By Steve Horsmon
True story. I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Hardworking, kind-hearted, dutiful father and under-sexed husband of 15 years.
Brian told me this on a phone call the other day.
“I’m almost embarrassed to tell you this – given my whining and shit over the last few months. But I had to turn Emily down for sex this weekend.”
“Why does that embarrass you”?
“Well, first, I felt bad doing it. I know I’ve bitched about the lack of sex to her and to you. And, second, it feels weird. Is this normal”?
“Why do you think you turned down her offer”?
“Simple” he said. “I just wasn’t in the mood. I didn’t NEED it. I was good. I was happy. I was tired. And it’s kind of freaking me out.”
There’s a part of this story you don’t know about Brian.
He’s been doing a form of self-work very few men do.
Prior to this Brian was the horniest, people-pleasing, pressure cooker of sexual neediness I’ve ever known…except for me – years ago.
His hot pursuit of sex with Emily would have made Buffon T. Justice proud.
He was relentless. It was more than just a healthy sex drive and a game of pursuit.
The way Brian described it was like this. “It was like Emily was my flying tanker of validation and happiness and I was a refueling fighter jet constantly running on fumes. Looking back I can see how my intense desperation affected her.”
Brian’s epiphany hit him after about 8 weeks of working on his mojo. He took a deep dive into his “good guy” history and his strained relationship with his own sexuality. We uncovered his pervasive feelings of self-doubt. Then he started seeing clearly how much power he bestowed upon the opposite sex.
Then his epiphany hit him like a 2×4.
“I’ve been secretly trying to get Emily to make me feel good about me. She’s losing respect for me because I’ve been pressuring her to validate me. And I’ve treated sex as something I have to GET from her instead of a gift I can GIVE to her.”
Brian Sees the Light
This was just the beginning.
Brian started changing the way he thought about himself and his own sense of security and happiness.
He realized Emily had nothing to do with that.
He started improving himself, his health, his business and his mindset. Brian figured out he could want Emily without desperately needing her.
This allowed him to back off the hot pursuit and give her something else. He gave her his time, attention, laughter, goofiness and unapologetic affection.
When Brian became happier when he was away from Emily, he discovered he didn’t need her to make him happy when he was with her. He adopted his own energy – his own mojo.
And that’s when things changed.
The Tables Turn
Emily was apparently a little concerned about these changes.
She thought the only reason a guy would become happier, more secure and less needy was if he had found someone else to sleep with.
So she started checking up on him, asking him why he was coming home late and sneaking into his phone for evidence – just like Brian was doing to her weeks earlier!
There was no evidence.
She started asking him more questions – asking for help with silly things. She would sit on his lap for no reason. Then she started wearing her hair differently.
She was sweeter than ever.
That’s when she went for the big guns. She initiated sex.
And it was fantastic.
They went on for a few weeks like this – taking turns turning each other on.
And Brian was satisfied. More than sexually satisfied – he was satisfied with who he was being.
He no longer saw sex as a mainline injection to boost his ego. Sex was incredible with Emily, but it served a different purpose. It was just another way he could love her. He definitely wanted sex but was no longer emotionally addicted to the high of sex like before.
Because sex no longer defined his value, worthiness or happiness. He learned those come from another place and Emily’s body wasn’t it.
Back to the rejection story.
The night Brian decided to turn down sex was worrisome for him.
He thought it was weird. Maybe he should get his testosterone checked.
Maybe he wasn’t attracted to her anymore.
While he was admittedly still a little pissed off about all the times he was rejected, he decided he wasn’t trying to punish her.
It’s just that he was tired. He was happy. He was good.
I could tell he was smiling when he said, “I just wanted to cuddle dammit! Is that so wrong”?
Brian’s journey to self-confidence and losing his fear of rejection was a critical step. More important than saving his marriage was the goal to save himself first. Here’s a resource I created for men who want some of that. The Hard-to-Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage. Download it free here
Photo: Kastavnn /Flickr
About The Author
Steve is a Certified Professional Life Coach and owner of Goodguys2greatmen Relationship Coaching in Livermore, Colorado. He has appeared on local television, blog radio, telesummits, and podcasts all related to maintaining healthy relationships. Steve provides intensely personal, action oriented coaching services for men. He provides 1-on-1 coaching, private retreats and workshops designed to give men new knowledge, skills and mindset to achieve their relationship goals.
This Post Originally Appeared on Good Men Project