Allowing men their ‘me time’
Playing, playing with the boys
Staying, playing with the boys
After chasing sunsets
One of life's simple joys
Is playing with the boys
-Kenny Loggin - Playing With The Boys
You pass them on the street corners enjoying a game of dominoes. The loud banter and the laughter indicate that they are enjoying the powerful process called male bonding.
This is prime enjoyment for a lot of men, but unfortunately, often times, it is interrupted by nagging or suspicious partners who will do anything to curtail their man's squeaky clean night-out activities.
The man's insistence on spending down time with his male friends sometimes has his partner thinking it's an excuse to check out another woman.
However, Dr Owen Walker, bishop at the County Line Worship Center in Florida totally sanctions men being allowed to have some 'me time' away from the home.
In a discussion with Family and Religion, Walker said that it is a good thing and can only make the relationship better.
"Men should have their 'me time', but there should be a clear understanding between them and their spouses that that is not a licence to cheat. They should always remember their commitment to their partner," he pointed out.
Walker said that men enjoying time out with their friends can be very good for their relationships as they can educate themselves concerning something in their own relationships that they may not have been aware of.
The bishop said it can also give the man a chance to get rid of some of the stress he might have been experiencing at home by talking about issues affecting him in a non-judgemental setting with his peers.
He said that women should understand that just as how they look forward to "being with the girls" to talk about things that affect them and are able to bond during all that stress, men, too, need that outlet to vent.
"Men need to connect with their friends in terms of their own life's failures, be strengthened, get another perspective," he said, adding that if that same issue was presented to his spouse, she might not necessarily understand his need.
Walker shared that when men can open up about their issues with their peers, they are better able to handle situations at home.
"When I go out with my friends and return to my wife, I come back with fresh ideas on how to better treat my wife and children," he shared.
Walker, however, offered a word of caution regarding the kind of friends men hang out with. He said that if the company is not wholesome, or of good character and include men who will encourage you to do things contrary to what is right, then those are not the kinds of persons one should be enjoying down-time with.
"Your friends should be instructional, informational, and educational. They should be friends who build you up," Walker cautioned.
For stubborn women who make an issue of men getting out of the house and enjoying their night out with their peers, Walker said that the fallout from that nagging and mistrust can hurt the union.
"They will hide information from their wives, probably form friendships with people who are involved in bad practices and with a miserable wife, his source of comfort will be with friends and, at this point, she becomes the sex partner and not an encourager," are the warning words from the bishop.
He said that because of the negative vibes the man gets from his spouse, he might not feel comfortable discussing certain things with her, and that can leave the door open for him to seek answers from others who might not have his best interest at heart.