The most respected feminist therapists, such as Carol Gilligan and jean Baker Miller, claim that a relationship loss is more pervasive for women than for men H If it is, though, why do husbands whose wives die commit suicide ten times more often than wives whose husbands die?,s A woman friend of mine speculated that it must be because widowers are mostly retired and they’ can’t bury themselves in their jobs” So I checked. 1 discovered that even a 30-year-old man whose wife dies is eleven times more likely to commit suicide than a 30-year-old man whose wife is living.16 At age 30, w’hen men can bury themselves in their jobs and are physically and financially attractive to women, the loss of the one woman a man loves is so devastating it is often not softened even by the opportunity for many women. Men might bury themselves in their jobs, or even in another woman, but they don’t bury’ the pain. In brief, it is the loss of love that devastates men.

The military man: the roughest, toughest cream puff

ITEM In the 1980s. more men m the military committed suicide than were killed in Lebanon. Grenada, and Panama combined.’7 And for each suicide, there were an estimated eight attempts.’8

We often think of the military man as being focused more on power and sex than on sensitivity and love, but the military man seems most likely to commit suicide not when he’s lost a promotion or been rejected in sex but when he’s been rejected in love.19 The second biggest reason? Lack of friends.20 Third? Lack of respect from family (e g., a family still not respect­ing him after they’ve seen him on graduation day).21 The common denom­inators? The absence of love and family respect.

Why is “the sex who can’t love" so devastated when they lose love? Why are men such "rough, tough cream puffs"? Here’s why.

Suppose you lost all your relationships in one fell swoop and couldn’t discuss the loss with anyone for more than three minutes at a time? That’s what divorce or the death of a wife can feel like to a man: his wife is often all his relationships – his total connection to intimacy. (He feels he has about a three-minute window of time to discuss a divorce with a colleague at work – often his best friend.)

Feminist therapists telling the therapeutic community that women are more relationship focused and therefore hurt more from relationship loss is like saying a man is more financially focused and therefore should receive a better monetary settlement after divorce. This takes an advantage of female socialization and uses it as an excuse to get her another advantage – under the guise of victim. The result? We care for grieving women and isolate grieving men, reinforcing the atmosphere for male suicide. As a woman friend of mine put it, "When my grandfather died, grandma immediately joined the Greeley Widows’ Society. . . I’ve never heard of a Greeley Widowers’ Society." We don’t even think of support systems for widowed men, let alone fund them.