Dr. Corey recently wrote a post on my blog about helping wives know how to get their man’s attention. One of his statements was that “nagging doesn’t help.” I couldn’t help but think how important it could be for men to have some tips about how to help their wives stop nagging and start initiating sex. So, Corey was kind enough to let me blog my thoughts here on his site. -Dr. Jessica McCleese
Understand why your wife nags:
It isn’t uncommon for the husband to feel as though the wife is nagging and the wife to feel that he’s wrong. Men and women view the world differently and how they each define nagging is no exception.
Let me give you an example. My husband and I went on a LONG road trip together recently and had somewhere around 12-15 stops for gas on the trip. The routine was similar each time. We got out of the car, he pumped gas while I stopped by the bathroom, and then while he took his bathroom break I purchased water and we met back at the car. Simple right? Well, one time the stop took a different spin. We were both feeling tired but had another 6+ hours to drive that day. So, to not have to swipe the card more than once, I told him I would get my coffee while he was in the bathroom and then he could grab his and we’d pay together. But, without even realizing it, as we were paying I walked him through the steps verbally. I really didn’t even mean to. I just spoke out loud everything I was thinking telling him the exact steps to take, even though he clearly knows how to make a purchase with his card. I didn’t catch on that I was doing this until he looked at me and said, “thanks, babe.” Now, this wasn’t a “I’d wouldn’t have known what to do without your assistance” look. It was more of a, “I love you but you are so annoying right now” kind-of look. It was at that moment, as I casually smiled and walked off that I realized, “I just shared my entire internal dialogue with him.”
This may come as a surprise but men and women are different in just about every way. One significant way is in their use of language. Studies have actually shown that women need to speak about 4,000 more words than men do per day. One study even showed that women have a “talking protein” that was 30% higher by the time a girl was 4 years old than it was in her male peers. And a neuroscientist, Dr. Amen, has done brain scans and found that women typically have a higher need for language because of the way their brain is formed. Plain and simple, most women have a lot to say and most men have a difficult time hearing all of the extra words.
Understand Your Wife’s Sex Drive
There’s a joke that what men lack in verbal communication they make up for in thinking about sex. I’m sure you’ve seen the stats that report that men think about sex just about constantly and women almost never think about sex. While those studies are slightly flawed, there is some truth in this for most couples. Most men think about sex often while most women don’t.
There is a mistruth often perpetuated in society that men have much higher sex drives and women have little interest or enjoyment in sex. The reality is that sex drive is different for men and women.
Men are typically pursuers of sex. They can get aroused by holding their wife for a moment and sometimes even just by looking at her or thinking about her. Men also have the ability to focus just on the moment at hand. This means that when a man has a quick thought about sex, he is ready to pursue it.
Women on the other hand are typically more the receiver when it comes to sex. Your wife enjoys being pursued and can be extremely receptive to your advances…if the conditions are right. Women are typically guilty of having so much on their mind that they have a tough time shutting down their thoughts and to-do lists to engage fully in sex. And because they have a hard time staying singularly focused on sex, the competing thoughts can make it hard for her to remember to pursue.
So what’s a man to do???
Here’s a beautiful truth about your wife. At her core, your wife is a nurturer. Women have a unique and beautiful ability to capitalize on relationships and closeness but your sweet wife can easily forget that sex is a behavior that bonds the two of you together. Society can tell lies to your wife and make her believe that sex is just about the orgasm and if your wife has experienced sexual trauma in the past she may have negative thoughts about sex that makes shy away from the experience all together.
Here are some ways you can start changing her thinking and her behaviors.
#1: When you feel like she’s nagging, remember that women have a tendency to use more words because their brain needs to connect all of the concepts she’s thinking about. It’s okay to let her know that it feels like she’s nagging, but do yourself a big favor and don’t actually use that word. Instead, try something like this, “Baby, I hear what you’re saying but I feel like you keep repeating yourself. Please be really specific and let me know what you need.”
By the way, just because women feel the need to nurture and take care of others doesn’t give her permission to nag. If this is a constant problem, seek some counseling.
#2: Tell your wife how important sex really is to you. Go beyond, “I have needs” and speak her language instead. Let her know that you enjoy sex with her because she’s beautiful and you’re in love with her. It’s okay to say you like the orgasm as well, but don’t make that your go-to argument for sex.
#3: Talk about her initiating. Is something standing in her way? Does she simply not remember? Does she feel embarrassed or sleepy? Is she feeling unloved or in pain? Does she think she is initiating but giving you hints that you’re not picking up on? It will be much easier for her to initiate if the two of you can problem-solve and figure out the reasons that she doesn’t initiate now.
As a final note, remember that your wife is relationship-oriented. If you can fully express to her how nagging hurts your relationship and sex helps, she’s more likely to be receptive to those ideas. Many, many women really don’t understand this. Help your wife understand and you’ll see the changes you seek.
Jessica McCleese is a wife, a coach, a licensed psychologist, and a sexual educator with specialized training in sex therapy. She’s also a Christian and works with other Christian couples that are looking to improve their marriages and their sex lives using biblically-based principles. She has a unique ability to connect with others and lead them through practical steps they can take to see improvements in their marriage. Jessica serves people internationally through her work at Better Than the Honeymoon.