Relationship Fitness

S21 E2: Men Need to Have Purpose

In season 21 episode 2 of “Relationship Workout for Men,” host Vince Vasquez delves into the importance of purpose in men’s lives with guest expert Roni Maislish. They explore how defining a personal mission and undertaking actionable steps towards it not only fosters individual growth but also enhances men’s relationships and community connections. Through this discussion, they highlight how both fear and creativity play crucial roles in navigating life’s adventures and finding deeper fulfillment.

Vince Vasquez: Welcome to Relationship Workout for Men, a podcast dedicated to helping men be intentional in choosing a better partner and being a better partner for the person they choose. Season 21: Men navigating strength, vulnerability, and addictions. We’re in episode two, “Men Need to Have Purpose.” And I’m here today, speaking with Roni Maislish, a clinical social worker and psychotherapist working for 20 years on the psychological roots of emotional eating, food addiction, and obesity. So, we’re going to talk about how men need purpose in their lives and how their partners shape their purpose. So, Roni, what do you say about this topic?


Roni Maislish: You know, when I got a bit prepared for this conversation, I thought about Columbus. He went, you know, one specific morning, got on his boat from Lisbon, and just went to the unknown, to the experience, to the adventure, maybe—I don’t know if we can use that word here a lot—to find God, to find his God, his own personal Jesus, his own where is God hiding now? Like God is hiding in new caves. So, I think, you know, I don’t want to say only men, but I think from my experience that, you know, when men find their mission, their vision, their experience, their targets, their ability to just walk, just walk. Like God said to Abraham, just walk and find your promised land. I think it’s part of the man’s healing process to discover, to also connect the inner world to the external world. But with action, alright, you need action. Man has some kind of connection with action itself, and that can be very connected to their healing process. 


As I said, their relationships, like because when they are going through those kinds of experiences and adventures, it’s two things. First, it’s not that they are not afraid. I think it’s very good to be afraid when you’re lucky. Like if you are kind of a Columbus to walk on this boat and just go whatever to the unknown. Alright. So, you need to be afraid, but you need to go through your fear. So, you’re not, maybe later on, we will speak about being courageous. It’s not about not feeling afraid or the fear, it’s really to feel it. But go through that, and I think when you are going through this kind of fear, something changes you. Maybe you’re transformed, you become a different person. You navigate to another dimension like Columbus, find another continent, you know, but we can change our life, we can change.


So again, it’s not only men, but when I’m thinking about men’s energy, I think it’s more like the moving, like Metallica is singing about “Wherever I May Roam.” The roaming. Yeah. And I think the second part of that is when you are coming back and you share what you experienced, and that can be very therapeutic for all of your community that you share what you experienced, what you learned, what you saw, what you understand about life, yourself, death, God, whatever, and then your conversation, your relationships could be much richer. And that is like, like you helping all of your community to grow in a way. So, it’s beyond confidence, right?


Vince Vasquez:: So, you use the word connectedness, and then you connect into this purpose, and then that helps you to connect back to your community as you share the results or the journey of that. That’s really powerful.


Roni Maislish: Yeah. And I think one of the most, I thought to use this word later on in another chapter, you know, the creativity, you need to be in this creativity mode to, in a way, work and feel and maybe in the end, find your mission or your, I don’t know, your target now. So, you need to work on your creativity and wait for some sign that will tell you to go to this direction, your experience is there and not there anymore, right? So, like I remember a few years ago and during COVID, I felt that my mission is changing. I need to shift my mission. And then I just, for a day, just, you know, took the car and just drove for a few hours, and I just, you know, spoke with God or whatever and just gave me a hint, just gave me a clue. Just give me a word of my new direction, my new experience, my new adventure. And the word that came to me after a few hours, I was on the mountain in the north, was exposure. And I didn’t know what that meant. Right? Exposure, what kind of exposure, you know, and it took, but it was the beginning of a very intimate, you know, very inner process. So, you need to get in this car and do those processes. And I think men, like strong men, not brittle men, but emotionally strong men, need to know how to be by themselves, and that will help them to be more in relationships.


Vince Vasquez:: So, how do their relationships with their partners then influence that when you say they need to be alone to find this journey, but if they’re in partnership, it will help them be connected to their community, which I’m assuming helps you be more connected to your partner. So, how does the partner interplay with us?


Roni Maislish: I think, and again, it depends on how you, how and why and when you choose your partner, you know, on what kind of condition you’re choosing your partner. So, if your partner can be some kind of inspiration for your process, for your journey, for your, like she, we are speaking about she, like she can understand something about creativity and like that you need to have a purpose for your life, then you will have a lot of supply, a lot of fuel to search for that. And when you are in your adventure in one way, you are alone. But on the other hand, you are not alone, you’re with your partner because, like, you are working like a team. But I think for men, it’s like to remember that they need to go, you know, this kind of saying that again, to do some kind of an action, you know, but yeah, it’s important, you know, how deep is the relationship. It could be like a major support in this journey.


Vince Vasquez:: Yeah. And I think that’s the key, right? You mentioned support. So, even though he may be alone on his journey to find certain things, he knows he has her or his partner’s support, and that’s crucial. Otherwise, he feels alone not only in the journey but in the end result, I mean, he’s alone. So, isn’t it when you’re so it’s almost a message to our partners that they need to support us as we, because we do need this purpose to find that connectedness within ourselves and our community. Is that, do I have that right?


Roni Maislish: Yeah. I think when you are with the right person as your partner, we know that sometimes each of us needs to be in those moments that we need to do something by ourselves, and we need to find God there, or we need to find ourselves there. It doesn’t matter. We need to find something, we need to search and we need to find, and then we need to come back and share it. And if you are a team, you know, like sometimes you can change the role. You need to be very playful in a team. So, it’s like, it’s like a game. Today you are gone. Oh, interesting. Oh, tell me what you find. Like, so the other person, he’s also part of this mission. It’s like a mutual mission because I think a lot of couples help each other, you know, in their own healing process. But I think there are couples that they also have, like the same healing process as well. Like, they’re having a mutual healing process and that could be something very special. So, it’s not like you inspire your partner in his or her journey, you have your own mutual journey. And if you feel you have that, and then sometimes you’re going on your separate traveling path, healing process, it’s always part of the mutual work that you are doing.


Vince Vasquez:: So, it’s like you also have to support your partner in her journey. But that mutual journey at a minimum could be your family, right? I mean, that’s, and how you raise your kids and the journey that your family takes. Isn’t that at a minimum part of the mutual journey?


Roni Maislish: I think that’s not enough. Yeah, I don’t know, it’s not from my perspective. It’s only my opinion, maybe for other people, it would be more than enough, you know. But for me, I think there is some kind of an influence that you need to have on other people’s lives, you know, on your community, on your neighbor, your friends, and colleagues, the mutual journey that goes outside the family that goes out to the world. Exactly. The community, you know, all of our community are like moving forward in the next two or three years.

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