Category Archives: feminine

2605. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 14


Still enroute home after proposing to Jenny in the restaurant, Hank continues to reminisce. Three big quirks generated immense and unusual excitement in their courtship.

First, she disclosed her lifelong commitment to abstinence for no other reason than to satisfy herself with a significant achievement. Not the abstinence but the reason for it surprised him; it is more masculine than female motivation, but then her father in childhood inspired her to pursue a big goal.

Second, he decided to marry her and presented his intentions of how to make it work. Starting with methods for handling eight pressures that arise in most marriages, he finished with his plan to supervise and make their marriage work for sixty years. He made as the foundation his intention to cherish her all that time and elevate their marriage to a status above both of them.

Third and most shocking of all, he now faces Jenny’s promise to express her expectations on the subject of lover and lovee, presumably to teach him how to love her. Sounds exciting but does he want to hear it?

He can wait, in no hurry. His curiosity and imagination compete to advise him what to expect, but neither has a comforting thought. What does he know, and when did she know it? What does her agenda look like? Will she expect him to change in some way? Change to what? He knows all he needs to know. So, more about what? Of course, he’s a good lover. He’s had no complaints. He knows exactly what to do. Put it in and drive it home. He loves it so much she can’t not love it.

Jenny fantasized for three days. No dates, no calls. He’s waiting on her, and she wants him anxious to learn. He needs time to consider so that his ears will open to what she has to say.

Jenny never heard of doing such a thing, never contemplated it until she heard how committed Hank is about them marrying. She will gamble. After marriage, there’s no way she can get by trying so directly to coach him into becoming a better lover. He would be certain to take immense offense at even the hint that he could be less than great or perhaps perfect.

Both anecdotes and experience tell her that men are more sensitive about their sexual prowess than anything else, and accusers make themselves disposable. Men brag to each other about their scores from which prowess is presumed. Women, however, know the truth but are much too cautious to disclose what they think. In fact, they say virtually nothing; any comment comes out as criticism or condemnation to a man. Women usually want to keep their man.

Jenny plots her game plan. All new and totally foreign for her to be doing such  plotting in the first place and on a forbidden subject for wives in the second place. Confident that she and Hank have won each other, however, she continues to plan her message.

As he did before, she expects to write out her ‘position paper’ and make it more conversational as she reads it. They meet and she delivers.

“Hank, my dearest friend. We must talk, rather I must talk. You men don’t know jack about the women with whom you lay. Women—in the way you love them—are mere objects to unload your passion. It has probably always been so.

“Men are not to blame; they are just ignorant and women go unfulfilled too much and too often. I figure you and I can be different, if you know more about me and my expectations than you know at present.

“What I say is aimed at all men. You just happen to be the closest and gifted enough to hear a woman’s version of how sex should satisfy rather than frustrate a wife. A husband owes his wife more than poke, come, and go. Knowing you, I’m sure you understand it. But so many men don’t—or so friends, relatives, and associates admit.

“I explain the woman’s dilemma. We cannot convey our frustrations without offending our man. We are due more honor in the bed we make with them, and I shall hopefully make with you.

“Education, not information, overcomes ignorance. Women are in no position to educate men about making love. We try to inform, yes. When we try, they take offense and drop the gal who suggests their masculine talents are less than perfect in technique and terrific in achievement. An impenetrable wall surrounds the male ego about sexual aptitude, attitude, and competence. Few things are guarded with more religious fervor.

“I hope to give you a peek over that wall. Not because you need it, but because I want the wall lowered enough so I can converse more freely with my husband about making love.

“Here are some basics of how women view sexual relations.

  • “Warmup is critical to a woman’s sexual enjoyment; the root of any pleasure begins with it. Foreplay brings her whole body into the action that follows. Bare skin touching and caressing is vital, and extended stimulation of her erogenous zones can complete the warmup. The better she is warmed up, the better is her response to him in action. So, if he thinks he’s good and expects to confirm it with the final results, he owes her an extended warmup until she says she’s ready.
  • “Contrary to man-think, earning his orgasm does not satisfy her. Pleasure? Perhaps! Maybe sure! But it’s the weakest way to prove himself. Fornication does not make a good lover. She makes him a good lover, when she is properly prepared and rewarded with intimacy at the end.
  • “Emotional conflict exists when intercourse begins. He’s driven to drive home his weapon. She wants gentle handling. His nature inspires hard penetration, and so it’s a price women are accustomed to paying. His gentle caressing and holding elsewhere helps her adapt to the courser side of his style.
  • “She needs a multi-function cool-down after they finish intercourse. Oh, not from body heat but from her excited internals that need a calming effect that comes from the comfort of his holding her with snuggling and more bare skin touching and caressing. It provides and she needs a lengthy interlude of intimacy to fortify and confirm her importance. If sex doesn’t make her feel important afterward, he didn’t do it right. His holding and enabling her to snuggle close confirms that she did the right and important thing for him. So, he owes her satisfying intimacy as reward for being a good receptacle for his intensity.

