Should You Wait for a Man who Probably Won’t “Commit” to You?

In this strange dating age (era?) there seems to be many opportunities for younger women pairing off with older men.  I’ve read more than a few accounts of this type of romantic arrangement from the man’s side and the women’s side, and unless he really does commit, it never tends to work out for the woman.

I recently came across a good example of this very dilemma over at Enotalone… what should she do?

More importantly, what would you advice my female readers (who may be in or will be in a similar situation at some point)?

Here’s her question:

***

So my boyfriend is 21 years older than me. I just turned 27 and he is 48.

I’ve heard all my life how mature I am and I got bored with my generation before I even turned 21. I am also a single mom, which plays its part. I love on my own and take care of myself. We’ve been together about 2 years with two breaks in between. He was married for 17 years, has two children he helped raise from that union and his biological son is 25, yes a two year difference. He has raised a family, purchased homes, traveled the world, he’s done it all.

His initial interest in me was probably physical and sexual but now it’s grown to much more. My interest was to have fun and do things I can’t do with people my own age. Here’s the problem: I believe he is insecure. Insecure about his age compared to mine, whether or not he can trust me, what’s to come in the next couple of years.

I’m in love with him but I don’t want to spend my good years trying to wait on him to decide if he wants me permanently. I’ve tried over and over to reassure him that I only want him and I’m not interested in anyone else. But like any other man, he is going to move at his own pace. I’m looking forward to marriage and having more kids. I don’t want to sell myself short missing out on things I want out of a relationship. Two weeks ago he told me our relationship status was “undetermined”. After 2 years. This pissed me off. I need to know. Am I just buying time? How long should I wait before moving on?”

***

I’m sorry you’ve spent two years on someone who isn’t committing to you.  I know you say you are in love with him, and I do believe you, but you have to ask if he’s really in love with you?  He may care about you in some way, but I think he’s using you for sex and fun times (to your future detriment), or just to keep loneliness at bay.

There is nothing in it for you to keep allowing him to just use you for sex and companionship… eventually he will get tired of you and move on – which could mean horrible emotional pain for you, and leave you worse off than you were a few years earlier.  That kind of “baggage” will carry over into other (better) relationships possibly, and it’s not worth the emotional trauma to yourself.  I’ve seen that happen to friends, it’s much better to get out now and forget him altogether.

Move on, he has already done everything you want to do with your life (the kids, the house, the building a marriage/long-term relationship, putting his kids through college and watching them become adults, etc.) and is just plain not that interested in even attempting to meet you halfway in those endeavors.

You say you want kids and a family… but he most likely doesn’t at this stage in his life.  You two have no business together and the longer it draws out, the more painful it will likely be.  If he can’t understand how that affects a woman, he may be somewhat of a narcissistic sociopath.

He doesn’t really need you and he really doesn’t want you in his life 😦  Very sad to accept I’m sure, especially since you fell in love with him.  I’m so sorry.

I see you say you “only want him,” and I believe you, but you need to understand that he doesn’t care about that.  He’s lived his “life” even though he’s not even that old – it’s how he feels that matters.

Picking someone closer in age to you that also wants to build a life with you would be MUCH better than this.  Building a life together with my husband has been the best thing I’ve ever done, even in the hard times we’ve gone through together.  It sounds like he is “over” that part of life, and isn’t looking to start anew with you 😦

Value yourself, and walk away from this.

Take care,

Stephanie

Email questions angelpixiedust86@live.com

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Email Questions: Dating in Your 30’s

Something that seems to be a common topic among email questions recently is how to go about dating in your 30’s as a single woman.  Whenever I get this question I have to let the woman know that I obviously have zero experience with what they’re asking me about.

BUT… one of the reasons people have “blog rolls” is to point people where they can find great information that the host either agrees with or doesn’t have knowledge of.  On the right side of the screen, under “Single Women: What Men Really Think,” is a great website resource for any woman out there in the dating market.  Andrew (the author) even has a whole post dedicated to dating in your 30’s:

Female Game for Women in Their 30’s

Check out this gem, too, if you’re really interested:

The Advantage of Dating in Your 30’s

Now for my thoughts on it, since you asked… they aren’t really optimistic so you’ve been warned.

If I were somehow to switch places with you, a single woman in her 30’s, I probably would forgo dating altogether and just seek to live a life alone and find genuine happiness in other things.  Volunteering with kids if you have an ache for children, working fulltime at an orphanage in another country or in a children’s home in the US.  Maybe become a nurse and work with people where you feel like you make a difference in other people’s lives.  Work on a great career in a field of your interest where you can spend your excess money not spent on a family, traveling and seeing places most people would never see.  Have more time to write or read great books.  I don’t know… but dating men would be the last thing on my mind.  I know that sounds crazy, but you asked what I thought and so I’m going to be brutally honest.  There’s a reason why I got married incredibly young and didn’t sleep with anyone before my husband.  I was terrified of being used, wanted to wait to have sex until marriage because of my faith in Christianity and a firm belief that it would be giving my husband a gift that would only belong to him, and even looking back in hindsight, I think that the being terrified of being used was a good thing.  I think more women should be terrified of being used… maybe it would help them decide faster what they really want in life.  I avoided tons of unnecessary emotional baggage and pain by finding someone who truly loved me and cherished me, and committed long-term to me that young and inexperienced.  I don’t think that is easy to find in any way possible when you get beyond your 20’s.  It sounds and looks like it’s a whole different ball-game, and not a very nice one.

When it comes to the 30+ dating market, most of the men dating women in that age range are only out to use those women.  This is not to say a woman in her 30’s or 40’s (or 50’s ?) couldn’t find someone to marry, it’s just that it will be infinitely harder to navigate all the sexual aspects without subjecting yourself to just being someone they want to have sex with.  The reality is men that would be interested in you age wise, can probably pull much younger women and would also be interested in much younger women for long term relationships.  Men are always, however, interested in easy sex.

Then there’s the factor of what kind of men will they be?  If you click on the link above, Andrew goes on about why you should avoid different kinds of men….  No men in their 20’s, no men over 40, no divorced men… lol… there’s like literally NO MEN left after you filter for those things he warns about.  Very dismal if you ask me, hence why I would just avoid dating altogether.  While there are some great catches out there who have been frivorced, it’s my opinion they are very hard to find, and they may have contributed in some way to their divorce which they may or may not be honest about.  With proper girl game, I’m pretty sure you can catch a desirable divorcee, but you’d have to be extremely open and genuine with him (and match everything on his list of perfection lol) or you’ll scare him off faster than anything.  And event then, there’s still the likelihood that you’d just be used and “nexted.”

After reading around the internet a few years now, I’m convinced that older men – the men who would be interested in 30+ women, are very very VERY bad marriage material.  Every single one of them seem to have deep issues with hating (or strongly disliking) women, and I’m not blaming them many have good reasons to not trust or like women, I’m just being realistic that this makes them horrible future partners.  You don’t want them to get with you and then never be able to trust you or love you.  It would be so painful and devastating to fall in love with a man like that, and very much in your best interest to avoid it altogether.

