How to Restore Your Trust in Men with Anna Rova
About This Episode
Men have disappointed and let us down multiple times on various occasions.
They have mistreated and betrayed us before. They have also abused our girlfriends and the women in our families.
Men have left us with broken hearts way too many times for us to forgive or forget. Maybe there were a few shattered plates too.
Our ex-boyfriends, our neighbors, our colleagues… maybe, even our fathers or brothers.
Men treat women as objects. Men are a bunch of pigs or five-year-old boys throwing tantrums at the very best. They don’t have any values and they disrespect women and authority.
Why would you trust them?
Sometimes you sit and wonder “where are these good men that some women talk about?”
You’re tired of putting men in their places left and right. You’re angry about such disrespect to women and a quick scroll on social media or a glance at the daily news proves it. Every. Single. Day.
In fact, you’re constantly asking yourself “Why do we need men if I can do everything by myself?!”
Of course, there are a few “good apples” among men, but in general, you’ve lost your faith in men as a species.
You’re feeling aggressive and want revenge for yourself, for your sisters, and for women in general. Thousands of years in repression, neglect, and patriarchy… this can’t go on. This has to stop.
You’re also exhausted of being exhausted and parenting men.
Men can’t be trusted.
Men don’t deserve your love and respect.
What’s wrong with men?
Why do we need men, anyways?
Articles about stepping into your femininity and thank you letters to men written by women you might even know pique your curiosity and make you ask:
“What the fuck does she know that I don’t? Aren’t we living in the same world? How come she doesn’t see it? Is she mad? Am I mad? Is everyone mad? Is it luck or there is something else at play?”
You’re tired of feeling this way and don’t want to be that person anymore.
Your transformation has begun.
The minute you pause and stop asking what’s wrong with the world and men — and instead start asking some very profound questions that might hint at the fact that the issue might be within your belief system — is the moment when change begins.
How the fuck do I know?
I grew up in a culture where men cheat on their wives. I grew up in a society where masculinity is mostly seen as either toxic or weak. I was brought up not seeing models of great manhood, fatherhood, and brotherhood. All that fiction was in movies only. I grew up in a country where corruption, betrayal, and lies were, and still are, the norm lived and experienced by men and women every day.
I grew up listening to women bitch about their men all day long and hearing men talk shit about their wives while having a hot young secretary as their mistress. Personal boundaries were also a fiction concept reserved for highly intellectual ones or hippies. I grew up with the belief that men always cheat on their wives, are a bunch of pigs and, that indeed, they can’t be trusted.
I grew up in a society where women parent their men, take care of the finances, pile up stacks of bills and everyday problems and carry them on their backs all their lives until they pretty much drop dead.
Those women indeed don’t need men. In fact, they don’t need anyone. Independence and strength is their credo. Proving that they can do it all is their life motto.
I also grew up without a mother and was left with an emotionally unavailable father. My mother passed away when I was eight years old and my father remarried six years later — which happens to be yet another tragic story of how marriage and family is another set of lies, manipulation, and constant battles.
And so here I was young and hungry for independence (and a burning desire to escape this misery) about to leave for university with a suitcase full of dreams and hopes for my future.
This suitcase was also full of limiting beliefs about relationships, marriage, and men.
As a young college student, I was hit on by men, which I judged as appropriate or inappropriate depending on whether I liked the guy or not. I have experienced sexual harassment in various shapes and forms but I didn’t give it much attention because this was “the norm.” This was “what men did” and I just took it for granted.
Nice Guys vs Assholes
And so I chose to settle for a nice guy who wasn’t very ambitious because I didn’t want to settle for an asshole. I was convinced that the world of men was divided into two distinct categories: nice guys and assholes.
I chose the lesser of the two evils. I intuitively knew that the nice guy I fell in love with wouldn’t be the protector and provider type of a man, but it was good enough for me because he was indeed a wonderful human and a nice man. And he loved me with all my flaws and all my masculine energy that told him what to do, was making more money and that was leading the relationship.
For a while.
But deep down I was disappointed because the man that I was always attracted to — the alpha male who would take me by the hand, claim me as his woman and provide that security and safety that I desperately wanted — was all a fantasy.