“As you can see, Hank, women are people too. When we make love, we also go all the way. Provided, that is, our man knows how to lift and gently escort us all the way through the three arches of pleasure: warmup joy, intercourse kindness, and satisfying intimacy.

“Hank expects to be flabbergasted, but he isn’t. No big deal. He thinks; I didn’t know all that but, heck, I could have figured it out sometime. Just my receptacle? That hurt. That’s not me. She makes a good case for her sisters, but I don’t know how it will ever get to other men. It’s not that complicated, but the gal has to become the most important person in the process; if the guy hopes to claim, accurately, to be a good lover.

“Jenny smiles while Hank contemplates how to respond. His silence sparks her inquiry.

“Well, honey, is our marriage talk ended? Are we finished? Remember, none of it was aimed at you but presented to educate rather than just inform. Also, this was a traumatic undertaking for me. I did it once. Never again. The subject is not for discussion unless you question me for more details sometime in our wedded future.”

Hank rises, sits beside with his arm around her. “Heck, I know all that. It makes sense and fits what I’ve known for a long time. Probably a few details slightly different, but I always intended to do those things as best I could. I figured experience together would make everything come out at least good or maybe better. I’m mostly concerned with the when, where, and how of getting started.”

Jenny starts crying, hugs him, feels relieved she has done well. Then she stops. They kiss, promise eternal togetherness, and depart for beer and burgers.

Over food, Jenny smiles in his eyes. “I can hardly wait for our warmup, your shining presence in me, and my reward of intimacy.”

Hank’s eyes sparkle with moisture, “Let’s get married sooner.”

Hank rethinks his plan to present her ring. I can do it tomorrow night at our favorite restaurant. Will it be romantic enough? Well, I will make it so.

Recovering from the fantasy flavor of what she has just done, Jenny calls her mother. “Change of plans, mom, we’re doing it sooner and….”

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2604. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 13a: Hank Explained


Her Highness Femme says “there is NO WAY a man would make a speech like that to a woman (me).” I’m sure she rings many bells elsewhere.

The series is titled, Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Common sense says both parties and a dual responsibility. Common senses says that sharing, dividing, and fulfilling the dual responsibility is a competitive and possibly combative job. Common sense says negative motivation—criticism and blame—produces unwanted results and can prompt failure in any process. Works that way with kids doesn’t it? Husbands are just big kids in the view of their wives. Yet, many wives ignore common sense and produce their own misery.

Women want their husband to be more responsible, and so Hank assumes full and complete responsibility even ahead of his marriage to Jenny. He exemplifies his male nature; he is sufficiently motivated to upgrade a system in need, please his woman, and admire himself for having undertaken to produce such promising results. The greatest satisfaction comes from the toughest achievements, and Hank is hardwired to believe it.

Women sympathize, empathize, share their miseries, swap justifying thoughts, and support each other as they bad mouth men. Then, as a gender, they shape their complaints and blames into female-sharpened hatchets to be thrust into the masculine psyche. With Hank, I idealize five things to expect, if men did what women claim they want and expect.

  1. Our man Hank takes complete charge to produce a magnificent plan of what he thinks his woman will more than welcome. He has no hidden agenda and expects to negotiate details later. (He knows the marriage system doesn’t work well. Women rely on love, but it is never enough. He intends to prevent problems rather than have to overcome them and thereby relieve Jenny of so many wifely problems. His intentions are far more honorable than any woman should expect, but yet less acceptable. He lacks one thing: spur of the moment woman-think, and his lack converts the story to fantasy.)
  2. Our motivated hero demonstrates with actions his promise to be a good husband, to take charge and assume responsibility for mate, family, and home. (He is motivated to assume all risks and rely on his expectation that wife will provide full cooperation with his leadership. He dreams of their life together sixty years from now. He’s not a dawdler. He accomplishes, produces, and can be depended upon to make things work out satisfactorily.)
  3. Our potential husband already planned how he intends to prevent rather than have to heal or recover from interpersonal problems with wife and family. (The eight strategies described in post 2600.)
  4. Inspired not just by Jenny but his own need to please her, Hank knows what Jenny needs most. His plans are aimed directly to guarantee his promise to cherish her for life as her husband.
  5. Following his nature, Hank designs and plans to cure ailments in the ailing marital system, because he is sufficiently incentivized to make his life more sterling in his eyes and golden in Jenny’s.

