Shopping For An Opinion

Anyone who does counselling, ministry or coaching knows about opinion shopping. An individual who has already decided what they are going to do goes looking for someone to tell them it’s the right thing to do. And if their first attempt doesn’t succeed, they ask someone else. And another. And so on.

Men and women both do this. Women seem to start with “experts” and only move on to friends if they can’t find what they want from someone who supposedly knows something about the issue. Men are more likely to start with friends, which makes the process a lot faster.

Shopping bag with "Opinions" written on it.

Years ago a wife in our church shopped at least four of us for an opinion about leaving her husband. They both had problems and it seemed to most of us he was doing more to deal with his stuff than she was doing to deal with her stuff. But regardless of that, there was no biblically valid reason for divorce. So having run out of “experts” in our church, she changed churches. At the new church, where no one knew her husband, she had little trouble getting the “opinion” she wanted and she filed for divorce.

If you want someone to tell you you’re right, you’re not in a mature place. If you want a valid opinion from someone with some experience in whatever, then listen and apply it. 

Opinion shopping isn’t fooling most folks and it sure doesn’t impress God!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and if I trust someone enough to want their opinion, I don’t just toss it aside.

♥ #Prayer Prompt: Ask God to work in the lives and marriages of generous wives everywhere.

A post worth reading:

Dr. Corey Carlisle | The rest of the story ◄ “…the rest of the story looks ahead to many ways God is redeeming us.”

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Friday Flashback: Looking Wrong in Her Eyes

A programming note: I’ve put in a lot of hours doing heavy work outside during a week of nearly 100° temperatures. I have nothing left, so you get a rerun today. But it’s a good one!

I hate to look wrong in the eyes of my beautiful wife. I know she knows I’m not perfect, but I want to look as good as possible to her. Most men are this way and as far as I can tell, it is a much bigger pride issue for husbands than it is for wives.

This desire/fear results in men doing some stupid things. The classic example is the guy who won’t stop and ask for directions because that would be admitting he is lost. So, he drives until he finds a clue – or gets lucky.

This fear is also why asking your husband about something can result in him burying you with reasons why he did or did not do something, or why he should or should not do something. If he perceives the question as an accusation of being wrong, he reacts by trying to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is right. I have done this because of Lori saying, “Why did you do it that way?” Turns out she asks that kind of question to get involved, to open communication with me. But I use to perceive it wrong and beat her down with a storm of defensive words.

You may be able to avoid some of this if you communicate differently. If he hears curiosity rather than doubt or accusation, he will be less defensive. Try, “Interesting, I’d have done such and such, but your way works too.” You could also toss in a bit of flattery – something like “How did you think of such a clever way to do that?” or “That’s very creative, what made you think to do it that way?”

Yes, I know your girlfriends do not need these extra words to understand you, but then they do not have that pesky Y chromosome.

~ Paul – I’m XY and mildly hearing impaired. 

[This post first appeared November 11, 2013.]

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The Danger Of Negative Thinking

Negative thinking is a problem for the person doing it, even if they don’t see it. It’s also a problem for their friends and family. And if they’re married, it can be a massive problem for their marriage.

But it turns out it’s even worse than all that. A new study found regular negative thinking in later life was linked to cognitive decline and possibly Alzheimer’s disease. The specific negative thinking in the study were fretting about the past and worrying about the future.

"Negative thinking will never make your life positive" - inspirational handwriting on a napkin with a cup of coffee

We all have negative thoughts here and there, and more so when life is difficult or we’re feeling down. But if you struggle with negative thinking regularly, it’s doing bad things to your life, your relationships, and eventually to your mind.

The good news is you can change your negative thinking. Odds are you will need professional help to do it, but it can be done. 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m annoyingly optimist – just ask my wife!

A post worth reading:

Dr. Corey Carlisle | Looking back with grace ◄ Speaking of fretting about your past…

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Fear Lies

When I wrote about this over on The Generous Husband, I realised I needed to address it here too.

Fear Lies!

Scared woman

Fear tells you things are worse than they really are. Fear tells you that your husband is doing or thinking things that he is not. Fear tells you that your friends don’t really like you and are talking about you behind your back. And if you buy into fear’s lies, it gets worse. Once you believe fear, it doubles down on the lies it’s been telling and adds a number of new ones.

Fear is a tyrant. It will destroy your relationships, steal your life, and put your marriage in danger. When we control our fear it’s an important tool, When we don’t it’s a horrible taskmaster.

If you’re living in fear, please get some help. Ignore fear telling you there is no hope or that they will lock you up. The truth is professional help can give you control over fear and give you your life back!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I pray this is heard by those who need it.

♥ #Couples Question: What do you like best about where you live?

A post worth reading:

Seth’s Blog | The benefit of the doubt ◄ Do you give it?

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Things Your Husband Hears About Sex

So what has your husband heard about sex – probably when you weren’t around?

I will do a couple of posts on this. Today I want to talk about what he heard as a teenager.

Most of what he heard came from other boys and it was very much a case of the blind leading the blind with a strong dose of confirmation bias going on. Teenage boys talk a great deal about sex and much of what they say has nothing to do with reality. 

Teen boys talking about sex

Girls want sex but are afraid to admit it.

The ugly corollary is that because of this you should push and you should never assume no means no. Pushing for sex is actually doing her a favour because it allows her to say no a few times so she can feel good about herself and still have the sex she wants.