A fairy tale told to us as little girls to believe in. I started to realize that Prince Charming isn’t showing up to save me.
The next five years were dark and brutal. The next five years were full of tears, broken hearts and dreams.
The next five years were a necessary gateway for me to realize that the fantasy of this type of man can actually become a reality.
Because the difference between me and Beyonce is our belief systems.
Later on, I also realized that I will, in fact, meet my King but first I have to grow up myself. I have to upgrade myself from the naive princess who was waiting for the world to change for her into a self-sufficient, self-reliable queen. Because that’s what Beyonce did.
I had to change and revamp my beliefs about the world and men in order to be ready to meet my equal. And my equal doesn’t sit there waiting for the perfect woman to walk into his arms. My equal is a type of man who has worked on himself; who has strong values, stands strong in his masculinity without apologizing for it and is on a mission to make the world a better place.
If I want to meet a king, I have to be a queen.
And real queens know that if something is not going well in their life — they need to find the answers within. They turn inwards and ask themselves powerful questions about how to rewire their belief systems in order to attract and magnetize what they want. If they can’t do it themselves, they turn to their wise counsel aka life coach or mentor.
Real queens do not sit comfortably on their fake iron thrones looking for flaws in the outside world blaming the patriarchy, the past, their sisters and brothers or their kings for all the wrongdoings.
Real queens lick their wounds; they forgive; they rewire their mindset and reframe their belief systems and they move on. Real queens know that life is too short to waste time getting caught up in stories of how men have always wanted to keep women oppressed in the kitchen. Because these queens know how to be powerful inside and outside the home. They are not defined by their surroundings. They create beauty and magic inside and outside of their homes and their bedrooms.
Real queens will never be those kinds of women. Real queens won’t let men behave in such degrading, primitive ways. And real kings don’t behave this way either. Because real kings were raised by real queens (literally or metaphorically) — a fact, we tend to overlook more often than needed.
Getting Ready for The King
Fortunately, my story with the charming nice guy has ended abruptly and tragically because I have inevitably been lured into the hands of the alpha male guy that I couldn’t resist or withstand.
So many women pride themselves in being the head of the family and doing it all while retiring their husbands and making their men being able to stay home with the kids. The paradox is that when they meet a man who would be capable of providing and securing her future so she can finally relax and surrender, she resents him and longs for him at the same time.
The feminine craves to surrender into the strong hands of the masculine. She is the one who creates life but cannot flourish and nourish that life without a safe and secure container to create her magic in. And the masculine provides that container so that she doesn’t have to worry about it all the time. So that she is not on guard 24/7.
And so that “strong and independent” woman persuades herself that she will never be with such a man because he is most probably an arrogant male bastard who cares only about money and women. And so she settles for the nice guy whom she disrespects and parents all the time because it’s safer and more convenient this way. She keeps scrolling her newsfeeds and social media and feels satisfied in the reaffirmation of these #toxicmasculinity beliefs everywhere.
And so here I was sitting on the floor balling my eyes out — heartbroken and devastated — because I have betrayed and let go of the one human who has truly loved me.
But I knew deep down inside that life has to be better. That men have to be better. That every fairy tale at its base has to have a foundation that isn’t all fiction. I chose to believe that maybe, just maybe, that perfect relationship, even with its flaws, exists.
And here my journey into understanding masculinity, femininity, and relationships began.
It took me a few years of attracting emotionally unavailable men waiting for them to claim me as their women. It took me multiple heartbreaks and hundreds of smoked cigarettes and joints. It took me a few full moon parties in Thailand and quite a few nights sleeping around with strangers giving away my body, mind, and soul just for the fun of it. It took me a couple of Plan B pills, wet from tears bedsheets and thousands of morning pages to get my self-worth back on track.
It also took me 40+ podcast interviews with men, devouring personal development books and courses to finally rebuilt my self-love as a woman and restore my faith in men and relationships.
To finally realize that most of the limiting beliefs I was carrying in my head and that were dictating the way I lived and what kind of men I was attracting — weren’t even my beliefs. To finally arrive at emotional freedom from men while simultaneously rebuilding and completely reframing myself as a feminine essence woman.