There comes a time in the world of under performing marriages, wifely complaints, and assigning blame that men stand up to say, let’s do something else; e.g., upgrade marriage. It was Hank’s time, and he took it. Common sense says he could never get away with it. In fact, it would probably scare most women away. But not Jenny, she has her own lessons to teach, so the fantasy continues.

Admittedly, the story morphed to fantasy. It is pardonable. He knows the female nature and knows it well, but Hank lacks one thing. Woman-think, the common mental processes that will dominate Jenny’s development of events and relationships under his grand plan. It amounts to this in the real world. A man’s planning for their future too easily interferes with a woman’s relationship development and self-brightening of her own future at the present time.

Of course you won’t see or hear Hank’s speech from a man today. Hank morphed from real in chapter 1 to fantasy in 13.  Women don’t always need what they expect out of men and their man, and Hank represents it on steroids. It’s Jenny’s turn for fantasy, next.

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2602. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 12


Hank ends his retreat, calls Jenny for a date next day. On rereading his note aimed at convincing her he knows what he is doing, he begins to have more than second thoughts. How to deliver his plan, verbal or written? Her to read or hear? At home or in public? Might a couple of drinks be appropriate to loosen his tongue and impress her ears to listen favorably?

What is he after? Her to marry him? Or her to consider if she wants to marry into his method of preserving a marriage? If she doesn’t grasp the full meaning of his plans for their future, disappointment is likely to set in later. Can he overcome that?

Tossing much of the night, anticipating something less than total success, he decides. His apartment, white wine spritzer, he will just let her read it. They will discuss the pros and cons and decide how to proceed. Anticipating victory for his side, he finally dozes off.

He awakens with a startle. He just dreamed her reading the letter in front of him. Misunderstandings prevail, her uh-ohs rock his spirit, she gives him sour or at least questionable looks. He re-reads his letter and can find nothing to cause what he dreamed. He changes his plan: He will read it to her, add comments frequently, and hope for the best with his being more proactive.

In his dream, she also reacted and spoke about romance, affection, and warmth being missing from the letter. Consequently, his heart must want marriage more than her. Or so she will think.

After they chat making the date, Jenny emulates his insomnia. He emailed his plan with the eight strategies for managing their conjugal life [2600]. She finds no objections but will later beg for more clarity. She worries more about his attitude and the seed planted in the email, which seems to hint that she will not be responsible for much if they marry. He seems dictatorial.

The eight strategies are also lacking in love, affection, and closeness. Seeing all of it as rather cold and barren, too logical and deep-reasoned for her, she wonders if it will work. Or, is he unclear in his thinking about what she needs and expects in a marriage?

Puzzling her way through his model for life together, her attitude turns toward negative thoughts. She loses some interest in even showing up at his apartment. She reminds herself that when he does get around to showing affection, she loves both his method and sincerity. She will show up.

In his apartment, she stands near him as he fixes them a spritzer. They settle on the couch talkative and in good spirits, as both try to fake off discomfort. TV off. After basic preliminaries, Jenny swings her palm toward him as if to say, you’re on.

Hank feels victimized, under fire before he can start. Confusion sets in, so he turns to his most reliable method and keeps his mind on track by using whatever comes in numbers.

“Darling,” he begins, “it’s a short story. There I was on retreat. I had three goals for the weekend. Should I marry you, and that was easy to decide. What tactics and objectives would we be living by? I sent the email with my results, and it’s proper that we discuss and perhaps argue them, but later. Finally, toughest to describe and most important for our discussion tonight, I worked out the logic, reason, and strategy by which I could promise you a good marriage with plans to make it last a lifetime.” Going by the numbers calmed his confusion, he talked easier.

