"Being A Man In 2020": Meet Omar Anaya

I’ve often asked myself what makes a good man? Coming from a broken home and an absentee father I painted a misconstrued view of masculinity. Growing up I remember feeling neglected and lonely. All I wanted to be was the opposite of my father. This led to me getting married to a woman with a similar upbringing. Unfortunately for us, our decade long marriage was filled with lies, insecurities, jealousy, abuse, infidelity and eventually divorce with some good in between. It’s difficult to break a negative cycle when that is all you know. Although this experience was extremely painful, it also taught me some very important lessons.

Being in my kid’s lives is extremely important to me. Unfortunately, I do not get to see my kids every day, but I’ve learned to cherish every moment that I do have with them. This is a tough pill to swallow when being a single dad. Today’s society champions single mothers and discredits the role of a father in the home as evident in the family court system. Women are more likely to get child custody in 90 percent of all cases. Add to this alimony and child support and men really get the short end of the stick. Many men are checking out of the concept of marriage and would rather take their chances going their own way or playing by their own set of rules. No marriage, no long-term relationships, and no cohabitation. For me this creates a moral and spiritual conflict that I wrestle with every day. My faith believes in marriage and the union of family, but I am discouraged by how much power the state has over such unions.

I am learning to embrace the burden of performance, but I’ve realized that I shouldn’t have to do it alone. Isolation is not good for people, let alone men. Men need a tribe that can provide support in times of peril and hardship. I witnessed this type of tribe in the Marine Corps, but did not understand what it was until after my active duty service. I feel like men in general are fighting an uphill battle today. We constantly must adapt and overcome to maintain our masculinity and not lose sight of our purpose as men. It’s taken some time, prayer, and a lot of healing, but I feel that I am on the right path. I am not sure if I’ll ever get married again, but I know that being a good man is about not giving up and showing up every day no matter the circumstances.

June 18, 2020 - July 8, 2020, 15 strong, confident and truth-seeking men will share some of their struggles, accomplishments, and challenges of 2020… You don’t want to miss this, so make sure you check back as they reveal what it's like "Being A Man In 2020"…


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