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Men Step Up

Discussion in 'Married Couples' started by chaz345, Oct 8, 2010.

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  1. Robinsegg

    Robinsegg SuperMod L's Supporter

    +554
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    Married
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    Dh and I talk about what works/doesn't work for us (not so much about "how do you feel about that" but "how can we make x,y or z work for us as a couple"). I don't know that I ask him to define his feelings all the time. Maybe I've read the "Men are from Mars Women are from Venus" and "Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti" books too much to expect that.

    As far as did women have this need before: I'd say "yes, and they got it fulfilled through other women". Why is it that we seem to think that we need to have our marriage *totally* fulfill *every need* we have? There are some things that dh doesn't fulfill for me. That's why I go out with a lady from church every couple of weeks or so. It's why I have a small prayer group of women from our old church. It's why I call ladies on the phone "just to talk". Dh comes home from work and I *want* to connect with him. Sometimes that means sitting on the couch while he holds me and we watch tv. Sometimes it means we talk about how our day went. Sometimes it means we relay vital information (the baby's been sick, the kids are misbehaving, the car broke down, we need to make this phone call, etc). Sometimes dh needs a break from everything and I suggest he goes and gets a latte or goes to a driving range (golf). Sometimes we feel utterly disconnected, having no time to spend together. It happens.

    In our marriage, the main thing is to communicate about what will work for us and move forward.

    Rachel
     
  2. Robinsegg

    Robinsegg SuperMod L's Supporter

    +554
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    I read Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti (actually heard the authors speak). They say men have a "box" for each type of topic. So, if I need to discuss something, I'll look at dh and say, "Sometime soon, I need us to talk about the kids schooling. Would you let me know when you're ready?" That gives dh time to think about the basic subject and we talk about it when *he's* ready. It's just a little grace I can give him to make sure he's not frantically trying to figure out what I'm talking about :)

    Also, I can tell him "I just need to talk this out, will you be my sounding board?" That allows him to know he doesn't need to do anything, just to have some idea what I'm talking about while I figure out what I *really* think or feel.

    Rachel
     
  3. dorig59

    dorig59 Senior Veteran

    +1,224
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    This is all very interesting. Up until this thread, with all the talk about emotional closeness via deep conversation which equals connection, I had actually wondered if there was something wrong with me because we don't really have deep talks about our relationship. We did all that at the beginning.

    At this point, most talk about our relationship which is fulfilling to me, consists of my husband spontaneously saying something along the lines of "you are SUCH an awesome wife and I love you so much.". I love that!

    We have lots of discussions about politics, spiritual matters, life in general, and of course now that we've been married a whopping six years, together for eight, we have memories, and that's such fun and a common bond as well. We also tease each other constantly, are very affectionate (we've been known to cause people to want to vomit, haha), and have a great sex life, which we also talk about.

    Another thing my husband does that I love is that he often praises me in front of others and will also say things when we're around other people like "I love my wife!". I love that!

    If I have an issue with him with something, I'll just say it straight up. For example, something I'm very sensitive about is that I don't like him having female friends or even to get personal with other women. I don't think he should confide in or divulge personal info about himself if he finds himself with other females, which would only happen in a work situation because otherwise we're pretty much always together. But that's just me. He does everything he can to accommodate my wishes and I super appreciate that. He also moved halfway across the country with me, away from the city he had lived in all his life, to make me happy.
    These things mean a lot.

    For him, I know that he has a need to be built up, he needs me to build his self confidence, which I do liberally, and its also important to him to have a great sex life. No problem! He's my hero and, surely, the best lover in the world.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that we don't need to spend a lot of time discussing how we feel about our marriage at this point. We have many ways of expressing it.

    Now I would like a round of applause because I typed this all out on my Blackberry! My thumbs are killing me.
     
  4. Conservativation

    Conservativation Well-Known Member

    +389
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    Married

    Yes I read it too, 12 years ago or so...and found it, from mans side, outstanding, mush better than Venus mars. I think the wife author in waffles was extremely insightful to men.

    This giving him time to discuss things is GREAT. Spontaneous heavy discussion is anathema to men, especially when there is a known topic that there may be disagreement about.

    Finally, when you sound off and dont get into him knowing your feelings or you wanting HIS feelings, this accommodates him well. I dont think thats how it usually goes, I think usually women want to sound off expressly TO talk ABOUT the feelings, his and hers. I think women like to know that feelings line up, that they feel something, he feels same, and there is something cathartic about sharing feelings.