“I know you’d like to hear it, but I am not proposing yet. I can’t promise you a life of endless romance. I’m too practical or something. Too much else intervenes. So, I have tried to describe what I can provide you, if you choose to accept me as your husband. None of it has been easy except your soliloquy about how you kept yourself faithful to yourself over those years. You inspired me to figure out how I could be a good husband to myself and hope it would satisfy you as much as your ‘confession’ about your accomplishment satisfied me.

“I know you want me to make you happy. I’m both unsure how and what makes—or rather will make—you happy living with me. I’ve always envisioned that you would be living with me in a home—perhaps this apartment or some other hut—and that you arrange, decorate, manage and thereby make yourself happy.

“That’s the model on which I used to base my dreams of marriage and it making you happy. That is, before you taught me how a person can be much better by pursuing a single but great goal; not what drives but what you can accomplish, how it builds character, and how it makes many things respectable. And so, to learn to exemplify it, I went on retreat to figure out how to use your method.

“Now, I recognize my prior innocence of what it takes to make a woman happy. I know it takes much more than I planned to provide. I am still unaware of what, when, why, which, who, and how makes you supremely happy. But I feel the burden to make our life better will produce it for you.”

Hank goes on to describe the thrills he felt and anxiety burden of his retreat. Cold food, but a hot keyboard when he is sure of his intentions. Meandering through the woods as he resolves tough questions about his own future. Shooting rocks over the hillside with his five-iron, when his mind goes blank. And the constant thinking of her and eventually having many kids as he continues to talk to the steering wheel on the way home.

Now immensely satisfied with his weekend as not a waste of either time or effort, he moves on. “I had fun.” Slightly embarrassed, his face flushes as he spouts his new motto about children: “If four is a ball, then six takes only gall.” Fearing he is serious, she just stares. Her mood seems to darken, and he gets on with the show, his tour de force, his masterpiece of achievement. If she can’t take what he offers, she may not be the one for him.

“I wrote you a letter explaining my logic and reasoning about marriage as responsibility rather than just the joining of two emotional personalities. The joining is a piece of cake; it even starts by feeding each other a bite of the cake. But sustaining a marriage is a constant struggle to merge two interests and match them into one. That, my dear, is my personal ambition that you shall hear about and as I composed it and settled my thoughts last weekend among so much natural beauty in West Virginia.

“You need to know who I really am to determine if I’m the right man for you. I know you’re right for me. Even more than right, essential. I want to marry you. And if I do and live out the persona of the man I can be, that I will shortly describe, then I know you will be forever supreme in my life and no other can or will ever replace you.”

He initiates a toast. They exchange smiles and sip spritzers. He brings out sheets of paper, unfolds them, and starts to read. She gets more comfortable to hear….

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2601. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 11


EDITOR’S NOTE: Recalling what I am grateful for, I thought of each of you readers. You fill my life with endless intelligence, interest, and feminine liveliness that often turns to sassy I love to see in women. Thank you.

Hank loves to count and recount when his mind is in turmoil; it keeps thoughts in line. First, he decides he will marry Jenny [2599]. Second, he plans out his premarital negotiations with her [2600]. Third, he plans to tell her of his dedication to marriage, what marriage will be like under his tutelage. Not to match or outdo her ‘champagne eloquence’ [2597], but to reassure her that he is a good catch, that he knows how to be a good husband and possesses the talent, skill, and motivation to brighten their future together.

As last event of the weekend retreat, he prepares to tell her how he will seal their marital deal. He decides to write it out, recite it to her, and then give her a copy to show their grandkids how marriage ought to be approached. He is proud before he starts; his thoughts already aligned with his heart. He begins to write.

Jenny, my darling. About ready to set you down on a honey-coated, platinum ship of marital bliss that borders on paradise, I must confess. Oh, not to anything either of us has done wrong. But to express the pleasure of earning you for my mate. For so long, I didn’t know what you had to witness in my motivation and behavior.

After neutralizing my conqueror’s plan with your titty remark, over champagne you confessed dedication to yourself. I was enlightened. I almost proposed right there and then. Thankfully, my heart was not quite in it.

I say thankfully, because what follows here converts the makings of a temporary into a permanent marriage. An earlier proposal would perhaps have short circuited our relationship before too many years together. Why? If surprised, you would not like my leadership; you need to know what to expect before we wed.

Ross Perot coined this motto. Up front, blunt, and candid when you deal with customers and employees. I remind myself to use it.

You can have the wedding as yours and your mother’s to arrange. However, I will be responsible for our marriage. So, what does that mean?

