Professional opinions

We went to look for some professional opinions.  Everyone on this page must be currently working in the field of men and relationships and must be able to demonstrate (through experience, qualifications, runs on the board etc) that what they have to say is worth listening to.

Professional Opinion

Darren with wife

“Marriage is more than a ceremony and a certificate. It’s a process of a man and a woman becoming one flesh… two becoming one. It’s not an easy process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s worth fighting for. And fight for it you must… especially in those early years when your character is tested. Don’t be afraid or too proud to seek counsel, and don’t leave it too late to do so. There are sacrifices you must make for one another, but you receive so much more in return. A man reaps what he sows, so invest in your wife and your marriage by blessing her lavishly and abundantly. Love her with all that you are and all that you have. Be willing, and remain willing to give up your life for her. Commit to being committed. Giving up must not be an option. Persevere, and you will be rewarded with a life greater than you could have ever imagined.”

(Darren Lewis – 2011 Father of the year, founder of ‘Fathering Adventures’, married for over 20 years)


Professional Opinion | Professional

Michael with wife

Learn to listen to her. Don’t just hear what she is saying but instead listen for how she is feeling. Then acknowledge that you get how she’s feeling by saying something like, “I hear that you are feeling ___________. That can’t be fun.” Don’t tell her how to feel. Don’t suggest solutions. Just let her
download and she will already feel better about things. As guys, we tend to listen to her, wondering when she will get to the main point of the conversation but… that is not her goal at all. The whole point is that she wants you to listen to how she’s feeling – if you do that, then she’s happy. Women want enthusiastic, energetic conversation as much as men want enthusiastic, energetic sex, but conversation doesn’t come naturally to most of us who are men. Men who spend even just 10 minutes every day just listening to their partner will be surprised by how much it means to her and will have a happier, easier home life.

Michael Clark

Wanted Man Training,


Dean Mason | professional

Dean Mason

When a marriage ends many of us struggle with a devastating sense of failure. If you don’t get to see your children as much, this feeling can be compounded by an even deeper anguish; your own life feels somehow diminished and your vitality can seem almost expired. What hope, what help, can possibly rise from circumstances like these?

It might be the end of ‘the dream’, but it is a time when a new dream begins to be born.  Reach out to others who have empathy for what you are going through, borrow their strength and learn from their wisdom, the dream in you will find new life. The tools you need to be a strong co-parent and a proud father, or mother, will soon be in your hands once more.

Dean Mason,, National support line 1300 853 437

DIDSS National Chairman of Dads In Distress Support Services, author of “Daddy’s OK” fathers’ stories of separation, divorce and rebuilding.


Mal White | professional

Mal White

The way we relate to our wives or partners is a living text book for our children on relationships. They observe our hugs, our little kisses, how we speak to each other and what we do for each other. Masculinity is better caught than taught. Sons tend to idolise their dads particularly in their
formative and primary years. Their understanding of what it means to be a man together how, as men, we should relate to the opposite sex, along with their worldview and self-perception are largely set in concrete by the age of 9.

Mal White for Good dads, GREAT DADS.

David Neilsen | Professional

David Neilsen

Many men struggle to admit or be honest about their shortcomings, so they tend to just do relationships with women without really know how it works. So they get stuff wrong as a result.

Imagine a guy on a cricket team – he’s the bowler, he is giving away to many runs, his team mates complain. He sees it that because his team mates are ‘making him feel bad’ about himself he will just go play for another team. Rather than take corrective action he just moves on. The other team is happy to have a new guy, until they realise that he has issues with his bowling and the process starts over. This parallels what some guys do in relationships. Rather than dealing effectively or at all with criticism or complaints some guys just start a new relationship.


David Nielsen – Counsellor, Canberra.



Warwick & Alison Marsh | Professional

Warwick & Alison Marsh

My wife, Alison, and I still have our 60 second kiss at the end of the wharf as the sun comes up after our early morning walk. But that kiss is all about a 37 year shared commitment to go ‘Dancing in the Minefields’ and throwing caution to the wind. Doing the best you can, in the dance of life with the one you exchanged vows with, usually means embracing the true cost of love, embracing death to self. The good news is that out of death comes life. Both Alison and I are songwriters and musicians and maybe that’s why we find Andrew Petersen’s song on  the Mystery of Marriage so illuminating. Washington Philips sang about marriage, “True love can be such a sweet harmony when you do the best you can”. For more about their work trying to help people fall in love and stay in love check out:,,
Warwick and Alison Marsh celebrate 37 years together and are still holding hands. If you don’t believe in miracles surely this is one.

Mark Zanotto
Finalist – Top Bloke Awards 2007 and representative on the Top Blokes Foundation Advisory Council.

Mark Zanotto|Professional Opinion | Professional

Mark Zanotto

We are a young thriving couple albeit we live 100km apart we manage to make our relationship work, or better yet grow and have done so for
over 12months. Being young and ambitious boasts big challenges for two individuals and we often sit and talk about our dreams and careers, they may differ but we will make them meet. Relationships aren’t perfect but it’s the imperfections that make them perfect to you. A lot of my friends are single mainly due to the unwillingness to sacrifice for the partner but sacrifice is a small price to pay for to know you can be with someone that means the world to you. Making a mental note of the things that make her happy, listening to her and never being too proud to admit your wrong; there is nothing more precious than to see your partner smile. Persist through the hard times and treasure in the good times.


Professional Opinion | Professional

Tedder with wife

Every relationship has an over-all momentum, a predominant current that either pulls the couple apart, crashes them painfully into each other, or draws them closer together. Of course, in a particular moment, any of those dynamics may be experienced. Even the best relationships have episodes of conflict or distance. But the difference between satisfied and unsatisfied partners is determined by whether or not their momentum brings them back to each other again. If you want to shift your marriage momentum, you have to realize that change starts with you. Stop focussing on your spouse’s faults (you’ve learned by now that you can’t make them change) and, instead, give full attention to your contribution to each encounter. Ask these questions: Am I moving away from, against, or towardmy spouse? What one thing could I do move toward him/her lovingly and honestly?

Tim Tedder, counsellor & founder of


Travis Holland
Finalist – Top Bloke Awards Finalist 2009 and Social Media Officer for Top Blokes Foundation

Travis Holland | Professionals

Travis Holland

Meghan and I are a team in every sense of the word. We work together to help out both our families whenever they need it, we work together sharing the housework and cooking, and we work together on a whole range of projects and our business. We share leadership roles in our Rotaract Club, the national Rotaract Marketing Committee and the organising team for the Australian Rotaract Conference. Because we did the same degree at University, we were always able to bounce ideas and study with each other. We don’t always agree on the best way to approach different tasks, but we always find a way to get it done together.