While we didn’t have sex during our 2 1/2 week vacation, we did have a decent session the night we got home. After the kids were in bed, she started a load of laundry and was lingering around the kitchen. I thought she was coming to bed but she made no such move. So I went in and asked her if she was coming to bed.
“No, I want to get this load of laundry done, so I’m waiting for it to finish washing so I can put it in the dryer.”
“What are you doing while you wait for the clothes to wash?”
“Oh, I thought I’d do my pictures.”
“How about doing your husband?”
She picked up on my subtle hint immediately and we went for it. I was tired, but we both made the best of it.
During our last counseling session before leaving on vacation, the counselor gave us an assignment plus gave us some handouts. I can’t find the handouts and only vaguely remember the assignment. The reading gave some background and asked us to list 20 things. I can’t remember if we were to list 20 things our partner did for us or 20 things they didn’t do for us that we wish they did. So I’ve been working on both, as well as a list of things she does that I wish she didn’t do. The eventual objective of this is to classify those 20 things according to Chapman’s love languages.
More pop psychology.
Still, any sort of introspection isn’t a total loss even if it is a tool for a lame theory. I’ll go along with it it, even if I don’t agree totally with the premise. First off, the list that was easiest was the one of things she didn’t do for me that I wish she did. As you can see, only one list has more than 20 things:
20 things she does for me
1. Watches the boys
2. let’s me sleep in
3. keeps the house clean
4. kisses me sometimes
5. has sex with me sometimes
6. keeps track of health insurance info
7. Helps the boys with their homework
8. Teaches the boys about the Bible
9. Talks about the Bible and Biblical things
10. Participates in counseling
11. Does the laundry
12. Feeds the fish
13. Has good Christian values; reads the Bible and is charitable towards others -preschool
14. Is quiet; doesn’t yell or get too loud
15. Converse on religious/political/social issues and has similar or compatible views
I’m a bit short here.
20 Things she don’t do that I wish she would
1. let me touch and caress her sexually (breasts, vulva)
2. Kiss me deeply open mouthed with tongue play – long, slow, desirous and lingering
3. Oral sex – both ways
4. wear sexy lingerie sometimes
5. Talk about sex without it seeming dirty or shameful or embarrassing
6. initiate sex with me
7. Touch me sexually
8. Invest time in learning about my sexuality
9. Read the Rosenau book and discuss it with me
10. Be more of a home economist: find more ways to save and stretch our money
11. Cook and eat more nutritious food
12. Use the elliptical trainer I bought her for Christmas.
13. Have less stuff and more easily part with stuff she has.
14. Have a sense of fairness that involves sharing pain and pleasure equitably.
15. Snuggle with me when it is cold (apart from sex)
16. Sleep with me in bed “normally”
17. Experiment more sexually…variety, passion and fun
18. More pro actively support my efforts to quit smoking; verbal praise, more affection.
19. Come out and say what you want instead of expecting me to read your mind or pick up little hints.
20. Show genuine attraction to me by flirting, touching or generally being interested in me.
21. Share with me: she’s been in a sexual abuse recovery group for 2 years and has never shared with me her story.
22. Button the top button on my shirts when she hangs them up.
23. Take a bath with me sometimes
24. Shower together 1x a week
20 things she does that I wish she didn’t
1.Throws too much food away
2. Spend thrift
3. criticize me as a father
4. Go ballistic over ants
5. Pokes or kicks me when I snore
6. sleeps with her head at the other end of tbe bed on top of the covers.
7. Tries to get me into her church
8. “Feel better?”
9. Bat my hands away or cringe when she is caressed
10. Treat sex as a huge mess and bother
11. Better manage space, stuff and clutter
Sexual issues make up a huge part of my lists. There are other things less sexually oriented in the list, but let’s face it: sexual dysfunction (on either or both our parts) was the primary reason I sought counseling in the first place. Other issues mostly deal with intimacy of one sort or another.
It’s a safe bet…no, a foregone conclusion… that my love language rests in the realm of physical affection. It’s not quite to the exclusion of the other 4, but pretty close. One of the things I remember being mentioned in the handout, is concerning someone who had an affair. They were to list the 20 things that they got out of the affair that they didn’t get from the marriage. Based on that, much of what I listed were inspired by things that would possibly lure me into an affair. Certainly a sexy, flirty attitude wins over a repressed, prudish one. Someone who treats me like I’m irresistible and attractive wins over someone who treats me like a walking wallet. One good French kiss would probably do it as it’s been so long since anyone has done that for me.
I’m suddenly thinking of Monica Lewinski’s appeal. Whatever you might think about anything either she or Bill did, it’s not hard to imagine how this type of relationship could happen at least from Bill’s POV. No matter how much affirmation a body gets from his job, there is no substitute for sincere personal interest and attraction.
My intent here is not to fantasize so much as get those issues out in the open in order to better affair-proof my marriage. Knowing where the weak spots are will help deal with them, hopefully.
So any ideas of how to complete the lists? Basically, I used my infamous Top Ten list to complete most of the second list, which made it all too easy. I used all the lists to compliment one another and help brainstorm. Often something she wasn’t doing helped highlight something she was doing that I either liked or disliked. I feel kind of bad that the first list is so much shorter than the second list. I feel like I had to really stretch and reach in order to find things Arwyn does for me. She does tons for the kids, but not a lot for me. Or a least that’s what I’m feeling here.
Arwyn will probably have just as much trouble coming up with a comparable list of 20 things I do for her. To be sure, I think I need to work on doing more for her than I currently do