If your wife is like mine in this regard, and from my conversations with other men, many are, your wife doesn’t know what she wants a lot of the time. Or at least your wife does not like to tell you what she wants from you. Your life is full of questions like
“What do you want for dinner?”
“What do you want to do today/tonight/tomorrow?”
or if you’re doing well
“What do you want to do to me?” while you’re in bed.
These sorts of questions set an internal conflict in our brains.
- We know what we want most of the time.
- We don’t know what she wants, and we’ve been trained to be submissive to women, especially when married. Perhaps not overtly, but we’re taught to be the “Nice Guy” and take her needs into consideration and above our own.
So, we get stuck and say, “I don’t know.” Because we don’t know if you’re asking what we really want or if you’re asking what we think you want us to want.
And here’s the really dastardly part about it:
Your wife doesn’t know what she wants either!
She has a similar conflict, either consciously or subconsciously:
- I want him to be dominant, to be the alpha male, to assert himself, to make choices, to let me know he can take care of us/me/the situation. To ravish me.
- If I tell him I want him to be dominant or tell him what I want, and he does it, then he’ll be following my orders, which puts him in a submissive role.
They want you to be the alpha, the head of the household, the dominant partner, but just asking or suggesting that would negate getting what they want.
Now, if you’re asking, “Why does she want me to be dominant?” The secular school of thought is that biologically, we’ve evolved so men are bigger and stronger (generally), so we’re naturally the most dominant. Millions of years of evolution have built instincts that tell men to be dominant and women to seek a dominant mate as a source of the best offspring.
The Christian viewpoint (which I hold) would say that God originally designed the male gender (Adam) and then the female (Eve) to support him, which is not to say that men are superior, just different. Eve was created to help Adam, but his was the actual job of caring for the garden, of defending the Earth. This is further reinforced in Paul’s writings to the Ephesians:
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord, because the husband is the head of the wife as also Christ is the head of the church – he himself being the savior of the body. But as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.Ephesians 5:22-24
Then it goes on to tell you that you must love your wives (I don’t want people thinking I’m ignoring that part).
Now, I think this message has gotten twisted over the years. In the past, people have taken this to mean that their wives must submit and we must forcibly dominate them to the exclusion of their desires/wishes/well-being. Now, the pendulum has swung the other way entirely. Men grow up being taught to “You are the head of the household, like Jesus, and He died. So you need to be the best servant you can and let them do whatever they want.” We may not get that verbatim, but that is the general teaching. We’re not taught to lead in the relationship or the family in general. Certainly not during sex. The majority of the advice we get is pretty much to lay low and do whatever she tells you to.
Now, this is contrary to anything I read in the Bible. Jesus was a pretty alpha male, dominant sort of guy. He never wavered on anything. He didn’t let people believe non-truths without confronting them. He was constantly pushing, laying down the law, and generally being a strong, clear, confident male. He was also loving, caring and compassionate – those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.
And so that is my model as a husband, and that is ultimately what my wife is looking for in a husband, whether she knows it or not.
So, the next time your wife asks you, “What do you want …?” recognize it for what it is: as clear a request for you to step up, be the alpha male, and assert dominance as you’re ever going to get.