Alright. I’ll be brave and re-post this.
I am not even sure how to go about writing about what is on my mind right now. Its something that has been on my mind for quite a while now and I cannot help but let a few of my thoughts spill over into the virtual world, in hopes that someone will be listening and take action. One can hope. For the sake of our Men.
I cannot speak highly enough of my husband. He is my rock, the one who pulls me down from the clouds. He calms me when I am spiraling. He sees into me like no one else can. And I let him. He takes care of me and our children both monetarily and emotionally. Among all that is good and sacred in the work of a Man, he accomplishes it. My needs are met, and I can’t help but be grateful in all he does. Through the years (all 6 of them) of marriage, I have learned how easy it is for me to meet his needs, few as they are. For a glimpse into what I believe a man’s simple needs are, take a gander here.
Food and physical intimacy (aka: sex). Yes. I really do believe it is that simple.
Food: Seriously, this has been a difficult one for me to master, and I’m still working on it. But I think I am getting the hang of it. For the month of August I made a deal with dear hubby that I would cook 31 day of consecutive dinners if he would buy me a new dining table. I think the one I have is about 100 years old. No joke. Naturally, he agreed. You see, he hates that table too! And who doesn’t love a hot meal?! Well folks, I did it. I could share my menus if you’d like, but that is neither here nor there with what I want to say. The fact is, I did it. Thirty-one days in a row of home cooked meals- usually around 5:30pm. And I saw something magical unfold:
I was happier. (Serving others lends itself to happiness)
I had a plan.
I stuck to a schedule.
My body felt nurtured.
My children were content.
We ate together.
We prayed together.
We had wonderful conversations.
He did the dishes.
My home was in order.
All because I took the time to make meal time a priority. When our bellies were fed, our hearts were happy. The change in my home was magical. My family was at my fingertips- in the kitchen, helping, talking, singing, cleaning- being together. Being with my husband and seeing him off before he was off again to school or study was amazing. He was a priority. My heart felt good knowing that he was fed and happy. As I did this, I saw his behavior change. He openly thanked, helped and loved me in a way that came from a man who was truly grateful. When is the last time your husband came up behind you in the kitchen to kiss you on your neck and say Thank you. MY needs- BAM!- met. (Recognition for my hard work…who knew it would be so easy to get?)
You can bet that I will be keeping that 5:30 dinnertime ritual alive. Tomorrow’s dinner? I’m thinking this. (Can I just tell you how much I love Pioneer Woman. She amazes me!)
On to the next thing. Physical intimacy.
It has been said by many experts, that the successful man is highly sexed. I also believe that a man’s need for sex (AND physical intimacy, because they are different) is indeed just that: A NEED. Call it what you may- perverted, primal, base, degrading-HUMAN- a man needs sex. The drive that is in him needs to be satiated. Who better to meet that need than a willing wife? And I don’t mean that in a sexist way. ALSO, I should say that women (I) need it too. This is not to say that we treat physical intimacy as a Duty, but that it is something that we share, enjoy and explore together.
Author, Ayn Rand’s character, Lillian from Atlas Shrugged had these thoughts on the matter:(I hate her by the way)
She did not censure him. She made it clear that she took it for granted that men had degrading instincts which constituted the secret, ugly part of marriage. She was condescendingly tolerant. She smiled, in amused distaste, at the intensity of what he experienced. “Its the most undignified past time I know of, ” She said to him once, “but I have never entertained the illusion that men are superior to animals.”
Am I really to believe that the man who takes care of me in ways that I could not myself would deserve the treatment and lack of respect like that of an animal?! Who deserves to be made to feel like that? Beaten down, embarrassed or ashamed of a simple need that is so easily met. Would you really have your “man” come begging you? When was the last time you initiated intimacy? Deny them as you will, but sooner or later, that need will find a way to be met. He may just “take care of it himself” (eew), it may cost you $50 bucks (is that the going rate for tricks on the street?), or worse, your marriage.
The secret, ugly parts of marriage? How sad.
I know the truth is that many women feel this way. Do we not realize just how much control we have in our homes? If withholding sex makes a woman feel powerful and in control, I wonder what she must feel like when she uses her power for good. I think she may find she has a happy home with a husband who, not so much by accident, begins to meet the complicated needs of his wife without even knowing it. And that is a feat! Control freak anyone? Ya. That’s me. Lets face it, that is most women! As for me, I’m learning slowly to use my control for good.
I am rooting for my husband to be as successful as he possibly can. I know that if I can relieve him of as many stresses as possible, it is better for everyone. He can focus. He can provide. He can feel loved. He can love himself. I want that for him most of all. And gosh, if feeding him and sharing myself with him intimately on a regular basis is the trick, it’s the least I can do.
I understand that these needs are not always so cut and dry and I am not claiming to be perfect, but I can see by experience that doing these two things in my home and marriage work. I value my marriage. I value the simple advice to give, give, give to those you love and you will be amazed at how much you will receive.