As a husband and father, I take my marriage vows seriously. But as a businessman who has traveled the world and often spent as much as fifty-percent of my time on the road, keeping those marriage vows has sometimes taken work.
Let’s face it, relationships ebb and flow. Sometimes, we are still madly in love. Other times, we might find it hard to even be in like. Responsibilities, the needs of our kids, financial pressures, just the busyness of everyday life, invade every relationship, often creating a sense of distance and disconnect in a couple.
Men are simple creatures. It is often said that control of the remote, a good meal, and some time to himself will make any man happy. Well, that might do it for the moment, but most men need more, especially from the women in their lives. And while we are not necessarily good at asking for what we need, if you provide it, a good man will remain ever faithful.
The conclusions I have reached are underpinned by conversations with literally hundreds of men I have encountered who have cheated on their wives. Their reasons are eerily similar. Enough so that all women interested in keeping their men loyal should take note. Here they are in no particular order:
- Understand how the male brain works when it comes to sex.
- Recognize there is a fence around your sexual yard.
- Three minutes a day will have you swimming in diamonds.
- Strip, but don’t dance.
- Make it memorable – going and coming.
Let me address each of these in some depth.
- Understand how the male brain works when it comes to sex. It shocks me to know the number of women who refuse to fully grasp their husband’s sexual mind and make-up. Either they don’t care, or think that they are so special that their man would never think of cheating. Think again.
God made man with a little, but powerful “chip” in his head that electrifies in the presence of any attractive woman. We men were placed on this earth to multiply, and God wanted to make sure we did just that. Boy, did he ever! Like pretty much every other living creature of our planet, all male species are attracted like a magnet to the physical beauty and allure of the opposite sex. And, we are wired to have sex for the rest of our lives. Thanks to Viagra and other ED products, we can go on having, and importantly, wanting to have sex to the day we die.
And, we are not by make-up loyal partners. But, we are a civilized society, right? It makes us what we are: human. We don’t just jump at (or on) anything we are attracted to. But, we sure want to. So, we need incentives to keep us acting in the civilized way you expect us to.
- Recognize there is a fence around your sexual yard. Before a man takes his wedding vows, he has been entirely free to roam and act on the appealing allure of the opposite sex. But once he says his “I Dos” he is committing himself to a monogamous lifestyle where you will be his only sexual partner – for life. This is not a small thing to him. It goes against nature. It goes against every sexual impulse firing through his body. He will want and crave variety and fulfilling sex, often at a frequency that out-strips your own energy and desire. So let’s talk about your sexual yard that he has now committed to play in, exclusively.
My daughter is getting married next year, and we have had many heart-to-heart discussions on this very topic – doing the yard work necessary to keep a relationship exciting and her husband firmly planted. What I told her was that variety and excitement in the bedroom will keep his thoughts on her. Anything goes behind closed doors so long as it is OK with both partners. It is often truthfully told that a man wants a debutante in public, but a whore in the bedroom.
In other words, keep the garden fresh with exciting new paths and plantings, and explore ways in which you can always keep your yard fresh – so that it is a place where he looks forward to spending abundant quality time with you.
- Three minutes a day will have you swimming in diamonds. Men are inherently providers, protectors, and nurturers. Like our sexual brain, we are hard-wired, but in this area we want to provide everything we can for our spouse and children. It gives us satisfaction and joy. And nothing makes us feel better, or needed than the constant reinforcement of appreciation. And nothing makes us disconnect from our spouse more than when that appreciation is lacking or non-existent.
In a world where you may work as many hours a week at a job as your spouse, this may seem archaic. But is it? Don’t you want to be appreciated? Don’t you want him to notice all that you do?
So, at the end of each day, find three minutes to express how much you appreciate your husband: what he is doing for you and the family and how much he means to you personally. Sound easy? It’s not. Or everyone would be doing it. Instead we get fatigued, and the worries and trials of the day take over. And then so do the routines of the day.
When a man feels underappreciated, he feels that you do not value him – and he becomes disconnected. Be careful. This is when he is most vulnerable. This is a very important point to make here: Men don’t stray for sex, they stray for connection.
So take the time to share sincere appreciation – every day. If you do, you will find extraordinary love and attention coming your way, and he will do everything in his power to bring you the things in life that you so desire.
- Strip, but don’t dance. What?!! Yes. This may be a controversial practice for many, but hear me out. And yes, it is a metaphor – though it also works in practice.
Knowing what I know about me and all my male friends, we love to look at women – particularly when they are naked. It is art in its most primal and beautiful form. It thrills us and excites us. But, dancing with another woman is dangerous. It is sexy, erotic and magnetic – particularly if the music slows and the lights dim. There is touch, smell, rhythm, and a little fantasy going on.
So, the message is this: if your husband wants to go out with the boys to a strip club, let him. After all, he will be looking forward to coming home to the amazing yard you have ready for him for a little late night gardening. But, if your husband wants to go out with his friends dancing, I would be more than a bit worried. Recognize the difference between him wanting to cut loose with his friends and needing to connect with someone on a visceral level. If the latter seems to be the case, communicate your concern without being confrontational, and provide him with a more compelling reason to be with you.
- Make it memorable – going and coming. Not a pun. But maybe. If your spouse travels, have mind-blowing sex the night before he departs. I heard one therapist explain that each of us gets to be known by our mate for some specialty in the bedroom. You want him to leave your house with a big smile on his face and remember you vividly while he is away. You actually want him to NOT want to leave the house for that trip.
And just as important, have mind-blowing sex when he returns. I know, the pressures of running your household alone, the added responsibility and loneliness of parenting – not to mention this is all expected of you along with your own career that will likely make you even more resentful. But, you want him to be just as excited to see you when he gets home as he was disappointed to leave you a week earlier. Feel free to drop something “naughty” into his suitcase for him to discover while unpacking, too. The entire time he is gone, you want him dreaming about your reunion.
And if you have something import to discuss with him, let it wait until coffee in the morning. It can wait. Sex, for him, cannot.
Why do I need to put in all this effort? If he really loved me, he would realize I am just as stressed as he is. I work just as hard as he does. Why shouldn’t he be the one putting in all this effort? I can hear the responses as I write. And these are fair questions and feelings.
Relationships, at their best, energize us. They nurture our physical, emotional, and spiritual selves. And part of that is because of the boomerang effect. In a good relationship, the positives we put out boomerang back to us. Taking time to understand your man’s sexuality, creating and creatively re-planting your sexual yard, letting your man know they are appreciated, understanding that a woman’s body is art but dancing is dangerous, and making for memorable send-offs and reunions will reward you with enormous payback in the form of joyful connection and reciprocation. And keep him from straying into a neighbor’s yard.
So there you have it. Advice from someone who wrote a book on the subject. Fiction, I know. But not really.