The following is a letter I send to the men in our church on a weekly basis, NCC Men’s Weekly Update. I include it here because I think it is significantly simple and helpful to men and their marriages. Maybe someone out there can use the info. The letter is directed to men, but some on the list have shared e-mail addresses so I have some notes to the women to cease reading. They are somewhat tongue in cheek, although in my experience, some women resent their men doing things because the pastor gave them a list…go figure. If that is you, maybe you should avoid reading.
(All of you women, this letter is not for you. If you keep on reading, don’t be upset – I am going to be frank with your guy, in my experience when I do this, some of you get upset for some reason –so save yourself the heartache, read next weeks letter)
“I am so glad that is over…”
That is probably the sentiment of millions of men on February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day. Maybe it is how you feel. My duty has been done; I have done the appropriate measure of “loving” that my wife requires of me. If that is what you feel, you are in need of an overhaul of love. I get how you feel. I am not a big fan of forced affection, or the demanding pressure that our culture of marketing puts on us at these times. So I balk at Valentine’s Day. But really, that is not the issue.
You cannot make up for 364 days of lackluster loving of your wife in one day.
(Girl, you really should stop reading this right now, it might short-circuit our game plan…I am serious)
Here is my antidote to lackluster love.
The right things to say…
- Verbalize your love for your wife…when you aren’t having sex. If the only time you say “I love you” is when you want some, or after you got some, you are planting seeds of rebellion and dissatisfaction as well as potentially adding to your unhappy family. This doesn’t work!
- Use the “three time minimum factor”, that is, at least three times a day affirm your wife in a non-sexual context or manner. For those of you who are not creative here are some suggestions:
- I like your hair.
- You look good in those pants, that dress
- I like your earrings
- Dinner was great
- I appreciate all the work you do around here
- The house looks good
- You are a good….
- I love you
- I like you
- I like your…
- Be Creative! Be honest, don’t patronize.
The right things to do…daily
- Pick up after yourself. Don’t leave your dirty laundry on the floor of the bathroom. No one likes dirty underwear; it doesn’t make your wife hot for you!
- Don’t leave dishes, the newspaper or your stuff around for her to pick up after. She is not your maid, she is your wife. If you want her to have good feelings for you, don’t treat her like hotel staff.
- Move from passive to active. Your wife is looking for action, and initiation. So do something before she asks you to.
- Serve your wife. Do one thing to serve your wife every day. If she is doing the laundry, put a load or two away. If she is doing the dishes, tell her to stop – you do them. Think about what would alleviate her load, and pitch in. This advice is worth millions of dollars.
The right things to do…periodically
- Write a note, buy a card, buy a single flower on a day that means nothing – not an anniversary, birthday, Valentine’s day or other significant day.
- Initiate dinner out, the movies etc. Do the date thing, planning it all by yourself because you are a big-big boy.
- That stuff around the house you have been promising to do
The right thing to be
- Spiritually mature
- Strong women are attracted to strong men. If you want to be attractive, be strong. I am not talking about lifting weights; I am talking about the “content of your character.”
(one last chance, Woman, if you are still reading, maybe you need counseling…)
The right touch…
- Stop groping your wife! I know what you want…and this is designed to get you what you want, but if you are going to get it regularly and satisfyingly you must learn how to touch appropriately.
- Touch your wife in a NON-sexual manner 5 times more than you do in a sexual manner (The 5 times more is not scientific, but you get the gist, it could be more for you and your context). Touch your wife in this manner not expecting to get sex. Learn how to handle your wife without the expectation of a return. Give her this affirmation for free.
- The basis of this is that a successful long term and satisfying marriage is to learn how to deal with a woman non-sexually. The more you meet her non-sexual needs for affirmation, security, partnership, love and esteem the more responsive she will be to you sexually. If all you want is sex, you probably need a prostitute, not a wife.
(I told you not to read this…)
The right sex…
- Your attitude in sexual encounter is key – make it your priority to satisfy your wife before satisfying yourself. Again, here is a good ratio: Try to make your wife achieve climax 3 times to your 1, 3:1, remember that, work on it. It’s easy for you, harder for her…especially if you have been a jerk up until now.
- The key is to not fall into the trap of seeing your wife as your personal release from the burden of lust. Sex is the ultimate expression of intimacy in a relationship, one of the highest forms of communication. You can be ready for the act in a moment, as the adage goes “all we need is a room”, but she needs all the other things in this letter, typically first, before she can say: “That was good.”
- When she says: “That was good” it most likely was the best you have ever had! Get it?
- Or you could treat your wife as if she were a picture in a magazine…your choice.
The right mind…
- Maybe the key to doing all of the above is your mindset with regard to your wife. You need to guard your mind in terms of what is in there when you think of your wife.
- Don’t bag on your wife in your head.
- Don’t call her names, don’t rehearse your dissatisfaction.
- Think on these things: her beauty; her victories; her strengths; her value to you; her loyalty; any other thing of value attached to her.
- Give thanks for her, at least three times a day, verbally.
- All of your marital problems began with your frame of reference, how you handled the events of your marriage in your mind. Your mind is the most critical tool in your quest to have a loving, successful marriage.
If this appears to be too one sided…don’t make me remind you of the Ephesians passage…love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…to the point of death…you get it.
(You rebellious woman, if you have read this far, don’t hold it over your husband when he attempts to improve your marriage, most of us are novices in love. We wish we were better, but we didn’t know it would be so much work. That is the deceit of lust – it takes no effort, but it brings no return, so many just give up and give in. Your understanding is appreciated)
Finally, maybe your marriage is beyond the simple fixes listed above. If so, you need to talk to me sooner rather than later. Don’t wait for disaster, the issues in your marriage are fixable. Call me. Some of you need to intuitively recognize if there are intermediate steps you need to take before implementing the above “fixes”. To use computer terminology, if your printer isn’t working, try reinstalling the drivers before buying a new printer.
I am praying for you,