Yeah, guys really say this. And they believe it.

If a girl isn’t wearing a bra, she’s looking for sex.

When I was in high school we all knew this was a fact. I doubt this is still being said because being braless is far more common today, but it still illustrated an important point. Every teen boy knew when a girl wasn’t wearing a bra and it made us more sexually aware of those girls. We assumed, wrongly, that the girls knew this and therefore not wearing a bra was a way of signalling a willingness to have sex. This was especially true if a girl showed up for a date without a bra. This one ties back to the first one; she wants it, but she can’t say she wants it, so being braless is her way if telling a guy to go for it.

When we assume the other sex knows something that is common knowledge for our gender, we set everyone up for problems.

If she doesn’t orgasm it’s because she’s uptight.

It’s not you dude, it’s her. She’s too worried about the good girl thing to relax and enjoy it. And BTW, she should totally be able to climax from intercourse.

She knows how much she is showing and she’s doing it intentionally.

This is another assumed knowledge issue. It wasn’t until I met Lori that I realised how untrue this one was. I know it caused some guys to push hard for sex because again, it’s a way of signalling she is down for sex.

You can’t rape a tease.

The thinking was that teasing is a game; see how far you can go without really doing anything. If you go too far he takes what he wants and the girl understands she misjudged and lost the game. Whatever sex occurred was her penalty for losing the game and she accepted it as such.

Not everyone bought this one, but some did and others used it as an excuse to take sex by force. What makes this one even worse is most of what guys saw as teasing girls didn’t see as teasing.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and yeah, that’s ugly stuff.

A post worth reading:

PsyPost | Speed dating study provides real-world insight into what men and women find most attractive ◄ “…body features (e.g. waist, hips) do not determine attractiveness.”

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Of Greater Preferences

Lori and I spent three years in Dallas OR, a small town 20 minutes from Salem. In some ways, it was the best place we’ve ever lived. Great climate, fantastic gardening, and just 45 minutes to the beach! All of those things are my preference.

Puget Sound beach

And yet we don’t live there, or anywhere near there. What’s more, if someone offered us a nice home in Dallas for $1 a year for as long as I lived, I’d turn them down. 

Why? Because I have other preferences that are more important to me. Living near my grandchildren, the friends we have here, and our church. Those things matter more to me than the things I like about Dallas.

The preferences I have for how a woman looks are the same. There are things about a woman’s personality, intelligence, and sense of humour that are way, way, way more important than my preferences about how she looks. I bet your husband is the same.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I love who my wife IS.

A post worth reading:

Marc and Angel Hack Life | 1 Tiny Yet Hard Step You Need to Take for Yourself ◄ The issue of control.

 

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Are You Happy With Your Breasts?

It’s hardly news that many women are not happy with their breasts. A recent international study found that 71% of women were not happy with the size of their breasts. About half of women wanted bigger breasts, a bit less than a quarter wanted small ones.

Woman measuring her breasts.

What’s scary is some of the other findings from the study. Dissatisfaction with their breast size correlated with negative psychological well-being. It also meant less awareness of one’s breasts and less self-examination for cancer!

I realise women think breasts are a big issue (sorry) for men. While there are men who are all about breast size, in the real world they are the exception, not the norm. For every man I’ve heard complain about their wife’s size I have heard a dozen or more complain about rarely seeing or being allowed to touch her breasts. I’ve also heard plenty of men say that they came into the marriage with a preference that their wife did not meet, but their preference gradually changed to what their wife has.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and breast size is not in my top one hundred.

♥ #Couples Question: You’ve just heard a bad rumor about a friend. What do you do?

A post worth reading:

Love Hope Adventure | How to Get Over The Gross Factor of Oral Sex ◄ It’s mostly in your head.

 

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More Things You Hear About Sex

Today I’m looking at the second post J and Chris did on Things Your Wife Hears about Sex (When You’re Not Around). And yes, I’m working on what your husband hears about sex when you’re not around.

Three women talking

Men Want Women to Look Like a Supermodel and Act Like a Porn Star

I know this is very common for women to hear and to believe. It’s also not true of the vast majority of husbands. I’ve written about this several times and I always get a fight over it. It’s a lie most women believe and most men can’t do anything about. Very sad for everyone.

All Men Want Is Sex … and They Want It All the Time

This one is mostly true for teenage boys and many college-age guys. What women miss is the reality that men grow up. 

If your husband is unhappy with his sex life, the fact that he has not left you proves he cares about more than sex. As for wanting it all the time, if he’s getting a reasonable amount that’s not true. If he’s getting a fraction of what he needs, then it is true just like a starving man is still hungry after one small meal.

Sex Is a Weapon … and there’s nothing wrong with using it to get your way

This was followed with some examples:

  • “The best way to stop an argument is to take your clothes off in the middle of it.”
  • “If you want to convince your husband to agree to the vacation destination you want, offer him a blow job.”
  • “The best time to ask him for something is right after he’s had an orgasm.”

I’ve talked to plenty of men who have been on the receiving end of this. They may enjoy the sex, but they don’t like the manipulation. Most will eventually stop accepting it.

The real crime of this on is it ruins sex for the woman! If you dole out sex as a reward and withhold it as punishment, then you have to ignore your own drive and pleasure.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I hope you will all see these things as lies to be challenged!

A post worth reading:

Gary Thomas | Beauty is a Blessing ► This will be challenging for some of you.

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