Do you know the old adage that says men hug women so they can get sex, while women have sex to get hugs? It was in the days of rare divorce and couples worked around their issues.
From meeting with couples, I have to say that for most it has gone beyond that, and not in a good way. Most women in a troubled marriage endure sex because they love their husband, despite their husband’s insensitivity in the bedroom. Or they just shut him off, out of sheer frustration, and for good reason. Most men don’t get it when it comes to sex, and most women don’t know how to explain it to their too often un-receptive husbands.
Suffice it to say our society doesn’t teach intimacy, nor do people generally understand it. Society teaches a sexuality that is both raw and shallow, focusing on physical pleasure as the “ultimate” reward. The connection between sex and lovemaking has become a mere exchange of words, and the value of keeping sex as an exclusive tool for married couples is lost.
Think about these for a moment:
- Is having sex mean to you that you are making love?
- Does making love mean you need to have sex?
- Is sex outside of holy matrimony (or at least engagement) mean making love?
In fact, it is difficult to call the sexual interaction between most couples intimacy at all. In many cases, the man does what he thinks he needs to do in order to “please” his wife, so he can then ejaculate. Most men are not thinking about pleasing their wife just for the sake of pleasing them as an expression of love. And most women are trying to please their husband just so they can be done with it, or in the pseudo-lucky relationships a wife also tries for physical pleasure and her own physical release. This is not what love making is.
Some couples have a glass or two of wine, imagining they possess the intimacy they actually desire. Isn’t that sad? Intimacy is not intimacy if it depends on a foggy mind. Rather than enjoying intimacy through a true soul connection, a couple instead masks their feelings in order to pretend they are being fulfilled.
Our culture has confused sex and intimacy so much that our schools teach sex education, only the physicality of it, but they don’t understand intimacy, which is of the soul. Men and women are taught to be aroused by the most material aspects of intimate interaction, which is why pornography has become so big. Sex has replaced true intimacy. The genitalia now control the mind to the exclusion of the heart. Raw sexuality devours beautiful intimacy, leaving the heart unsatisfied.
In marriage, a couple has the perfect platform to discover each other from the tips of their toes to the depths of their souls. With the right guidance and a little bit of instruction, a husband and wife’s intimate moments can be absolutely amazing, while providing gratification and fulfillment for the heart.
In Lessons for a Happy Marriage, I place the lesson on intimacy as the very last chapter because the road to intimacy must begin with a new understanding of what a true marital relationship looks like. The road toward intimacy weaves through understanding each other, along with how to behave, how to communicate, and how to please one another. Intimacy and a perfect relationship neither begins nor ends in the bedroom. It is the marriage itself that must be in a constant state of intimacy.
Don’t imagine you can skip the above and just decide to have true lovemaking without the fundamental practices that make marriage special. But you certainly can begin by putting each other’s needs ahead of your own. Sex is fine in marriage and admit it, it’s fun. But true intimacy, including sexual intimacy, connects hearts reserved for married couples and makes life a joy.
Look, the question here is: Can women really rebuild intimacy in marriage?
Women often get frustrated in their marriage because the intimacy they had fades, or disappears altogether, as time progresses. Ironically, women have almost all the power in their marriage when it comes to intimacy. However, this honest truth about wives and intimacy has been lost to us, along with other misconceptions about gender “equality.” Women need a reminder of their power and their abilities.
So what am I talking about?
There is a saying that those with power are loved when they use it for good. So, there are some things you need to stop doing.
- Stop complaining — Women like to express themselves, which is fine. But God gave you freewill. Use it to choose how you express yourself, and do so wisely. If it sounds like a complaint in your mind, it will sound much worse when said aloud. Complaining results in reactions of defensiveness and resentment. Sure you have the right to complain, but the only problem is it will always turn your husband off. There is no positive benefit. Most importantly, intimacy can’t live where complaining thrives.
- Stop criticizing — Most people don’t respond well to criticism. Would you feel like being intimate when you have just been criticized? Your husband already knows he has imperfections. You don’t need to point out his mistakes and flaws, no one will benefit from this.
- Stop condemning — Nobody wants to be close to someone who condemns them. You are living in close quarters. Fill your space with loving praise. Control your tongue and mind.
The aforementioned behaviors poison any type of relationship, especially marriage. When you get married, you expect to marry your best friend who will support you no matter what. Being 100% supportive and loving is irresistible to your husband. But there is simply no benefit to the behaviors above — not for him, you, or your marriage.
An occasional reaction to the above advice is, “I want to be authentic,” or something along those lines. But that’s a childish way of thinking. Your marriage has its own set of rules and you must adhere to marital law.
If you are going to take a closer look:
You got married to find love, security, and deep friendship. You didn’t tell your husband-to-be that once you get married you would start abusing him! Treat him the way you did when you were courting, so he knows you love him.
As a woman, your ability to feel and express love is far superior than a man’s. In addition to that, women are tied to their heart so the expressions of your heart are like a magnet to your husband.
I tell you what though, here are the three proactive expressions that will help build intimacy in your marriage:
- Express appreciation — One of a man’s greatest needs is appreciation. Now, make sure to tell him you appreciate him and explain why. Even if he says, “Honey, you don’t need to say that” —say it anyway. He is just being proud.
- Express admiration — Men need to feel admired. Have you ever wondered why? That’s because it fulfills their self-image as a warrior and protector. Again, make sure you say something, because your husband can’t read minds. Think about his admirable traits and let him know how great he is. Make it a habit.
- Sexually stimulate him — Men are usually far more tied to their drive to procreate than women. In other words, your husband generally needs more sex than you do. His need for sex encompasses more of his life. As his wife, it is up to you to make sure he is taken care of.
That doesn’t mean you need always to be at his beck and call. What this means is you can’t let him think you don’t like him in that way anymore. The point is it’s OK to ask him to be clean, to slow down, to look you in the eyes, and to help him shift from lust to love. Don’t forget that sex is something he needs, and you should want to provide it for him.
Men usually don’t understand intimacy. The key is typically up to the wife when it comes to building intimacy in marriage. Women are attuned to their hearts, and you have the upper hand in this area. Just make his need for sex and your need for intimacy a joint effort — it’s that simple!
By now you’ll have realized that your husband does want intimacy in marriage, just like you do.
As a woman, you need to start the role as a nurturer who entices her husband toward higher planes of intimacy. By bringing attention to your hearts while lovemaking, a man and wife can discover the true meaning of “soulmate.”
Before you go to sleep tonight, put your lips to your husband’s ear and whisper, “I love you.” Will that be a challenge to you?