How to Satisfy Your Wife During a Pandemic
(Note: The terms used in this article are meant to reflect gender-stereotyped roles and not exclude anyone of mixed gender or sexuality. The “husband/wife” dynamics described here can apply to any partnership. For simplicity of terms I will refer to men as husbands and women as wives. Roles do not have to conform to these gender norms).
Hello men! I hope the title has gotten your attention because if you read until the end, you will have in your power, in your tool box, in your secret stash of treasure troves, the ultimate guide to pleasing your woman. Don’t worry, there’s no fancy tricks involved but it will require a degree of stamina. Hopefully I haven’t lost you yet.
Women! This title may have piqued your curiosity as well. I think you’ll like the secrets unveiled in this article, but perhaps you might forgo reading this to give your man a chance to surprise you with his new prowess. I’ll be talking to your man in this article, but read on if you wish. The choice is up to you.
So men, before I get down to the juicy details of how exactly to please your woman, I want to give you a strong word of caution. I’m not saying this to belittle you. I’m not saying this to hurt you in any way. I AM saying it to scare you a little and snap you into reality. Divorces are coming! Mark my words. This pandemic is revealing a bitter truth that exists inside marriages, and I fear a tidal wave of divorce is rapidly approaching.
Individuals’ lifestyles have have undergone major change during this pandemic. Added stress and burdens have been forced upon couples. Cracks are widening in the foundations of families and a spotlight now shines down upon them. They were probably there before. You just didn’t see them; or your family was too distracted and busy with life to be able to pay attention to them. Nonetheless, these problems are exposing themselves in this new pandemic environment. If they are not apparent to you, they may be to your partner.
The way I see it, you have two choices: Ignore the “cracks” or address them. Which one do you think leads down the path of satisfying your wife? Of course, the first step is identifying where the problems lie.
I’m here to tell you that women are unhappy. Like, really, really unhappy. Furious. Stressed. Overwhelmed. Unsatisfied.
I am a counselor. I talk to women. I read online forums where women can talk freely about how they really feel in their marriages right now. I have eyes. It is not pretty. Your partner might be letting you know how she feels. Or she may not. It takes two to tango in a relationship and she has a responsibility for that. But I want you to understand the gravity of the situation and not bury your head in the sand and pretend everything is okay in your relationship.
If you started reading this article for the bedroom reference, don’t worry. I’m getting there. Sexual satisfaction starts outside those bedroom walls, long before you hit the sheets. Try as you might, and bless you for trying…If she’s not happy outside the bedroom, then don’t come a’ knockin’ because no ninja sex move is going to help you get that bed a rockin’.
Let’s be clear. A relationship is not one-sided and a woman’s needs are not the only needs that matter. Some of you men are not happy either and I will get to that. But right now I’m talking to you about your partner.
Additionally, I do not intend to minimize all that men are doing for their partners, or generalize every relationship. I know you men are working hard; harder than ever before in light of this pandemic. Many of you have been catapulted into more childcare responsibilities as you try to juggle working from home. Many of you are picking up more of the household tasks. Some of you are struggling greatly and some of you are perfectly content wondering why you are even reading this article. Regardless of where your relationship falls on the spectrum, I urge you to take pause.
I want to help you save your marriages, and you’re going to do that by satisfying your wives. Your marriage could be in jeopardy and you don’t even know it. If your marriage is fine, then still read on. I’d like to help you make it even better. If it is in peril, the suggestions in this article are a starting point for you. You may need to seek ongoing help from a professional counselor.
When you truly love and care for someone, you are willing to put in the work. You WANT to see undue burdens lifted from their shoulders. You WANT them to be happy. If her cup is full, she will better be able to fill yours. If you are wondering why she has nothing left to give you at the end of the day, it’s because one cannot drink from an empty cup. If you show up for her; if weight can be lifted from her shoulders, you may see her show up for you in ways that completely change the dynamic of your relationship.
You might be asking, “what undue burdens?” What about my burdens? Before this pandemic struck, the division of labor in most households was skewed towards women. Even in relationships where both partners worked outside the home, the bulk of household tasks and childcare still fell largely on women. To add insult to injury, men often think they do more than they actually do, and studies have shown this.
This tells me that men are generally unaware of the inequities. This is bad news because their lack of awareness is very frustrating for women. It’s good news because it means they are not intentionally putting more work on their partners to be jerks, and they get to choose to do something about it when they become aware.
Even when all things are equal; equal work hours; equal household duties; equal childcare; women, by and large, bear the brunt of what is sometimes referred to as the “mental load.” They are the managers. The project planners. Their brains are constantly spinning about what needs to be cleaned next, what groceries to buy, what event is coming up, how to plan for their child’s next birthday party, what the soccer game schedule is, what appointments need to happen, what communication needs to go back to their child’s teacher, and on and on and on. Their brains do not rest.
This mental load is hidden from view. If your partner had physical bricks she was carrying on her back that she was lugging around, you would not hesitate to step in and help her. The mental load is physical bricks for her mind. They are always there, and they are exhausting her.
Even in the best case scenario, when men happily oblige to do whatever task their wife asks of them, she is the one that has to do the asking. She is the one that is managing, thinking, assigning, worrying how you will respond if she asks too much. It’s like she is asking you to do her some kind of favor that really isn’t for her; but she feels indebted to you as if it were. When women have to manage men, this is not sexy. When women are carrying bricks around and the man stands there watching, that is demoralizing.
