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89th Day: Abstinence and What I Have Learned

August 25, 2011

I have really learned a lot about my own sexuality over the past 89 days. I have taken a lot of ribbing from my friends that I want name (Gary, Jeff, Ralph, Greg, Lynn etc……) about even doing this abstinence contract.  I think they were praying that their wives wouldn’t read my first blog, or more importantly this follow up blog. Unfortunately, there is not a whole lot to be proud of as a man for me in this one . Yes, I am a counselor, and yes I counsel people about sex almost every day, but really looking into the depths of the messages in your own sexuality is not a comfortable position. I am sure this blog will not be comfortable for my wife either, but she agreed to let me share some of the messages that we both have about sex after 27 years of being married.

 My Own Stuff-Messages to her

 1. The first message that I uncovered was that I bargain with my wife so she will have sex with me.  (Not good!)

                Example: I’ll cut the grass if we can have a little fun tonight. (Sound familiar)

I know there are plenty of men who do this, and there are plenty of women out there that use this technique to get things done that they need done. This sends a horrible message to both people. For the man the message is she doesn’t really want to have sex with me unless I earn it somehow (not for just fun), and for the woman, it is a cheap form of prostitution, and that he really doesn’t care about doing things for me; he only cares about having sex (I am not worth it).

2.  My wife confided in me that many times she feels like I only need her for sex.

I think this one hurt me the most, because I need her for so much more than that. I need her to help me raise our children. I need her companionship and love. I need her steadiness because of my crazy rollercoaster mentality about life. She is the balance I need in life. I love her.

 3.  Any form of physical touch ultimately must lead to sex; so many times she wouldn’t snuggle with me when she really wanted too.

What is really sad about this is that we have snuggled together more in the last 90 days than we have in the last decade. It has been really nice. I have missed out on intimacy I craved so dearly because my love languages are physical touch and affirmation. Can you say, “I shot myself in the foot”.

 Cultural Messages-Statements, Insights and Messages

1. I think the saddest thing that I recognized is that men in general still see women as possessions (objects) instead of as people. Men expect sex just because they are married to someone and they don’t do the things they once did while dating their wives. Now some men do, my friend Greg Gearhart is one of the best at this, so don’t blow a gasket, but in general men seem to think they own the women in their lives. When’s the last time a woman killed a man for leaving her?

2. Men allow way too many outside influences to dictate and define their own sexuality. Instead of  exploring it with our spouses we try to dictate what we want sexually from our wives; never questioning whether it is right, or do we both enjoy it. You may be surprised. Your wife may have more ideas than you do.

3.Women need to be more honest with their spouses about their own sexuality: past, present, future and the messages from these experiences, because sometimes women project these past experiences into their current world. Get help if you have had traumatic sexual experiences.

4.  The media and Hollywood are the worst propagators of Image (object) stereotyping. We just keep giving them money and they keep getting sleazier. Quit supporting their causes. We just don’t want this to change much because Sex sells!

5.   For many men, pornography and masturbation to pornography are normal behavior. One man told me that it takes pressure off his relationship with his wife because he doesn’t want sex as much. Are you kidding?

I will never forget what Dr. Doug Rosenau said to me one day in class, “Mike, the biggest problem with most people is that we allow our sexuality to stay stuck in Jr. High”

I can honestly say from this experience my sexuality has matured, and I hope you will work on your own sexuality and enjoy one of the greatest joys God has given us, Sex.

One more thing, don’t email, call or text me this weekend 🙂

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. August 25, 2011 11:29 am

    Wow.

  2. Page permalink
    August 25, 2011 11:35 am

    There’s so much I could say on this subject Mike. Some in agreement with you, some not, so I won’t stir that pot. I will say however, that I believe we have managed to really mess up one of God’s greatest gifts to us…complete and total intimacy with our mates, and for all the reasons you listed above, plus some. Lonely, shallow people, using porn to please themselves because apparently nobody else can. Women who feel like they can’t measure up…so very sad. Now, get off the computer and go make mad passionate love to your wife. Haha! Love you Mike, and love your messages. They always make me think and remember things I have sometimes forgotten. The gift of awareness is pretty powerful. Whatsoever things are pure, holy and just, think on these things. I’m so glad you don’t write about what’s hot in Hollywood.
    ❤ Peace and love!

    • August 25, 2011 11:39 am

      Jack,

      I am guessing this is you and I promise I want be offended if you decided to stir it up. These are my opinions and the messages from men I counsel, disciple or am friends with. I don’t know that I am right about all of it. I just wrote from my heart! Love you brother!

  3. Eric Herrington permalink
    August 25, 2011 12:38 pm

    Mike,
    I did a similar thing before and I agree with you, but beware. It does’nt take long for your flesh or the enemy to kick back in. Guard your heart in this area. It may be something you have to do regularly, but on smaller scale. I am thinking about doing it again.

  4. August 25, 2011 12:42 pm

    Thanks for the advice Eric. I have already seen the pull. It has been an eye opening experience.

  5. August 25, 2011 5:25 pm

    I really appreciate this post and feel a little less like property and more like a valued person after reading it. Thank you for sharing so openly. God bless your relationship!

    • August 25, 2011 6:18 pm

      Thanks Robin! I would be lying if I told you it wasn’t tough uncovering these things about myself, and the projections onto the wife I love. I hope you are valued and loved, because everyone on this planet deserves to experience true love.

  6. August 26, 2011 3:04 pm

    Not me up top Mike…. No need to stir the pot. I have been right there brother. I have bargained, caused my wife to feel less than valued and for many years confused physical contact with true intimacy. I thought intimacy was all about my physical needs and those around me being perfect. An immature, narcissistic perspective at best. I never really understood intimacy until I gave my life to God and started to become closer to him. In my walk with God I have begun to reach out to my wife, to listen to her heart and to repair my marriage. “With him all things are possible.” Thanks brother for being real. Have a great weekend and stay in the fight!

  7. jennygoth permalink
    August 29, 2011 12:54 pm

    sex is beautiful if its with a soulmate and know that whatever you do is for ech other not forced or unwanted but special xxjen

  8. September 16, 2011 12:39 am

    A very revealing and insightful experience and story. Kudos to you for your willingness to actually do what you ask those you counsel to do. I have learned from your experience!

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