“Men are simple beings.”
So says my husband. When I ask him what I can do to meet his needs, how I can better serve him, how I can improve as a wife, he simply chuckles and reminds me:
“I am simple. Keep me fed and give me lots of sex. And make it fun.”
Of course, he’s oversimplifying things a bit. He needs more than that, and we both know it.
But as far as needs go, physical intimacy is so important to him that if that need is not met the whole of him is affected; and if it is met, that fulfillment trickles down to all other parts of his life.
I really think I have it easy in this marriage, to be honest. I mean, I am nowhere near simple. My husband has to deal with my moods, my insecurities, my lack of housekeeping prowess, my occasional emotional neediness, and all I have to do is be a willing and joyful participant in the bedroom and cook some good meals?
I asked my husband the other day to tell me why sex matters so much. I wanted him to help me understand the reasons behind this all-encompassing need of his, and be able to help other women in my life who may have struggles in this area. We have friends and relatives whose marriages have had rocky times due to intimacy issues and pornography. I wanted to know what advice he would have me give the wives.
“Are their husbands satisfied in the bedroom?” was his reply. “We men are bombarded at every corner: ads at an online news site, billboards, teens wearing skimpy clothing at church, TV commercials, magazine racks at the grocery store. We can’t help but be visual; it’s the way we are made. We want to be faithful and pure, but it is so hard in this environment. When you, as my wife, make sure that I am satisfied, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world. That’s what you can tell those women.”
That seems like a lot of pressure, but there is truth undergirding his response. Even more than just that answer, however, is the deeper issue of being accepted as a man with a high sex drive, and the subsequent affect on his emotional well-being. There is nothing wrong with our husbands wanting sex, and varied sex at that, often. Let me repeat that:
There is nothing wrong with our husbands wanting a lot of sex.
It is our own faulty thinking about God’s gift of sexual intimacy that is the hindrance.
Men find emotional fulfillment in physical intimacy.
Our rejection of them in the bedroom feels to them as their emotional rejection would feel to us. If you came to your husband in need of a listening ear, and an available shoulder when you were feeling down, and he said to you, “Not tonight, honey. I’m not in the mood to listen to you,” it would be devastating. Perhaps that is what happens on a regular basis for you. I’ve been there in my marriage.
We went through a period in our marriage when I agreed to be intimate when I felt emotionally full, only when my needs were met. I often begged off because I was feeling down, or we had had a fight, or he annoyed me in some way. It wasn’t a conscious decision to use sex as a reward to grant or withhold, but that’s what it felt like to my husband. He felt rejected, and thus wasn’t as open to me emotionally. The vicious cycle continued. I rejected him physically, he rejected me emotionally. I was miserable. He was miserable. The prayer of my heart was for God to change him. But God instead, in His wisdom, changed me.
When I, in obedience, made the choice, in recognition of this need in my husband, to be joyfully willing and available sexually whenever he requested it (and also initiating on a regular basis), the change in him was amazing.
Over time he was more emotionally available to me, more able to cherish me, more sensitive to my needs.
It was a transformative choice on my part, and improved our marriage dramatically.
God blessed us, because I made the holy choice.
God is the one behind this need in our husbands, just as He is behind our sensitivities and emotional richness as women. There is a grand plan in marriage, and sex is an enormous part of that plan.
When your husband desires you, desire him back. Make a choice to accept, and not reject. It is deeply important to him. Simple? Maybe. They are simple beings, after all. Or so says my husband.
So what are you waiting for?
Christine is a joyfully-available wife, and homeschooling mom of four. She has a passion for seeing marriages thrive, and blogs about that, among other things, at Fruit in Season.
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