Number 1: Our primary motivation is mothering.
As I shared here, from an evolutionary psychology perspective, everything that drives us boils down to really just one thing: mothering. We want to raise our children to be successful, which includes finding resources and reducing risk. If you want us to be happy, you need to help us do those things. And at some deep level, you should be driven to do that by protecting us and providing for us. You should be as invested in raising healthy humans as we are. Raising your children until they get to a place where they can also thrive as adults who can mate is your goal at a very primal level.
So, things husbands should not do:
- Make us feel unsafe
- Make our children unsafe
- Make it hard for us to gather resources for our children
- Act like you aren’t invested in your child’s success
- Fail to protect us
- Make us feel like we’re raising our children alone or that we’re in competition with you
Number 2: We aren’t turned on by being grabbed.
I’m only giving this its own number because it’s such a big complaint among my clients! It actually ties into making us feel safe because our body is obviously part of who we are and is protected by our boundary. Any unwelcome boundary violation is going to make us feel like we aren’t safe, including a butt or boob grab. Further, not only do they cause us to feel anger (the emotion that tells us a boundary is being violated), they don’t actually turn us on, so why are you doing it?
If this bothers you, you have an enmeshment issue from your childhood. While we are all one, we are separate bodies. We continue to have separate thoughts, opinions, emotions, things, and physical bodies. We must feel safe inside our boundary (see number 1!) at all times and we depend on you to HELP us do that, not hinder it by thinking our body is yours to ravage.
And mothers are not being coy, they’re exhausted. Help them with their important role as mother so they can feel safe to slip into the mindset of a woman who wants to reproduce (even if that’s not the end goal). Remember, women are driven to have sex to make babies. If they already have them and feel like they’re struggling to get them to success, then they will avoid more sex at all costs. We must feel free to have sex for fun, knowing that we’re doing well as mothers, are supported by our children’s father, and have the time and space to play in bed.
Things husbands should do to turn us on:
- Help us be good mothers so we feel like that role is complete and we can take time away from it for a while
- Protect us! We want to feel like everything about our bodies, things, and children are precious to you and that we’re safe from any harm, including from you.
- Ask permission before more intimate touches if we aren’t already connected that way in the moment… sorry! “Would you like a massage?” “Big hug?” “Do you have time for a snuggle?” If it’s something you know we like, like a massage, do a little bit and gauge our reaction before continuing.
- Give us a massage instead of grabbing us (bonus: it gets your wife out of her head and into her body!)
- Help us feel like you are committed to your vows and to us (make sure we know you think we’re beautiful!)
- Don’t let us feel like YOUR mother (pick up after yourself, self-regulate, be self-disciplined, etc.)
Number 3: We need you to heal, too.
The moms I work with are incredibly dedicated to their personal growth journey. As conscious moms, we are working to become self-aware and heal from anything in our past that’s no longer serving us.
There’s a good chance that your wife fulfilled her mothering role THROUGH you when you met. And then when she became a real mother, she needed you to step fully into your masculine partner role and help her raise those children successfully.
Sorry for the rude awakening, but yes, she picked you because you were perfect for her unhealed parts (the same reason why you picked her), and now as she’s evolving, she needs you to evolve too.
Things you can do to start healing:
- Get your own coach or therapist to do inner child reparenting work
- Journal to continue that work and process your emotions
- Learn how to self-regulate your nervous system through coherence, meditation, and mindfulness
- Be open to learning about children’s development so you know what your children need and what YOU needed as a child
You can look at my Quantum Love Journey to see how I help women do this work. It’s the same for men, too! It’s a simple 6-step framework for healthy relationships. And it starts with exploring your triggers… do you really KNOW why you’re upset or angry? That’s the work to start with, first.