In short, I think you should brutally assess if you can truly attract a good man who would love you, and if not, accept a single life and just make it as good and fulfilling as you possibly can without a romantic partner.  There’s much more to life than romance, even though I fully believe that if you find and create a fulfilling marriage, it can be the most wonderful thing you ever do in your life.  But there comes a point where you may have to accept that having that kind of marriage is not possible anymore, and move on to find fulfillment elsewhere.

 

Things I Want My Daughter to Know: Your Sensual Beauty is God-Given

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Something I want my daughter to be very aware of, is how Christians get confused about how God created men and women and their respective sensualities.  She’ll undoubtedly run into some Christians later in life who truly make her question whether or not it’s “ok” for women to be sexually attractive.  She’ll wonder is it ok for a single Christian woman to be sexually attractive to godly men or if it’s wiser to somehow hide her physical beauty?  Is it ok for a married Christian woman to be sexually attractive or should she ONLY be considered sexually attractive at home for her husband’s eyes?

I’m not talking about modesty issues here, they are important and do make it an easier or more difficult stumbling block for a godly man concerning the issue of lust… but this post is addressing the issue of sensuality and simply being an attractive woman.  I’m sorry sweet girl, but this is more than likely going to be an issue in your life.  You’re already uniquely gorgeous as a baby, and I can only imagine how stunning you’re going to look at age 16.

***

Sexual Attractiveness… Feeling sexually attractive

I read a post a few weeks ago where a Christian mommy blogger literally said if something makes you feel sexy, you probably shouldn’t wear it outside of your home, but only wear it in privacy.  Your husband should be the only one you wear anything sexy around.  I do understand and agree if it’s only applied to things that are immodest or something meant to seduce (lingerie, low cut tops, very short skirts etc.), but many many things can make a woman sexually attractive, and it gets confusing when “anything” that makes her feel sexy (sexually attractive) should be forbidden outside the home.

Heels… dresses… her long flowing hair… perfume… mascara… red lipstick….  Are they wrong?  Are they somehow sinful because they reveal a woman’s sensuality and often make her feel more like a sensual woman (aka “sexy”)?  A few years ago I heard a Christian pastor preach from his pulpit that a woman’s sensuality is sinful.  He may have meant her sexuality or her ability to seduce, I’m not sure… but it just didn’t sound right to me.

This kind of thinking has never made sense to me and has always made me feel sorry for the people who live this way… almost as thought they aren’t wholly female but instead are cutting off a huge portion of who God made them to be.  I actually believe this kind of thinking stunts a woman’s personal growth and damages her sensuality… making her think it’s wrong or bad for her to ever appear sexually attractive outside her bedroom.  To believe she has to become an asexual woman and lose her sensuality just because it may tempt men who aren’t her husband is so against what God would want for His daughters I would think.  I hope to help my daughter understand that her sensuality, her enjoying feeling like a woman, is God-given because HE is the one who made her female and created beauty and thus, sexual attractiveness.

When God describes (allegorically) the way He saved Israel, He tells the story of Him saving an infant who was aborted and left for dead in the dirt covered in her mother’s uterine blood.  Nobody wanted her, but God had compassion on her.  The baby girl is taken in by Him.  She grows up under His loving watchful care.  She becomes sexually attractive, and He marries her, and then helps her revel in her feminine sensuality.

“You grew up and became a beautiful jewel. Your breasts became full, and your hair grew, but you were still naked.And when I passed by again, I saw that you were old enough for love. So I wrapped my cloak around you to cover your nakedness and declared my marriage vows. I made a covenant with you, says the Sovereign Lord, and you became mine.

“Then I bathed you and washed off your blood, and I rubbed fragrant oils into your skin. 10 I gave you expensive clothing of fine linen and silk, beautifully embroidered, and sandals made of fine goatskin leather. 11 I gave you lovely jewelry, bracelets, beautiful necklaces, 12 a ring for your nose, earrings for your ears, and a lovely crown for your head. 13 And so you were adorned with gold and silver. Your clothes were made of fine linen and costly fabric and were beautifully embroidered. You ate the finest foods—choice flour, honey, and olive oil—and became more beautiful than ever.

You looked like a queen, and so you were! 14 Your fame soon spread throughout the world because of your beauty.

I dressed you in my splendor and perfected your beauty, says the Sovereign Lord.”

 

This passage is so interesting to me in the way the Lord describes how he lavishes His love on her with things that enhance her physical beauty.  Even a nose ring is something He gives her… just so different from the way Christians think these days.  Anyway, it is clear that her beauty is what made her sexually attractive, her growing breasts and hair, and then jewelry and fine clothing, etc.  Very interesting to me that God tells us all this.

But back to question or point of the post: is being sexually attractive wrong or something that should be hidden?  From the looks of Ezekiel 16, it doesn’t appear to be.

Things that typically make women sexually attractive to men that are visible even when they’re dressed modestly:

  • Youth or appearance of youthfulness in her face (good skin)
  • Slender body type
  • Proportional breasts and hips and waist ratios
  • Long legs
  • Long healthy hair flowing down her back
  • A positive or cheerful attitude
  • Perfume

All these things have nothing to do with showing too much skin, and yet from what I’ve read through polls and studies (and asking my husband if it’s all true in his opinion), men can be “turned on” by all these things even if the woman isn’t using her sensuality in a bad, seductive way toward others.  There’s a reason why Muslim men force their women to hide their shapes (that would reveal breast, hip, waist ratios) under large burkas, hide their faces in some cases (that show their youthfulness or female features), completely hide their hair from sight, many even don’t allow their women to wear makeup or perfume when out, those things are only to be worn for their husbands. Basically, in Islam, a woman is sinning if she reveals any part of her God-given sensuality (feminine body ratio Breasts:Waist:Hips, feminine hair, feminine facial structures, etc.).  Everything feminine about her, even her desire to wear makeup or perfume – her very sensuality, the very things that make her female, are looked upon as too tempting, sinful, and should be only kept for the eyes of her husband.  Being female is dangerous in their minds.  All signs of being female must be covered up.  Why is that?

It’s because being a beautiful female is equated in the male mind as also being sexually attractive, they are basically one and the same thing.  

When men watch porn for instance, they tend to look at the women’s faces much more than just their body parts (from studies tracking where they were looking most of the time).  Whereas we know when women watch porn, they actually don’t look at the faces as much as men do, but instead spend most of the time looking at the sexual body parts… mostly the genitals.  It’s fascinating to me that men actually look more at the **person** in porn or they at least notice it more and focus on it more, whereas women are the ones who are sexually objectifying the people in porn by only looking mostly at the bodies or body parts.  Society would tell us it’s the other way around.