Marriage is generally called an institution. Actually, it’s a set of necessary functions—the promises, obligations, and vows that couples make. Those functions guide individuals silently, subconsciously, and usually in background mode. If adhered to properly, they can hold a couple together as ‘us’. If not, couples too easily separate emotionally and perhaps physically.

But good intentions—made earlier in the throes of exciting and romance-loaded moments—don’t remain all that stable after months or years of living together. Two individuals with very different personalities, emotional makeup, and personal agendas have to labor hard to remain permanently attached with mutual self-interest.

Antagonist pressures arise far too easily, and love can’t overcome all of it. Actually, love is never enough, and that is why I accept responsibility. If I’m responsible, I can match your determination. I don’t ever accept responsibility with any expectation that I will fail.

More of what I mean is this. Only you, me, or we can work against our marital interests. We need a leader to prevent it. I accept full responsibility to guard, hold together, and ensure that the mass of marriage values, standards, and expectations works to help us find and live by mutual self-interest.

Fulfilling my responsibility, however, may not be to your liking simply because of the impression it gives in the big picture. You and I function as subordinates of our marriage. What does that mean?

We don’t drive our marriage, it drives us. It’s the principle up to which we live rather than trash it in response to emotional upheavals. It pressures us to deal with our mate as respectable; to make our mate deserving of best attentions and considerations; to toe the line of fidelity; and otherwise hold each other up as the epitome of a person, friend, lover, and spouse.

We fall back on the purpose and blessing of marital obligations to calm our emotional disturbances. More important than either of us, in god-like fashion, commitment to marriage first commands us to do much better than we ever thought we could, that we exceed ourselves to do our immediate best to recover from emotional disturbances or financial shortages. As matter of habit, we expect to always yield to the principle of marriage first and me, you, and us second. It’s a rung on the ladder, an interim step of living up to God.

I am responsible to see it happen that way, so I may from time to time have to remind you that your expectations may be contradictory to marital comfort. The same applies to you. I may be responsible, but I can cause marital discomfort perhaps better than you.

When I am responsible for anything, I refuse to fail. As of now, I dedicate that habit to our marriage. It presumes and I prioritize our lives this way. You and I are subordinate to marriage; personal expectations are subordinate to domestic tranquility; child raising is subordinate to our marriage.

Wives often presume to carry the burden of sustaining marriage; they have most to lose. But in today’s marital marketplace they don’t seem to be doing well. It happens because the wrong spouse is in charge. So, from the get-go let me unburden you from being responsible to see that we stay together.

You need only face up to four tasks. Remain my ideal of a great woman, develop yourself into the ideal wife for me, prepare and become the ideal mother for our children, keep me indirectly informed when I add strain to our marriage. I will do my best to be the ideal husband for you and father for kids. If and when I say nothing contrary, you are ideal. You work primarily through relationship management, and I will work primarily to hold our lives together as a one-unit family. (You and I both know that last clause exaggerates; your contributions are vital.)

All of the above brings me to the most important part. We can’t avoid disputes or hold unbecoming opinions of each other. Minor in the overall passage of time, they still should not be verbalized. We can avoid fault finding, criticism, and blaming each other, and we should do it by converting complaints and blame into offenses contrary to the marriage covenant and not us personally.

I will fulfill my responsibility when we both identify our differences as neither personal nor in immediate need of correction, but rather as undesired actions and attitudes contrary to marital harmony. Mostly, you will be responsible in the home and I outside the home and overall.

Does that sound like a doable to you? Offended? Can you subordinate yourself and emotional stability to the supreme role of our marriage? I pledge it as my intent for life, and God-willing, you will also.

And now, my dear Jenny, with true love flooding my heart, I repeat my proposal differently. Will you marry me—but this time for life?

With the sincerity that arises out of great respect,

Hank

——

[FOR BLOG READERS: Anticipating many inquiries, here are a few examples of focusing on the marriage instead of wife’s hurts or husband’s faults. These examples avoid DIRECT accusations and blame. Marital success comes from lack of blame and other and perhaps smaller irritants that offend a man or hurt a woman. The examples may not be the best, but they exemplify the offended party rephrasing conclusions and opinions so as not to emotionally disturb themselves or the offender.

Hank provides these examples. They shift responsibility for corrective action into the hands of he offender without adding offense. Questions, unless too pointed, seldom offend men but women are much more sensitive. Inquire and then move on to something else; leave the thought behind for later consideration.

