Marriage Monday Tip 52: Men: If you want more sex, give her better anticipation time
Although some couples are the opposite in this way, in many cases the husband wishes his wife would be eager more often. (Ladies, if you have the higher drive in your marriage, check out our special article series “When She Has the Stronger Sex Drive.”) Guys, there is a way to solve this, but you have learn something critical about women – and about yourself and your approach.
See, subconsciously, you are probably expecting your wife to have the same type of sexual-emotional wiring and desire as you, just packaged in a female body. So if you’re anything like my husband, Jeff, or the men I’ve surveyed over the years, mismatches leave you baffled. As one of Jeff’s buddies put it, “If sex is free and it’s fun, why doesn’t she want lots of free fun?”
Even worse, when you approach your wife and hear, “I’m so tired, honey,” you automatically think that means you’re not desirable enough. As one man memorably told me, “I think to myself, If I was enough of a stud, she wouldn’t be tired!”
You need to know that her tiredness is real and has nothing to do with your desirability. In fact, on our surveys of women for For Men Only, Jeff and I found that among wives who tended to want less sex than their husbands, only 4% said it was because he wasn’t attractive or desirable! Most women are attracted to their husbands and want a great sexual relationship.
So that being true – what can you do to solve the mismatch? There are two essential steps.
First, because your wife has vastly different emotional wiring, realize that she is stimulated differently too. You’re set off by what you see. But she needs to feel connected and close emotionally outside the bedroom, in order to want to be close inside the bedroom. How you have treated her recently directly impacts not only her interest in responding sexually, but her ability to respond. So pay much more attention to healing hurts, creating closeness through talking about her feelings day to day, and even doing the things around the house that will help her feel loved and supported by you.
But remember: that is only one part of the two part solution, and your wife needs both!
Second, you must realize that because your wife is physiologically different from you, she also likely has a completely different type of desire.
See, with more testosterone, most men have what is called “assertive desire”, and want to pursue sex and are ready very quickly. But women have far less testosterone. So although most women enjoy it when it’s happening, they just don’t think about it as much and – here’s the key – aren’t ready at a moment’s notice. You can be the sweetest, kindest husband on the planet; you can help around the house and sincerely engage your wife in great conversation every day…. but that doesn’t mean she will be thinking about sex!
So when she flops into bed, exhausted from her day, and sex hasn’t been even a flicker of a thought in her mind (I know you find this hard to believe, but it is true), it can be very physically and emotionally difficult to respond with enthusiasm when you roll over and give her that special grin.
So here’s the second part of the solution: If your wife is like most other women, she probably needs what we call “anticipation time” – time to think about it and get in the mood ahead of time so she can be ready to enthusiastically enjoy your time together rather than being surprised by it. A little flirting comment in the morning, delivered with a grin – “Yeah, honey, I love that outfit on you… but, hmm, I might like it even better off you tonight.” — will click on that switch in her brain so she is truly anticipating it!
Guys, build a sense of closeness outside the bedroom, and get her thinking about sex before you get to the bedroom – and you may find a very different experience in the bedroom!
Join us next Monday for the next installment in our Marriage Mondays series!
Drawn from Chapter 7 of For Men Only, by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn.
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Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and her newest, The Good News About Marriage. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.
Welcome to Marriage Mondays! Each Monday, join me as I share my top findings on the little, eye-opening things about men, women, and relationships that make a big difference in creating great marriages.