Posts Tagged ‘ asking ’

Want a Happier Marriage? Just Ask.

woman-asking-questions

 

It’s interesting to me how much I have learned over the past 10 years with my wife Valerie. Things I have learned about her, about marriage, and about myself. I also find it interesting (and slightly amusing) how LONG it has taken me to figure out some things. And that brings me to the just of this post:

“If you want/need something, 90% of the time, you need to ask for it”.

Wow. revolutionary huh? Yeah, I thought so too. But think about it! How often to we expect our wives to read our minds about whatever we might be thinking? This can apply to everything from sex, to what we have for dinner.

Then, when our wives don’t read our minds like we think they should, we get miffed about it. Miffed about something they didn’t even know about us wanting. Because she’s not a mind reader.

So if you want sex tonight, and you would like it a certain way, ask for it! If you want a back-rub after a long day, ask for it! If you want tacos for dinner tomorrow, ask for it! If you don’t like the way you deal with conflict, bring it up! It’s your marriage, and if you want it to be as good as it can be, quit expecting your wife to “just know” what’s bugging you, or what you need or want at any given time.

Now a word of warning, she may say “no” to want, but at least you asked, and if she’s like 90% of other “normal” wives, she’s going to want to do her best to make you happy, if she just knew what THAT was.

So go for it! Want a happier marriage? Start by ASKING for it!

“She just doesn’t get it!” – and other things we husbands exclaim about sex.

sex

Ever been there? You’re trying your hardest to explain to your wife that you “need sex more often as a way to connect and feel close to her”, and all she’s hearing is “she’s not good enough” and “no matter how hard I she tries, she’s not enough”. You keep arguing for a while, but after a while, you either decide it’s not worth it to argue about anymore, or you just give up and walk away feeling hurt and like you somehow “don’t matter to her” because obviously if you did, she would see  how much sex means to you, and be more willing oblige you.

Ok, I think we’ve all been there at least one time in our marriage. So what do you do about it? What can you do? After all, if she doesn’t want to have sex, it’s pretty hard to “make her” want you.

Well, first let’s start with what you DON’T want to do:

Shut Down – Don’t pull the “well fine, I’m going to give you the silent treatment” thing on her. I know it’s hard, but be the bigger person, keep your commitment to love her no matter what, and do your best to stay emotionally open to her.

Pout – Kind of like the “shut down” thing, but a little more childish. I don’t even need to explain it – you know what I’m talking about, and it’s not attractive.

Ask, and ask, and ask, and ask – You know how annoying it is when your child keeps asking to play Nintendo, or buy something, and no matter how many times you say “no”, they just keep going? Does it make you want to give them what they want any more? No. Ok, so why would it work on your wife? She knows you want/need it. She hasn’t forgotten. So quit begging.

Watch porn instead “Well, it’s pretty obvious she doesn’t care about my needs, so it’s “ok” if I satisfy my physical need with a little porn. It’s not like I’m hurting anything”. WARNING: That is a LIE straight from hell. Satan would like NOTHING MORE than to see the intimacy in your marriage torn apart, and the fastest way he can do this, is wedge porn in between you and your wife. It DOES hurt someone, it hurts YOU! It might not feel like it at the time, but PLEASE UNDERSTAND it brings nothing but PAIN and DYSFUNCTION to your marriage. Oh, and by the way, it might give you something to satisfy the physical urge with, but it will do NOTHING to satisfy the need you still have to have sex with your wife. Just the OPPOSITE – now, you will be struggling to get the images of other women out of your mind, as you make love to your wife. It’s NOT WORTH IT. Run from it. 

Ok, so those are some things to AVOID, now let’s look at things that might HELP the situation:

Pray for her – There’s nothing more powerful than praying for your spouse. And when I say “pray for her”, I don’t mean “complain about her” in prayer. Don’t start with “Lord, what the heck is wrong with the woman you gave me?” Instead, pour your heart out to God. Ask him to bless your marriage, in EVERY aspect, and show you ways you can be a better husband, even if she isn’t totally meeting your needs right now. Ask Him to soften her heart towards you, and let her see what you’re really trying to get across to her.

Don’t ask more than every 48 hours – Don’t ask me how I know this, but for some reason, if you ask MORE than that, you’ll hear a lot of “that’s all you ever want!” from your wife. Most times it’s better to wait 3 days to ask again, but if you “can’t wait” that long, at least 48 hours is usually good enough to avoid the “you just asked yesterday!” exclamation.

