Asked And Answered

If you ask a man a question, he will give you an answer.

Asked And Answered

This may not seem like a revelation, but there is an important gender difference here. Women sometimes ask a question as a “polite” way of making a suggestion. If you’re riding in the car with a girlfriend and you say “Why don’t you take 10th street?” what you’re doing is asking her if 10th street might be a better route, and she may consider going that way. If you say the same thing to your husband he will explain why his route is better because that is what you asked him to do.

If you want hubby to consider 10th street, then you need to say “Do you think 10th street might be faster?” When you say this you’re not asking him to defend his choice, you’re asking him to consider another possibility.

Bottom Line: Don’t expect something other than an answer to the question you ask.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and questions are for getting information. 

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Single-Minded

Men tend to be single-minded. When we focus on one thing lose track of pretty much everything else.

Single-Minded

While some women can focus to the point of being oblivious to the world around them (my wife certainly can) they tend to be aware of a much wider array of things most of the time. I’ve heard it said women experience diffused awareness while men experience focused awareness, and this seems to fit most men and women.

This is another case of not wrong, just different. Both kinds of awareness have benefits and limitations. If you and your hubby can learn to benefit from each other’s type of awareness it can be good for both of you. At the very least, you both need to understand and accept how the other’s brain works.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I can get so focused I miss important things. 

#CouplesQuestion: What does your spouse do or say that is very sexy?

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Cheating Isn’t Mostly About Sex

If you listen to men, you would think the vast majority of male adultery is because the man’s wife isn’t giving him enough sex. Or enough sexual variety. I can understand why men want that to be the truth, but it turns out it doesn’t line up well with reality.

Cheating Isn't Mostly About Sex

In his book The Truth about Cheating: Why Men Stray and What You Can Do to Prevent It, licensed family counsellor M. Gary Neuman studied hundreds of men who had cheated on their wives, along with husbands who had not cheated. Among other things, he asked men who cheated what lead them to cheat. 

  • 48% said it was primarily due to emotional dissatisfaction
  • 32% said it was equally emotional and sexual dissatisfaction
  • Only 8% said they cheated primarily because of sexual dissatisfaction

Only 40% said sex was a reason, and only 8% said it was the primary reason. On the other hand, 80% said emotional dissatisfaction was a factor, with a majority of those saying it was the main reason. 

So, as much as a man may complain about sexual frustration, it’s emotional emptiness and distance that is the real marriage killer. I suspect it’s not just the primary reason for adultery, but also a major factor for men who divorce. The thing is men don’t want to admit this to themselves, much less their wife or other guys. Making it about sex is a way to save face.

That said, a lack of sex can cause a guy to feel emotionally distant. I’m not saying poor sex is irrelevant here. What I want you to know is men are not as shallow as you think (or as we pretend). We want and need an emotional connection with the woman we love.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I like connecting with Lori in many ways!

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Feelings, Wo-o-o Feelings

I’ve heard a lot of guys complain about their wive’s emotions. They say she puts emotions ahead of rational thought and emotion. They also say tears are a form of blackmail.

I’m sure there are women guilty of these things, but I suspect much of the complaining by men comes from the fact that men and women put a different value on feelings. I’d say most of it is a matter of different, not wrong.

One thing I do see all too often is the idea that if a woman’s feeling are hurt, the man is wrong. Period. End of discussion.

If a woman’s feelings are hurt, then they are hurt. This is true even if the man had no intention of hurting her. However, that doesn’t make him wrong!

Should he apologise for unintentionally hurting her feelings? Yes. Should that be the end of it? YES!

Before you protest that, you should understand most wive’s unintentionally disrespect their husband from time to time. Again, she should apologise for that, and he should move on.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I’m big on moving on!

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Interdependent

I suspect many women have no idea how dependent their husband is on them. 

In part that could be because many men work at coming off as totally independent.

