I wrote this in response to another question about what I wished I had known from the beginning of marriage, but it may generate interest here also...
I've been married for over 20 years, with 3 kids. I would describe myself as extremely happy. Here's some of the things I wished I'd known from the very beginning:
1. Sex is the number one crucial gateway to a man's emotional well being and the absolute center to an emotional connection to his wife. Unfortunately due to political correctness or whatever, sex today tends to be viewed as "dirty" or "bad" and, more often than not, ends up being nothing more than a carrot dangled by the wife as a reward or punishment to control a husband's behavior. When this happens, you get 99 percent of the problems you find on forums such as these. A husband gets resentful and withdraws to sports, hobbies, work, ANYTHING but his wife. And guess what, the wife resents this behavior, witholds sex, turns to friends, daytime television, food, ANYTHING to try to make herself feel better about her husband's rejection.
2. In an intimate relationship, especially behind closed doors, stereotypes are true. A man needs to be a man - to guide and be a leader, a woman needs to be a woman - she needs to feel protected and adored. A man's tendency, especially in these modern times, is to treat his wife like a business partner or fishing buddy. This is a good way to invite resentment and affairs into any marriage, no matter how strong or perfect it may look like on the outside.
3. Many women like to be spanked. I'm serious, and I wish this was stated on every marriage license issued. As a man this goes against so much of what I thought I knew about how to treat a woman, but it's a darn good way to make number 2 a powerful and fun part of marriage and sex. Near as I can figure, it's like women have, at their core, the opposite of a man's ego, something inside them that tells them they are "bad", or "ugly", or "worthless." My wife tells me she loves being spanked, especially if she is acting "overwhelmed" or overly "emotional", and afterwards she feels both emotionally refreshed and intensely sexually charged, and I get the benefits of both. I swear I'm not making this up.
4. One of the best things a man can do is take charge of the relationship sexually. In my marriage, we have a "100 percent policy", which simply states I get what I want when I want it. What does this do? It makes me RESPONSIBLE to make sure the emotional connection between my wife and I is ALWAYS strong (see number 1), it allows our entire existence to be "foreplay", as both my wife and myself seem to be always somewhat "turned on" by each other. She is sexually charged by the "dominance" that I have, and I am emotionally connected to her every glance, word, or movement. There is no downward spiral of "rejection" that comes from a wimpy man having to beg an insecure wife to please consider intercourse. Our sex is passionate, primal, exploratory, and spontaneous (did I mention we've been married over 20 years?). I don't waste my time watching sports, having affairs, or wishing I was dead, while my wife nags and complains that I never pay attention to her. My days with my wife are spent flirting with her, our shopping trips usually involve me picking out something nice for her to wear, and at my career I can be absolutely confident and focused, and I can say without reservation I absolutely love an adore my wife 24/7.
This is perfect and how I'd like my marriage to be.
I haven't read the whole thread, just the first page.
I don't allways agree with everything you have to say, but I definitely feel that would make for a good marriage IMO.
For me though, I can't get enough I love you's, however he does have to mean them and not just pay lip service. But as your next post pointed out, it's good to do something to show her you love instead, or as well, as actions do speak very loudly.
What if your husband is addicted to porn and you worry engaging in sexual activity will just feed the flame??
My opinion, any addiction is a sign of weakness.
And weakness in a man, is simply THE HUGE TURNOFF to a woman.
His addiction happens to be porn.
If a man is in a sexless relationship, most assuredly he will find an outlet.
I do not know your situation, like the chicken or egg, whether the porn addiction came from lack of sex, or lack of sex coming from porn addictoin, but establishing respect, attraction, and emotional connection are the steps that need to happen.
BBW - I loved reading this thread and it has me reflecting on what's been happening with us this year. I wanted to add that although I never lost respect for my H, my level of respect has certainly increased. In case this is of interest to anyone reading this...there's a few things in the way he's behaved, that has kept me wanting to do things for him, to help keep the feeling of love and attraction and essentially strengthen our relationship. I'm thankful we had a solid foundation already beneath us.
I guess to start, he fully owned his part in where our relationship was heading. He's never had male role models or many guys around him to turn to. This was very much a self-guided journey on who he was as a man and as a husband. He had the strength to do this and I know it took him a lot of inner strength. He told me he'd be working on these things for himself, now that he was aware of them, regardless of our relationship. For someone that was (in his own words) needy, I now appreciate this was HUGE on his part and not an easy thing to go through. This in itself was attractive to me. While he was beginning a deeper journey of self-reflection, no obvious changes were yet occurring for us. I made the conscious decision one morning to just be the best I could be in that moment. In turn he did the same and together we drudged through the mud to clearer waters.