Don’t panic – Since the sex need is most times much more “driven” in men than women, if we feel like she’s rejecting us, and it’s been a few days/weeks since we last had sex, there’s a tendency to panic, and go right to the “she’s never going to want to have sex with me again” phase. Don’t do this! Instead, calmly try to look at the situation, and ask yourself a few questions. What time of the month is it? Is she pregnant? Is she sick? Has she been really stressed at work/home lately? Try and access what may be working against you, besides the “she just hates me” theory. Where she is in her cycle plays a HUGE part in how active her sex drive is. If you’re asking a few days before her period starts, you’d probably have a better chance of being an Olympic gold medalist in basket weaving. On the other hand, the days she’s ovulating, she may be the one asking YOU for sex. And then there’s all the other days between. Do yourself a favor, and learn you wife’s cycle. There are even APPS that help with this. You will save yourself a LOT of pain. The Generous Husband has a great post on this and you can read it HERE.

Watch HOW you ask – If you haven’t figured this out by now a “Hey, I’m horny, wanna have sex?” May have worked on your honeymoon (maybe), but after a few years, it will most likely get you nothing but a rather large “eye roll” from your wife. Asking like that makes her feel like a piece of meat. When you ask, try something more along the lines of “Hey hon, I’ve really been missing you lately, would you be interested in making love later?”. Asking like that gives you a little better odds at a “yes”.

Make sure you’ve got “your end” together – in other words, if the most meaningful conversation you’ve had with your wife in the last week is whether she wants ranch or BBQ for her chicken nuggets, she’s probably not feeling very emotionally connected to you, and in turn, not feeling very interested in having sex with a “stranger” that hasn’t talked to her about anything in over a week. Make it a PRIORITY to SIT DOWN, turn OFF the TV, and actually LISTEN to her talk about her day, what she’s concerned about, etc, on a DAILY basis. And for gosh sakes, turn off Sports Center while you do this. Remember, this makes her feel connected to us, just like sex makes us feel connected to her.

Quit comparing her to others – “Why can’t we just have a sex life-like (insert married couple you look up to, or one you think has a great sex life)?” Let me let you in on a little secret: You’re not them. And even if you were, I’d lay good odds that they’re not quite as “problem free” as you may think they are. Funny how that works. Kind of back to the whole “grass is greener” myth. So stop comparing/wishing you were like somebody else, and make the best of what you DO have. Otherwise you’re just going to continue to be disappointed when you continue to not “live up” to the imaginary standard you’ve set.

How serious is it? – Have you ever seen the “pain scale” that hospitals use in patient rooms? If not, it’s basically a little sign with a series of smiley faces. The one all the way to the left is “unbearable pain”, and the one all the way to the right is “no pain at all”. You can use the same idea to rate how serious an issue the “no sex” issue really is in your marriage. For example, has it been 4 months since you had sex last, and it’s been constant rejection for as long as you remember? Or is this something fairly recent that has developed? Is she just going through a “funk” right now due to health issues, pregnancy, etc.?  Or is bad enough that it doesn’t  matter if she feels good or not, it’s still constant rejection? If your answer if the former, just wait it out for a while, odds are it’s going to get better, and you’ll be right back on track. If it’s the latter, you need to get some help. Start with a non-accusing “pour your heart out” talk with your bride. Explain how much she means to you, and how much you need to feel connected to her in this way. If that doesn’t work, find a good Christian counselor that can work with you guys, and find out what’s at the bottom of the issue. Odds are there’s something buried  or something that’s not obvious to both of you, that may be the very thing that is blocking you from having the sexual relationship God designed you to have. Don’t give up and “just live with it”. Sex is an amazing, and incredibly rewarding thing the He created for husband and wife to share. Take action, swallow a little pride, roll your sleeves up, and get some help with it. Do whatever you have to do to start moving in the right direction. You won’t be sorry you put in the effort. 

Sexual Satisfaction Survey Results Part Two – The Numbers

Earlier in the week I posted Part One of the Sexual Satisfaction Survey results. Now I’m posting the “stats” portion of the survey for your review.

Each result is posted as a picture, so if you find them hard to read due to the small size, click on the thumbnail, and it will blow it up so you can see it bigger.

Some of the results are expected, but others aren’t. These are from the HUSBANDS, Mission:Wife will be posting the WIVES portion soon.

“You can’t tell me what to do!” – How pride affects our marriages.

A few days ago, I was in local grocery store where I live, and overheard a conversation between an employee of the store and a customer. The employee had made a very polite attempt to ask the customer to please have her child sit down in the cart, because she was worried the child might fall out (crazy idea I know). Instead of replying “oh, no problem!” and asking her child to sit down, the customer retorted “Don’t try and tell me how to parent my child!”, and left the store.

