If You’re Unhappy, GET. IN. HIS. FACE!

Over on TGH this week I’m talking about divorce. Feel free to read along, and comment as you like.

Marriage papers and rose cut in half

For you ladies who are unhappy in your marriages, I would like to beg you to make it clear to your husband that your marriage is not acceptable. I know you’re thinking you’ve done everything short of tattooing it on your face. What I’m suggesting is that you say this in front of someone to whom your husband is (or should be) accountable. Your pastor would be my first choice. 

In front of that person, tell your husband your marriage is deeply painful for you and you don’t know how much longer you can take it. Tell him if he’s not willing to make changes your marriage will be over. You might not leave physically, but emotionally you will be done. 

If doing this bring about no change, then you know where you stand.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I hate bad marriages!!

♥ #CouplesQuestion: You’re holding a basket for an afternoon in the park with your sweetie. What’s in it?

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Each Woman Is Sexually Unique

A few years ago a study was done on women’s sexual pleasure. A group of 1,000 women age 18 to 94 answered questions about how they orgasm and what kind of genital stimulation they enjoy. This was a random sample of women and was demographically very close to the population as a whole.

The big takeaway? Female sexual pleasure is not one size fits all.

Women holding up different shoes

The women described a wide variety of preferred sexual touch, with variations in location, pressure, shape and pattern of genital touch desired. Some women liked two or more forms of touch, but 41% wanted only one specific kind of touch.

In terms of intercourse, 18% of the women said intercourse alone could result in orgasm. Thirty-seven percent of women said they needed clitoral stimulation to orgasm during intercourse, and 36% reported they didn’t need clitoral stimulation, but their orgasms felt better if they received clitoral stimulation during intercourse.

What this means is your sexuality is unique. You’re not like any of your friends, and you’re not like any of his past girlfriends. Your body works in specific ways and there’s a good chance there is only one form of genital stimulation that works for you. This does not mean you’re broke; it means you’re normal!

If sex isn’t working for you, it’s because what is being done is not what you need. If this is the case, please speak up! Ask your husband to work with you to find what turns you on and what gets you off. There is a way, keep exploring until you find it.

Resource: Women’s Experiences With Genital Touching, Sexual Pleasure, and Orgasm: Results From a U.S. Probability Sample of Women Ages 18 to 94. | J Sex Marital Therapy

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I want every married woman to have mind-blowing sex!

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Why Boundaries Is A Dirty Word

I’m a fan of the book Boundaries in Marriage, but I know a lot of men who hate that book!  The reason for this is some women have grossly misquoted and misused the book as a tool for manipulation. And yes, there is sad irony in that.

Sneakers from above. Male and female feet in sneakers from above, standing at dividing line.

Boundaries are supposed to be property lines that should not be crossed because doing so causes problems. Boundaries are not about getting one’s way and they are not about never feeling bad. Boundaries are not supposed to “protect” you from dealing with your problems and boundaries are most certainly not intended to allow someone to keep living in a broken place!

If you have ever done any of that, please repent. And if you see others doing it, please speak up. Don’t let a good book become less useful because some folks lie about what it says!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I like fences better than boundaries. 

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Dealing With His Anger

The issue of men’s anger has come up recently in the comments both here and over on The Generous Husband. So let’s see if we can have a calm discussion about husbandly anger. ;-)

Angry Husband

Some men use anger as a tactic, a way to get their wife to back off. I’ve already talked about tactics: if they don’t work, he won’t keep doing it.

In other cases it’s not an intentional tactic; instead, it’s a man’s go-to emotion when he feels bad or doesn’t want to deal with things. I’m going to get flack from some men for saying that, but it’s an accepted fact by most people who deal with marriages that this does happen. That said, you calling it what it is probably won’t help. It will just make him angrier and you will seem to be the clear cause of the anger. 

Then you have the men who blame their wife for their anger. That always scares me, because that’s what abusive men say when they beat their wife or children. That said, if you wanted to make your guy mad I bet you could. You know his buttons and you know how to push them. I’ve seen women try to make their husband mad and it’s not a good thing for their marriage.

