Every woman has a #MeToo story, including your wife. It was the moment that she became aware of her vulnerability as a woman. And it has an impact on your marriage.
It could have been when she was a child, a teenager, or a young adult but it happened. It may have been an actual physical encounter, a wolf whistle, or an “invitation” to smile. And it has imprinted in her primal brain as a form of threat.
If you don’t know her story, you need to find out. Because being respectful of it will save you a lot of heartache in the intimacy department.
I vividly remember a conversation I had with my husband when he told me that men would love it if women would grab their “junk”. This was in response to a reminder that his out of the blue touching of certain of my parts triggered a defense reaction in me. Not what he was going for, but he was following an “if I like it, so will she” way of thinking.
This is a common, but usually disastrous, way of approaching just about anything in your marriage.
Intimacy requires safety. And women often don’t feel physically safe. Not necessarily with you, but in the world at large. And you can unintentionally trigger this for her if you don’t make allowances for her history.
Please understand. This isn’t about you. It’s about how her brain instinctively responds to threat. In her cognitive brain (and in her heart) she knows you love her. She knows you mean her no harm. But, when you enter her physical space without her being prepared, her primal brain acts to protect her.
Immediately. And without real thought.
I remember my husband jumping on top of me and making a playful sound right in my face. Without thinking, I slammed the heel of my hand so hard into his chin that his teeth slammed together. I knew he was next to me. I knew he wasn’t going to hurt me. And still I reacted to protect myself. I perceived threat.
I’ve never been assaulted or abused. I have found myself in a couple of scary situations that luckily turned out okay. But I didn’t listen to my inner voice that tried to warn me about them.
Your wife more than likely has done the same. Maybe she has been assaulted or abused. And her body remembers. It is traumatic for her and impactful to your marriage.
So be respectful of her personal space, especially if she has specifically asked you to. It will make her feel safe. Which builds trust. Which increases intimacy. Which is what you both want.
If you want to know about understanding her experience, let’s talk.
This post was previously published on foundationscoachingnc.com and is republished on Medium.
You Might Also Like These From The Good Men Project
|Compliments Men Want to Hear More Often||Relationships Aren’t Easy, But They’re Worth It||The One Thing Men Want More Than Sex||..A Man’s Kiss Tells You Everything|
Join The Good Men Project as a Premium Member today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
A $50 annual membership gives you an all access pass. You can be a part of every call, group, class and community.
A $25 annual membership gives you access to one class, one Social Interest group and our online communities.
A $12 annual membership gives you access to our Friday calls with the publisher, our online community.
Register New Account
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: iStock