What is the matter with him anyway? Why is that all he ever thinks about?
If that thought has gone through your head, then you are not alone. That’s what many of us think when it comes to sex. And the reason is that for women, sex is a choice. Affection is the need. For men sex honestly is a need. They could take or leave affection.
So we don’t speak each other’s language at all about intimacy.
The title of one of the chapters in Honey, I Don’t Have a Headache Tonight is “He’s not an Alien”. Here’s an excerpt from that chapter:
We women may have difficulty understanding the sexual temptation men feel because we’re not as prone to it. And when our husbands try to explain their struggles, we may ourselves feel temptation: the temptation to hit them over the head with something hard. But we shouldn’t react in anger, because that’s simply a man’s nature. When men are exposed to sexual stimuli day in and day out, sexual tension can build up that is very difficult to deal with. It’s similar to how you may feel when you skip a meal: you get really hungry for the next one. When men keep “skipping meals”–building up sexual energy without getting release–they can become almost desperate. They may, to us, appear so pathetic that we wonder, Who is this sex maniac I married? But more likely, you husband is not sex crazy. He’s just…a man.
So here’s your first lesson: Repeat this to yourself over and over: “My husband is an alien”. He is not made like you. If he desires you frequently, there is nothing wrong with him. Judging him according to your framework isn’t fair. He doesn’t share it. His desires are not wrong any more than your need for affection is. It’s just different. But it’s also the way God made him. Obviously he needs to exercise self-control–we all do–but he is not a freak. He is simply a man.
And here’s the neat thing about men: if we want to really keep them feeling loved and happy, it’s not that difficult. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist. You just have to initiate intimacy a few times a week. (When you initiate, and show enthusiasm, it means so much more than if you just “put up with it”. Men need to feel wanted, not placated).
But we may think this isn’t fair to demand of us, because we’re tired, and we have babies, and he never does anything for us. But if you wait for him to meet your needs, you could be waiting forever. If, on the other hand, you decide to stretch yourself and give yourself to your husband, it’s amazing how the dynamic of your relationship may change.
I always find that when my husband and I are going through an especially good period sexually a lot of the ongoing disagreements we’ve been having melt away. He’s much more affectionate. He’s more fun to be with. And he’s better around the house!
I’m not saying you should do it just for that reason; men will resent that. But when you become selfless, chances are he will react in a similar way. When he feels loved, he stops withdrawing.
I know this is hard, because there are a ton of things that can interfere with our own sex drives: our body image, past abuse, pornography, stress, medical conditions, pregnancy, menopause, kids, etc. A lot of these I deal with in my book, and I’ll probably have a Wifey Wednesday just on pornography soon. I had to overcome a lot of things in my own marriage, and I’m still working on some issues from my past. But we can do it.
The problem is, I think, that many of us women don’t feel like we should have to. It just seems like too much to ask of us. But if an angel from heaven were to come down and tell you that there was something you could do to help your son or daughter feel loved, wouldn’t you do it in an instant? We all want to be giving when it comes to our children. But the thought that our husbands might need something from us is just wrong.
We need to get over that. Our husbands do need us. And that’s the way God made it. When we learn to give to our husbands, we become more selfless people. And that’s what marriage is for.
Here’s a video clip of me talking about this same thing at a conference. Hope you like it!
What do you struggle with when it comes to intimacy? Do you have questions? Advice? Why not participate in Wifey Wednesday! Just create your own post, use the picture at the top of this post, and then enter your post’s URL in the Mr. Linky below!