A Dangerous Beauty

A woman’s sensuality or sexual attractiveness is extremely powerful, and since it’s powerful, it’s also extremely dangerous.  A sexually attractive woman, no matter what she’s wearing (think very modest clothing) is still going to be sexually attractive and draw sometimes unwanted attention to herself at times.  I used to believe that this unwanted attention was bad and even a curse of some kind.  In the Bible, we see a clear example where this scenario can be dangerous when Abraham believes his wife Sarah is so beautiful (sexually attractive to other men), that the rulers in the foreign lands they were traveling in would want her for themselves (to make their wife and have sex with) and kill Abraham.  She must have been extremely sexually attractive in order to garner the attention of men like that – men who could have had any woman (and did!) that they wanted.  I highly doubt that Sarah was dressed “slutty,” or improper in ANY way at all that caused these men to want her so badly.  And yet she was still sexually attractive enough to the highest value men during that time (rulers over whole kingdoms!) to draw unwanted attention to both her and her husband.

So yes, daughter, being sexually attractive can be dangerous, and as we see from reports in the news of couples being attacked when out on dates and the young woman being gang-raped while the boyfriend or husband is held down or beaten… being sexually attractive or desirable can *still* be dangerous no matter what you’re wearing.  However, if a woman dresses slutty, yes, it will draw more negative attention from BOTH men and women because it’s inappropriate or too revealing.  Yes, it can make her life far more dangerous and even make her more likely to be raped, even though modern day women don’t want to admit that.

Men, unless they’re gay or dead, will always notice a sexually attractive woman, even if she’s in a modest one piece bathing suit.  Sexual attractiveness does not automatically mean showing too much skin or dressing slutty.

Your sensuality is very complicated, but it is a gift from God meant to edify you, and bring pleasure both to you and your husband.  In Ezekiel 16, it was clear that His beautiful woman became “famous” for her beauty, yet it wasn’t in a sinful way.  Her sin comes later from pride (due to her beauty) and because of her pride, she becomes an adulteress and mistreats God’s love and care for her.

Eve, like the woman in the allegorical story, was one of God’s most beautiful creations, and her beauty – feminine beauty and attractiveness – reflects God’s taste and art.  Yes, they had to “hide their nakedness” once sin entered the picture, but when He gave her fig leaves to cover up, you notice He didn’t hand her a burka type outfit. 😉   Even the animals skins they used were probably not very long in length or full-body coverage.

There is a reason He created you the way He did, as a woman, meant to enjoy her femininity and not to hide it all under a burka and hijab.  Dress carefully and modestly, but don’t believe the Christians who preach that sensuality is sinful… which really translates to everything that makes you female, needing to be hidden.

 

Email Question: How Much Should I Chase a Guy?

This was a question I got back in 2013 or 2014 via email.  How much should a woman in college (or even in her 30’s) chase a guy that she likes?  I’ve had other email conversations about topics somewhat like this as well, such as “my boyfriend doesn’t seem to be very interested in getting married (at all) anytime soon…” or “my fiance doesn’t want to set a date, hardly ever makes an effort to see me, and just moved across the country for a great job opportunity – what do I do?”

At first glance, I’m always tempted to tell women that you shouldn’t chase men, but sometimes circumstances make it appropriate and even sensible.  It’s all about determining how much he really likes you, or if he’s just using you and “isn’t that into you.”  For most of these questions, I had to ask multiple other questions in order to get to the root of what was going on.  For instance, with a fiance that is ambiguous about an actual married life, hardly ever makes an effort to see “his girl,” and just moved across the country for a great job opportunity – there were a lot of questions needed to understand if he was serious about marrying her, if he expected her to build a life with him in their new place, if she was emasculating him with her demanding career in New York, and so on.  It ended up being that he expected her to move with him, but didn’t want her to feel pressured to leave her job, so without communicating that, he just left and tried to keep the relationship alive from cross country.  He was more into her psychologically than it looked but she didn’t know that because he didn’t tell her that.

Once she had that honest conversation with him about his expectations for their relationship or future marriage, she was able to make the hard decisions of whether or not she wanted to continue being a career girl, or give it all up to gain a marriage and family life with **this man** having and being a devoted mother to his children in the future.  I say “this man” because she also had to calculate her chances of finding another man she was that into, who would **want** her enough to ask her to marry him and give her the opportunity to be his wife, even it that meant he wanted her job/career to be second to his.

It would have made their lives and relationship a lot easier if they were both just honest with each other up front: she being honest that she wasn’t all that fulfilled with her amazing career in New York – something that made him feel like she didn’t really need or want him that much anyway – and him with his expectations for his future wife in having a career that she’s willing to sacrifice or put second to his.  Feminism and it’s lies of treating men and women’s desires as always equal has really made men and women confused about what each other wants and needs as life goals change.  She felt like her career would fulfill her as much as a family would, until it finally hit her that she’d actually like being married more.  And he felt like she really did care that much about her career (as much as he felt about his own) that he felt it would be selfish to have asked her to move with him and marrying him then, and start a real life together as a family.  Both men and women are lied to in this day and age, and told from childhood that these things are truly what women want and should feel fulfilled by (their career).  Men are constantly told that women don’t really need them or want marriage that much.  So men actually believe this now days.  That coupled together with a high value man who has found meaning in his own career (which is how it should be for men), makes everything extra complicated.  Men are told that women are just like them in how much they value their jobs, so they believe that and treat women accordingly.

Plus men are opting out

Something I’ve learned from these email questions from young women is that men are not really that interested in marriage these days.  At least, not to the degree women are taught men would be by the time they were “ready.”  These men seem to be wonderfully fine and fulfilled without a wife in their life… even if they have a great girlfriend – she’s not going to be promoted to wife very easily.

This makes it very hard to understand whether a man is with you, but not that into you, or if he truly wants you to be his wife someday.  It’s the woman’s job to make sure she’s not letting herself be used, that if he’s not that into her, that she leaves.  This is part of what makes dating so complicated, especially in this environment.  Understanding men and what they want has never been more critical.

Trust me, while a high value man won’t be falling all over himself to proclaim his devotion at every opportunity, there will still be strong signs that he values you and wants you in his life, especially if he’s considering you as his wife.

This particular email, however, had the college-aged girl describing a relationship where she was always the one pursuing him, setting up times to see each other, and he generally seemed to still have a lack of interest even after all her trying, but would go and see her anyway.

The first question I asked her was this:

Are you having sex with this guy?

I know women are supposed to be “liberated,” and “sexually free,” but having sex just makes it a million times harder to understand whether or not he’s using you.  Sex used to be the main reason WHY men got married younger, because women understood it was a valuable thing that should be kept within safe boundaries of love and marriage only.  It used to be a widely known truth that men can have sex with women they don’t really love, and will readily use a woman who puts herself in that position to be used.  Women don’t “get that” these days, and I’ve had to tell a couple of them through email what their mothers should have taught them about this truth.