And, of course, to finally meet him.
Him who would become my protector and provider who I deeply trust and respect and to whom I have gifted a child.
How Our Beliefs Are Shaped
I have arrived at the conclusion that our ideas about how relationships should be, how men treat women and how women treat men are all shaped by three main factors:
- Relationship models, we have seen in our family, primarily between our parents
- Relationship models, masculinity and femininity dynamics in our society and culture
- Our own lived experience with these dynamics
These beliefs are rooted deeply into our psyche and have been implanted there from the moment we are born. Most of our beliefs are shaped around the age of seven.
As a baby, we might have watched mom yell at dad and call him names at times. We might have witnessed dad going away more often than not and not being fully present in the family. We might have had a father who was physically there but emotionally checked out. We might have had a mother whose self-esteem had sabotaged her own choices of a partner for life. We might have witnessed the disturbing family drama and soaked in societal expectations of what it means to be a man or a woman.
Add to that our own experience that has continued following these patterns in dealing with men who have mistreated us, betrayed our hearts and cheated on us multiple times.
These wounds are deep and they affect every single woman (and man.)
What About Men?
The reality is that as little boys, men are experiencing the same things. They too, witness that same father dismissing and silencing their mothers. They too missed out on a father figure who would teach him values and take him through initiation ceremonies guiding him into becoming a man.
We have a fatherless generation, they say. Men have been participating in wars since the dawn of times so they haven’t had the time, the energy and the knowledge of being proper fathers. And so little boys soak all that in and go through life repeating, copy/pasting and living the shallow lives that are driven by their limiting belief systems too.
Men have been hurt too. They just don’t talk about it. It’s not accepted for a man to talk about his countless rejection stories from women. Ask any man about his most memorable rejection story — he’ll have a couple to share with you.
I’m calling for a #metoo movement from men.
Women have no idea what goes on in a man’s life when he’s reclaiming and reaffirming himself as a man — and they have no desire to. Women have the easy job of just being and waiting to be claimed without understanding or developing any kind of empathy for the male journey of minor things like overcoming fear and approaching a woman to ask for her number.
And again, we approach the paradox of women wanting to be asked out and courted but not wanting the straightforward approach. Women wanting for their men to be gentle and sensitive and to “know” what we want and at the same time taking charge and claiming us. Throwing us against the wall, bending us over and making crazy love to us whispering dirty things into our ears.
And so it goes both ways. The only difference is in the texture and depth of this pain.
Each one of us has a story about men. About our relationship with men. About our relationship with women. And about our relationship with ourselves.
And that’s exactly what it is — a story shaped by our upbringing, education inside and outside the home, and cultural, societal, and political climates of where we are at any given point in time.
Everything we know about men and relationships as grown-up women — we have learned throughout our lives starting from when we were in the womb and even long before.
You create your own reality.
Your beliefs are what creates that reality.
Your life is where it is supposed to be at this exact moment because of how you think about your life and everything in it.
So where do you go from here? How do you untangle this whole messy affair of believing in men again?
Whether you want it or not — there will come a point when you will want to create a relationship and perhaps even a family. And so here you will either settle for the nice guy (because all the other are a bunch of assholes) or you will actually upgrade your belief system about yourself, men and relationships and choose to settle for a different kind of man.
If you want a king, you’ll have to become a queen, remember?
And that kind of man still exists and, in fact, I truly believe is in the majority (or at least has great potential to be in the majority) and it’s actually up to women to hold them to that standard. Men will always behave to the quality standard that women want and allow. Because humanity is driven by good intention. Because everyone does the best they can with the resources available. Even the guy who objectifies women. Even the guy who is truly an asshole. Even the guy who grabs women by their pussy.
Because that idiot doesn’t know any better. Because these primitive behaviors are caused by equally primitive beliefs in his perceptions of the world. And most probably, because he has been wounded by women too. Because probably a long time ago when he was a boy or a teenager he saw his emotionally unavailable father treat his mother like a non-human. Perhaps beating her, perhaps calling her names, perhaps degrading her to the cooking and cleaning jobs.
