As a general rule, I write to men. However, some days, I need to speak to the ladies.
I have been writing these stories for a few years now, just trying to encourage men to step up and be the best husbands they can be. To reestablish themselves as the man their wives believed they were marrying.
Several things have bothered me since this journey began. Some things that men don’t have complete control over.
The ladies who are unhappy with their marriages are often stuck, unless they can find a way to either motivate us or effectively traumatize us. Until someone or something makes us aware of the need for a change, we will probably just keep doing what we are doing.
Most of the bad husbands didn’t plan to be bad husbands. It’s kind of an evolutionary process over time. I also don’t think that all unresponsive wives are intentionally driving their husbands away, most just don’t realize how much we need to see some response to our efforts.
Like training a dog, what gets rewarded gets repeated. If we do something you don’t like, but you seem ok with it, we will probably do it again. If we do good, and nobody responds, we will probably stop doing that.
If we insult your cooking or complain about what you made, how do you respond? Getting up and making something else, or tolerating the insult might make him think that he found your motivation to do better. He will continue to do it. He assumes that his comments or actions are an effective motivator for you.
If we tease you or criticize your figure, we can’t really expect you to offer that same body for sex later, can we? However, if we are good men and making a sincere effort to compliment you or pamper you, why would you still withhold it?
From a man’s perspective, it’s really tough when our wives refuse to respond to our efforts. For us to be faithful, our wives have to understand that they possess the only body that we are allowed to touch. It becomes painfully frustrating when that is withheld regardless of our efforts.
Some women treat their dogs better than they treat their husbands. Who would tease a dog with a treat and then not give it up? Who would reject their dog’s persistent nudging for affection? That’s just cold to show a dog a treat and then move on to something else without letting him have it.
Believe it or not, as men, we generally think like this.
If that treat has been denied us enough times, we begin to doubt we will ever get it. We can also become defensive, deciding to protect those egos from humiliation by rejection, and stop asking if we get rejected often enough. The sense of excitement may even go away after a while. We don’t like being teased and denied.
It also has long term effects when we are promised a buffet and get a sandwich. Don’t over promise and under deliver. It’s bad for business and relationship. If you are going to flirt, don’t make promises you won’t keep.
If your husband goes out of his way to buy you flowers or track down something you you wanted; if you ignore the effort or criticize it, it probably won’t happen again. If he has pursued you and made an effort, why not respond?
For most men to maintain the pursuit of his bride, years after the wedding, is a pretty big deal. Communicating, compromising on life decisions, cooperating instead of controlling… All way outside most of our comfort zones. I don’t think that a little more response (encouragement, affirmation, sex, etc.) is asking too much.
I still place the bulk of the family welfare on the guys. I still believe families do better when the husband initiates change and leads by loving more and keeping the family as his highest priority. If it fails, almost every time it will be our fault.
But, when the husband has been aware of his shortcomings and made sincere effort over years, it is almost unbearable for the wife to refuse positive reinforcement and response. Discouragement is crippling. We can only do so much alone. We need our wives to participate.
That my two cents’ worth for the ladies. This isn’t in any way declaring that men have the right to act like spoiled toddlers and manipulate the ladies into doing whatever we want. Just asking you for an honest assessment of our efforts and a willingness to respond appropriately.
However, if they don’t understand what it means to be a good husband, consider introducing them to my books.
M. Erik Matlock is a self-professed recovering knucklehead with more than 500 articles and four books in print. He shares his hard-earned wisdom at ErikMatlock.com, ProSoundWeb.com and through his books, which are available at Amazon.