Plus a woman’s sexual behavior was a pretty good indicator, although not always, of whether or not she’d be a loyal and trustworthy wife if he married her.  Being a virgin, for a woman, was something that made her more desirable for marriage because it meant a laundry list of “pluses” she’d bring to him as a wife:

  • No prior lovers to compare him with (and all that entails… both physically and emotionally)
  • No emotional baggage from past sexual relationships (for women, sex makes relationships too intense to where they really imprint on her psyche forever changing who she is)
  • No emotional baggage from horrible breakups – that ironically come from that intense bond that sex creates for a woman.  These scars seem to be very deep for women and shouldn’t be ignored by a man looking for a wife
  • No past crazy experiences with sex or being used or “feeling used” that she has to work through in order to be sexually “free” again with her husband later in life
  • No STDs he has to be worried about
  • No past STIs he has to be worried she had and “treated” that could still affect her or him later
  • No ugly and devastating secrets in her closet like abortion or miscarriages from a prior boyfriend – things that scar a woman and make it harder for her to be great wife material psychologically
  • Less chances that they’ll divorce later on in marriage… study findings have recently confirmed that the longest and happiest and best sexually fulfilled marriages are when the woman was a virgin, and that  the least chances of divorce was with women who were virgins.  Next results were for women who had very low partner counts as opposed to women who had higher partner accounts.  But EACH PARTNER dramatically seemed to affect a woman’s marriage outlook and sexual happiness.
  • Even if men don’t know these facts above consciously, humans seem to be ingrained in understanding these things subconsciously, as men have always had two types of women: the type they sleep around with before marriage, and the type they “bring home to Mama.”

Considering this list, it is really important to teach daughters how valuable their sexuality is, and try to impress on them how important it is that they try to save their virginity for their husband.  Yes, it sounds outdated for non-Christian women, but for Christian women, we’re taught this from very young.  The point is: even if you aren’t Christian, you’ll benefit greatly from keeping your sexuality for your future husband.  Can a woman still be a good wife if she’s been sexually active?  I believe so, but I also think it makes things harder – unnecessarily at that.  And if you’re Christian, you have NO BUSINESS having sex before marriage.  No if’s and’s or but’s.  Does it get complicated if you’re older or previously married, yes it does.  But always remember that historically sex was saved so that the woman wasn’t used.  It’s in the woman’s best interest, and historically always has been, to save sex for a strong, valuable and committed lifetime partner.

So in this particular email, she was having sex.  Surprise Surprise!  Thanks feminism for ruining everything and making dating a million times harder for men and women.  I suggested she stop and find Christianity and Christian counseling to find out why she’s giving her sexuality away to men (it’s seems to be usually something emotional – cue daddy issues – or just wrong rationalizations of earning love or commitment this way), and start the healing process from letting herself be used.  It’s been known scientifically for awhile now that daughters of divorced parents are typically more likely to not stay virgins long or wait to have sex until marriage.  So since so many millennials have come from divorced families, the promiscuity among them shouldn’t really be shocking.  It’s hard to believe in something you’ve seen and experienced dramatically with your emotions, fail consistently.  So while I understand that almost all millennials are having sex prior to marriage, it still doesn’t change the fact that these women having sex with their boyfriends complicates the relationship and their impending future marriage with that guy or another man later on.  It doesn’t change the consequences of it making it more likely for her to be used sexually because she’s making herself too available sexually.

So with that piece of advice, I predicted she’d probably lose the boyfriend since it would show clearly whether or not he truly loved her, or was just using her as a convenient booty call.  She found out, which she would have eventually found out sooner or later anyway, that he really was only interested in her for the sex he was getting… hence him otherwise not really being that into her.

Let’s go through the clues again just to make it easy to read here.  When a young woman is:

  • Always the one to initiate contact with the man
  • Always the one to set up times to see each other
  • Usually having sex when they have these “dates” – which aren’t really dates but sexcapades back at her or his apartment
  • The only one interested in keeping up the “relationship” where he doesn’t seem to care much
  • Has that sense that if she were to stop having sex, he’d just move on to someone else or they’d have nothing else to do together

If these things are happening to her (or you reading along), it’s time to cut your losses and move on.  In the famous words of Greg & Liz,

“He’s Just Not That Into You!”  

So no, you don’t chase this man. You let him go, because truly… you never really “had” him.

The great thing about this, is you can change and realize what you’re doing to yourself and start to value your sexuality for what it is.  Although I do strongly recommend good counseling to find out the why behind your having sex with men or boyfriends – is it just because you were never taught to save it for marriage, or is it something deeper and more worrying… like your dad leaving when you were young because your parents divorced and you don’t trust men to be good and the value of marriage?

A man who values you as a potential wife will also want to have sex with you before marriage, but he won’t use you.  All the same though, having sex before marriage will make it more likely for the relationship to turn toward him using you, because men tend to get tired of women who they’re having sex with if they’re not in a committed marriage with them.  It’s a mystery, even I’m not completely sure why a man “gets tired” of a girlfriend he’s sexually active with.  Sometimes it works out and they get married, but a lot of times it doesn’t.

 

Hope this answers any lurkers’ questions!  Keep lurking and emailing if you’re too embarrassed to ask these in the comments section.  I’m only doing this because it’s annoying that no one else seems to be, in the mainstream, for you younger people out there still stuck in the HORRIFIC dating stage of life.  It’s not fair that you didn’t have moms that guided you with this valuable information… and since mine did, I feel like it’s wrong not to write about it or answer questions like this when asked.  

And for the mentally ill nutcases who still think I should answer political questions etc…. questions like this one are fun and have a “low emotional cost” for me to answer publicly here, they also probably won’t attract more mentally ill obsessive like you 🙂 so if you want the interesting drama of political stuff, my advice remains the same.

Stephanie

 

Are there ever times you SHOULD or CAN chase a man?  Yes!!

  • If he’s too shy
  • If he’s divorced and burned (but still stable and a great catch – which a lot of frivorced men are)
  • If he doesn’t think you’d be into him (one of the most romantic examples of this Ruth & and Boaz)  Read here.

Can I Desire Personal & Spiritual Growth for My Husband?

I recently came across a question from a wife that was asking if it was ok to seek personal (and to me that also means spiritual) growth for her husband.  She wondered if maybe personal growth (desiring it) should only be for oneself, and if it was maybe wrong to desire it for someone else.

This is a great question, and something I believe God’s shown me even recently through the many lessons He’s taught me this past year of 2015. Not about my husband at all, but it centered around me desiring personal and spiritual growth for people I interacted with who were continually acting sinfully and in ways that dishonored God.  I’m so grateful and humbled that He’s done so much in my life in just this one year, and especially these last few months!

So without further ado, this is the answer I gave her:

Hey (Name Redacted), from what I’ve been taught and believe, I do think you can desire personal growth (spiritual growth as well) for your husband, it just has to be directed in a positive, respectful way, and probably not reminding him of his “goals” when he falls short constantly.