As I went about the rest of my day that day, I couldn’t help but think about what I saw, and how that kind of attitude – the one that says “You can’t tell me what to do! I can do whatever I want!” – no matter how wrong or idiotic it may be – seems to be getting more prevalent these days. Instead of accepting correction or advice, people now tend to reply “well, that works for you, but don’t try to push your opinion on me”, even when it comes to the safety of their own children, as in the example above. That mother’s pride prevented her from accepting what was obviously a well intended, and much needed, correction. What does this have to do with marriage? Hear me out.

How often do we have the same “you can’t tell me what to do, I’m doing it my way” attitude with our wives when they come to us and present us with an issue they see in us that needs worked on? Now we may not say it out loud, but in our heads we’re thinking “Yeah right, you want me to work on that? Don’t get me started on things that you need to work on!”, instead of really hearing what she’s saying, and taking it to heart. Why do we do this? Most of it comes from our good friend PRIDE. We don’t want to admit we have anything to work on. It takes a good bit of humility to say “wow, you’re right hon, I haven’t been doing very well in that area.” It takes even more humility to sincerely ask our wives periodically “Hey hon, how am I doing lately? Is there anything you’ve seen in me that I need to work on?” 

Or how about when you’re both struggling with an issue in your marriage. Doesn’t matter what it is. Both of you know you need to get advise from a counselor, your pastor, or even another trusted couple. But for the sake of pride, you don’t. You live with it. For years. Really?! Why do we put ourselves through this? Because we convince ourselves that no other couple is struggling with any issues. We must be some kind of “failure couple” that doesn’t have the great marriages that “all of our friends seem to have”. Wanting to salvage our pride, we hide it. We act like we have it all together when we’re around other couples, and then when we get home we go to our separate rooms, and continue to live out our lives in a dead marriage. Sad isn’t it? Maybe pathetic would be a better word (sorry, I didn’t say this would be an easy post to read).

If there’s something in your marriage that needs addressed, no matter who’s at fault, address it! Don’t let the elephant in the room set up camp and live there! 

And let me let you in on a little secret: There is no such thing as a marriage that doesn’t encounter issues!

Just because you might be struggling with one of those “topics no one brings up” like miscarriage, porn addiction, emotional or physical affairs, etc – you have to ask yourself the question: Does my marriage mean more to me than “saving face” and not admitting I have a problem? When you step back for a moment and really look at it, it’s pretty sad that we allow our pride to hold us in a unfulfilling marriage, when all it takes is a “Hey man, I’m really struggling with (insert problem here)” to a trusted Christian brother or couple, to start you on the road to getting better. To at least start to work on it, instead of just bury your head in the sand for another week, month or year. It’s not worth it! especially when you realize after you finally tell someone, that they have struggled with that in their marriage too. And to think you waited this long, all to find out you weren’t “strange” or a “failure”, you were just a normal marriage, going through struggles like every one else.

The sooner we as married couples come to the conclusion that WE ALL STRUGGLE with mostly the same issues (yes, even marriage bloggers), the sooner we can move to support each other, instead of just “existing” next to each other, and never getting past “how the kids are doing” when we in our conversation. Putting your pride aside and admitting you struggle isn’t easy, but the sooner we “get over ourselves” and start, the stronger our marriages will be.

“So hon…um…you think…uh…maybe later…um…after the kids go to bed…you might…uh….want to…you know…if you feel like it…have sex?”

My wife and I were listening to “The Stupendous Marriage Show” the other day, and Stu and Lisa were talking about how sometimes a guy will talk himself out of asking his wife for sex, based off of what he sees her doing at the time, that in his mind, make his chances of hearing a “yes”, much lower. In other words, we’re too scared to ask.

Here’s the thing though guys! Us NOT asking, and then being upset that she didn’t “read our minds” and “just know” that we need sex that night, is very frustrating to our wives! If we would just “man up” and ask her, she could at least start turning her mind in that direction, and be much more willing later to respond positively.

What I’m trying to get across here, is that we may be missing out on a lot of “sack time” with our wives, simply due to us being to afraid to ask. Yes, nothing strikes fear into the heart of a man like asking his wife for sex, I get it. But what if we got over the whole “I take it personally, and hate rejection” part, and just be open and honest about it and say “hey hon, would you be up for sex tonight? I’ve really been thinking about you lately”. I’ve talked to a lot of wives who have told me they would love it if their husbands would just come out and ASK when he needs it, instead of “not wanting to bother her”, and ending up frustrated, or worse, turning to porn or something else for release. And I know you’re thinking “yeah, this all sounds great, but you don’t know my wife. She would move into the garage if I asked her every time I needed sex“. Really? How would you know? Have you tried it?

