How often do you and your spouse have sex (circle one)?
All the time – Frequently – Average – Occasionally – Almost never – Never
How many times per week? __________________
Frequently a husband will circle “almost never,” the wife will circle “all the time,” and both will answer “2 times per week.”
Why is there often such a big gap in expectations between partners? Why are these expectations so frequently unfulfilled? What can you do about it?
Men’s needs vs. women’s needs
A big cause of conflict relating to sex in the marriage comes from a primary difference between the needs of men and the needs of women.
Generally speaking, men need and want to feel the emotional closeness and connection that comes from sex. It’s part of what helps them feel close and connected to their wife. When they feel like their wife is withholding that connection, they start to feel distant.
Conversely, women usually need to feel some emotional closeness and connection before being interested in sex. If they don’t feel the emotions, it can be pretty close to impossible to get in the mood. When their husband asks for sex without doing anything to build the emotional closeness, it just feels empty – almost like they’re being used.
How can you overcome this difference in expectations?
Obviously, with the difference in expectations, I have different advice for husbands and wives…
Rememer how you flirted when you were dating? You probably focused much more of your interest on your wife when you were dating than you do now. She felt like she was the center of your world — special.
You touched her frequently. You held her hand, put your arm around her, touched her face.
You told her she was beautiful. Smelled her hair and said it was intoxicating. Told her over and over how much you loved her.
Today do you only do these things starting at 9:30? If so, you’re sending the message that you’re only acting interested because you want sex. How appealing is that?
Instead, try to do all of these things and more throughout the day and week – especially when sex isn’t an option. It will help show your wife that she’s important. It will demonstrate that there’s a connection and that you feel close to her. THEN, when 9:30 rolls around, everything will just feel right.
Sometimes men don’t get it. OK… maybe your husband never gets it.
If that’s the case for you, have your husband read this article. He’ll see the advice above, AND he’ll see the advice below. Maybe that will make things click into place for him.
That said, what can you do?
What’s the most powerful sexual organ women have? Our brains.
You need to work at engaging yours. All the time.
Throughout the day, show him and tell him in small and big ways that you respect him as a man. Tell him how strong he is. Even something like, “your hands are so strong” says a lot. Tell him that you appreciate how he provides for you – how he protects you. Obviously don’t make things up. But find ways to appreciate and praise him for the manly qualities he has and shows.
When he touches you (and he should if you’ve shown him this article), imagine his touch as being electrifying – like it used to be when you were dating. Remember how it used to make your heart beat faster? Imagine that it still does – and it might.
When you do this, you’re reinforcing in your brain that he’s a desirable man. In turn, your brain will answer by turning up the desire dial.
Next, imagine what you’d like your husband to do to you. Go ahead… close your eyes and imagine for a bit. After you have the image firmly in your mind, imagine how you’d feel afterwards. Pretty nice, isn’t it?
Now tell your husband. “I love it when you ________. It makes me feel ________.” Then give him a passionate kiss. Bonus points if you do this when sex isn’t an option. It will likely make for an interesting day.
If you both want more out of your marriage, a bit of effort on focusing on the areas above can help restore passion and excitement. That’s something both men and women need.
What if there’s no connection at all?
If it feels like your husband (or wife) has checked out of the marriage, you will have to work on rebuilding the emotional intimacy before trying to resolve issues with physical intimacy. It’s possible to get that connection back – you just need to follow a good map.
I recommend Save the Marriage. In it, Dr. Baucom will give you a very solid roadmap for rebuilding your marriage. He’ll show you how to get back to the place you were before – where you felt close and connected to each other.
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