Thoughts, rants and commentary of a simple man

I have made my bed, now I sleep in it – alone

Posted on July 19th, 2008 in On Marriage,Personal Messages,Rants,Understanding Men | 2 Comments »

I just woke up a few minutes ago. I had wildly disturbing dreams last night that, while not scary, were enough to wake me up with a šŸ˜• on my face. As I woke up I realized that when I have trouble sleeping I love to roll over and cuddle with my wife. There is something about knowing she is there next to me that really supports who I am as a man. It is like having my support team, all wrapped up in that delicious package known as femininity, standing beside ready to stand shoulder to shoulder to take on whatever may come up.

Being alone sucks. Whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual loneliness it sucks. It is contrary to who we are as people because people are not meant to be alone. God Himself said this in Genesis 3:18:

And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

I think this holds true for women as well. Which is where I tend to think that most trouble in relationship stems from. Men, on the whole, are not nearly as much into the emotional aspect of relationship as women are. Women, on the other hand, are not nearly as much into the physical aspect of relationship that men are. What can and often does end up happening is men and women pursue and give of their own need and totally miss the mark of their spouse’s needs.

I am a perfect example of that. You can ask my wife on any day of the week if I am emotionally absent and she will loudly tell you yes. This is actually a huge area of discord for us because my wife is very needy (her words, not mine) emotionally and she expects a certain level of attentiveness from me and a certain amount of work in developing our emotional connection in our relationship.

Which probably explains why I sleep alone and have for more than five years. I have a strong longing for physical connection with my wife. I love to touch her. I love to feel her hair in my hands or the softness of her face in my neck. I love to rub her back and hold her hand. The few times she has done it I have loved when she sat in my lap. I love being physically close to my wife.

Unfortunately over time this has led to the outward appearance that I want my wife solely for the physical pleasure I can take from her. And while I love sex there is nothing quite like the nonsexual intimacy shared between a man and woman to make a man feel, well, manly. I love feeling like a “man and his bride”. It almost personifies the marriage relationship. But somewhere along the line this entire side of my feelings was lost in translation and now basically says “You sat next to me on the couch or you held my hand so that means you want to have sex with me right now.”.

Which I believe is what has led me to all the nights of owning both sides of my bed. I like to sleep close to my wife. If physical closeness is always related to sexual intentions then I would guess that leaves me as a wanton sexaholic that is using the bedroom as my breeding ground for sexual demands and deviance. All I want is some physical intimacy (not to be read as sex – I do want that too, but I am talking about intimacy without necessarily the act of sex). Actually, this is a need of mine, not a want. I need physical intimacy like my wife needs emotional intimacy.

So while she hungers I hunger. Together we are like two different ends of the same stick that are forever the same distance away from the center. It seems neither of us is able to bend much so I keep being emotionally absent, selfish and ungiving/uncaring while she keeps staying up to the wee hours of the morning and falling asleep on the couch.

Somewhere in this there is a lesson to learn. I have been trying to find that lesson the last five years. Hopefully soon I will figure it out so I can go about being married at home as much as I am in public. Man was not meant to be alone. Though at the moment I would bet that both my wife and I would tell you it feels like we were both destined to be.

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All I’m good for to you is sex

Posted on July 11th, 2008 in On Marriage,Rants,Understanding Men | 3 Comments »

WARNING: Some material in this post is directed squarely at married men and women and may be of an adult nature. If you find the topic of sex offensive or you are not in a position to read about matters of sex and relationships, please move on. And no, there will be no imagery in this post.

Last night on my drive home from work I found myself drifting off into sleepy land while at the wheel. This is not an unusual occurrence for me as I am usually exhausted and when the weather gets warmer, like it was yesterday, I find myself taking little cat naps during the last few minutes of my drive home. Last night was a little different though.

Given the heat of the day and the time of the day I was coming home I found myself dramatically more tired than normal. I felt my eyelids getting heavier and heavier and was awoken to the very fast correcting steer of me almost sideswiping another car at 75 MPH on the freeway. To combat this I decided to call my wife.

I explained that I was fading fast and asked her if she could make small talk with me to keep me awake for the remaining 20 minutes or so of my drive. She said she would and asked me what I wanted to talk about. I told her to talk about anything that would keep me awake. Her response?

“Sex sex sex sex sex.”

My response?

“Huh?”

“Well that’s all I’m good for to you is sex right?”

“Uh, yeah. I gotta go.”

I think I would have rather crashed and died right there than to hear that crap. Seriously, why in the hell would anyone say that to anyone? From a husband’s perspective you can surmise by that statement that she is feeling neglected, hurt, worthless and angry. Ok, I get that. From a man’s perspective… well, what do you do with that?

I have to admit I was pretty pissed off that I was told, yet again, that all I wanted my wife for was sex. Seems pretty stupid an idea to me to think that. I mean if that was the case, what use would I have for her if sex was never given? Why would any man invest anything into any woman if all he wanted from that woman was sex? It just seems categorically judgmental and unilaterally unfair.

