immediately broke it off with me, but now I am trying reconcile with her because our kids are actually best friends. (Way to make life hard for yourself. There’s this saying I’m sure you’ve heard. “Don’t shit where you eat”. A lot of affairs start between the parents of their kids’ schools. You know, they start hanging around each other’s house for kids play dates, and then all of a sudden, the grown-ups are having “play-dates” of their own. It makes life tricky if things go pear shaped. You have to keep seeing each other at the school, and keep up appearances for the kid’s sake. Unless you want to move the kids to a different school, which is a bit of an arsehole thing to do. I mean, it’s your fault this happened, yet you’re making your kid suffer. It’s not very fair…)
I also really miss our time together, our banter and just hanging out. I really want this back. I have had very little contact with her in the last five months as it has been very awkward between us and she is trying to sort out her marriage situation. (Well, you should definitely leave this girl alone to sort out her marriage and stop trying to interfere, unless you like the idea of getting your head smacked in by the husband.)
I have no idea where they are at with this at the moment, but she told me that if it doesn't work out with her husband, she will get back in touch with me.
I have been dealing with an obsession with her during this time and have not felt I would be able to deal with her appropriately in my current emotional and mental frame. Before I speak to her, I know I would need to be able to handle any potential rejection or slings and barbs she throws at me. Well, she’ll do that because she wants you to leave her alone. I have used this time apart to seek help from counsellors and personal coaches to work on myself and bring the feelings of obsession down to a manageable level.
How do you think I should move forward with reconciliation, given that I have made up my mind that this is what I want? What should be my initial text message to her to get her to meet me, and then what are the mistakes during the meeting that I should avoid making??
So, this client, I told him he needs to stay far far away from this girl. I knew it would be hard for him but he couldn’t stay in touch anymore. It was damage control time now. Their kids unfortunately could only see each other at school, which really sucked and wasn’t fair on the kids, but that was something he was going to have to take responsibility for. So yeah it was a fucking mess this one.
I told him he needed to not attempt to contact her in any way while she was still married, and that any contact with this girl would just work as a setback to moving on without her.
And besides this girl, besides how this guy currently felt about her, she wasn’t a high-quality person. I mean, she was cheating on her husband. What’s stopping her cheating on this guy if they got together when she inevitably got pissed off with him? And if you want a drama free life, you need to hang around with high quality people who are drama free too.
So, getting back to my point on helping guys who have lost their way in life, yeah, this guy was a perfect example. I mean, chasing after a married girl is never a good idea. But then waiting for her to get divorced or something? As a man, you’ve got to value yourself higher than that.
Now I guess I could empathise quite well with this guy in particular because I went through something quite similar myself a number of years ago after I got divorced. I was looking externally for someone to make me feel better about myself before I realised only I had the power to make myself feel happy again.
Fortunately, this story has a happy ending. I worked with this guy on and off for about a year and he’s since moved on from this woman now.
He realised that he needed to stop putting the focus on finding someone, ANYONE, who he thought could make him happy, even if that person was already taken and was completely unavailable emotionally to him, and realise that he had to work on getting himself comfortable and happy with being single and that the key to this was finding something he could sink his teeth into and that he was passionate about that didn’t have a set of breasts.
As men, we’re physically built to work. So, unlike women, who are physically built to reproduce, and therefore innately valued, men have to create their value through working towards their purpose. If a man feels like his purpose is unfulfilled, his life will feel empty.
And this is when guys do crazy things in an attempt to mask over the emptiness they feel inside. It’s only through finding and then maintaining focus on your purpose, whatever that may be, that guys can over come their feelings of being lost.