Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Never Say No

We wives tend to joke about how our husbands are always in the mood...

It's true. As a general rule, men are more easily turned on than women. A man can come home after a long day at work, catch a glimpse of cleavage while we serve dinner, and he's pretty darn excited.

Us women, on the other hand, are quite the opposite. I mean, we just served dinner. It's a dinner that we prepared and will be cleaning up after. Prior to that dinner we worked, cleaned, planned, refereed. After that dinner we'll be making the bedtime rounds. So the fact that he's excited is actually pretty annoying.

Sound familiar?

Life is busy, and most women (men, too) are flat-out exhausted at the end of the day. It's so easy to tune out, veg out, then roll over and just go to sleep, giving our men the big shut out.

The thing is, if we say no enough times (even if we're not saying it with words), we launch a vicious cycle.

She says no --> He feels rejected --> He begins to isolate --> She feels rejected

The cycle goes round and round until nobody's interested in anything. No sex, no dates, no closeness, no communication.

Years ago, when Pat and I were in the early (and difficult/unhappy/miserable) phase of our marriage, we found ourselves in this cycle of rejection. I felt alone and unloved, so was not interested in doing anything that might make him happy (from turning his laundry right-side-out to fooling around). He felt rejected and unneeded, so he wasn't interested in doing anything that might make me happy (from helping around the house to cuddling with no ulterior motive). We were stuck.

But God did that thing He does. You know - conviction. Everything I was hearing, reading, and watching seemed to be about sex. Heck, it was preached from the pulpit at church! And I read the words of a wise woman (I don't remember who, but I've never forgotten her words)...

I made the decision to never say no again.

She was not only referring to the word "no," but to other ways of communicating unavailability and disinterest. She chose not to avoid his touch (even if at times it bordered on the inappropriate, like grabbing her butt in the kitchen), she chose not to turn her back but to always go to sleep facing him, and she gave her "yes" to her husband every time he was interested.

Some of you are probably thinking, But if I did that I'd never rest! Here are a few questions, then... Do you sleep well after rejecting your husband's advances? Do you sleep well when you feel cold and bitter towards your husband? Do you sleep well when you're going out of your way to avoid him?

I'd like to suggest that your rest would be dramatically improved if you simply removed the word "no" from your vocabulary and your actions.
I haven't said no in years, and our marriage is the best it's ever been! (Not that this is the only factor that's improved our marriage, by any means. And for those who are considering the never say no method, let me put your minds at ease - it is not every. single. day. You can breathe easy.)

Lately, God's been bugging me about the whole "who should initiate" issue. I've always figured it should be a 90/10 split, maybe 80/20 if I'm feeling generous. God seems to be hinting otherwise. So far, I've had my fingers firmly planted in my ears, singing, "La, la, la, I can't hear you!" Conviction is a funny thing, though - it just gets stronger the more you ignore it.

So let me ask you a personal question - What are you telling your man? Does he have your "yes," or is he too often getting your "no?"


Check out To Love, Honor, and Vacuum for more Wifey Wednesday posts.

5 comments:

  1. Well, those are really wise words.

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  2. Thank you for these reminders. We try but get tired (or exhausted) and fall back into old habits so it helps to have this brought up again....and from a woman!

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  3. Hi Tyler! Saw your comment on our blog, One Flesh Marriage and wanted to check out your ministry! Sounds amazing! You go girl! Love, Love, Love this article! So much of what I like to say as a wife to the woman I speak to and meet with. Thanks for sharing your story of restoration in your marriage. God's plan is awesome and his hope and healing are beyond words! Thanks for checking us out and I will definatly be reading more here! Blessings! Kate

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  4. Christianity is such a misogynistic religion and the women are so brainwashed to be a doormat to their husbands even to the point of humiliation. Ugh.

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  5. If you never say no then your yes really loses all meaning. How about working together so you want to say yes? How about, "I want to say no and here's why." And then talk about it.

    Removing no entirely isn't the answer.

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