Welcome to the weekly list at Ask Shaunti! Each Wednesday, join me as I share a few of the little, eye-opening things about men, women, and relationships that make a big difference in marriages and families.
Your husband wants sex? 3 things he’s not saying out loud:
1. “I need to feel desirable.” We women may think sex is just a physical need for a guy, but that’s not most of what is going on. When his wife responds to him — or initiates it herself! — it meets a deep emotional need to feel that his wife desires him.
2. “I love you and want to be closer to you.” We women want to feel close outside the bedroom in order to feel close inside the bedroom. But for many men, when they feel tension in the air, when there’s distance, when they know something’s just not right… they miss their wife. For a man’s biological chemistry, in fact, sex is one of the only times that his brain releases oxytocin, the bonding hormone, which brings a great feeling of closeness with someone. When he reaches for you, you may think, I cannot believe he would want sex now, when we’re at odds / fighting /distant. But instead, realize: he’s reaching for you in order to get back that feeling of closeness with you that he is longing for.
3. “I’m really vulnerable right now.” Because sex is more of an emotional need than a physical one for him, many men in my research told me there is no time more insecure, scary and vulnerable than when they approach their wives in that way. They are essentially laying their “desirability” and their heart out in front of you and asking, “what do you think of me?” Without realizing it, when we are tired or just not in the mood, it is easy to brush him off in a way that cuts that vulnerable heart deeply. Now, just to be clear, this doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have a say in the matter! Of course, there will be times we simply aren’t able to respond. But when that happens, it is even more critical that we show him how much we care, how much we love him, and (with a saucy wink) that we need to make a date for another night!
Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti Feldhahn’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing. After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships. (Including The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.