If I asked a random person to reach under the hood of my car and grab the PCV valve, most couldn’t do it. Most folks wouldn’t know what it was or where to look. They wouldn’t recognize it because they have never seen one. they don’t know what it is. Like marriage, how could you have a great marriage if you have no idea what one looks like?
For most of the guys I know, their marriage has become a small part of their selfish lives. Marriage is about them having their needs me by their wife. It’s not about the connection or the relationship or even about her, it’s all about them. Getting what they want. Getting their needs met by someone who has given up their life to be a servant.
I hear men complain about their wives. I hear them gripe about not getting everything they want out their marriage. It’s just not what they expected. They don’t know what marriage is supposed to look like. Maybe I can solve some problems for you guys. Maybe I can better explain the right way to get what you want out of marriage.
In no particular order of significance, the most common complaints.
We don’t have sex enough…
Why do you think that is? What might cause her to not want sex? Keep in mind how a woman’s body has to cooperate. They are designed to receive. We give, they receive. She has to open herself up to you and be willing to accept what you are offering. Anything else is a form of abuse, called rape. Right?
Your wife needs to feel safe, loved, wanted, respected and desired to have an interest in sex. If she feels used, neglected, disrespected or abused, chances are slim that she will want to accept your gift. She needs a legitimate desire for you, to have a desire to allow you to touch her. No respect, no affection, no passion…. Not much going to happen.
It also doesn’t turn on like a switch. Women are slow cookers, normally. They like the anticipation to build up over some time. Foreplay is an all day deal. Thoughtfulness and consideration from the moment you get up. Conversations that draw you together. Affection that isn’t connected to sex, just being loving. Slow cooking. Building up to the big show. Occasionally, they are ok with just jumping into it. But that’s usually for the husband they are already excited to be with.
They are also much more concerned about the atmosphere and environment. Most of us could have sex in a burning house or a plane that was going down. Not them. They want it free of distractions. Something that has been prepared for them. Knowing you though about them when they weren’t there. A clean husband without dirt under his nail, reeking of armpits and onion breath. A bedroom without a cop show running in the background, comfortable temperature, clean sheets and a locked door without kids barging in.
Believe it or not, there seems to be a connection between sex and lots of other issues. Are the bills paid? Is there food in the house? Have you been considerate in other areas? Were you helpful with the kids and the house? Did you engage with the family or just plop your butt in a chair while everyone worked around you? All this stuff affects her attitude towards you. You need it to be positive.
Sound too complicated? Sure it does. It’s not about what we want, it’s what they want. They have to desire us or sex becomes a mechanical thing that they just endure. They are all unique, with different desires and needs, but it’s our job to figure it out. Accept the challenge and get her to feel passionate about you. Demanding sex doesn’t do that. Demanding your way all day and into the bedroom doesn’t create that kind of passion. Get over it and do right.
She never shuts up…
Right. That’s exactly what you want. You want her to stop talking to you. You want her to reach that point where she has just given up and stopped talking to you. Once that happens, you are doomed. She is going to have conversations. She is going to sort out the things she has emotional connections with. She is going to vent when she is upset. She is going to search for answers when she needs them. She is going to find a shoulder to cry on when she needs one. It better be yours or it will be someone else.
I have a friend who doesn’t get this. He complains about her. He snaps at her. He actually tells her to shut up. She gets as much respect as the dog. It makes my blood boil. He complained about her, to me, once. Just once. He said she never shuts up, she repeats the same crap over and over. I told him she knows he isn’t listening to her, but still needs to say it. She is desperately trying to be heard. I told him she will reach a point where she has had enough. I told him she will get sick of it and eventually find someone who is willing to listen to her. Sooner or later, there will be a man listening to her, even if it’s not him. That’s about as far as that conversation went.
Here’s how to get that under control. Learn to listen and engage in conversation with her. Let her talk about whatever she wants. Play catch with her. She throws out a question or comment, you reply with something to keep it going. Not an opinion or challenge to secure your dominance. Just a conversation. Not solving her problems, telling her what she needs to do, coughing up all the answers and expecting her to see it your way. Just a friendly conversation.
She needs you involved in her life. She needs to interact with you. If she wants to have a conversation about her day at work, or the flowers in the yard, either way you need to be in there. You need to be a part of her world. Conversations create connections. If you want that solid, happy home, you need to learn to talk to her and enjoy it.
We always end up doing what she wants to do…
Right. That’s a good thing. Learn to enjoy being with her again. It wasn’t so hard when you were dating, was it? If she wanted to climb a mountain, or go to the beach, or watch a sappy movie… You were all in. Just to be with her. Because that was the goal, to be with her. Because being with her was the primary objective, you were willing to do almost anything and try to enjoy it.
But, once you sealed the deal, that was over. Once she signed that slick clunker car agreement, she was stuck with it. ( insert maniacal laughter) Yep. You sure suckered her into a bad deal, didn’t you? She fell for it. You got her. Now she’s yours and has to do whatever you want. Right? Check yourself. I have seen this happen too many times. I have seen it happen to two young ladies that mean the world to me. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I do now. My tolerance for guys like this has reached an all-time low.
Here’s something I figured out when all this was beginning to make sense. It doesn’t matter what you are doing, just do it together. When I wanted to spend the day on a long motorcycle ride, and she wanted to do something else, most of the time we could do both. I could put her on the back of that bike and go wherever she wanted. Both happy. I wouldn’t have minded parking a nine foot long, rigid frame chopper in front of a flower shop. I didn’t care if we had to make twenty stops, we were together. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought, just her.
Here’s the facts. Most guys only need a few things to consider their life amazing. Someone willing to have voluntary sex, enough money to live comfortably and a toy or two. That’s about the list, right? The details are mostly irrelevant. But that’s pretty much what we need, to consider ourselves successful. Let her have the details. Fill them with whatever she wants. The type or location of your house, mostly irrelevant. The type of furniture in the house, who cares? The color of the walls or drapes? Does it really matter?
Why do we get bogged down with things that don’t matter to us? Why do we have to include our opinion in every conversation? If she wants blue walls and pink drapes, go get them. If she wants antique furniture and you prefer modern, get the antique. Stop demanding your way and see what kind of magic happens. Stop tripping over details and see the big picture. You can have an amazing marriage once this woman is fully convinced that she matters more to you than anything else.
Keep in mind, everything you know and believe about your marriage has gotten you the one you have now. If it’s not exciting and passionate, with your best friend, maybe you don’t know it all. If you feel miserable, lonely, empty or some other depressing term, maybe it’s because marriage has become purely selfish to you. Maybe you have turned the whole thing into something twisted. Take some advice. Forget about yourself for a while and focus on her. Focus on making life good for her.
The perfect marriage is within the one you have right now. Stop considering other options. It will not become perfect for a selfish husband who is oblivious to his wife’s needs and desires. Change the focus. Win her heart. Be the man. Start now.
If you need more help, visit Joel and Kathy at BestMarriage.com