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Daniel of Doulogos Name:Daniel
Home: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
About Me: I used to believe that evolution was reasonable, that homosexuality was genetic, and that people became Christians because they couldn't deal with the 'reality' that this life was all there was. I used to believe, that if there was a heaven - I could get there by being good - and I used to think I was more or less a good person. I was wrong on all counts. One day I finally had my eyes opened and I saw that I was not going to go to heaven, but that I was certainly going to suffer the wrath of God for all my sin. I saw myself as a treasonous rebel at heart - I hated God for creating me just to send me to Hell - and I was wretched beyond my own comprehension. Into this spiritual vacuum Jesus Christ came and he opened my understanding - delivering me from God's wrath into God's grace. I was "saved" as an adult, and now my life is hid in Christ. I am by no means sinless, but by God's grace I am a repenting believer - a born again Christian.
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Daniel's posts are almost always pastoral and God centered. I appreciate and am challenged by them frequently. He has a great sense of humor as well.
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His posts are either funny or challenging. He is very friendly and nice.
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[He has] good posts, both the serious like this one, and the humorous like yesterday. [He is] the reason that I have restrained myself from making Canadian jokes in my posts.
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Daniel, nicely done and much more original than Frank the Turk.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Husbands, Calloused and Clueless.
This post is especially written for newly wed fellows who, while bright and sincere, are nevertheless clueless about how intimacy works.

Gentleman; you know that feeling you get when you get left to watch a whole mess of children all alone? The first few hours go well enough, you try all your tricks, but sooner than later the well runs dry, and you find yourself looking at the clock with increasing irritation and urgency because you really can't handle this anymore - but you have to because until the parents return, you are under a responsibility that cannot be shirked. What is happening is that you are finding yourself sorely desiring some space to yourself, and the desire for it increases as the frazzle index rises. When the parents arrive to pick up their little angels, the last thing you want to do is immediately open the door to another batch of kids. You want some down time.

Here me; learn from me if I am older: your wife is sometimes going to be overcome by the trials of the day. It doesn't matter a bit if you think her day was swell, and bearable - you don't have hormone attacks every few weeks! Listen, the first thing you will want to do is try to solve the problem, but the problem can't be solved by trying to convince your wife that she should ignore it, or that it is all in her head, or worse, that she doesn't really have a right to be as put out as she is "pretending" to be. You're going to have a very lonely marriage if you don't understand this, so sit up and listen.

Do you really expect your wife to be overcome by your charm when her soul has been leaking out at the seams all day? Good gravy man! To everything under heaven there is a season. Plainly stated: Your wife sometimes needs space more than you need a hug. On a side note, don't try and convince your way into her charms either - that's just sad. Don't whine, cry, insult, or complain, you're a man, act like one; and not like a little child who is having a tantrum because he can't get his way. Don't try to turn your wife over to the dark side either - if she has just barely held it together all day, the last thing you should do is try to manipulate or coerce her out of her "mood" - we can be like the proverbial bull in the China shop, except we are more calloused and clueless. All I am saying is that to everything there is a season so don't try for sunshine when the forecast clearly calls for rain.

Another way in which you might be denser than mercury requires you to have had a normal childhood.

I want you to try to remember when you were a small child. Did you ever get a sliver that was in so deep your dad or mom had to cut it out? I know, some doctors nowadays tell you to just let it come out by itself - but back in my day dad would get out his pocket knife, or mom would get a sewing needle, and my heart would fail me. I loved my parents, and (normally) trusted them, but when that sliver was all infected and tender, and dad had the "I'm gonna get that sliver out of you no matter what!" face, I could only imagine a world of hurt coming, and I wanted no part of it.

I can tell you frankly, that for all my father's love, I still didn't trust him - not because he wasn't trustworthy, but because my sliver was so tender. I knew that in order to have the sliver removed, I had to let dad do something that could hurt me. That feeling of dread at being so vulnerable is probably as close as I can come to describing something a lot of men are clueless about. Your wife is probably smaller and weaker than you are - and that means that in order to be intimate with you, she has to put herself in a very vulnerable place. Men are typically clueless about how much trust, and the kind of trust that is involved for a wife to fully embrace her husband intimately, but let me say this - it is the kind of trust that is quickly eroded by treating your wife poorly all day. Hurt feelings cause this trust to evaporate, and even though they know their husband loves them, they don't feel safe. I chose that word carefully too.

Seriously, if you are a jerk to your wife all day, she isn't going to feel very open to your charms in the evening because God designed her to respond that way. She isn't reciprocating because you haven't loved her the way God designed her to be loved. Cherish your wife, period. If you treat her poorly/abrasively all day long, how can she suddenly open her heart in trust to you just because you feel its all better now? It just doesn't work that way - women are not wired like that.