The best thing you can do is to pray for him in this area, but then don’t let it become what you focus on so much that this is what the majority of your time spent with God is about. If you are looking too much at the speck in his eye, and forget the “plank” in your own (not to say you have a plank-sized sin, just to remind you that we ALL sin), that focusing so much on someone else’s sin can be a distraction from our own spiritual and personal growth. Wanting him to grow more can become what you think about too much, instead of focusing on what God wants you to do, how God wants you to grow. I know it can be hard – even with people that aren’t your husband, we want them to change when we see them caught up in a stronghold that’s making them act sinful. It can be tempting to hear sermons and tidbits of wisdom and immediately apply it to them and think “Oh if only he/she was hearing that! Maybe then they’d stop their sinful behavior!!” It’s good to pray for others and trust God to work in their heart, but ultimately God wants you to grow in your own spirit and not be overly bothered by someone else’s lack of spiritual growth.

Satan wants to get you off focus of doing God’s will for your life, so he will use anything to achieve that goal, even good things like seeking personal/spiritual growth for your husband or someone else you wish was behaving differently.

Hope that helps you!

_____________________________________________________

Some more thoughts:

When someone you love, or know and interact with, is acting in a sinful and hurtful way, it can be extremely tempting to want to go in and “fix” the situation and “fix” them, and if we really love and care about them, this comes naturally.  Loving others means you want the best for them, that you want to see them become all that God desires them to be.  Giving them a loving, life-giving rebuke in a kind and gentle way can be extremely beneficial if their heart is humble and open and their spirit is desiring to follow God’s will for their life.  But what if their heart is hard and calloused, what if they mock the wisdom from God in how to treat other people, or mock your attempt to help them change and use it as fuel to further attack you for wanting to help them?

  • You have to step back, and realize if you’re dealing with someone spiritually wounded.  If they are reacting in hate or with mocking behavior, something is very off within their spirit, and they will not be able to receive wisdom most likely at this time in their life.  A reaction like that means they are generally in rebellion to God and against the Holy Spirit (if they’re Christian), and are grieving the Holy Spirit with their words and actions.  This may be because they’ve experienced a dramatic event in their life, immense pain they are feeling, anger, or a loss of purpose and belief that God can use them and their life experiences to further His Kingdom.
  • If they are spiritually wounded, don’t take their harsh and angry reactions or rejections to heart.  Try to see where they’re at and feel compassion and love for them, even in the state they’re in.  When you minister to other people, and especially the wounded and broken, they will sometimes “spiritually vomit” all over you because they are so far from God and His will in how He desires them to act. We need to expect this, and not be surprised when it happens with people who are Christian.  The saved are still depraved creatures, and we all need God desperately.
  • Keep your mind from focusing on their sin too much, pray for them, but have a peaceful confidence that God will deal with their sin – because He will and always has.
  • Focus on God’s will for your life, and doing the important things that He’s already put in your path for you to accomplish.
  • Don’t let other people’s sins become a distraction for you, taking away from the time you need to spend doing God’s work in your life and in the lives of those He’s put in your path to minister to.  Time is our most precious commodity, and how we use it matters so much!  Satan can use another person’s stronghold, your focusing on it, in order to stunt your own spiritual growth and spend your time wasted.  It gives him great satisfaction when God’s children are off track and ineffective.
  • Don’t give in to despair, have good boundaries around how much you allow other people’s sins to affect you.  Acknowledge that you’re only responsible for your own life, and are called to live at peace as much as it depends on you.  You can’t control other people’s thoughts and actions, you can’t ultimately change their minds or hearts to desire to act and behave godly.

 

Single Women – Men Love to See You Being a Woman!

A commenter, Just Saying, wrote a passing thought on a young woman he’s seeing that decided to play the “Domestic goddess” for him last week.  Her act of playing the role of his Domestic goddess inspired him to “show a side he hasn’t shown in a while.”  🙂  This reminded me of a passage and topic in a very old book, called The Fascinating Girl, a book written by Helen B. Andelin back in 1969 that still has some great pieces of timeless wisdom for how to be fascinating to men.  It is great for pre-teen to teenage girls or single women to give them insight into what men want, and what they love to see in a woman their looking to marry.

Even though I’m sure many women would feel some of the advice is outdated (and some of it is), the bulk of the book is filled with treasures of the male mind that help us women understand what makes men want to show devotion to us. What makes men want to romance us.

I actually read this book growing up, my mother passed it down to me (it had been hers when she was looking for a husband), and I felt it prepared me well to become a loving, tender, and even sexy wife to my husband. Although that first year in our marriage had it’s ups and downs we had to work through, the basic education I had in understanding men helped immensely to fix our problems (most of them had to do with me disrespecting him or outright nagging/acting unfeminine with him).  We were able to create a beautiful marriage much quicker than normal, in large part because I was already open to believing what my husband wanted from me.  I meet his needs and in return feel his protection, love, and sweet feelings of being adored by him that stems in large part from how I make it a point to treat him as best as I can, just because I love him!  Throughout our 8 years of being married, I’ve frequently returned to this book for ideas to bless him with or in order to remind myself of attitudes I would like to recultivate in myself when I’ve slipped into bad habits.

But let’s get to the topic of Men loving to see you enjoying being a woman….  First,

Why do men love to see a woman being a “Domestic Goddess?”

***

Men love to feel like a man. I know in our culture rampant with male-bashing, jokes about men being or acting stupid, or even music videos humiliating men in their breakups with girlfriends, even my daring to say that men love to feel like a man is huge deal.

But it’s true.  And when a woman is acting and enjoying being a woman, she allows him to feel more manly – something a healthy man loves to feel and desires to feel when around a female.  God created men to love being masculine – this doesn’t mean that they can’t have a host of hobbies that may not be “oh so manly” – many men love the arts (cooking, singing, music, acting, painting, dancing, etc.) and are gifted in them, and yet loving a certain hobby doesn’t mean they have to forgo their masculinity.  God still created men to be, and think, and feel like men.

In being a domestic goddess, I’m not talking about being a perfectionist, uptight, constantly riddled with anxiety over the condition of her house kind of woman, but rather a calm, loving, at-ease woman that simply enjoys the little tasks of keeping her space neat, or making a basic meal, and relishes being good at some of these things.

In The Fascinating Girl, becoming a Domestic Goddess is super easy… just 3 basic steps and you’re covered:

  1. Do your tasks well.
  2. Add some feminine touches.
  3. Be happy in your domestic duties.

When a woman resents cleaning, resents cooking, resents having to do chores around the house, she slips into an unattractive attitude of victim mentality and complains or groans about having to do these things.  Not only is it not good for her personal growth (everyone has to learn how to clean at some point in their life hopefully), but it’s bad for her spiritual growth to be giving in to feeling resentment, which over time may create bitterness – something that is especially unattractive in a woman.  When she gets married, she’ll be in danger of making her entire family miserable whenever it’s time to clean/cook/do chores, because she won’t be able to get past her hatred of it.

