Sometimes, it’s the simple things that we overlook.
I’ve been a marriage and family counselor for more than 40 years and I’m still surprised at how little we know about what really turns women on. It took me many years to take seriously two statements that my wife made at different times about what turned her on:
“I really get turned on when you do the dishes,” Carlin tells me. I’ll admit that statement got me doing more dishes, but I never really believed her.
“I really get turned on when you go to the doctor,” she told me on another location. Like most people I don’t like seeing doctors, but I do want to stay healthy and prevent little problems from becoming big problems. So, I go, but never believed it had anything to do with our sex life.
But as I’ve gotten older I realize how wise my wife really is. Like most things in life, the gift is often in the details; in the small, day-to-day events of our lives. In my article, “The One Thing That Can Either Make or Break a Relationship,” I’ve learned that it is how we respond to the hundreds of verbal and non-verbal requests for emotional connection that will determine whether our relationship flourishes or wilts on the vine.
I realized that washing dishes is really about a lot more than washing dishes. It tells my wife that I care about her desire to have a clean kitchen every day. It tells her that I’m aware that bending over the sink to wash can aggravate her back and my remembering to do the dishes every day is a show of care and respect for her comfort and joy.
Going to the doctor, sexy? Well, think of it this way. A sick husband is about the most “unsexy” being on the face of the planet. When I’m sick, I’m usually angry with myself for getting sick, ashamed that I’m not the “big, strong, man,” I long to be. I also am totally ambivalent about being taken care of. I want and need Carlin’s care and support. But I’m also afraid of appearing needy. My conflicted feelings make me a bear to be around, much less want to engage romantically.
And that’s just for the small stuff like when I’m down with the flu. As I’ve gotten older I’ve also had to deal with more serious ailments such as depression and weight gain, increased diabetes risk, and erectile dysfunction. Going to the doctor and taking care of my health, I see now is truly a gift not only to myself, but also to Carlin. It also helps keep our relationship juicy and hot.
The 6 Words the Media Teaches Guys We Should Always Tell Our Partner
We’ve all heard them, the big 3: “I love you.”
And the really big 3: “I am sorry.”
We’re told you can never say them enough. Let me see how I can put this delicately? “Bull ****.” Or I might just say, Wrong, Wrong, Wrong coupled with WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!
First, most women have heard these words so much that they don’t mean a lot. Second, most of us use them as a way to placate our partner, not because they are truly heart-felt. And third, they are words, not actions. My wife would much rather I demonstrated my love for her or my remorse when I’ve screwed up, rather than talking about it.
The 6 Words That Will Really Rock a Woman’s World Are These:
“Don’t Worry Honey, I’ve Got This.” These six words tell a whole different story. They say, “We’re facing some real challenges in our lives, but not only will we get through this together, but you can count on me to take care of the things that matter.
I’ll give you a recent example. Carlin and I felt we needed to sell our house after living in the hills outside Willits for twenty-four years. It was a complicated sale and it involved a lot of moving parts, any one of which could have ruined the sale. We worked well together as a team, but the deal wasn’t completed when she was leaving on a planned trip to see our son and his family who are living in the Czech Republic.
She was a bit reluctant to leave, since there were still a number of things that needed to get done and she knew some of them would be major challenges for me. But I told her, “Don’t worry honey, I’ve got this.” I was also honest in saying, “I’m not sure how all these issues are going to get resolved while you’re away, but you can count on me to figure them out.” She trusted me and I came through.
In a new book, Mate: Become the Man Women Want, Tucker Max and Geoffrey Miller say, “To understand what traits women want in males, you have to understand what benefits women want from males.” Based on the latest research from the field of evolutionary psychology they conclude “women evolved to want effective men.”
Instead of trying to give women superficial assurance that we love them and we’re sorry when, once again, we make a mistake, it would serve us all better if we improved our level of competence and listened to what women really wanted. When I listened to Carlin, really listened, I came to understand that doing the everyday tasks around the house that she valued, not just the ones that I liked to do, and taking care of my health, were the real turn-ons for our love life.
I’d like to hear from you. If you’re a woman, what is really most helpful for a man to do and say to let you know he is there for you? If you’re a man, what are the competencies you demonstrate that allows a woman to know that you have the willingness and the skill to give her what she needs in life as well as in bed?
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This post originally appeared on MenAlive. Reprinted with permission.
Also by Jed Diamond
|The 5 Most Important Things That Make A Man Feel Loved.||The 5 Stages of Love: Why Too Many Stop at Stage 3.||The 6 Most Romantic Words a Man Can Say to a Woman.||How to Find (and Keep) the Love of Your Life|
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