Hank speaks as if teaching:

  • I am repeatedly late for dinner without calling ahead. After a few times, you ask me: Is your consideration of my time and responsibility producing any strains on our marriage? And then, if you please, move on to something else.
  • You see me flirting and inquire. She’s a pretty woman and probably deserves a good man; does she fit into your interests for our marriage? And then, if you please, move on to something else.
  • After I swill too much beer watching football, you ask: Honey, do you prefer beer over lovemaking? I know you can do both, but do you think lack of intimacy for me adds stress to our marriage? And then, if you please, move on to something else.
  • After you refuse me sex three days in a row, I inquire: Are you sick, honey? Should you see a doctor? I can’t afford to lose you, you know. And then, if you please, move on to something else.

Spouses can thus refer offensive behavior toward later resolution and for the sake of marriage. It works better than blaming and expecting the other to change to accommodate expectations or for the sake of changing one’s behavior to please the other.]

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2597. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 8


Hank is still not home, and he yells at the steering wheel. “She’s a witch.” Then in lower tone, “How could she have known my plan before I start? It was a good plan. Conquer and take over. Steer the bus she thinks of as romance, and I now assert should be ‘let’s get under the covers’.”

He smiles as he recalls how she so ingeniously outwits him. It happened before, and always with her mellow charm that at the end makes him proud she can so delicately get her way.

The memory of that night stirs his admiration more than his ire. As he planned, they go to their favorite place for champagne and center their focus on the inner space of each other. They enjoy a short touch of romance with smiles, gentle touching, and he quietly mumble-sings a love ballad to her with many words missing. Just as he planned.

She marvels that he knows such an old melody. Then, with little notice, he becomes quiet and disengages his interest in her and the surroundings. Seemingly troubled, she inquires of his mindset.

“Titty on your mind?” His head spins, eyes flash as if angry, but then he smiles. “How did you know?” Her smile brightens, “It’s about time.”

She continues. “Honey, you’ve honored my desires about abstinence for many months. You’ve done it with lovable spirit and gentlemanly pleasantness. It has enabled our relationship to heat up and boil beautifully, while passion fades like steam rising from the bubbles.

“You have been great to keep passion under control, to not pressure me to give in, to respect my desire to be free of sexual pressures. I love you for it, darling, more than anyone else in my past. Few men could do what you’ve done. And so, I want to better define myself to you.

“You deserve what you are about to hear. You may run off, but that’s the price I must pay to be true to me first, you second, and us above all others.

“My life is no better than I make it for myself. You are an immense help, but you’re not inside me, at least not yet. Even if you were, it would weaken our mutual devotion, because it means I betray myself.

“My father raised me with this principle. I am what I accomplish, and not what I hope or intend. He gave me the push but no suggestions, and I graduated into the teen world with traditional girlhood hopes and dreams. The mistakes of my marriage convince me, it was the right goal before and the only way afterward.

“My hopes and dreams quite naturally centered on my knight on his white charger. If he will be that sterling for me, then I should be golden for him.

“Somewhere along the line, and no one had to tell me. Too young for girlhood hopes and dreams and I now know better, I concluded that virginal was golden. After my mistakes, I believe virtual virginity symbolizes golden in all the other matters of living with someone. In other words, I may be capable of sex, but I’m much more important and valuable as a mate well kept for it rather than because of it.

“I can’t let my feelings for my knight be bleached out by someone else. He won’t be all that sterling, and I won’t be all that golden, if I let it happen. A broken marriage taught me that.

“After my divorce, the dream returned. I merely had to figure what to call it, and I chose virtual virginity—meaning I abstain until rescued for keeps.

“My real life begins when I am swept into ‘keeperhood’ to perform as intended and for which I have prepared most of my life—mistakes aside. Consequently, I am undeserving of a good enough man, if I can’t do what I pledge to myself.

“You’re getting too close for me to lose, but my objective is not yet accomplished.

“You are becoming more likeable, well-armored, and sit tall enough in the saddle to qualify as the only knight at my round table. However, your armor doesn’t yet shine brightly enough. Your stallion appears hungry, his ribs show, and he needs a wash down.

“I would betray myself, if I told you how to shine armor and feed, wash, and put away your horse. If you don’t already know what you need to complete your life, you may not quality yet as my Mr. Good Enough.

“A touch of champagne, please. And would you sing to me again?”