He's been speaking up and expressing more. We both have. This has been invaluable. He felt at one point the bubble of our relationship had burst but then recognized this was a more honest and stronger way to be together.
I backed off from initiating and discovered he likes to pursue me. I also realized how affected he was when I was the sole provider when he didn't have work. He'd always been the main provider and I encouraged him to chill for a while but he'd just get defensive or frustrated and I couldn't understand why. While I felt he was deserving of some time-out, I failed to recognize that he takes great pride in being able to provide for me/us. Another attractive quality.
I've made changes in my behavior too. It takes both people to get on board.
And now I'm thinking back to how romantic we both were. I'm thinking back to the early days. I'm seeing how I've let things slip slightly on my part and am bringing more effort back in. Like the old days but better, because now we (hopefully) have a deeper understanding of each other and our relationship, after going through all of this.
Before I forget I want to comment on the spanking thing: for me, I think it's great fun to be spanked by my husband however, I must feel an emotional connection to him or else it would be humiliating to me, an emotion I do not enjoy. There are a tremendous amount of quirky, kinky and crazy things that couples can (and should) do together in the bedroom (and every other place they can find) but love and respect must be present in my opinion for it to be a healthy, truly enjoyable experience.
That being said, so much of what has been posted in this thread rings true of my marriage. Though there are many issues, fundamentally, I believed my husband no longer loved me and he believed I no longer wanted him. See, like many women in order for me to make love I have to feel connected, and like many men, for my husband to want to connect with me he needed sex to feel loved and respected.
Neither one of us were wrong, we were actually both right, we were just not accurate. The truth was that he did love me but I didn't feel loved because the things I needed most from him to feel that he loved me were the things he withheld because he felt I didn't want him. Comparatively, he felt rejected by me but it was never my intention to reject him, I wanted him very much, I just felt hurt by his lack of affection.
Once we identified these truths and communicated lovingly and respectfully and forgave one another for the past hurts, we were able to reconnect and we renewed our commitment to our marriage and to one another. Subsequently we each identified what we needed most from the other to "feel" the love we had for one another. (I needed more affection and quality time with him and he needed more respect, appreciation and physical closeness from me).
As a psych major I have realized a couple things that have brought my husband and I much peace and relief; As humans we frequently think the other person means what we interpret it to be, or our perception of what they mean. Our perception can sometimes trick us into believing something that is really more about what we think and feel rather than the other person.
What can we do? Much!!! I invited my husband to start with me on a journey of getting reacquainted with ourselves individually, a journey of personal growth. Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living". I would modify that by saying "the unexamined life is probably not one in which you will have a happy relationship; especially when your spouse is growing and you are not". Someone wise once said that a relationship can only be as healthy as the least healthy person in it, I forget who that was but I agree!
What we did? First: As stated, it is important to work on knowing ourselves and what we really want from our spouse(we can't ask for what we do not identify); Second: improve communication skills(we must be loving and respectful to one another, no one wants to listen if they feel they are being attacked or patronized); Third: be honest with our level of commitment to our marriage and our partner. I think the only thing worse than hearing a spouse no long loves us is being with a non-loving spouse who says they do love you but refuses to love you the way you want to be loved.
My husband and I were caught in a vicious and painful cycle of circular reasoning that rendered us both becoming unfaithful, hurting one another very badly, separating on and off for many years, causing pain to our children and both of us feeling many times like we wanted to divorce, or just plain kill one another or ourselves. My marriage today is the happiest it has ever been; though we still have issues we work on and days we get disconnected, we are more in love than at any other time of our 32 years together.
Peace and many blessings,
~psycheee (that's psycheee as in psyche(the mind), not psychic as in fortune teller,lol).
"I think the only thing worse than hearing a spouse no long loves us is being with a non-loving spouse who says they do love you but refuses to love you the way you want to be loved."
I am living with a wife who always says she loves me WHEN I ask, but in everyday life she just refused to love me by showing any affection and emotion. For her, sex is something she gives to me to take granted of me giving her the money. No wonder she said she felt like a wh*** when I initiate sex. Yet, she is freaking out of being divorced for the loss of money. This is an example of a marriage that goes totally wrong and I am ashamed of myself not being able to divorce her earlier.
This post got a lot of feedback as well, as I speak to the background in my own relationship with my wife, the woman I adore.
In response to a question on whether is it personality or sparks or sexual attraction...
My opinion, sometimes it is easy to not see the forrest for the trees in this type of discussion. As to what makes one relationship work, and another fail, and to start on personality types and applied psychology, I cannot get on that boat because I simply don't subscribe to it in this scenario.
