by timothy dean lewis
photography by timothy dean lewis too
If you want more sex, don’t say “I’m in trouble”. When you say “I’m in trouble” you make your wife your mother and you don’t have sex with your mother.
So why do men think this and say this? Why do we joke about this? For me, it’s the most accurate way to express how I actually feel. I feel like a child who got caught with his hand in the proverbial cookie jar. I feel like a child so I speak like a child. My wife is already pissed at me for something. But instead of working it out as partners, peers, and equals, I demote myself to a position of no authority and promote her to a position of complete authority simply by my language.
She doesn’t do this to me, I do this to myself. Unless you are both playing out a fantasy, marriage is no place for hierarchical positions. History and common sense teach us this.
We are going to get pissed at each other sometimes. We just are. When your wife is pissed at you, accept that as part of being human and respond like a 40 year old, not a 4 year old. We often blame the ones we love for stripping us of our masculinity. I hear over and over, “she doesn’t respect me” hurled as an accusation of her wrongdoing. But the truth is, we do this to ourselves. We think and say things that make us sound weak, powerless, and not respectable. If you want more sex, if you want to be happy, if you want to live in peace, think and say things that are strong, powerful, and respectable. Stop thinking and stop saying, “I’m in trouble.”
Start thinking and saying, “I’m sorry I upset you. How can we work this out?” Take responsibility. This is strong. Then listen. Hear her. Be calm. Calm is respectable. Do not be defensive. Defensive is weak. Do not blame. Do not get mad at her for being mad at you (something I am still working on).
Even when you think what she is upset about is stupid. Even then. Especially then. It is not for us to decide whether it is stupid or not. It is not our place to condemn or criticize or control or convince. It is only our place to love. This is what leads to peace and happiness and sex. Usually the thing she is upset about in the moment is not really the thing she is upset about anyway. It’s almost always bigger than that. When we respond with love about the small problems, we open the door to resolve the real problem.
We can choose to undo the self-deprecating and self-destructive habits we have formed. We can choose to live the life we imagined. If we are capable of peacefully working out conflict in the workplace or with our children or at the DMV, then we are capable of peacefully working out conflict with our partner. Choose to respond differently next time conflict arises and watch what happens. Repeat after me, “I’m sorry I upset you. How can we work this out?” Focus on the solution, not the problem. This is the path to peace.
this is one day of a 31 day series about living in a peaceful home.
click here to read the rest of the series.
peace be with you,