Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Just looking and just tired?

Continuing the review of For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and For Men Only by Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn...

About men (by Deb)

“Our surface understanding is that ‘men are visual’. What this means in practice is that even happily married men struggle with being pulled toward live and recollected images of other women.”

For the author, this was the revelation that radically reshaped her understanding of men. What’s more, it’s completely normal. For every man, sensual thoughts and images arrive involuntarily. But every man can make a choice to dwell on these images, or to dismiss them. The author provides some reassurances. Firstly, man’s temptation is often not primarily sexual – it is simply admiring God’s creation! Secondly, every man is different and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Most importantly, it’s not because of you and it doesn’t affect his feelings for you!

Shaunti urges us to pray for our husbands and to offer them our support and understanding. Openness and honesty are crucial. Personally, I would add something to this. Of course we should dress modestly in public, but there is nothing wrong with helping our husbands to create a mental visual catalogue of their wives in private! In this way, the visual images he faces every day can be quickly dismissed for those of his wife.

About women (by Steve)

“Our surface understanding is that she doesn’t want much sex and therefore she must not want me. What this means in practice is that physically, women tend to crave sex less often than men do, and it is usually not related to your desirability.”

This important chapter helpfully addresses the subject of sex from a woman’s perspective, providing a framework of understanding. The reason a woman tends to want to have less sex has nothing to do with the desirability of her husband. The three main reasons given were:

- I have a lower sex drive – it’s about hormones
- I’m sometimes just too tired at the end of a hard day
- the transition to wanting physical intimacy takes more effort

The key lesson is - it not that she doesn’t love her husband or even that men like to have more sex but that these 3 factors are significant in her level of desire.

The chapter finishes with 8 helpful tips on how to provide a context which allows her to be more responsive. It is a final encouragement to take courage and talk to her about your sex life – this is good advice.

...to be cont'd...