What we fail to understand as men a lot of times, is that our wives REALLY WANT to be there for us sexually most of the time. Sure, there are times when they can’t respond quite like we were hoping, but they still DESIRE to be that help mate that God created them to be, but too many times we don’t LET them. We don’t even give them the chance. We say to ourselves “oh, I don’t want to bug her, she’s going to think I’m some kind of sex freak or something”, instead of giving her the chance to even think it over! And let’s be real here guys, most of the root issue here is we’re afraid to not just ask, but to ADMIT we NEED her. We apply the “I’m a man, and I don’t need anybody” theory to our sex lives, and I’m telling you, it’s hurting our marriages! Heaven forbid we as men admit we “depend on” someone! Instead we ask, get rejected a couple of times, and then withdraw and play the “whatever, It doesn’t really matter anyway” card, instead of working through it together, explaining to our wives how much we NEED (yes, need is not a bad word) to connect to them this way, and allowing them to fulfill the role that God has given them – the role that no other woman in the world can fill  if we would just give them the chance.

So next time you’re arguing with yourself about if you should or shouldn’t ask your wife for sex tonight, slap yourself around a little bit, pull up your “man pants”, realize your wife is on your side (not laughing evilly like we have it in our heads), and honestly ask her! You might just be blown away by how many times you’ve missed out, simply for lack of asking. Don’t let your pride and fear of rejection, get in the way of the sex life God designed you to have with your wife. 

Sex; Be Clear About What You’re Asking For

Ever notice that most issues that arise in marriage, come back to a lack of good communication? This is especially true with the subject of sex.

Here’s the scenario: You come home from work after a long day, and ask your wife if she feels like having sex later. She says “sure”, and you mentally do a “YES!” along with a fist pump. You get done with dinner, finally get the kids to bed, the house clean, and the dishes done. You start to make your move. You give her a kiss, and the response from your wife is what you would call “less than enthused”. You try again, and same thing. Frustrated that she’s not responding to you like you thought she would (after all, you DID ask her, and SHE SAID SURE!), you ask her if there is something wrong. She replies that she’s “not as excited about it as you” and that it’s been a long day with the kids.

What’s the problem here? The problem is that both of you were expecting different things. YOU were expecting her to be ready to go,  jump all over you, and passionately rip your clothes off and make love to you, while SHE was thinking you were asking if she would be willing have sex with you, even she didn’t need or desire it, or even need or want an orgasm from it tonight. Translation: This is a problem. 

Funny how we guys take one word  – “SURE” – and turned it into her saying that she was horny, needed you badly, and wanted to do all the things you had been thinking about at work that day. Did you tell her exactly what you were thinking/wanting? No, all you did was ask “do you want to have sex later”. That leaves WAY too much room for both of you to be thinking TOTALLY different things. We husbands (and wives too, but this post is for guys) need to make sure we’re not “assuming” what our wives are saying “yes” to when we ask for sex. Like I talked about in “Ten Things Your Husband Wants You to Know About Sex, But Doesn’t Know How To Tell You”, most guys have a few different “types” of sex that they may be in the mood for at different  times. There’s what I call the “rip your clothes off and go at it” sex, there’s “I want to take our time and really enjoy it with candles, music, etc” sex, and there’s “I just need a quickie if it’s ok, to reconnect with you” sex. If we don’t tell our wives what type we’re thinking of the night we ask, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment, and possibly worse – causing our wives to say “no” more when we ask,  because in her mind last time she said “yes” we weren’t happy with what she was willing to give  – all due to lack of communication.

When you approach your wife about sex, make sure she is aware of what you have in mind. Instead of “hey hon, are you up for sex later?”, you might try “hey hon, I’ve been thinking about us doing (fill in the blank) all day today. Are you feeling up to that later?” It’s much easier to let you know what you’re thinking when you ask, then to let her assume you mean on thing, and let her find you’re not on the same page when you’re attempting some other thing. Unless you’re prepared for an awkward conversation in the middle of what was supposed to be a time of fun and connecting. Yeah, that sounds like a blast. Here’s the other benefit to this whole “let her know what you’re thinking” thing – It allows your wife to have some room to say “I’m not really up for “crazy” tonight, but I’d be willing to do (fill in the blank).” It helps her respond to the situation better, and makes it easier for her to avoid saying “no” to sex for no reason other than she doesn’t know what you’re expecting.