“Until the mind stays open, the heart stays closed. The open mind is the key to the open heart.” Byron Katie
When I was in my late twenties, my best friend and I had the brilliant idea to develop a training that would teach men how to love a woman.
I still think it’s a great idea and much needed, but the problem is that most men (specifically married men) aren’t seeking how to love their wives any differently than what they’ve always done.
So while many women may want to send their husbands to a course like that, the men themselves probably won’t want to be there. And because we think men are just intuitively supposed to know how to love a woman, they might be embarrassed to need this help or not have these answers.
But just like there was no course for women on how to love a man, there also was no course for men on how to love a woman. And most of us would agree that men just aren’t as complicated as women.
Last week, I told you about a client of mine that wanted more communication and connection inside their marriage. He had his own idea of how to create that, so he did what he would want her to do if the roles were reversed.
Even though she had given him the map (communicate with me, spend time with me), his answer, sadly, was some version of:
(Yes, in case you’re confused…by “it” I mean his penis.)
Clearly, that didn’t work out well. The poor guy got rejected 3 times that night.
And she’s left shaking her head and thinking to herself, “He doesn’t get it at ALL! This will never work.”
Swinging it around isn’t hot. Nor is grabbing her boob. You did that in high school and maybe it worked then, but she is not that young girl anymore.
If you want her to have that loving feeling that you’re already feeling, then you’ve got to invite her to the party in the way that she can receive it. Dancing around naked probably isn’t it.
3. I love the quote from Esther Perel: “Foreplay begins after the last orgasm.” Here’s what she means: Foreplay for a woman is everything that happens for the 24-48 hours prior to having sex. But for a man, it’s typically something that happens 10 minutes before having sex. A major disconnect between the sexes…
Pornography sets unrealistic expectations and is all about sexual satisfaction and instant gratification. It has absolutely nothing to teach you about intimacy. BTW – in case you didn’t know, intimacy is so much bigger than just sex.
She wants you to know what needs to be done and take some initiative. Women carry the mental load for so much, and they don’t also want to carry the mental load for what you need to do. (Plus….the idea of “helping” with the home and kids ended in the 1970s. Now it’s just two equal partners tending to the responsibilities they chose and created together.)
It could be a yoga class, it could be a course she’s taking, it could be a win she got in her business. Even though the things that make her feel alive take her away from you and the family, I promise you that she needs that space to cultivate passion within herself in order to be available to you sexually. Make the things that give her life a priority to you. You can thank me later.
Wanting is created when there’s a bit of distance, where every single thing isn’t known. It needs spontaneity, mystery and adventure. When we’re watching each other pee for 20 years, we shouldn’t be surprised that desire has gone missing. Create some distance and surprise. Have her meet you at the bar at a fancy restaurant last minute. Arrive before her, get a table and have her favorite drink sent to her at the bar. When she looks around, come walking up to her, tell her how beautiful she looks and take her by the hand back to the table.
If you two always have sex in the same way and the ending is always the same, she will get bored. No one reads the same book 1000 times. And boredom isn’t going to help anyone’s sex life.
That was then, and this is now. Our parents had very distinct roles in the relationship; they both knew their part, and women, for the most part, had sex as a matter of duty or to create babies. Today, the roles are not predefined, and women want more than just a provider and protector because it’s not as needed for women as it was only a generation ago. This is literally the first time in history that anyone is even talking about women’s sexual pleasure. If you look back in history, no one has ever cared about women’s sexual pleasure. But I assure you that today, most women do. Know what brings her pleasure, and if you don’t know, ask.
Safe to talk about what brings her pleasure, safe to give herself over to you knowing that you’ll honor her, and safe to be the full expression of who she really is and how she’s changing. Of course she’s a wife and a mother / sister / daughter / friend. Of course she’s a bad-ass whether she works inside or outside the home. But she’s also a woman who has dreams and desires unique to her and her life. I promise she’s not only the same woman she was when you married her. Rather than pretending to know everything there is to know about her, remain curious about who she is and who she’s becoming. Welcome those new versions as she grows and changes, rather than being frightened by them or ignoring them.
She wants a confident man, and if she is married to you, she clearly wants that man to be you. What creates confidence? Knowledge. And when we have knowledge, we have far less fear. A willingness to try without needing it to be perfect creates confidence.
12. I had a client recently tell me: “It’s like my husband thinks he can have sex with me without acknowledging who I am as an individual – and that doesn’t work for me at all.” Your wife wants to feel seen, heard, and understood.
For her, sex isn’t just a physical act; it is the most intimate experience she can have with another human being. But if you don’t look her in the eye, really listen to her and want to understand her…she’ll feel like you could be having this experience with anyone and it wouldn’t make any difference to you.
Times have changed dramatically from our parent’s generation to our own. And there was no class for our generation to learn how to do this well today. All we had going into marriage is what we learned at home watching our parents, and they didn’t have any tools or training either. And then we wonder why the divorce rate is approximately 50% and even higher for second and third marriages.
Of course, that will feel uncomfortable at first, but like anything new after some practice, it will become more comfortable, more habitual, and form a new way of being in a relationship with one another.
If you’re a woman, I want to hear your thoughts and perspectives.
And be sure to share this with someone who might benefit.
For men that want to learn how to love a woman, Shannon Cyr is a member of my team and an amazing men’s coach. You can explore working with her here.
And for women that are struggling to get that loving feeling back for their husbands, let’s explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together.