You Go First

July 28, 2014

in Uncategorized

My mom had a scrapbook of cartoons she had collected in the late 50’s and early 60’s. In one, a couple was sitting in their easy chairs, both looking cross. He was holding a picket sign reading, “No sex, no love.” Her sign read, “No love, no sex.”

No love, no sex. © Alexander Makarov | Dreamstime.com

Each of them was saying “You go first – give me what I want, and then I will give you what you want.” Of course, couples do this in all kinds of ways. We all want what we want, and we feel more like giving when we have received. We try to teach our children to be better than this, all the while still struggling with it ourselves.

I always tell men they are supposed to lead by example. If they act like a grown up, they encourage their wife to do the same. As a believer in servant leadership, I put this at his feet. But what do you do if he refuses to step up?

The truth is the more mature spouse starts change. If neither spouse is mature, the couple is stuck. If one is grown up enough to make a unilateral change, improvement is possible. If he is not giving you what you want or need, your choices are to stay where you are, or start giving him what he wants and needs. There is no guarantee doing this will result in him making changes, but more often than not, it does happen… eventually. Of course, it is also the right things to do, and doing it because it is right is a great reason to do it.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m trying to be a grown up!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan August 1, 2014 at 11:26 pm

You are absolutely correct. The more mature partner will be the one to initiate change, but the low desire partner will still exercise control over how well the change is received and adopted.
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Paul Byerly August 2, 2014 at 11:04 am

I would argue maturity and loving generosity can offset that a great deal.
BTW, I argue this from experaince, not theory!
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John August 5, 2014 at 5:57 pm

sorry Paul, disagree with you. Every single couple I know of that fought about this – the lower drive spouse always wins, no matter how generous, how spiritual, how mature, or how sacrificial the higher drive spouse is. There is never compromise, and there is never equal give and take.

Typically its the wife, and they almost always bring out the “you should be a servant leader” card. What they really mean is they want just the servant, not the leader. Because pursuing God’s written word on how sex should be is leading, right?

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Paul Byerly August 6, 2014 at 10:13 am

I agree what you say is the most common outcome, but it is not the only outcome. My wife is a clear example. The Forgiven Wife (http://bit.ly/1279omZ) is another. I have heard from men who would say their wife is also an exception. It is too rare, but it does happen.
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