But I suppose that marriage isn’t fair. I am sure I am not the first man to hear those words from his wife. I am sure my wife is not the first woman to feel as though her value stemmed only from her vagina because of some action(s) (or lack thereof) on the part of her husband. This has to be something that has been brought up before in some marriage somewhere.

And to that point I have to say that it would be easy for me as a husband to say that the only thing I am good for to her is a paycheck and house cleaning services. But I would never say that because quite honestly that is a pretty hurtful thing to say.

So I was mad, and more than just a little. And I got to thinking to myself “Do I really convey to my wife that all she is good for is sex? If so, how do I do that?”. Apparently the answer lies somewhere in my not pursuing her heart enough to make her know by my outward actions that I am interested in her heart more than her body. And by telling her that she is beautiful, pretty and wonderful when I have not told her that she is someone I want to get to know better I am telling her that my interest in her is completely of a physical nature.

That sucks.

Here’s a little note on men: we really like sex. We physically need sex. Regularly. No, not regularly like once a week. Like once every two days. That’s just a little heads up to what is coming up next.

Married men, as a whole, I think like sex with their wives. I think that men in general are really not that much about the physical appearance of their wives so much as they are interested in intimacy with them because of the love we have for our wives and the deeper sense of connection we seek with our wives. Men can be faithful to our wives with a strong, burning desire for our wives. Not all men are sexually ravenous creatures looking to devour a body for the sake of satisfying our sexual appetite. Sex, like that, is nothing more than masturbation with a partner. Men don’t want that.

Nor do men want to be chastised for a characteristic that is essentially within the core of their very make up. Men are built to want sex. We are built to appreciate and admire the beauty of our wives. Some men have screwed that up pretty bad by the way we have gotten attached to things like pornography or flirtatiousness. But I will stand fast to the position that married men who are in a regularly open, communicative and sexual relationship with their wives are not nearly as into looking for sexually gratifying items as men that are in relationships in which their need for sex is constantly being minimized or worse yet, devalued.

Women, as I am led to believe, have a need to be wanted, pursued, appreciated, admired and desired. That is awesome. I have all of those feelings for my wife on a spiritual, emotional and physical level. But somehow only the physical level is ever noticed. And that really gets on my nerves.

I am more than a penis with an incessant and insatiable urge for release. I am a man that desperately loves his wife and longs for intimacy on every level with her including sexual intimacy. Being told that all my wife is good for to me is sex is just flat out insulting. It deflates any desire I would have to want to pursue my wife and literally makes me draw back from her to protect my heart.

That said, I know there are actions that can be taken to prevent this from coming up again. As a man I know that I can make a stronger effort to get to my wife’s heart. I can not touch my wife when I want to tell her I love her. Sometimes that means not even leaning in for a kiss (no matter how bad I want one). Sometimes it means letting her beat the crap out of me emotionally and still sitting next to her on the couch and asking how she is doing without so much as putting a hand on her knee.

I could also try not watching TV when she is wanting to talk. Or I could be nicer to the kids when they do something that would normally anger me greatly. Or I could simply ask her if she needs anything when I get up to go to the kitchen. In essence, putting her needs above mine is a great way to let her know that she is more important to me than the physical desire I have for her.

And on that note, there are a few things that a woman can do to really open her man up. You could stop kicking your man’s butt over his sex drive. He has one. Get used to it. No it is not some superpowered hyperactive sex drive. Physiologically we need sexual release about once every two days. It is natural that we always want it. It is special that we want it with you (our wife). It is very easy, and all to common, for a man to seek this need to be met elsewhere where it is freely given rather than to continue to fight off an angry lioness who only throws your needs in your face.

Let your man be a man without condemning him for being a man. Men are sometimes sharp tongued. Sometimes we are rude. Sometimes we are rough in the way we handle situations. Again, we were built to be rough, rugged and dangerous. Women, well, they were built to be the softer side that attracts the rough edges of a man. Be soft. Let him want you. Let him pursue and let him catch you.

But no matter what you do and no matter who you are in the marriage, try not to use the other person’s natural needs against them in some manner of attack. That will only drive them farther away from you. Imagine, ladies, if your man told you one day that all you ever do is talk talk talk talk talk and if you would only take your clothes off and let him have you he would so totally want to talk to you and dig deeper into your emotions. Sounds almost belittling doesn’t it? Imagine if that was how you were approaching him about sex.

There is give and take on both sides of the relationship. My wife will be the first one to tell you I do all the taking and she does all the giving. That would explain a lot as to why this conversation came up to begin with. That needs to change. Either in action or perception, but it needs to change because it is terribly unhealthy to any marriage when one half of the relationship sees the other half as something that is only a draw on their resource. And I intend to change it. Lovingly if I can figure out how to do that. But I really never want to be told again that all my wife is good for to me is sex.

That just hurts.

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