I don’t blame men at all. These dynamics are ingrained in our culture and women reinforce them just as much as men. Because they are so normalized, women often don’t even realize what is happening. It’s out of their consciousness, just like it’s probably out of yours. None of this is intentional, but it can be harmful. Women are stressed and don’t even realize why sometimes. When they do realize why, this is when their anger and resentment sets in. And those feelings aren’t sexy to either one of you.
Now that families are working from home, this inequity has become much more exacerbated, with women taking on even more childcare duties, all while also trying to home-school and maintain their full time work responsibilities. It is madness. Are men doing more too? Yes. Are men feeling the stress of this pandemic too? Of course. But the burden has fallen more heavily, once again, on women. More and more and more is being piled on. It is too much. Women are breaking.
Before you go out looking to refute my claims and search for evidence to the contrary; stop. The evidence is there. If you must, go out and find it. You can search “men and women division of labor,” “the mental burden,” etc. But the only proof you really need is right there in front of you.
Just ask your wife. Like, really ask her. Not a flyby question. A real, honest, put your listening ears on, sit-down conversation where you really ask her how she is doing, how she is feeling, and get specific about the division of tasks. Maybe you’re not a couple that “keeps score” so you shy away from this kind of talk, but now is the time to get real and see what is truly going on. It’s not about what the scoreboard actually says. It’s about how you each feel. This is a chance for you to air how YOU feel as well, but not before you really take the time to listen.
Gents, you’ve heard it all before. Women need foreplay. Well, here’s how you do it! It begins with talking. It begins with listening. It begins with honoring each other’s feelings and respecting the other person enough to work WITH them on a solution. Neither one of you will likely have all the answers, but you can work together.
Now is not the time to get defensive. Again, not sexy. Now is not the time to blame. Own the pieces that are yours. Taking responsibility is a courageous, manly, sexy act. Taking responsibility does not mean you intended any harm. It just honors the fact that you played a role in the relationship being where it is, and now you’re willing to do something about it. Admitting your contribution to a problem, whether it was out of your awareness or not, is brave. Brave is sexy. Humility is fire-hot.
Oh, and don’t let your wife get away with saying everything is fine when you sense that is not the case. Sometimes women are not the best communicators either. Sometimes it’s easier for us to harbor resentment and complain about you than actually deal with the problem. There’s enough tough love to go around here. Don’t let her off the hook that easily. Dig deeper and show her you can be trusted to really listen to her. Then really do.
If you’re wondering how to approach your partner to find out how she’s really feeling, I’m breaking down the steps for you because communication is not easy:
Make sure you have some quiet time away from the kids to have a conversation, when you can put distractions aside.
2. Let her know that you’ve noticed she has been stressed, or that you just want to
check in about how things are going for her. Ask when a good time would be to talk.
3. Start the conversation by reminding her why you love her and what you appreciate
about her. I know it sounds cheesy but trust me! When you start from a place of care
and generosity, she can start to relax into having a loving and productive
conversation. Be genuine!
4. Ask her how she’s been feeling during this pandemic. Even if you think she’s
already told you, ask her if there’s any more she wants to say. Is there anything she’s
been holding back? Tell her you want her to feel that you are equal partners. Ask her
if she feels you have been an equal partner. Is there more you can be doing with
cooking, cleaning, childcare, or home-schooling? Ask what she needs. You might not
be able to give her everything she needs, but it starts the conversation and shows you
5. Don’t try to solve anything until you’ve thoroughly listened to everything she
wants to say. Reflect back what you heard her say so you know you really understood,
and so she feels understood.
6. Explain how you’ve been feeling and what you need.
7. Brainstorm together about possible solutions. Take turns offering ideas. Neither
one of you should be coming up with all of the ideas on your own.
8. Agree to try the new ideas for two weeks and schedule a time to check back in
about how it is going. Repeat this process again at that time.
9. Here’s the hardest and the simplest part: Follow through! Carry out the agreed
upon plan. Although behavioral change is hard, this step is the absolute most
important. You want to make sure your conversation was not just lip service. Make
sure you follow through with meeting again at the scheduled time.
To give you a sneak preview of what might come up in your conversation, your wife is probably struggling with division of labor. Whether or not your wife is able to verbalize it or not, I guarantee she is struggling with the mental burden I mentioned earlier.
Division of labor is easy to address because it’s tangible, and it makes a huge difference. If you really want to up your game, find a way to help her with the mental load. That’s where the gold is! The main way to do this is BE OBSERVANT.
Try to notice things that need to get done around the house (like what groceries are needed, what laundry needs folding, what clutter needs organizing), and take care of those issues. Make lists. Clean up. Ask your wife what parties or events are coming up and how you can help. Ask her what doctor’s appointments might be coming up and offer to be responsible for scheduling those. See if you can help with budgeting the money, or getting the kids to do their homework. These are just a few ideas, but ask her! Just taking one thing off her plate could make a huge difference.
If you follow this plan, I think you will be surprised at the new-found intimacy that naturally occurs as a result. If you do this right, I think you’ll find she will be much more amenable to your advances (not during your serious conversations, please)! Who knows? With your new appeal, she might just throw herself on you.
If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably realized there is a bit of satire in the notion that this article is about pleasing your woman in bed. While I do believe your sex life can only benefit from this, and you can take these same communication principles into the bedroom, of course it’s not just about that. It’s not just about making your wife happy. It’s about how you can work together to lift each other up and find happiness and satisfaction together.
But I digress! If you want to satisfy your woman in the bedroom, first make sure she’s satisfied before she arrives there. When it comes to those ninja sex moves, it’s not all about mechanics. It’s communicating. It’s listening to what you both need and desire. It’s trusting that you will hold and respect one another’s feelings. It’s follow through and showing up for each other everyday.
Now go get busy.