This article is for men in “traditional,” heterosexual relationships.
Why, you might ask? Well, in general, (see there – I wrote “in general” – yes, I am generalizing. If the generalization does not apply to you, please don’t be offended. I’m writing this piece based on academic research and client interactions.) In general, people in relationships that we don’t think of as “traditional” have had to find ways to communicate more openly than have others.
With that in mind, here goes…Oh, one more thing, ladies, if your man does not subscribe to Better After 50, feel free to forward this to him. Hopefully it will open the door to increased communication.
Okay, so, guys, let’s talk (pronounced tawk):
Many of your wives/partners are unhappy with the lack of sexual energy between you, in general, and in the bedroom, in particular. They want to discuss this with you but they don’t know how!
The fact of the matter is that when you got together it was likely when you were experiencing a sexual peak. As was dictated by our society, she was focused on having a family. At that time, it was acceptable for you to have “sewn your oats” prior to getting into a long-term relationship. Women, however, have never had that opportunity. We were supposed to be sexy but not sexual and attractive but not to act on attraction.
Things have now changed: We are done raising our families and we have gotten to a point where we would like our lives to be a bit more about us. In some cases, we are discovering parts of ourselves that we didn’t know existed or weren’t allowed (society again) to feel. Another part of the problem is that with life getting in the way for years, we forgot how to connect with you – if we ever really knew how to do so in the first place.
Today we are becoming aware of our own needs and desires – feelings that aren’t based on what is best for the kids, or our parents, or what society expects. In addition, we are beginning to experience our own sexual peak. Based on how our relationships began, we are afraid to talk to you about our needs and desires. In some cases, we fear humiliation or outright rejection. Of course, you don’t plan to ridicule us. But, it is possible that you don’t want the boat rocked or that you would be shocked to learn what is going on in our minds and with our bodies.
And so, we settle for the status quo while talking to our girlfriends about how unhappy we are and fantasize about having hot, sultry affairs. In some cases, we act on those fantasies because we are so desperately lonely in our needs.
You may wonder, why I am telling you all of this. Well, as I said at the beginning, I have based this article on academic readings as well as my experience with many clients. I am hoping to help you and your partner achieve a mutually satisfying love life as well as happiness. Of course,
I realize that you may be afraid to speak to her about all of this. But, if she is giving you this blog post, she clearly wants to have a conversation. In case you’ve found this piece on your own, and are interested in communicating with your partner, here are some possible conversation starters:
- “Honey, I just read this great blog post and I’m wondering what you think of it.” Then show her this post.
- “Honey, what is something you’ve always wanted to try but feel embarrassed to tell me?” Big caveat here…DO NOT SHAME HER!
- “Honey, I would like you to show me what pleases you?” And then pay attention!
- “Honey, I’d like us both to discuss our fantasies.” Again, no shaming!Please know that I am not minimizing how difficult it might be to start these conversations. That said, I do think it is a lot easier to have them than to live unfulfilled lives, to experience the pain of infidelity or possibly more painful still, to wind up in divorce court.
- My last thought on this topic (for now) … I read recently that most relationship unhappiness is due to unmet expectations. Guys, I can promise you that if your partner brought this blog post to your attention she is really hoping that you will learn to meet her expectations. And, in turn, she wants to meet yours.