From the Editor

May/June 2010

A couple of months ago, my wife, Jette (who just happens to be the world's best couples therapist), and I were about to begin one of the couples weekend workshops we hold every year. Just before the workshop began, I'd been rereading the articles from this issue on "The Secret World of Men" and pondering the apparently real, if politically inconvenient, differences between the way men and women express emotion (particularly love) and handle conflict. I'd been particularly struck by David Wexler's article about the toxic effects of shame on the male psyche and the lengths to which men will go to avoid it.

During the first break, one of the men in the group approached Jette, obviously in real distress. "You must change the sign downstairs in the lobby," he hissed in her ear. The offending sign, there for all to see, read "Couples Therapy—Mayfair Room." The fact that he was attending a "therapy" event—a word so obnoxious to him that he could barely spit it out—in his mind clearly identified him as a total wimp, a low-testosterone failure of a man, a complete loser in the masculinity sweepstakes. God forbid somebody he knew should catch him in such humiliating circumstances; it was akin to marching publicly into a room boldly labeled "Child Molesters Convention Here." Male shame strikes again!

This was such a stunning example of what the contributors to this issue had been saying about the inner lives of men that I spent much of the morning discussing the…

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