If your husband’s anger is a problem for you, and thus for your marriage, the only way to bring about change is to call him on it. Don’t tell him why he’s angry or what his anger means. Instead, tell him that his anger is hurting you. Tell him you need him to find a way to stop being so angry. Tell him you will go with him to a trained third party if he wants, or he can go on his own. But make it clear his options are dealing with his anger or hurting his marriage. 

BTW, my friend J recently wrote a very good post on abuse. Please check out Are You in an Abusive or Destructive Marriage?. Even if you aren’t in danger, you probably know women who are

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I hate seeing men justify anger.

 #PrayerPrompt: Ask God to help you know and love your husband well.

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Visual Sexual Arousal

This is a post that could easily be misunderstood, so let me address a couple of things up front. I am in no way excusing or downplaying sin here. What I’m doing it trying to define where the sin line is. The other way this could be misunderstood is if a woman says, “Well, if that’s the way it is I can’t win and I give up.” Please see past the biological facts and understand the issue of your husband’s choice.

Okay, that out of the way… Men are visually aroused. I’ve had women tell me they are just as aroused by what they see as men. I have no doubt some women are more aroused by what they see than most women, but they are not affected the way men are. I can say this categorically because women don’t have male minds and they don’t have the levels of testosterone men have. (For more on this see the resources at the end.)

Woman eating a strawberry

I have zero interest in having sex with any woman other than my wife. What’s more, I have no desire to be turned on by any other woman, be it in real life or by images. However, if I opened a web page and up came a full page image of a woman’s genitals, I would be affected. Even before my conscious mind processed what I was seeing, the part of my brain responsible for sexual arousal would activate. Among other things, there would be an increased flow of blood to my genitals. As soon as my conscious mind caught up I’d look away, click away, and turn my mind away, so the arousal process would get cut short before much happened.

What I described is inevitable because I’m male. I don’t like it, I don’t secretly enjoy it, and I wish I could stop it. But I can’t. No amount of effort will change it. Praying about it would be like asking God to keep me from having goosebumps when I’m cold.

However, because I don’t like this, I choose to not follow it when it happens. As soon as I realise what I’m seeing, I stop looking and thinking about it. 

A couple of other things:

  1. Seeing a half-naked woman affects a guy as I have described regardless of what that woman looks like. She doesn’t have to be beautiful or sexy, and she doesn’t have to be “his type”. The response is to her body, or more specifically parts of her body. The initial reaction has nothing to do with the woman. It says nothing about her or the man.
  2. I hear women complain about their husband “staring at women”. Yeah, some men do that and it’s wrong. But the first one to two seconds is not staring. Past two seconds yes, it’s wrong. Before that, he has not had a chance to choose to not look.
  3. Falsely accusing your husband of staring is a horrible thing to do. If he looked away quickly and you accuse him, that’s not making him feel good about you. The fact he can’t prove his innocence doesn’t make you right!
  4. Being mad at him for how God made him is also a really bad plan.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I only have eyes for Lori.

Resources:
The Triggers of Sexual Desire: Men vs. Women | Psychology Today
Men and women differ in amygdala response to visual sexual stimuli. | Pub Med

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Seeing The Good You Do

It’s difficult to see yourself properly. Some folks have too high an opinion of themselves, while others have an opinion that’s far too low. And in my experience, women are more likely to fall into the second camp.

Woman looking at images

Unfortunately, many women have been trained to look down on themselves and discount the good they do. Then the Enemy comes along and whispers in her ear, making it worse. On top of that, you have folks who hate her who say ugly untrue things. Then there are those who should be thanking her who don’t because admitting she has helped makes them feel indebted to her. Next, are those who stay quiet because they’re jealous of her abilities or accomplishments in some area. And finally, you have those who limit praise as a way of controlling her. You get all of these from “friends” and most women get it from family too.

Hopefully, your husband is not doing any of these unloving things. Hopefully, he is all about telling you when you do a good job and showing you the good you don’t see. I also hope you have at least one friend who will point out the ways you bless others.

