Women’s jaws would drop if they could listen in on my conversations with married men.
Our discussions contradict just about every misconception wives utter about their husbands.
Husbands don’t want to hurt. They don’t want to argue. They don’t want to control.
And they definitely don’t “just want sex”.
These guys are desperate for her to know the truth. And they shed tears at the thought that their wife may never WANT to know the truth.
The Power in Her Pinky
The truth for these men lies in the end of her pinky finger.
In that finger is packed an unspeakable power many wives choose to ignore or have yet to discover.
It’s so simple and so tender that men are afraid to even ask for it. We barely talk about it with each other! We don’t want to appear soft. We don’t want to risk a woman’s reaction to our weakness.
What is it?
It is the power of a delicate, skin-to-skin touch of feminine acceptance and approval.
When a woman calmly grazes the end of her pinky finger across any part of a man’s body and offers a verbal or non-verbal vote of confidence or support, his world changes at that instant.
It is so powerful we are often left speechless. Our throats and tear ducts begin to swell and we quietly indulge in the comforting reassurance of the moment. If we could package the word “love”, it would feel like this when the bottle was opened.
Our “well-being meter” pegs out and our heart rate and breathing slows.
Every husband I know is dying to feel this. Simple, easy-peasy feminine acceptance and approval.
Nothing else. Just…this.
A World of Men Speak About Pinky Power
These are real examples of how men across the globe describe it. In every case I can hear their clenched voice of vulnerability trying to sound “strong” as they speak. Just for fun, try to imagine their accents as you read these.
“She reached over during the movie and put her hand on my knee and looked at me and smiled and said ‘I’m happy you brought us here, thank you.’ ”
“She slapped me on the butt and giggled and called me ‘stud’ “
“She scratched the top of my head for about two minutes and didn’t say anything. It was awesome.”
“She touched my elbow and whispered, ‘You’re such a good father and a sweet man, I love that about you.’ “
“When I told her about my idea for a better vacation spot she grabbed my arm and said, ‘I f#cking love you!’ “
“She just reached across the car seat and scratched the back of my head softly as I drove. It’s intoxicating.”
“She spooned her cold butt into me and said, ‘Oh baby you’re always so warm’ “ (okay, that one was mine)
Why Men Can’t Tell Women about Pinky Power
It’s simple. We think women will think it’s silly.
It’s not “manly”. Too vulnerable.
Women might laugh at the notion that their words and touch could cause a lump in our throats. Even if we try to explain it, they might just roll their eyes along with a big “puh-lease!”
The most common reason husbands feel like they can’t talk about it is because their wives have already proven they aren’t interested or can’t handle it.
In her brilliant article, “I Am the Patriarchy”, Jonalyn Grace Fincher listed 17 shining examples of how women refuse to let men be vulnerable. The article continued the discussion Brene Brown started in her book, Daring Greatly, where she addresses male vulnerability.
“We ask men to be vulnerable, we beg them to let us in, and we plead with them to tell us when they’re afraid, but the truth is that most women can’t stomach it. In these moments when real vulnerability happens in men, most of us recoil with fear and that fear manifests as everything from disappointment to disgust. And men are very smart” (Brene Brown, Daring Greatly).
What most women don’t know is that just reading this list can make a grown man cry. These things happen on a daily basis for many husbands who don’t dare discuss them. Here is Jonalyn’s starter-kit list for women.
Believing my husband is substandard when I have to do manual labor due to his absence/illness/unavailability. e.g. snow shoveling.
Avoiding eye contact when he admits feeling overwhelmed.
Taking over when he seems to fumble.
Assuming his emotional absence (shut down) is normal and natural for men and refusing to pursue his feelings.
Showing embarrassment when he’s afraid.
Expecting him to shoulder the hardest work (emotionally, physically, intellectually, spiritually) without complaint.
Never asking him what he’s afraid of.
Refusing to offer him the understanding and sympathy I offer my girlfriends when he’s overwhelmed.
Expecting him to tolerate more criticism than a woman.
Growing quickly impatient when he doesn’t demonstrate mastery over a project: from booking social events, to filing our taxes, to fixing the kitchen sink.
Becoming business-like and cold when he asks for help.
Knowing our girlfriend’s needs and wants more than we know our own husband’s.
Hiding his mistakes from our kids, as if they (like me) cannot handle him being vulnerable.
Expecting him to have more strength than I do.
Expecting him to shoulder more grunt-work.
Expecting him to “man-up” (whatever that means) when I want him to do something unpleasant.
Expecting him (when you’re both equally fire-arm trained) to inspect every scary sound in the house and calling him names (even in your head) when he shows hesitation.
What to do With This Information
For the Women: You have more personal influence and power in your relationship than you know. Your ability to inspire feelings of confidence and well-being in your man is available to you at all times – every minute of every day. What might you stop doing today and start doing tomorrow that could change his world in an instant? You have this secret power – why wouldn’t you use it?
For the Men: Admit it. You want pinky power. You love pinky power. Her touch of approval and acceptance is a gift you want more than sex. If we’re honest, those are the feelings we seek through sex, aren’t they? Don’t be ashamed of your needs and vulnerability. Stand proud in your manly desire for her pinky power. Explain it without apology or fear. Find out what HER version of pinky power is from you. Then apply generously.
I wrote a special report for men in a struggling marriage. Download your free copy of “The Hard to Swallow Truth About Saving Your Marriage” by clicking HERE.
Photo: Jonathan McPherskesen/Flickr