The XY code is a joint effort between Paul, aka The Generous Husband and Lori, aka The Generous Wife. I (Paul) will write most of the posts, with Lori editing and saying “You can’t say that!” as needed. Both of us will be taking part in the comments.
We have been married 30 years; we have two grown children (one of each). Our daughter in Texas has given us two grandchildren (one of each). Our son and daughter-in-law (who live nearby) just gave us a grandson. We share our house with and a Rhodesian Ridgeback (a dog) who thinks he is our child. We spent the first 20 years of our marriage in Austin, Texas and the remainder in various places in the Northwest.
Our marriage got a rocky start due to the combination of my former porn use and Lori having a variety of sexual abuses in her past. The Church was not much on helping with sexual issues back then, so we muddled through ourselves with the Bible, a good deal of praying and crying, and what few Christian resources we could find. As God brought us out of the deep, dark valley, we started to see others with similar problems. Our initial intent was to minster about marriage in general, but when folks learned a Christian couple was willing to talk about sex, we got swamped in that area. A few years later, in 2001, Lori started The Generous Wife blog as a way to share the message of generosity she was learning to live in her life. The blog also gave her a chance to share about marriage beyond sex. Being a typical competitive male, I started The Generous Husband.
In large part The XY Code is a result of my growing frustration of talking mostly to the male half of marriages. After years of trying to explain women to men, I feel it is time to attempt the reverse!
In some ways, I think I am well suited to this task. I have always had plenty of female friends, and have learned to hear their hearts. I will not claim to understand women, but I think I have better than average empathy for women’s struggles – especially in marriage. The things wives suffer offend and grieve me, just as the things women unknowingly do to their husbands trouble me. It is my prayer God will use this blog to make marriages better for both men and women.
I am far more verbal than Lori is. During the first years of our marriage, I would ask her “What are you thinking about?” (Don’t tell the guys over at The Generous Husband, I could lose my man card!) I understand the desire for a deep connection with one’s spouse; I feel this as a need, not just something that would be nice. I am more of a romantic than my wife, and I do not see feelings as something evil to be suppressed or ignored. On the more typical male side I love to build and tinker, and a full on geek, I find it difficult to cry, and I am very big on sex with my wife. (I mention these things just to protect my man card.)
Spiritually I have “known God” as long as I can remember. I got serious about following Jesus in high school. Lori and I have always been active in church, including ten years in house churches. For the last few years we have attended a local non-denominational church.
As Paul and I muddled through the early years of our marriage, I experienced a lot of emotional pain and discouragement. I didn’t have any real relationship skills and understanding differences (including gender differences) wasn’t even on my radar. This made a lot of messes and generally slowed the process of learning to live graciously with each other.
It’s my hope much of what is talked about here will help others shorten the journey of learning to live generously and peaceably with their spouse.
[See, I told you I was more verbal! ~ Paul]