I tend to go along themes on this blog, so it looks like this week is going to be about love, marriage, and romance.
One of the biggest mistakes I have seen by the Men that I work with, and one I have made from time to time in my own life, is to forget that marriage is, first and foremost, a sexual relationship. It can be easy to lose that in all of the politicking, rambling, and rambling that goes on about marriage these days. People are so obsessed with the minutae of marriage that they forget its most elemental truth.
The details and terms of marriage have shifted a lot in our culture over the last few centuries. We have changed the rules, the contributions, and the ideals of marriage again and again. However you change it, however you adjust the story of it, and however you alter the rules of marriage one thing always remains the same: that a marriage is about two people pledging their sexual energy and their support to one another.
When we forget that, and start treating marriage like an arrangement for raising children, a way to get some freedom from government taxation, a very complicated friendship, or a way to keep up appearances, as many Men do, it immediately begins to fall apart.
To keep a marriage strong, you must work to keep attractive to your spouse. You have to keep working on being fit, well-groomed, well-dressed, and healthy. You need to show off your masculine energy by handling problems as swiftly as you can, rather than letting them linger. You have to show your spouse, confidence, courage, and pride. If you don;t work on being attractive, than it will become harder and harder for your spouse to want you sexually, and harder for both of you to be in integrity with your marriage vows.
While in many ways your spouse is also your closest friend, there are ways where you will have to treat her (or him) as a lover first and a friend second. If you have a deep emotional problem, gong to your spouse first can be tricky – after all, it is hard to feel attracted to someone who collapses into tears over a problem – sometimes you are going to want to talk to a close friend or a parent first to let you vent the big feelings, and start working on a solution. That way when you are ready to talk to your spouse about it you can say:
“I need to talk about something that is bothering me, and that is [X]. At first I was feeling really [Y], but I’ve been working it out, and I know I have to do [Z]. I would really appreciate your support while I handle this problem.”
Which shows emotional strength and wisdom -something that can make your spouse feel even more loving and attracted. Rather than less.
Sometimes you are going to have to play your cards a little closer to the vest with your feelings, showing them through art and creativity rather than just talking them out in order to maintain a little mystery about yourself. Because it is the mystery that helps keep attraction alive.
Some days keep the attraction alive is going to need to be your absolute highest priority.
A person who lets themselves go, who stops trying to be attractive to their spouse, or lets the sex trail off until the marriage is sexless has violated their wedding vows as surely as if they had cheated.
And the results of forgetting the sexual nature of marriage can be just as bad as cheating. I’ve have seen strong women collapse in tears because their husbands won’t touch them. I have seen Men talking about getting themselves chemically castrated so that it won’t hurt their feelings when their wives ignore their needs for too long. I have seen angry bitter men go out and start fights because they are so angry at their wives for letting themselves go that the man just needs to hit something. And I’ve seen people become deeply depressed because they are afraid that they will never really enjoy sex ever again.
Marriage is a perpetual seduction, a lifelong game of flirting and wooing. If both of you remember that, it can be a constant source of fun, joy, and creativity. If you forget it, marriage can become a source of incredible pain.