And that is what he has learned about women. And relationships. And what it means to be a man. And his value system was set on course. And as he matured into an adult young man — toxic masculinity became his credo. His life has been succumbed and reduced to these animal-like behaviors day in and day out. Do you really think that he lives a good life that is full of intimacy, presence, and purpose? Fvck no. This man has so much shit to pile through — and that is his path to walk.
The good news is that you don’t have to walk this shitty path with him and you don’t even need to be a part of it. Especially, you don’t need to add fuel into his primitive dark no-potential fire. The more you fight and push and try to educate him about his stupid behavior — the more you are reinforcing his distorted belief system about women and the world.
So what can you do?
Identify and reframe your beliefs about men, women, and relationships
Here is a useful exercise:
- Take a piece of paper and divide it into three columns: MEN, WOMEN, RELATIONSHIPS. Then, under each column write down as many words as possible that come to your mind to describe these concepts. For example “Men are…bastards, irresponsible, etc. Women are… strong, empowered, etc. Relationships are…hard, messy, etc.” Don’t think about it much. Just write. This exercise will reveal to you some of the beliefs you have about the nature of men, women, and relationships.
- Highlight in green the “positive” ones and circle in red the “negative” ones.
- Now, look objectively at the “negative” ones and ask yourself where did these come from? What experiences and situations shaped these beliefs? Go way back. What did you learn about the concepts of man, woman, and relationships from your parents? How was your relationship with mom? How was your relationship with dad? How was their relationship with each other?
- How was/is the social/cultural/political climate re gender roles and stereotypes where you live? Might have you taken something on board?
- Look at your social media feed and the content you consume day in and day out — is it supporting your current beliefs?
Once you know these beliefs and you understand where they came from and how they have shaped your perception of the world — you can clearly see that the experiences you’re having in your life are a direct mirror and reflection of your beliefs.
You will understand that if you think men are pigs and you don’t trust them — guess what ?— you will see all men as pigs not to be trusted.
Now you need to reframe your beliefs.
Here are a few suggestions to help you do so:
- Ditch your old friends, patterns and jobs that still support that old mindset. Change your environment. Let that shit go.
- Have a conversation with your parents (individually) about how their relationship was/is. Ask them about what they have learned about relationships from their parents. (They will probably tell you they have no idea what you’re talking about ;-))
- Heal your relationship with the feminine. A lot of us think it’s all about healing our relationships with men but it actually starts with healing our relationships with women so we start to appreciate the power of the feminine and connecting with other women.
- Surround yourself with women who have great men as their partners and friends. Even if you think you don’t have any, look closer. Maybe you’ll first need to work on your relationship with these women because of most of the times you probably thought these women as “submissive” or “too feminine” or “too much for you.” If you want to change your mindset and your life, get curious about theirs. How are they doing it? How are their relationships? Remember, you are the sum of the 5 people you mostly spend your time with. So if your immediate girlfriend circle are all bitching about men — you’ll be attracting the types of men who can be bitched about.
- Think about the good men in your life. How can you get closer to them AND their girlfriends and wives? Spend more time with these men and less time with the asshole who wouldn’t return your calls. Chances are that these good men are hanging out with other good men. (But beware of the nice guys. Oftentimes, we confuse “good men” for the “nice guys” because well, they’re just nice. Look for good masculine men.)
- Listen to interviews with great men. Here are a few suggestions:
– Girlskill Podcast where I interview women about female success and femininity (a special series with GREAT men coming November 2019.)
– Art of Manliness Podcast
– Men, This Way Podcast by Bryan Reeves
– ManTalks Podcast
– The Guru Viking Podcast
– Evolving Man Podcast
– The Evryman Podcast
- Travel and get to know men from other cultures. Travelling is a great way to meet other people (and men) from different cultures to understand and see in practice that most men are decent men who want decent relationships with women and won’t jump on women like animals given the first opportunity. In fact, when you travel you meet men of a different caliber because these men have stepped out of their comfort zones.
- Step into your femininity. This is a big one. In fact, this is all I talk about on my podcast and in my writing. Here is an article to help you with all that.
I know that deep down inside, you want to believe in the good of men because if you don’t —the world is quite a scary and dark place to live in.
The good news is that everything is in your hands. Be a queen and men and the world will fix themselves.