The bottom line is that intimacy in marriage, *real* intimacy -the kind where your souls are ever joyously open to one another- doesn't just happen spontaneously and without effort. You really do have to humble yourself for it work.

There are several things you can do to really foul things up for yourself, so let me give you some pointers.

[1] Don't treat your marriage (or your wife!) like a piece of property that exists to serve your needs and purposes. Marriage exists to put the glory of Christ's union with the church on display.

[2] Don't assume that your wife is the problem, more often than not she is reacting to you.

[3] Give your wife space when she needs it.

[4] For goodness sakes, I don't care how good you are at selling, arguing, debating, or convincing - no doesn't mean convince me, it means no.

[5] Whining or complaining (or worse) because you can't get your way is called a tantrum. If you want your wife's respect (and I know you do), you are actually going to have to deal with disappointment like a man.

[6] Remember that intimacy, for your wife, requires her to become physically vulnerable before you - that requires trust, and if that trust has been eroded because you have been a jerk all day or all week - don't blame your wife if she doesn't trust you, blame yourself.

I could go on, but it's late, and I need some shut eye. God intends for marriage to be mutually awesome. I hope the pointers I offer here are practical, helpful and accurate, for I have learned that genuine intimacy begins in the heart, and begins where selfishness ends.

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posted by Daniel @ 11:36 PM  
  • At 1:54 AM, April 29, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    This was a difficult post to write - not because the subject matter was difficult, but just difficult to describe candidly without appearing vulgar.

    Time will tell how well I did.

  • At 4:33 AM, April 29, 2009, Blogger Barbara said…

    I'm divorced because of a husband who behaved exactly the way you mention - it got to the point that I would shudder whenever he got near me. Bull in a china shop? No kidding.

    I'm actually grateful, now that I have been redeemed by my Savior, for Christ's admonition that remarriage is adultery - because through the years in between, as well as in my marriage, it seems that men tend to view the worth of a woman in terms of how well she serves their purposes and needs. That's not to sound cynical (though I'm sure it does)- I guess, and this may be a flesh thing, but I'm grateful to have that absolute reason to never date nor marry again, to never have to deal with that again. I don't want that level of intimacy with anyone ever again, because I was never safe within it. It took me some time to feel safe with my Savior because of that. Now that I do, praise God, He is all that I could ever need.

  • At 8:03 AM, April 29, 2009, Blogger Daniel said…

    Barbara, had I never come to know Christ, I certainly would never have come to know these things I have written about, for I was oblivious to them, by virtue of being entirely focused on myself in all things. I felt I was a good (enough) husband, and that allowed me to reason that any drop in the temperature of our intimacy was therefore to be blamed on my wife's seemingly randmom and idiosyncratic "moods" - which I began to interpret as lovelessness, which in turn engendered the sort of abrasive behavior that generated a further drop in temperature - with both myself and my wife increasingly becoming unhappy with one another.

    There was a time, before my wife came to know the Lord, that she used to daydream (with relish) the thought of me getting hit by a bus - I kid you not. I was a real scoundrel. I marvel to see what the Lord has done for my marriage, and even deeper than that - for my ability to love others beginning with my wife and my children, and then moving out from there.

    I know there are going to be some guys who read this post and go, "huh? really? Nah... couldn't be..? really??" because they simply haven't a frame of reference to understand the kind of trust that is needed to overcome vulnerability. They typically assume that it is theirs by default, and once it is acquired, it remains - and unassailably so. Looking back on it now that I have come to know these things, it seems like a sort of blind madness, which in a way it is.

    I find there are few Christians who understand divorce and remarriage in a biblically correct way - and fewer still who allow the bible to be their guide through such matters, yet opinions and judgments are never lacking whenever anyone mentions either.

    It is good that you haven't remarried.

  • At 10:49 AM, April 29, 2009, Blogger donsands said…

    "Your wife sometimes needs space more than you need a hug."

    I finally have learned that. Been married 36 years, and still learning. I guess it's my thick skull. But God...

    Thanks for the excellent post. I pray many husbands, of all ages, will come and read, and be exhorted and admonished in His grace and truth.

    And there's also a time for a simple hug. I've found that out as well.

    All for Christ.

  • At 1:41 PM, April 29, 2009, Blogger Rose~ said…

    You did a masterful job at writing that post without sounding vulgar. Perfect.

    That was a very good post. Great advice and wonderful insight into the female creature.

  • At 4:50 PM, April 30, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You hit the nail right on the head.

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