    Years ago, yes, women did that with other women mostly. Our culture has encroached, with relocation and transient life etc. Phones are OK, but lack body language. This is a NEW and big burden for men to bear, when we are ill equipped to do so, yet we are told non-stop that this is THE relational nirvana, if we'd JUST be like women, our marriages would flourish. This is church and secular wisdom.
     
  5. Conservativation

    Conservativation Well-Known Member

    +389
    Non-Denom
    Married

    I wonder what everyone even MEANS by "have a deep emotional connection" anyway. That question will get me flogged, but I thought we HAD a deep emotional connection. I didn't think we needed to whip it out and play with it daily.
     
  6. Robinsegg

    Robinsegg SuperMod L's Supporter

    +554
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    Women *do* feel that way. I've had to learn that dh doesn't always think about what he feels, he just deals with whatever situation is at hand. Due to reading the book, I now know that if I ask him what he's thinking about or how he feels about something and he says "I'm not really thinking/feeling anything" to just take it at face value and move on.
    I agree with this statement, but I think it leaves out a major component: the insidious teaching that there *is* no gender difference. :doh: If there is no difference, then of course women should expect men to be just the same as we are and react the same. :confused: What a bunch of hooey!
    Rachel
    eta: didn't we used to have a "rollseyes" smiley?
     
  7. dorig59

    dorig59 Senior Veteran

    +1,224
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    True, I agree with that. I believe in another thread when we were talking about sex in marriage, one of us said it just "is". This is similar. In a "normal" marriage with all the ups and downs: the emotional connection "is". IMO and experience.
     
  8. Pink Platypus

    Pink Platypus I'm just ducky! Get it? Duck-billed platypus?

    143
    +12
    Christian
    Married
    ^_^

    My husband asks the same. He says, "I married you. Shouldn't that tell you something? Shouldn't that make you able to assume some baseline of commitment on my part?"

    To which I said (yes, this was a real conversation) "but Donald Trump gets married over and over. His wives eventually don't measure up and he tosses them aside. I assumed all men were like that."

    So now my husband wants to know what he has to do to prove to me that he's not Donald Trump. Other than having no money and no comb-over, that is. ^_^
     
  9. chaz345

    chaz345 Well-Known Member

    +543
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    Married
    US-Republican
    On the whole talking about feelings thing, something women need to realize is that for a lot of guys, when asking us about how we feel about something, short one word "non-answers" are NOT evasion or avoidance. It's a couple of things. First and most relevantly is the fact that often times we honestly don't know how we feel, or can't put a label on it, especially when on the spur of the moment. The idea of an e-mail ahead of time to allow him to ponder what he feels and put better labels on it is great. Or even a "pre-conversation" if it's something that you can bring up in person and then put away while he ponders.

    Secondly though is something similar to the difference in how the genders perceive color. It's been studied that shown that women can actually perceive(and label) far more colors than men. So for example, the woman may see ivory, ecru, creme and a couple of others the to the man they are all white. I think something similar happens with emotions too. She can perceive and label the differences between angry, frustrated and annoyed but to him he's just mad. Given time to mull and process, he can often separate it out a bit more. And given a spouse who really knows him and can non-judgementally and patiently ask questions, he may be able to arrive at the distinction a little sooner.
     
  10. chaz345

    chaz345 Well-Known Member

    +543
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    I get what you are saying, but I also get that having a deep emotional connection is not necessarily a destination. Or maybe more accurately it is something that needs maintaining. I think we agree completely though that maintaining it, building it more, does not, SHOULD not, consist solely of talking about the connection or relationship itself.
     
  11. Lyndie

    Lyndie Guest

    +0
    I have been reading the posts and some have been insightful. I understand that men don't like to 'talk'. Not to put a bee in anyone's bonnet, but let's flip it around. So women need to understand that men are not emotional, are not talkers, etc and we are told to live with it because that is how they are. Can someone tell me then why women get chastised, especially in the church, for not wanting sex all the time? I cannot tell you how many times I have heard that men 'need' sex and we should give it when they want it, even if we don't feel like it. It makes them feel loved, etc. This, folks, is the double standard I am talking about. Wives, give sex even if you don't want to...however, husbands, it's okay if you don't want to talk and you neglect your wife's need for emotional attachment(which is how women feel loved), they just need to live with it.
    Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this?
     
  12. chaz345

    chaz345 Well-Known Member

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    The only wrong thing I see is your perception of what's going on.