Seeing a woman relish being a domestic goddess, even if she isn’t particularly good at something, but gives it her best tries, inspires a man to feel an adorable love for her.  It’s mysterious and so sweet!

Men understand at some level that a woman who enjoys being a domestic goddess is someone who doesn’t mind spending her precious time giving others the gift of showing hospitality, or of a home-cooked meal, or baked goods.  Even when a married woman takes the time to clean or organize her house, she is sending a message to her husband and children that they matter, that she cares about their feelings, that she cares about their need for a well organized, relatively clean home.  It’s showing her family that she loves them enough to take care of the space they have to live in.

Seeing a woman enjoying loving others, enjoying her life and even trying to find enjoyment in the mundane tasks of chores, cooking, or cleaning, sends the message to a man that she enjoys being feminine.

Andelin’s 3 tips for how to find joy in your tasks:

  1. Proper attitude towards drudgery
  2. Allow time to enjoy homemaking
  3. Do your jobs well.

She goes on to say that if you’re single, you obviously have more important things to tend to in your life – like college or even working, but at least knowing these helping tips, at least understanding how great an impact they make on your future family, will help you if you get married.

We as women give men a gift when we allow ourselves to enjoy feeling feminine, it makes them in turn feel more manly.  And that usually inspires men to feel more drawn to us, more enchanted with us, and more deeper in intimacy with us.  

If you’re a single woman,

and are wondering what it is

men deeply want and crave,

you’re in the right place.

***

But if a woman is acting like a man, making crude jokes, acting like one of the boys, competing with him in his areas of interest and trying to beat him, or trying to be in charge of their relationship, she is emasculating him, and making him actually feel horrible when around her.

An unfeminine woman sends a strong message to a man – one that says boldly:  There’s nothing here for you, I don’t need or want your masculinity.

Obviously, if you’re in the dating realm and wanting to snag a cute, sexy man… this is the LAST THING you want to be sending out as a message to men!

So enjoy being a woman – enjoy playing the role of a domestic goddess, but don’t let it stop there… men love to see that you have interests beyond mundane household chores.  

In fact, men find women who solely find their fulfillment in being “overly domestic” boring and unattractive.  

Men actually love to find a woman who is interested in the latest topics, good books, someone to have fun with (bolded emphasis mine):

Remember that although the idea of the Domestic Goddess is essential to our picture of the ideal woman, a man wants more than a homemaker.  He wants a playmate and an intellectual companion.  He also wants her to have a broad interest in life and all that is in it – its many problems, its many faces and its wondrous beauty.  …

The ideal woman needs to be a part of the world outside the home, needs to feel a certain debt to society – a sense of social responsibility. If she stays too close in her own little world she tends to become selfish and narrow.  If her time and energies are consumed with her children, her house and her husband, without a thought for the world beyond, she will not only be uninteresting but unhappy.  Her real happiness lies in her fulfillment as a wife, mother and homemaker, but giving beyond this – stretching forth her hand to those in need – enriches her life.

 

(Quotes taken from The Fascinating Girl, by Helen B. Andelin, 1969)

Beauty Basics – Fall & Winter Skincare

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No make-up, fresh skin, that’s wearable in the early mornings of Fall and Winter, is something that I used to not be able to do.  Summer skin seems to retain more moisture and oil naturally, making going make-up free almost preferable.  Who wants their makeup sliding off in the heat?  But with the dry, cracked, or acne-prone skin of Winter?  It’s a whole different ball-game!

As I’m getting nearer and nearer to being in my 30’s, I am embracing the peacefulness of feeling literally more comfortable in my bare-faced skin.  I love it!  ❤ I love the minimalist approach.

Of course, there are things I do though, that help me to feel this confident when make-up free.  Here are some things I’ve done over the years that have been proven to create skin that doesn’t need makeup.

Fall & Winter Skin Care Tips

  • Wash face with cleansing wash or basic face soap every day, I wash in the morning and at night
  • Wash with a specifically gentle exfoliant once every day.  I currently use a giant bottle of The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash by Philosophy.  It’s the 32 oz, and lasts for about a year.
  • Use a thick, anti-oxidant rich moisturizer or even a basic oil (Castor Oil works like a dream and is extremely inexpensive) to sleep in at night.  Only use the oil a couple of times a week.
  • Take Omega 3 Fish Oil capsules to repair skin from the inside-out during the dryness of Winter, this also benefits your hair, making it grow faster than normal.
  • Get enough sleep!  It’s amazing to me, how much our bodies repair even minuscule damage done each and every day by free radicals that affect how we age.  If we don’t get enough sleep, our bodies literally do not have enough time to repair all the damage accrued in the day.  Sleep is one of the best anti-aging secrets then, and you really can’t make-up for lost sleep during the week, by trying to sleep extra hours over the weekend.  Our bodies just don’t work like that.  Get enough sleep each night, and wake up to healthy, beautiful, glowing skin.

1888 – Happily Married Couples Respond to Article Calling Marriage a ‘Failure’

In tandem with yesterday’s post 1888 – Letters Show Women Who Create Happy Marriages Pick Well & Are Mature, where I presented letters from couples who were in “Miserable” marriages, today I wanted to focus on the letters from the “Happily Married” couples.

These letters were in response to a woman named Mona Caird, who wrote an article for the Westminister Review in 1888, calling marriage, “a failure… servitude to a man… the primary instituion by which women continued to be held in bondage… and for which their freedom has to be sacrificed.”  The article was so provocative that it produced no less than 27,000 letters from women in response to it.

While many agreed that marriage was indeed, a failure, most of their responses could be identified as having either not picked (or been pushed to pick) men of good character who didn’t have the AAA characteristics (Alcohol, Abuse, or Affairs), or that they simply were not mature enough to create a good life with the good man that they picked.  Many of the miserable married women’s attitudes displayed victim mentalities, selfishness, lack of conviction in how they should respond in unfavorable circumstances, and admittance that they were embittering their own children.

So what did the Happily Married group have to say about marriage being declared “a Failure?”

