How to be the Leader in a Relationship | Elliot Katz

What does it mean to be a strong man in society today? As Elliott Katz explains, it means knowing how to be the leader in a relationship.

We’re not talking about some archaic relationship pattern where the men dominate and the women kowtow. And clearly, women will want to take the lead at times. No, we’re not talking about anything as simplistic as that old pattern.

But too many modern relationships are rudderless. The woman doesn’t want to make all the decisions. She doesn’t want to feel like a mother to her man. On the contrary, she wants a man who can lead.

What is a leader?

As with every role, leadership is defined by action. What does an MMA fighter do? They kick, punch, choke, and fight with other fighters inside a ring or an octagon. Their actions define them.
 
A computer programmer writes code. The act of code writing defines the job.
 
A leader is one who makes decisions, takes responsibility, and steps forward to see what needs to be done. And if you, as a man in a relationship, refuse to make any decisions or take any responsibility, you’re not leading. 
 
Elliott gives an example to illustrate the lack of masculine leadership in relationships. Imagine coming home on a Friday night to make plans with your partner. You’re refusing leadership if she asks you where you want to eat and you respond, “I don’t know, where do you want to eat?”
 
Women don’t want you to dictate, leaving them powerless. But there are times, many of them, when she is asking you to show leadership and make a decision. She might not mention it directly, though. Instead, she’ll hint at it.
 
What if you, as the man, flipped that script and grabbed the reins before she even had to hint at it? What if you decided to stay attuned to know exactly when to lead and when to let her decide?
 
If you walk that line well, you’ll likely find that she prefers you lead more often than not. 
 
As soon as you do this, you’ll begin to notice a positive difference in your relationship dynamic.

The Same Old Problems

Elliott shares something in this episode that we hear a lot of women say about the men in their lives.
 
“I want a man who is a tower of strength.”
 
“I don’t want to have to be his mother in addition to his partner.”
 
But chances are your woman won’t say those words to you, even if they apply. She won’t want to hurt you, but she’ll tell you in other ways by saying things like:

“I want you to do more.”

“I want you to be more present.”

When a lot of men hear these words they respond by saying things like:
 
“But I do whatever she asks me to do.”
 
“I wash the dishes every night.”
 
“I drive the kids to sports all the time.”
 
You have to understand that her pleading for more likely means more responsibility not just doing more. You might already be doing enough, but that doesn’t mean you’re leading. You could be doing a lot of stuff but only what she tells you to do.
 
Understand that this puts you in the exact same position as a child. Sure, she’s probably grateful you’re ‘helping out’ as she would be with a helpful child. But it also means she’s doing all the decision making.
 
This is not a good place for a man to be.
 
What often happens next is that the man complains about a poor sex life. But ask yourself this: “Are women sexually attracted to irresponsible men?” Because that’s what you’re turning yourself into when you refuse to lead.

Why Men Refuse to Lead

There are many reasons for this phenomenon. To understand it better, we could look at the ways we raise men. We could look to the current societal confusion about gender roles. Or, we could look to the lack of knowledge transmission from generation to generation.
 
Whatever the source, men often refuse responsibility. This is the insight that Elliott Katz had, which led him to eventually write this book. It started when he got divorced and began looking into why.
 
He looked around, read, and spoke to other men whose relationships had failed. And he found that the common theme was an unwillingness to take responsibility.
 
One example he shares in the interview was of a friend whose wife rung up a $50,000 credit card bill. The man was divorced and relaying this story to Elliott. But Elliott asked him, “Why did you let that happen?” To which the man didn’t know how to respond. He hadn’t stopped to think that he might be responsible.
 
Which leads us to the real reason men refuse to lead: they falsely believe that by not taking the lead they won’t be held responsible if things go wrong.
 
But that’s not true and goes agains the ironclad rule of life and personal empowerment: we’re always responsible.

Guest Bio: Elliott Katz

Elliott Katz is the author of Being the Strong Man A Woman Wants: Timeless Wisdom on Being a Man

Like other books of this type, it was the result of a personal journey. After the end of a relationship, Elliott Katz went on a journey to learn about being a man in a relationship. He spoke to other men and read books on relationships but found powerful answers in the timeless lessons that fathers and other older male role models used to teach younger men — teachings that have largely been lost to today’s generation.

Moving beyond trendy ideas that don’t work, Elliott Katz shares insights on being a man that have withstood the test of time. Interestingly, these insights are the traits that he heard many women complain are lacking in men today.

He has done many media interviews, speaks to groups of men and women and does one-on-one coaching.

More on the ManTalks Website:

Podcast: Dr. Robert Glover — Nice Guy Syndrome

Blog: Why Nice Guys Cheat and Have Commitment Phobia

Blog: Self-Confidence for Men: The Ultimate Guide

Podcast: John Wineland — The Art of Masculine Leadership

For more information about ManTalks click here.

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Editing & Mixing by: Aaron Johnson

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