Every wife knows sex is important to her husband. But wives often have trouble grasping the true significance of sex from a male perspective, because they filter men's needs through their female minds, just as men have similar difficulties because they filter women's needs through their male minds.
Jay and Laura Laffoon explain the starting point for wives, trying to comprehend the male world of sexuality: “Your husband needs to know that you want to be with him sexually.” It's a need that's hardwired into his psyche.
But he wants to be wanted, not simply tolerated or you're being “willing” to be sexually intimate. The Laffoons explain, there “is a big difference between willing and want to.” “Willing” implies a reluctant meeting of a minimum requirement (“Yes, I'm willing to take out the trash.”) “Want to” means an enthusiastic desire.
A husband's wanting to be wanted sexually is also not the same as his need to have sex. Wanting him means that you see him as a sexually desirable, attractive male – something you “want.” Even when sex isn't possible due to illness or injury, you still want him and you let him know in no uncertain terms. Just knowing that you want him and find him sexually attractive meets his need to be wanted without so much as a touch.
The Laffoons acknowledge that “a wife's changing sexual personality is all very confusing to husbands,” especially when her monthly cycle takes her from sex kitten to a raging, saber-tooth tiger overnight. But there's another complication: The Laffoons explain that men have their own hormonal cycle, which occurs about every 72 hours. During this cycle men have a hormonal buildup and when it peaks, “hormones begin to attack his brain, making him obsess over issues” that he was hardly thinking about two days earlier.
His 72-hour cycle and your 28-day cycle are not naturally in sync. This means making a conscious decision to want your husband, no matter how you “feel” at any particular moment. It's worth the effort. Laura Laffoon explains that “telling your husband 'I want you' unlocks his potential” to be the husband, communicator and listener you're looking for. She has three suggestions that can help.
•“Guard your hormones.” Laura Laffoon realizes that “at least two weeks out of the month, our hormones scream, 'Leave me alone!'” When women are aware of their own cycle and its effect on their personality, it makes it possible to say something different than they feel like saying. She adds, “If you suffer from PMS in a difficult way, then you better be saying 'I want you' to your husband very loudly” the rest of the month.
•“Guard your heart.” During the two weeks a month when it's hardest to say “I want you,” Laffoon suggests scheduling fewer activities during the day and blocking off time “throughout the day to decompress.” Deep breathing or a cup of tea may help. The more wives are able to handle their mood swings, the more they're able “to take care of the emotions before they erupt.”
•“Guard your head.” Laura Laffoon puts it bluntly: “Desire is a decision.” Wives want their husbands to provide emotional support, hugs and backrubs, all with an attitude of love and desire “without expecting anything in return,” even when they're not in the mood. Husbands want to be wanted on the same basis.
Wives desire to be desired. Husbands want to be wanted. The more husbands and wives understand these differences and meet their spouse's needs, the easier it is for their spouse to meet their needs.
©2013, All Rights Reserved. James Sheridan’s website is www.marriagedoneright.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.