There are ordinary things each of us does that impede, lessen or even destroy intimacy in marriages. Men do some to their wives, and wives do some to their husbands. Here we are going to look at five everyday behaviors that husbands do that diminish the intimacy in marriage.
- Looks at other women in admiration. Men look at women other than their wives, and they notice them; that is mostly unavoidable. However, some men go beyond looking and noticing, they move that extra step to admiring. This happens when a man takes a second or elongated look at a women, it happens when they view pornography and it happens when they act out sexually. The message to a wife is that they are not enough, that the man prefers somebody else over them. Men will deny this of course, but that doesn’t make this untrue. It pushes the woman away in an emotional sense, because the women feels like her trust is violated, and that is how it lessens intimacy.
- Speaking down to her. Some men, and this is often done unconsciously, speak with terseness in their language toward their wife. The poor spouse on the receiving end receives this as a message of demeaning of her person, and often doesn’t even hear the content of the message, she hears only the tone. This makes a husband unsafe to be around, and she moves away a little each time this happens.
- Takes her contribution for granted. Husbands know that they go to work and provide the household with an income, which is their contribution. What they often miss is all the small stuff their wives do, and even when they think about it, they dismiss it as easy things to do. Over time this is recognized as a lack of appreciation by the wife, and her contribution to the smooth running of the household is not valued. And even though it may not be true, she ends up not feeling valued.
- Makes unilateral decisions. Some men believe they should make all the big decisions in a marriage, and often most of the small ones too. In doing this they shut the wife out and destroy any sense of partnership that their spouse may have. The message is; your opinion is not valuable and I don’t value it. This is guaranteed to create distance between a man and a woman.
- Interrupts her when she is speaking. This is most often done when the wife is trying to tell a husband something, but also may happen in public too. The husband may be thinking the wife is taking too long getting to the point, or that he knows what the answer to the problem is, or that she is simply talking out of ignorance. The reason for an interruption is actually irrelevant, because the damage is done by the event of the shutting her down. The wife is told by this action that what she has to say is unimportant, and she internally interprets this to mean she is also unimportant.
Men – if you believe you don’t have a high level of intimacy in marriage, but honestly want it, you can discuss this list with your wife. However, your wife may be afraid to be open, so it is probably best to discuss this kind of list, with your wife present, in an emotionally safe place with an experienced third party coach or counselor. An open and honest appraisal of these items can be very challenging to hear.