I’ve been offering my counseling/coaching services in some form for several years now, and in that time I’ve learned one big thing: Wow, people sure are predictable creatures. I hear the same stories again and again. The good news is that men tend to take comfort in this familiarity. They like to know that another guy I just talked to earlier that same week in Arizona was going through the same exact thing… it makes them feel not-so-special in their current state of awfulness.
I decided to compile a list of the ten most common things I hear in my coaching sessions with men. Consider this food for thought and a way of showing you that no, you are in fact NOT alone in this world. Speaking of not alone… check out the DSO Fraternity if you haven’t already. We have live meetings, private Facebook groups, articles and books for our members. Great way to meet guys in your shoes and learn from them. So now… the list:
1. “My wife had a pretty shitty childhood.” – Past childhood trauma (like abuse, abandonment, divorce, etc) can have profound effects on a person. If not dealt with, it most assuredly affects your relationships in life. Women who come from chaotic pasts tend to shut down emotionally and physically in the presence of comfort and stability. They then bring the drama and chaos with them into adulthood. Not good. This is the most common thing I hear from men in poor marriages and dead bedrooms.
2. “I was raised mostly by my mom.” – Very often, a man who has poor boundaries, is overly empathetic, and codependent… he was primarily raised by mom. A lot could be written about why that may be, but it’s a trend I see quite often in my coaching.
3. “I would say our marriage changed completely once our kid was born. She wasn’t interested in sex anymore after he/she was born.” – We all know how common this is. If marriage wasn’t enough to shut her down, kids will often do the trick. Comfort and stability kill the female libido. Stress of kids and the smothering blanket of motherhood kills it even further.
4. “Once we got married, she told me that sex wasn’t that important to her.” – For some women, just walking down the aisle is enough to shut down the sex machine. She won the prize… now it’s not so appealing anymore.
5. “I caught her texting an old boyfriend. She was talking bad about me and said how much she missed him.” – When this happens… it is over. She is on the hunt. She’s back to the TOTGA… The One That Got Away. The mating ritual has begun. Run. You’ve been warned. Stop analyzing… and just run away.
6. “My wife says she has lost herself. She doesn’t know who she is and there is nothing that is just for her anymore.” – This all-too-common sentiment from women usually comes after the kids, lack of career, lack of hobbies, and advancing age. They have wrapped their entire identity around that of being MOM, and they no longer see themselves as an autonomous person… let alone a sexy woman.
7. “My wife is going through menopause and say she no longer thinks about sex.” – Menopause is a huge life event for women. I’m always shocked at how little guys know about it. Menopause can, and often does, have dramatic effects on a woman’s sense of overall wellbeing, libido included. It’s amazing to me how many women are completely against the idea of hormone replacement therapy. It’s a godsend to so many women. It’s a night and day difference for them once they start a regimen of estrogen, progesterone and even testosterone. If your wife refuses medical help, that means she has resigned herself to grandma status. Do you want to be married to a sexless grandma?
8. “I lost my job, and that’s when things went downhill. I got a better job later, but the damage was already done.” – Respect is everything to women. Sometimes they can lose their bond to their man after illness and unemployment. This is very common.
9. “Your book was great… but it made me really mad. I hate to think that my wife doesn’t love me unconditionally. If not, what’s the point of marriage?” – Unconditional love is for your mom. You don’t have unconditional love for your wife, and vice-versa. That’s healthy. What’s the point of marriage? Well… that’s a great question that is open to a several day-long debate.
10. “I went through the steps in your book and now I’m not sure I want to be married to my wife anymore, even if we have a lot more sex.” – This is common for both sides of a marriage. One increases their value (or sense of value) exponentially, and the other spouse suddenly seems a lot less attractive. This is why divorce after something like gastric bypass surgery is so common.