Interdependent

I find it interesting that when couples divorce the man is more likely to have mental and emotional problems. He is more given to loneliness and depression, and finds it more difficult to “move on”. The reason this is so is that he has been depending on his wife in ways she didn’t know. And perhaps he didn’t know it either. 

The truth is every couple is interdependent. This is true even for unhealthy couples, and it’s far more the case for couples who have a healthy marriage.

Just because you don’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I depend on my wife in many ways.

 #CouplesQuestion: If you were independently wealthy, how would you spend your time?

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The Lie of Mercy Sex

I’m on a mission to remove the term “Mercy sex” from our collective vocabulary. I wrote to the men about it recently – see What If It’s Love, Not Mercy?

The Lie of Mercy Sex

Looking back, I see times when I thought Lori was offering mercy sex, but she was not. She was offering me the best she thought she could do not because she had pity on me but because she loved me. When I treated her offer as something less than a loving act I insulted her. Aside from how that must have hurt, I doubt it improved her desire to be sexual with me.

Some of you are on the giving side of this, and some of you are on the receiving side. If you feel your husband gives you mercy sex, then I challenge you to prove it. What if it’s love, not mercy? What if you read it as mercy or pity because of your own fears or doubts? What might happen is you gladly received it as a gift of love?

If you have been accused of providing mercy sex, or your husband acts as if that’s what you’re doing, I suggest you set him straight. Tell him pity is a turn-off. Tell him you have sex with him when you have no interest because you love him and want to provide him with the things he wants and needs. 

Another way to kill the mercy sex issue is to be proactive. Don’t wait for him to ask, offer. Say something like “I’m not horny but I bet you are (or I know you are), so how about a hand job or a quickie? I know it’s not your first choice, but I want to do it for you if you will let me.” Or just reach out and touch him without any words. If he’s always after sex, he will be thrilled!

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I choose to see all sex with my wife as a gift of love.

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Domestic Abuse

Over on THG today I wrote about domestic abuse (see Abusers Are Cowards).

First a message for you ladies. There is nothing in the Bible that allows, much less justifies, physical, mental, emotional, or sexual spousal abuse. Once is too many times, and “it’s not that bad” is a lie women tell themselves. If you let him get away with it, it will get worse. And worse.

If you’re being abused, you need help ASAP. If you don’t think your church will help (which is sadly true of some churches) then get help from a secular source. It’s all but unheard of for an abuser to stop on his own, and abuse can explode into something worse without warning.

Domestic Abuse

And that said, I want to talk about the other domestic abuse; women who abuse their husbands. And it’s not just emotional and mental abuse, some women physically harm their husbands.

How common this is we don’t know. A good study out of the UK found men were only a third as likely to report domestic abuse as women. Men don’t report out of shame, or because they fear the woman will claim he is the abuser and she will be believed despite no evidence. Estimates say 10% of intimate male partners of women have been on the received severe physical violence or some other severe abuse. And more men than that have been abused in some way.

What I would like you ladies to do is be aware this really does happen. A woman is less likely to kill, but she can still do significant harm. Some men see divorce as the only out, and sadly others see suicide as the only solution. 

Just as good men have a responsibility to fight men abusing women, good women have a responsibility to fight women abusing men.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife has never abused me!

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Gracious Is So Good

Recently my pastor and I were catching up. He left for an anniversary trip shortly after we got home, so it had been awhile. We both mentioned something we had accidentally done that had cost our wife in a significant way. And we both talked about how great our wives had been about it. We concluded that having a gracious wife is a significant blessing.

Gracious Is So Good

Yes, I said what we did was unintentional. But we both know plenty of women who would still have expressed their upset. Others would not have said anything but would have been cool and distant for a while.

The wife who does something to make her husband pay for a mistake pushes him away. The wife who is gracious about a mistake draws her husband closer.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and my wife is very gracious!

 #CouplesQuestion: Who is your mentor? Who do you mentor?

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