“Will you allow a married woman of twenty years’ experience to say a few words?… Marriage was instituted, I humbly conceive, in the interest of the weaker portion of humanity, viz. women and children, and it works more to their advantage than otherwise.  Men could probably content themselves very well – and many do – with a system of free, i.e., temporary marriage.…   The woman, I suppose, was intended to be subject.  “He shall rule over thee,” was part of the curse pronounced on the first human sinner, Eve…. I write from a feminine standpoint only; and while admitting that marriage is often very disappointing, it cannot be considered a total failure so long as it carries on the race legitimately and surrounds the woman with the dignity – almost sanctity – of true wifehood and honourable motherhood.  -FAITH AND HOPE

If you are sensible, intelligent, and diplomatic women, and do not expect too much of your husbands, you may be happy wives as a rule….  Use your own judgement in the treatment of the particular specimen of the genus homo on whom you bestow your affections.  Above all, recollect that there must always be something on both sides to put up with, so bear and forbear; and if you get a decent fellow, he will love, respect, and appreciate you for it.  If you find that your husband is at all inclined to go astray, give him a latchkey; he will soon tire of a liberty which is not disputed.  Don’t sit up for him.  Go to your rest contentedly, and meet him with a sweet, unsuspecting smile, and no embarrassing quesitons on his return in the small hours of the morning….  Under these circumstances your husbands will find no sport at all, and I warrants, will return home nightly at regular and respectable hours less than a month after.  It rests with yourselves to a great extent whether your marriage turn out failures or not.”  -EMILY COFFIN

On the eve of my marriage I made three mental vows.  They were – never to aggravate him, never to have a secret from him, nor by any selfish or thoughtless act of mine to lead him one step towards bankruptcy.  Fifteen years aftewards I told him of those vows, and alhtough I have been a widow for ten years, I should blot this paper with my tears if I attempted to put it in writing the love and tenderness of his reply…. ”  -A BELIEVER IN THE SANCTITY OF MARRIAGE

“Will you give a workman’s wife a chance to say a few words on the marriage question?…  Now, I am a married woman of forty years’ wedlock standing; therefore what I say is entitled to consideration.  My verdict is “Marriage is not a failure,” and I will show you why I think so.

At fifteen, when I was an apprentice girl, I fell in love with my – well, my old man.  He was an apprentice boy, four years older.  We were very happy – happy as the finest swells that ever wooed, though neither of us consulted our parents as to our choice, and we enjoyed courting on the quiet, and we longed for the day when we could get married.  As soon as he was out of his time we fixed the day; and one morning we both of us took the day off and marched away to church with a shopmate a-piece for witnesses and wedding train, and were united by a good-natured person, who seemed to relish the job of making so young and good-looking couple man and wife.  My dowry was the love I had to give.  His means were just what he could win week by week as a journeyman.  With no bank account, and with but the slenderest sort of “establishment” we set up in matrimony, and we were as happy as was possible.  Within a year my first boy was born.  He has had eight brothers and sisters, and seven of them live in manhood and womanhood….. Why are we made men and women?  Clearly to be partners one to the other, and to fulfill the divine mandate “Increase and multiply.”  We are not put on this earth by God merely to amuse ourselves, but to do a work.  Woman’s work is to be a mother, and form her children’s minds and educate their hearts.  But in acquitting herself of these duties she finds wondrous joys if she be a true woman.  What greater prize can there be in life than to find, when the hair has grown white and the step is losing its spring, that the children one has borne return her love and care a hundredfold and that every day the interest on the outlay grows apace?  I don’t know of any; and I would not exchange the love of my sons and daughters, and the fireside quiet that is mine at near sixty, for the wealth of all the Rothschilds….

-A WORKMAN’S WIFE

“I had known my husband over three years before we were married, and saw a great deal of him; consequently we thought we understood each other’s disposition sufficiently to live happily together.  But we had not been man and wife many months before I found he was drifting away from me…. The advice from different friends was: “If he goes his way, you go yours.”  But I knew this was not the way to win him back; so, after bearing it pretty patiently for three years, I set about in my mind the best way to go to work…. I always met him at the door myself, as though nothing had happened, and paid the same little attentions I had always paid befor ewe were married, took great care to study what friends he liked, and made a rule to ask one or two cheerful ones to dinner two or three times a week.… So by degrees, I was enableed to wean him from bad companions, and now, for the past year or more, we have been as happy as possible….”  -MIDDLE CLASS WOMAN

“Before many years pass we hope to celebrate our golden wedding, please God, and we are not tired of one another yet.  But I made many mistakes…. I know how to manage my husband now, and have learned to double his pleasures, which are not many, by sharing in them….”  -WINNY JONES

***

There are so many distinctions between these happily married wives and the miserably married wives, that AAA men aside, reveal the overall conviction, passion, love, and maturity of the happily married women.

It is not that they were merely lucky, although maybe some luck played into some of their stories, but it’s obvious that even when they had maritial troubles, or mismatched personalities, the happily married wives showed patience and long-suffering sometimes for years so that they could come to a point where they were both on the same page together.

The happily married wives also showed characters of women who believed in “winning him over without a word, but in deed.”  Instead of complaining, nagging, allowing themselves to be miserable companions, ruining their life and their children’s lives with the, these happy wives focused on doing what was right, having a good pleasant attitude, supporting their husbands even when it was difficult, and committing to take responsibility for the marriage they desired.

Any thoughts on the differences or things that stuck out?  For me personally, the happily married wive’s tales touched me.  They had so much love, so much affection and conviction of their duty to their marriage, and to truly love their husbands, it was touching to see that even when friends would tell them to go their own way, they knew it was the wrong advice.

Letters of Thanks

Back in October 2013, I decided to start a small blog to post ideas, thoughts, and advice on beauty, health, fitness, dating, cooking, fashion, marriage, sex, and parenting.  It was a supposed to be a very tiny venture, meant for mostly myself, to have one place where all my thoughts were collected.  And now has become a blog that has over 100,000 views since I started 2 years ago this month.  I don’t know what’s in store for it, I don’t think it will ever become super popular thankfully, but it’s been fun to write out my thoughts and ideas.  I’ve often felt like I’ve learned more from some of my commentators, and so I thank you readers who have spent the time to either comment or email me your thoughts or your own advice on topics or post ideas.

For a long time, I hesitated to add “Spiritual Growth” to my blog because I felt like I still had so much growth to do in that department, and didn’t want to come across as knowing much about it.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe one can know a lot about something like theology or religion, but that doesn’t mean they have a good grasp of how to apply it in their daily lives.  So anything I say on spiritual growth has usually come from after a long time (even a year or more) of thinking on it, trying to figure out the pieces and how they fall together, and so, I usually don’t write about the things I experience immediately, but occasionally do if I feel there is a good lesson there.

But over these two years, I’ve received quite a few comments thanking me for the posts or the blog in general… these things really humble me, that anyone reads my blog at all, when I just started it as something very modest and only for myself, blows my mind.  But thank you to my readers who take the time to leave comments or emails – they really are encouraging.  ❤

One of my favorite emails, from a police officer in Virginia:

“Hi there,

Thank you for writing encouraging things about your family.  I found your blog from a link on the advrider.com forums (it’s a motorcycle touring website) in an off-topic (for the forum) discussion about Red Pill Theory of male/female relationships.  They were complimentary of you.

I’m not quite sure what draws me to discussions about males and females, but I read about it a lot.  The evidence would show that it touches a nerve in me somewhere. I’m not a victim of bad relationships, my parents are still married, my wife’s parents are still married, and my wife and I are mostly traditional.  She’s glad I’m a man and I’m glad she’s a woman.  We’re certainly behind the curve on being trendy or progressive, and we’re not complaining.  We’ve been married over 17 years.  Still, I feel like somewhere deep in my mind is a narrative that “manly” is a synonym for “dumb, of little use,  irrelevant” or even “threatening, harmful”.  I perceive, rightly or wrongly, that the importance of men is diminished and derided.