Don’t let the world lie to you about the good you do. And don’t let the lack of thanks get you down either. When Jesus healed ten leapers only one came back to thank Him. I don’t think we should expect even as much thanks as Jesus got. That means each person who thanks you should be seen as a dozen or more people you have helped.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife does so much to bless so many!

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To My Fellow Outliers

An outlier is someone who is more than a little different than the norm. Outliers often show up in blog comments, arguing something said in the post.

Graph with outlier marked

I do get it, as I am often an outlier. And I’ve been guilty of arguing an outlier reality in blog comments! When someone makes a statement that excludes our reality, we want to set the record straight.

I think we do well to know where we are outliers. Knowing this helps us deal with a world that is not made for us. It helps us know when we will need to make an extra effort and it should give us some compassion for those who have no idea there are outliers. It’s fair to make our reality known, but it’s not helpful to make it seem like our outlier reality is the norm.

In some things I find being an outlier a benefit; in others, it’s a disadvantage. But it’s who God made me to be, and that’s never wrong. Outliers unite – on the fringes! ;-) 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m way out there!

 #CouplesQuestion: What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

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He Doesn’t Think You Can Handle His Sexual Truth!

This is a specific case follow up of Wednesday’s He Thinks You Can’t Handle The Truth! While nothing I write here is true for all men, this comes very close to that. I don’t know a man still interested in sex who doesn’t have a least a bit of this fear, and most have way more than a bit!

Most husbands fear that if their wife knew his full sexual truth they would freak out. At best it would hurt their sex life and their relationship, and she might leave him.

Woman hiding under the bed covers in fear.

For the most part, this fear is not the result of the husband wanting something horrible. For the last few decades, men have been told they are a bunch of oversexed maniacs who put their own pleasure ahead of a woman’s well being. Just having a penis makes you dangerous and wanting to use it makes you a monster. You may think that’s an exaggeration, but it really isn’t.

One big sexual fear is about how often he wants sex. The vast majority of men under 35 would like sex at least daily, and plenty of men over 35 would like that as well. But we think that is grossly unfair to our wives, so we don’t tell her about it. 

Most of the other fears are about what we want sexually. And most of it isn’t crazy or kinky, it’s just beyond what the couple is doing, and he’s afraid she will think he is sick or perverted or oversexed or otherwise wrong for wanting whatever he wants.

Adding to the problem is the reality that many of us have hurt our wives with our sexuality. I certainly did this to Lori in the early days of our marriage. It had more to do with her past than my desires, but it still hurt her and that just proved to me that my fear was valid.

As I said, this a nearly universal fear for men. I know better, and I have a very understanding wife, and I still struggle with this fear. I’ve also talked to a “lower drive husband” who says he is as he is because as a teen it was pounded into him that he had to be very careful to not hurt women with his sexuality. 

This fear is the root of a lot of problems. It’s why some men masturbate; they don’t think it’s fair to ask their wife for more sex. It can contribute to porn use; to satisfy the desire for more than the vanilla sex he limits himself to with his wife he looks at porn. It can increase the temptation to cheat; he really wants whatever, and he feels it’s wrong to do it with his wife. (I’ve heard that last one a number of times. And other men fantasise doing whatever with another woman because it would be wrong to think of their wife that way!)

If your husband has been holding back his sexual truth from you, simply asking him probably won’t do it. In his mind, you’re asking him to hurt you and he’s not going to do that. You’re also asking him to risk what he has with you, sexually and relationally, for something he thinks he can never have. That doesn’t seem like a good plan and he’s going to resist.

If you want to explore his sexual truth, odds are you will have to work at it. Initiate sex more often, be it all the bells and whistles, a quickie, or something just for him. Suggest something beyond what you currently do. Don’t ask if he wants to try whatever; instead, tell him you want to try it and ask if he’s willing. 

If you’re happy with your sex life, you may see no reason to chase this. On the other hand, if your hubby expresses and then receives some of what he fears asking for, it will make him appreciate you in ways you can’t imagine. 

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m not really a monster.

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