Featured on the ‘He Said, She Said’ Radio Show on WHUR Voices (March 2012)
Nov. 15, 2012
Excerpt: For this week’s Therapist Thursday I’m delighted to introduce Rodney Turner, relationship expert and dating insider at Household Stress, LLC, a website dedicated to providing a safe space in which men can come together and receive positive advice.
Where did the idea come from to start householdstress.com?
Household Stress, LLC was originally the idea of Tony Hawkins and was established in 2009. The site seeks to provide men a forum to express themselves about any issues they may be experiencing, in an effort to improve communication in the household. The two other members of Household stress are me and Patrice Echard. Our goal is to build stronger Christian men, stronger Christian husbands, stronger Christian fathers, and therefore stronger families. Other counseling endeavors simply focus on communication between humans, but our focus is on first improving the lines of communication between God and man, the head of the house. Household Stress was designed to improve communication primarily between the husband and wife, but has also been proven to improve communication amongst all relationships in general. Our mission is to give men the tools necessary to truly be the head of their household so that their family not only survives, but thrives.
What do you love most about your role on the weekly phone in?
I love hosting the most. I prepare a lot and my shows incorporate previous show excerpts, music, clips from TV shows and movies, etc. Basically anything I can find! I use a lot of add-ins, but I do it just to give the show a bit more texture to soften the deep discussions that we have. We rotate hosting duties on a tri-weekly basis, but I also enjoy simply being a participant as well. Whether I’m hosting or not, week after week I always get something out of it that will impact me for the rest of my life.
Do you feel that generally married men lack an outlet to voice their relationship issues? If so is it because most choose to deal with problems on their own or do you think it is more because discussing “feelings” is still seen as unmasculine?
Absolutely, but there are a myriad of reasons why:
1. Married men prefer not to acknowledge their marital issues. We all know that every marriage has issues, some more than others, but many people are in denial.
2. Generally speaking, men have a lot of pride and ego and aren’t interested in getting outside help when necessary. One shining example is how we don’t like reading an instruction manual or asking for directions. We feel that we can figure it out on our own.
3. Married men really don’t have a forum to express themselves on a regular basis. At a backyard barbecue or watching/attending a sports event with your friends is not the ideal time to bring up marital issues. And if we do, it’s definitely seen as not the masculine thing to do.
4. When given the forum, we still have to learn how to express ourselves. A lot of men didn’t have a good fatherly example that showed them the way. If they did, their father properly never sat them down and explained the dynamics of marriage to them. We try to flip it and make talking about our feelings the masculine thing to do, but it’s easier to accomplish amongst our peers rather than with our wives. Men and women are wired differently, so an issue that we might be dealing well may not be received well from our wives. Sometimes wives unknowingly attack how we’re feeling since they simply can’t relate as a woman. However, that same issue is relatable among fellow married men because they either have gone through it or are going through it. We try to learn from sharing our experiences; each one, reach one.
In this post-feminist age do you feel men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t when it comes to being chivalrous?
Sometimes, but this all goes back to a woman’s childhood. If she saw her father being chivalrous to her mother or other women in his life, she will naturally embrace it. If she didn’t have a father or father-figure in her life, that further complicates matters. If she hasn’t experienced chivalry during her childhood, she won’t know how to respond to it. It would be foreign to her since that’s not what she’s used to. Though women aren’t allowed to speak on our show, we actually encourage them to listen, feminists included. Women are actually our biggest fans since they’re able to be like a fly on the wall and listen as married men who want to do the right thing talk.
What is the one piece of relationship advice you would give the 20 year old you if you could go back in time?
“You ain’t all that!” At that age, I had a lot of pride and I thought I was ‘all of that’. Boy, was I wrong! I got married at 21, but this was how I thought for roughly the first 7 years of my marriage. I was a good man, but I’m truly grateful that my wife was patient enough to stay with me at during this period in my life. Glory be to God, we’ve now been married 13 years and have 3 beautiful children.
What do you find to be the biggest relationship challenge men face today?
Communication. Men don’t know how to communicate to the women in their lives. It helps us when we communicate with our peers before we communicate to that lucky lady in our lives, if possible. Household Stress provides a safehouse with a ‘no judgment zone’ so men can get some things off of their chests or literally just blow off some steam. We need that, and often!
What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received and/or inspired you?
Keep God first. If you keep God first in all that you do, everything else will fall into its proper place and at the proper time.
Thank you for sharing with us, Rodney!
Featured broadcaster on WLVS Online Radio (January 2013 – June 2013)
Featured on the Alysha Live Radio Show! (June 2013)
Featured on the Living Day by Day Radio Show (June 2013)
Featured in Art Image Magazine (July 2013)
Featured in The Good Men Project on 3 separate occasions
Referenced in the “Healing Together for Couples” Section of Psych Central (September 2013)