I’ve worked as a police officer for over 16 years, and I end up getting snapshots of many bad relationships.  Though no professional has ever made it official, I believe staring at depravity and realizing that I have no authority to do anything about relational patterns that take decades to do their damage has led to struggling with depression at times, yet feeling no energy to get out of what I do for a living.  Faith has helped on that front, but I still get distracted while someone’s complaining to me about their ex-(fill in the blank) when I notice the blank-faced looking 5 year old 10 feet behind the complainer and can’t help thinking “This is burning into that little brain.  I wish I could explain that this is not an aspirational way of life, that needing the police to intervene in your personal relationships is a symptom of a bigger problem.”

So, when I read things such as you write, I’m relieved.  Not only do you appreciate men and women for being men and women, you love them, too.  I am impatient for Jesus to come back and fix everything that’s wrong, and staring at all of the problems causes me grief.  So, when I read your take and see your appreciation for your husband and kids, I feel great relief that somewhere out there is a family that loves each other.  By writing you this note, I hope to encourage you to know that you are helping people you don’t even know (who doesn’t love feedback?).  Thanks so much for your thoughts, and, truly, best wishes to you and your family.

Jim in Virginia

And more from Jim in another email,

“Yes, my favorite aspect of your thoughts is your “tone”.  So much of the discussion about gender seems generated out of anger or hurt towards the opposite gender.  So much of the learning stems from painful experiences and retaliatory strikes at the offenders.  It doesn’t even seem popular these days to say that you like being married; it seems much more prevalent to list the annoying things (complain) about your spouse. Therefore, it’s remarkable (noteworthy?) when there are voices who appreciate the strengths of both and who seek to edify both of them.  It’s unusual (wow, it shouldn’t be) and, bummer, you may not qualify for a Reality TV show because harmony doesn’t sell commercials or newspapers.  There is no profit in everyone getting along.

Yet,  the foundation you two are giving your kids, the “safety” of your relationship and their home… as they grow older, you will be amazed at the problems they DON’T have just because you two love each other well.  I believe it’s a big part of doing the Lord’s work. My opinion is that we don’t even realize how important, significant,and eternal it really is.  It’s really a great thing.  Thanks for being salt and light.

Okay, getting rambly here.  Go love the world by loving your husband and kids.  I pray you receive much joy in your work!

Jim

You Can’t Be Together All the Time – Respecting Your Husband’s Space

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Something I deeply treasure in our marriage is the time we spend together.  Whatever season we’re in, whether there is ample amount of time, or barely enough time to reconnect, I truly do value that sense of togetherness.

When we were dating and in college, some of our mutual friends joked that we were attached at the hip, they said they never saw us by ourselves – we went everywhere together, did everything as a couple, and tried to see each other as much as humanly possible.

When we were first married, I heard the term co-dependent and worried that we’d fallen into that relational category because of how much we loved to spend time together.

Co-Dependent -a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin); broadly:  dependence on the needs of or control by another

 

Obviously, we weren’t co-dependent at all.  In reality, we were both growing into our own persons, becoming inter-dependent, and inspiring each other to reach our own individual goals.  My husband went back to school with a renewed attitude after marriage, and was driven with an inspired purpose.  His grades reflected the change – he was suddenly making all A’s and loving his progress in knocking out classes.

We energized each other, and encouraged each other to succeed.

But even in all this togetherness, there was still a lot of times where we would not be so attached at the hip.

There were many nights where we would relax and be in the same vicinity, but doing completely different things.  Myself reading a book or the beauty magazine, Allure, while my husband read his own book or played his game console.  Both focused on other things, but still under an umbrella of love and treasuring each other.

There were still many times where we would read together – to each other even, but it was in these times of separateness that the comfort and relaxation of just knowing that we were there for each other, being quiet and immersed in our own interests, a sense of confidence in our relationship emerged.

I once knew a woman my age that had just gotten married, complain that she was sitting on the couch watching her husband play his game console, and had the incredible urge to throw it across the room.

She was angry that he wasn’t spending time with her in that moment, and maybe in some ways she was lacking intimacy in their marriage.  But this controlling neediness from women to always be the focus of their man, is something that drives relationships into the ground.

Couples need time where they are by themselves, and men in particular, seem to need to be alone or with other men, even when they’re crazy about the woman they love.

There are times when my husband will get off work at night, and instead of come straight home to me, he stays to talk and laugh with his friends there, or goes to visit friends and past co-workers for awhile.  He misses them, and visiting with them, even though it takes away a little of our couple time, gives him so much fulfillment.

Sometimes he’s talking about his work, even asking their ideas and opinions on things he faces, or they’re telling horrible jokes that would make me blush or faint, but this time is his and his alone.  It is not meant for me to intrude upon, or to make him feel guilty for.  He needs that time with others, other men and even a few women who add an overall deeper meaning to his life experience that I alone can’t provide.  When he does come back to me, he’s usually glowing with the happiness of getting to be with these crazy people, and can’t wait to tell me what’s going on in their own lives, or the dirty jokes they shared LOL.

Do I miss him when he stays out later to be with these other people he loves?  Of course, but he needs them… they add to his life.

Men need their own time to get away, to recharge, to become energized.  I remember growing up my mom told me about Abraham Lincoln’s wife.  She was apparently, an extremely jealous woman, who hated allowing Lincoln to spend time with anyone else, especially another woman, and it was hard on him because he was naturally friendly and very people-orientated.  My mom used her as an example of the ugliness of jealousy in a woman, and how she can use it to control and manipulate her husband’s time and his life.  She told me that Lincoln was sad about his wife’s character flaw, and paid the price for it by having less enriched relationships with other people in his life in an effort to keep her happy.  A woman like that makes her man have to keep her happy, or she’ll try to make him miserable, or throw his game console against the wall to get his attention.  She’s allowing her emotions rule their relationship (and rule her husband) and coming from a place of jealousy that’s inspired by insecurity.

Women need their time alone as well, there have been so many times throughout our marriage when I’ve been grateful for the time spent away with other women friends when we gathered together for talking at the park with our kids, or Bible study, or even going out together.  There is something that I get from them that my husband cannot (and probably should not) try to provide for me, simply because they’re women – we connect at a different level and share experiences that men don’t understand.

You just can’t be together all the time.

Men seem to respect that women have their hobbies or girly activities, it’s women like Lincoln’s wife that don’t seem to get that men also need their space – their time to relax and spend time with friends.

It’s good to respect our husband’s space, to let him have the hobbies he loves – reading, writing, hunting, baseball, game-playing, visiting friends, or whatever it may be.

Respect his space, be interdependent.