Why? Because to me it is like trying to fix a flat tire by musing quantum physics.
I could list a hundred ways my wife is very different from me, and a hundred ways my wife is just like me. And I guess that would be interesting to some, maybe not.
In many aspects of our relationship, I have been happy to allow my wife to make decisions, pursue her happiness, engage in hobbies and even to pursue her career as she has ever wanted. In all that, we have discovered together that her greatest desire is to be a SAHM and devote herself to management of the household, including the management of our finances.
This also would include trip and vacation planning, and coordination of activities involving our children and that even includes starting several groups and organizations based around my children's interests and activities.
While myself, I am more singlarly focused and tenacioius to whatefver particular goal I would have in mind. So in my career, with her taken care of business at home and the children, I have been able to focus and put myself in the position of a career (not meaning to give too much personal information) in a fortune 500 company that I enjoy, gives me a very flexible schedule, and allows us the income for her to have spent virtually all of our children's years growing up with their mother at home.
So while my wife is extremely detail oriented, and good at multitasking, I am much more comfortable and creative in regards to establishing, let's say, a particular vision or desired result, and laying a plan to accomplishing the tasks or eliminating the obstacles in order to reach that result.
Not that I am sure this is helpful, but maybe to answer your quetsions, yes in most ways looking at this my wife and I "fit" together most wonderfuly.
But know also in these things, even as I have said in other threads, even with this rose colored scenario that my wife and I "fit", there was still the same lack of sex after the kids were born leading to the spiral of resentment that I faced like so so so many other men.
When things turned around, and this is just this simple and basic and maybe even to make so many behavior psychologist groan, is when I focused on why the sex was becoming less and less frequent.
Maybe it isn't all about sex and adhering to more traditional and natural gender roles in the marriage and bedroom. Maybe its just as much finding the right "personality" type for you, in addition to finding someone with the emotional intelligence to recognize the benefits of marriage.
(question as to whether it is not sexual attraction but personality types that matter)
And this is just where I will say I disagree 100 percent.
As compatible as my wife and myself were, and as much as she is sexy and attractive and I am not shabby myself and a good provider and loving father, there was not much sex and to be very honest I was not a happy man.
Nor it seems, was my wife a happy woman.
Only now to speak of these things in hindsight, to me it was so easy and obvious.
But in the time of happening, a great mystery and what seems was just a sad fact of life, or of just getting old, or any such things as would be talking about on this forum as falling out of love.
So as I spoke earlier, did I focus on the lack of sex, and so I started to study what I was like before, as a young man with sex plentiful.
And also did I study even to the minute details, how did I feel when I saw my wife, or hear her coming into the room.
Did I feel as I did when we were young and discovering each other?
No, often I either felt not much, or worse, felt dread, as if to wonder what she would need, or be complaining about, or to start talking about something to interupt my reading or something.
So this is easy to see now, I had a mountain of resentment to her, shadowing every second that we were togother, so big and so everpresent. So I understand now how insidious resentment is in relationships, how it creeps in little by little but unless addressed it will never go away.
And so I focused on the resentment, and to put that in perspective simply meant that no longer would I hold back my feelings, regardless to keep the peace or make my wife angry or mad or sad or want to leave or anything.
So when my resolve to kill the resentment was finally greater than my resolve to appease my wife, that is when things changed for our relationship, very quickly, very dramatic as almost a hurricane upheaving the ocean over the seashore!
In all these things, such as I typed earlier, when I finally stopped appeasement to my wife in all areas, and instead layed out my desires and requirments and standing up for myself in all areas, I will say this again, my wife's reaction blew me away.
She was if seeing me again for the first time, as the look I remember when we were dating. Instead of her getting angry, she was apologizing, and the million little things, starting to offer me cold drinks when I was working in the yard, or hot coffee in the morning before I left for work. See these things I did not even mention, or ask for, yet so many things I noticed, did not the most important thing occur, and that our sex life went from not so much to through the roof. And I mean in the forms of her begging me to let her do this or that for me, and even in those times I wanted to maybe give her a break, no no no, did she make sure that if I did not pursue her that she would make sure she was pursued one way or the other.
It was as if she was a new woman, unleashed very much with fury and lust.
And so this is simply this, nothing more or less, she was doing this from her own desire to submit to my dominance that I was finally not witholding from showing her, and had been witholding for years and years.
And know this next part is hard to put into words, maybe it is helpful or not.
But during all this, and in my focusing on the effects of dominance and sexuallity, and maybe in my excitement to share with my wife, as she is very much my favorite person and best friend, would I be very enthusiastic to discuss with her the female reaction to dominance, to put these behaviors into words and maybe discuss with her on the intellectual and academic and logical pieces of all this incredible change to our relationship.
