I was slightly uncomfortable when my lady client started opening up regarding sexual issues with her husband – expressing helplessness, frustration, and hopelessness.
“Coming home from work, very tired and some chores needed to be done, but my husband can’t wait a second!”
When she paused, I asked a question designed to change her perspective, without suggesting anything: “So what did you do?”
“I fake it.”
At that point, I remembered a story about a priest who confessed to his bishop that he no longer believed in God to which the bishop advised, fake it. This might seem shocking to many, but come to think of it, and from the psychological perspective, the bishop’s words made sense. If one acts out a behavior repeatedly, eventually, integration happens.
“How a man would like to be treated by his woman during male menopause” should not be limited to the sexual dimension and yes, sometimes, it may require a period of “faking it” before it really sinks into your heart and mind how it is to love your better half who is probably stressed, experiencing declining physical strength, and doubting his capabilities in his middle age. A drop in testosterone levels that some men experience when they reach middle age could result in depression, reduced muscle mass, increased body fat, and erectile dysfunction.
Want some better-than-sex experiences? Here are some of my tips to wives who want to be a better support to their men in their middle age:
1. Locate. You may already be familiar with his erotic zones, now explore the different areas in his body where he “keeps” his stresses, traumas, and emotional hurts. Search them by touch and a little pressure. There will be tell-tale signs of aching, discomfort or even pain.
This activity would be meaningful for both of you. Begin at the top of his head by massaging his scalp. Using all the fingers of both hands, apply pressure as if you are erasing stress sites. This may be tiring for a wife, but in order to get strength, mentally pray for your husband while doing this. It need not be too long. Massage each ear and then work on his forehead.
After you’ve done this several times and feel comfortable doing it, slowly work on other parts of his body, like shoulders, the spine, buttocks, fingers, and toes. Allot a decade for each of these areas and you would probably finish the Rosary. Medidate on the sanctity of the human body and who knows, before you know it, his sexuality is back online.
2. Affirm your husband through story-telling. Create a time for intimacy. Submerge his feet in a basin of warm water with one cup of apple cider vinegar. Use a face towel or a pumice stone to scrub his legs and feet. Tell a story about the very first time you saw him or about your first few dates together, told from your perspective. Narrate what happened, what you did, your thoughts, emotions, and insights.
3. Understand. My wife understands me. She knows the way I think and the values I hold dear. Understanding is best understood when translated into Flipino, unawa (“una” – first; “awa” – mercy). Before any judgment or response, mercy should be the first platform. Hence the following is not understanding: “Alam ko na kung papano ka mag-isip: parehas kayo ng tatay mo! (I already know how you think: you’re just like your father!)”
Teachers are known to have sown emotional abuse just by comparing a student with his or her sibling they also handled a year or two before. Wives (of course also husbands) need to consider the long-term impact of psychological abuse. Let’s watch our words because they can heal or hurt. Literally they can kill or give life.
4. Get into his world. Engage him on a topic he is passionate about. It could bore you to tears, but just remember the bishop’s words, fake it!
When I decided to write my masteral thesis on Aviation Psychology, I took lessons between 1990 and 1996 logging a total of 53 flying hours. These were exciting years in my life. My secret wish is for my wife to be actually interested in topics like flying or mountain climbing, but the reality is things like this cannot be imposed.
I seldom meet my cousin, Soviet, because he lives in the province. When I visited him one time, I noticed his interest in puppets, which I don’t have. My natural communication skill is I can engage anyone on almost any topic. With him, I asked about puppets: How do you move his lips and eyebrows? How much does it cost? Where did you buy it? What kind of audiences do you usually have? What is its impact on children? How does it affect you emotionally? Not long after that our relationship was renewed, intimacy was established. If the conversation is initially superficial, one should not worry. Today, I can even make a puppet, but that is not what’s important, what is is our relationship.
5. Help. Who wouldn’t want to be helped? When one is in need of something, the best experience is someone offering to help without being asked. Although some men find it unmanly to be helped, being helped is a great thing.
Years ago, I got a flat tire while driving with my wife and our two little kids. Like McGyver, I had a flashlight in my mouth while trying to jack up the car. My wife got down from the car and asked, “Would you like me to hold that for you?” How can I refuse that kind of a proposal? Drool was dribbling down my chin and flowing down my neck.
Reviewing the items above, take note of the first letters and notice “LAUGH” is formed – to remind ladies that men also want humor in their lives. Don’t take life so seriously. True wine marriage like good wine gets better and better. The joys and pleasures are more nuanced and more full-bodied. The journey of discovering how to love and serve each other never ends. And that’s what men want their women to know too.