My wife is constantly nagging me about taking care of myself, but I feel like I’m doing a good enough job where that is concerned. I work out sometimes, and try to eat healthy when I can, although I do enjoy some junk food! Lately, I’ve been noticing that she seems to be less receptive to my advances and doesn’t seem to be as passionate about me as she was before. She keeps bugging me to go out and walk with her after dinner. How can I get her off my back and us back on track?
Dear Confused Hubby,
How can you get her off your back? Dude, you are completely missing the point of what she’s been trying to tell you! If you want her to wake up to your advances, you’re gonna have to wake up to her concern. Believe it or not, how healthy you are really matters to your wife—and apparently, she doesn’t think you’re doing as good of a job as you do.
She’s not unusual in caring about this, by the way. Even though women aren’t as “visual” as men are, the effort men put into taking care of themselves and being healthy has a huge impact on women. Why? I saw two things in my research that you really need to know.
First, your wife cares about whether you’re taking care of yourself because she cares about you and wants you around! I have heard so many women say things like, “Doesn’t he understand how important it is to me that he stays healthy so I have the security that he is going to be around for a long time and we can grow old together?”
Guys may not realize it, but when they’re in front of the TV multiple nights in a row, double-fisting Oreos, it can register in a woman’s heart as, “It must not matter to him how much I need him.”
You may be surprised to know that it’s not just about what you eat, or taking a walk after dinner, either. The big health issues matter too. Women need to see that their man will actually go to the doctor when something seems wrong, rather than being stubborn about it!
The second reason your health matters to her gets back to that bedroom thing. I know from my research that every man wants to feel desired by his wife—and that feeling desired gives him confidence in every other area of his life. However, what many men don’t realize is how much their wives’ sexual desire is hindered by their own lack of effort to take care of themselvesIn fact, in my women’s conferences I’ve heard a lot of women say, “Doesn’t he get it? It’s hard to find him desirable when he doesn’t take care of himself!”
As my husband, Jeff, put it when he talks to men’s groups, “If we want our wives to find us desirable and provide them security, that means we have to make the effort to take care of ourselves, too. Most guys wish their wives would be more receptive in the bedroom, but we’re not seeing our role in the disconnect. In our interviews and surveys of women, many of them have privately said, ‘You know, it’s hard to be receptive and passionate towards a guy with a two-day-old beard and garlic breath!’”
So what do you do about all of this? Well, take her desire for your health seriously – and take advantage of the fact that she wants to help you! Go for that walk! Stop bringing the junk food into the house. Even (gasp!) go to the doctor when you feel sick or you have some other health issue. These small gestures will not only make her feel really loved, but my bet is that that love will translate into exactly what you’re looking for—an increased desire to be with you and a greater receptiveness to your advances.
I hope that having a shared goal towards health will be a real encouragement as you each see the other person make the effort to care for themselves, while knowing it will benefit their mate. What a great way to honor each other—now and for a very long time to come! Let me know how it goes!
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Shaunti Feldhahn is the best-selling author of eye-opening, research-based books about men, women and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages and her newest, The Good News About Marriage. A Harvard-trained social researcher and popular speaker, her ﬁndings are regularly featured in media as diverse as The Today Show, Focus on the Family, and the New York Times. Visit www.shaunti.com for more.