She would have none of it. I mean she would just show no interest and made it clear that, well, whatever was going on needed to be kept at least as a mystery to her. And this is a woman that at a drop of the hat will enjoy discussing einstein or hawking or sagan!
And a few times I have tried to explore her logical and intellectual opinion on how our sex life was so spontaneous and alive as if a switch was thrown, or maybe more telling, how by her own hinting and reactions, that our physical encounters would get often very aggressive and dark and hinting of violence and then the spankings and even other dark dark dark things that I would not mention in words, and again and again, her reactoin was at the very worst merely confusion, but mostly blissfully ecstatic, that the more aggresive and dominant I got, then the more her orgasms would come freely and frequent and even her fantasies and desires would she be able to show me.
Yet to speak of these things in words to her in logic, not effective.
Yet to say something aggresive, or give a strong look, would she then be sure to express her submission, or to take my hand and place it between her thighs to show me the reaction of these mere actions on my part were producing a very strong and physical reaction to her womanly places.
So what is her message, and yes, her leadership communicating to me? What I always say on this board, in matters of sexual attraction actions and behavior are what matter, actions speak louder than words.
And this, I am only typing all this to make this point, to me this reaction is nothing short of a miracle. And there is nothing on this world that to me would be a motivating to make our relationsihp last and last, for me to anything for my wife, than to honor her and please her and give my life for her, for these things that she has given me, which is her submission and her body and her adoration.
Sexual fullfillment IS the motivation and bliss for long term relationsihps.
And this is not caused by being good friends, or liking the same hobbies, or being a personallity type match, it is caused by something much older and deeper and primal than all this.
For when a man is a man to his woman, and his woman is a woman to him, this is the structure of sexual attraction.
And sexual attraction to each the good man and the woman is the motivation and unleashing to spur each other to be both creative for each other and protective of each other.
Nothing else is as the powerful motivator than sexual attraction, for we are sexual beings as our greatest common denominator.
I hope this is beneficial.
Personality matters. You just do not have the experience with a wife who has nasty personality disorders or trait, luckily.
I tried exactly these: "stopped appeasement to my wife in all areas, and instead layed out my desires and requirments and standing up for myself in all areas", and "I will say this again, my wife's reaction blew me away.---by having more resentment, a big fight, and threatened to call the police...
She did yield to me in the process. But I leaned it later that she yielded against her will, sadly.
She is just not your wife's type. She does not have a desire to submit. She want her own dominance. She showed her dominance to her dear dad, to her twin brother, to me in our early years. She threatened to kill herself if she could not get her way.
"Personality" type do matter. Emotional intelligence is different among ladies.
My lesson is that if you find a right wife, she has the POTENTIAL to be a partner of your fulfilled sexual life. Your advice is wonderful and on point. If she disrespects you , stubborn and self-absorbed, there is no way you two can work out.
As some men are not marriage material, some women neither.
I have to agree with Alexandra and gobroncos6....the thought of being spanked does not do anything for me either.
Yup, I was laughing and crying in the same time when hubby did it.
I guess it doesn't work to every women.
Though I always turn on when he act manly (I don't think writing details is wise as he isn't around and thinking about it making me KRAZZZEYYYY !!!)
I see this is an old thread but it has come up to the top.
I pretty much agree with all you have said BBW. It has taken me a LTR (17 yrs) that ended in divorce and now in a very sexually healthy relationship to finally find out who I am as a sexual woman.
Spanking, yes please. Dominance by my man, yes please. We have great respect for each other, that is not a problem.
I love my hair to be pulled, for him to pick me up and carry me to bed or to drag me there while I pretend to fight him off.
We play fight, he is much, much bigger than me but we really love a good old fashion chase and spanking session. We may end up in bed then or if not it will be later that day.
I like to be on top but my head spins when he flips me over and then pins me down. He talks dirty to me, man that is a major turn on.
He would never hurt me, I feel completely safe with him. I am having the time of my life with him
Wow 20 years and still happy this is something to be really proud of. There are tons of couples in the world that promise to love and cherish one another but when trials come they end up turning their backs on each other.
I read an article online about the three tips to keep a marriage alive. In it it said that listening, having fun and doing things together are simple things married people can do. Here's where the article is located : 3 Tips to Keep Your Marriage Alive | Natural Papa
I was married before but the relationship ended. I am happy that it did because we would have ruined each other if we stayed together. We have a seven year old son and that to me means everything.
I truly admire your story it gave me hope that marriages do last