    Women ARE told that men need sex and that SOMETIMES doing it when you may not especially feel like it is good. But are women or men ever told that it's ok for men to be emotionally withdrawn? Are men or women ever told it's OK for women to be sexually withdrawn? The answer to both is NO. Here's the thing, the connection you aren't making. Just as an emotionally fulfilled wife will be more likely to feel like sex, a sexually fulfilled man will be more likely to be emotionally open.
     
  13. Conservativation

    Conservativation Well-Known Member

    +389
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    Married
    Yea...I will answer

    I already did in one way

    We are both men and women 100% equally EQUIPPED for sex...the ability and equipment if perfectly suited for it, and it is 100% natural for both to do....neither is unable in the least. That makes it already VERY different than this other thing.

    Now the rest of what you say is off in extremes. No one is saying even remotely its OK to NEGLECT wifes need to feel loved. Maybe you missed it, but is very clear, we are discussing one VERY specific action....discussing the relationship...thats it, thats all. IF thats the ONLY way you can feel loved, then thats a problem. There are ways to communicate love besides literally talking ABOUT the relationship. Im not at all clear how you even came up with this meaning neglect.

    The other, women getting chastised in church for not wanting sex.....I do not believe you...sorry. They are told to SOMETIMES, when they may not WANT to.....not when they are sick, tired, whatever....just maybe dont WANT to....OCCASIONALLY doing so is not bad. I dont see not wanting to discuss one very specific thing, as analogous to that at all. And I dont see it as neglectful to her needs, unless her needs are that narrowly defined, and I assure you, if ALL a man wanted to discuss was the relationship....women wouldnt be happy with that either.

    You made up the double standard from whole cloth, none of these posts have a wit to do with what you portray here.
     
  14. Pink Platypus

    Pink Platypus I'm just ducky! Get it? Duck-billed platypus?

    143
    +12
    Christian
    Married
    Lyndie, I don't think anyone is saying that women should just live with neglect or the silent treatment. What people have been saying is that meta-talk about the relationship and feelings is like a foreign language to men, and it often makes them very uncomfortable.

    That's not the same at all!
     
  15. Robinsegg

    Robinsegg SuperMod L's Supporter

    +554
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    Men need to "help" their wives "feel like sex" just as much as women need to "help" their husbands "feel like talking".

    A man needs to give his wife a certain amount of romance to help her feel like sex. A woman needs to give her husband a bit of warning and different topics to help him feel like talking.

    Not all sex has to be in his favorite position, nor should all talk center around her favorite topic. Use some variety, both in the bedroom and in conversation. Talk about the things he's good at, the things he enjoys. Most of the time, when you get a guy talking about what he's interested in, it's *really* easy to get him to talk. But relationships aren't generally a guy's strong point. Sometimes the talk can be about your relationship (dh and I talk about what works/doesn't work in our relationship, as well as whether or not we each feel loved (or know we're loved)), but it *can't* always be. Talk about his favorite sport, car or his dreams for the future to get him to open up.

    You might be surprised.

    Rachel
     
  16. Lyndie

    Lyndie Guest

    +0
    I am being really convicted right now after going back and re-reading...I must confess that I am coming at this with a skewed perspective...I do have very strong feelings about this because lack of communication is what killed my marriage(and is killing our chance for reconciliation). So I will bow out of this discussion and ask for forgiveness.
     
  17. chaz345

    chaz345 Well-Known Member

    +543
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    Well actually it's a bit more circular than that even. Conversation and emotional discussion can be a part of what makes a woman feel open to sex and sex can be part of what helps make a man feel open to emotional conversation.

    Not to say that the space and warning aren't good too, as is the typical mushy romance stuff.
     
  18. chaz345

    chaz345 Well-Known Member

    +543
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    No need to feel bad about your personal experience/persepctive having caused you to read something in a way other than what was intended. It's HUGE that you backed up, re-read and realized that what you first heard may not have been what was meant. That's something that happens all too rarely around here.

    I can't forgive you because I never really thought you were doing anything wrong. My comment about your perspective being wrong was poorly worded and likely came across a lot stronger maybe almost attacking and that's not at all what I intended. For that I appologize.
     
  19. Conservativation

    Conservativation Well-Known Member

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    Wow...thats huge that you saw that we wernt saying that and then admitted it. Dont leave the topic because of it. Thanks for this.
     
  20. Robinsegg

    Robinsegg SuperMod L's Supporter

    +554
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    There is seriously no problem here! Especially since you looked at it and realized your mistake :)

    We *all* bring our own perspective and baggage to any discussion as well as to any relationship we have.

    Rachel
     
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