 

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2596. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 7


Still driving home after proposing and taking Jenny home, he remembers their courtship. After many months and asleep at home, his life changes in one night. Just a normal nightmare, but the memory of it still rocks his comfort and ease about his life and future.

On an outing near a turbulent river and after a slight drizzle, he laughs as Jenny goofs around with a turtle atop a huge boulder near their picnic table. Suddenly, she slips and plunges into the torrent below. She doesn’t come up. Rushing toward her entry spot, he sees what happened clearly in a slow-motion, step-by-step flashback. She slips, feet and hips slide, head flies back to bang the rock; splash and submergence follow. The replay, worse than the event itself, redoubles his fear and magnifies his sense of possible loss.

He jumps in, fails to locate her, and exhausts his lungs before surfacing. Hopefully, he expects to find her swimming to shore, but he finds the same nothing he found inside the torrent. He is alone and downstream. No sign of her further down. Hopefully but fruitlessly he looks upstream. No Jenny. No one else nearby to help. Grabbing his head fearfully, he yells “Jennyyyyyyyy” as he breaks down, cries, and is swept further downstream amid anguish of what can he do now?

Flopping over quickly in bed, he realizes he just heard himself yell. It was real, and he moves to dry his eyes. Screw what the neighbors think they heard. Grabbing the phone, he calls her. She’s okay, but he pours out his remaining anxiety. Too sweaty to continue in bed, he showers again to drown the memory. Instead, it redirects his thoughts toward reality. What would he do had it been real? It prompts him to figure out some answers, for which he searches amid speculation and intermittent dozing for the next few hours.

Can I live without her? Can my life even be sane without her? Replaceable or irreplaceable? That is the question. But those are silly questions. Of course, I can live without her, even a sane life. But in every stretch of self-honesty, I would never choose that option. Surprising himself, he confesses; I strongly desire to live with her alone. Yes, to the exclusion of all others and my independence. Then chiding himself, where did that dreadful thought come from?

Can I sustain our relationship as is, or must I shift into dreadful mode and follow the golden princess to wherever marriage might take us? Can I do all she says we should do? Do I even want to? Will she accept and follow me and my ambitions? Of course, I don’t really know how she feels about marriage. She’s mysterious on the subject. Most women want it though; so how am I to know, unless I propose? Uh, oh! Not a good something to think about.

Can I accept withdrawing from life outside our relationship? Will I forego all other women? Give up my independence for making decisions? Those are tough calls, but…. Hardly pleasant thoughts, so I will think about them later.

But how can I live with her, if she won’t provide sex to check out our compatibility? Marriage? Shack up? Move in together? Sure, we can get a bigger apartment and merge our lives closer together. Talk her into that and sex will surely follow, won’t it?

We have talked often about sex, but only about the marriages of other people. I sense she wants marriage, but she never pushes or even suggests it as either an option or way to go. How come? I know she plans for the future, but she never mentions ours. She leaves it up to me? Why? What do I know about marriage and raising kids? Or does she think our relationship doesn’t qualify for a lifetime commitment? Her silence deafens me about matters I now realize are critical.

I recall when the term commitment came up. She said I am in charge of such things. The same when I mentioned not dating others. She is along for whatever ride I provide. She will do whatever pleases me. Don’t know if I care to take on that pressure.

Seldom done before and usually avoided, he goes deeper into introspection.

I appreciate her silence about marriage, but why would a woman not pursue her dream more assertively? Am I not the right guy for her? Is she just toying with me until she finds someone else? Does her behavior truly signify her love of me? Only me? Really? Any signs it’s not true? Is it really true that she seeks to join my bus ride into the future? Can I let her drive while I maintain the bus?

Surprising himself, he thinks:

Hell, I love her. She must love me. How much? Can I be sure? I wonder, could we live together? Would she? Probably not. What if I propose marriage? Would she accept or refuse? It’s the question of the day? How can I find out? I’m not about to propose, if the answer will be no. What is it lawyers say? Never ask the question if you don’t already know the answer.

Wait a minute, what am I doing toying with the idea of marriage? Am I ready?  I’m not ready. She may not be the best, although she sure looks it. How do I prove it? I want her but not unless it’s my decision. Not her praying and spreading feminine charm into my life while persuading me to accept a huge new responsibility. She’s great, but I don’t bend my principles or let girls determine my life, even the most gorgeous.

What if she changes after marriage? Does she want kids? How many? But, man, she sure is qualified to blend our lives, manage our kids, prepare my toast, and kiss me off to work. She’d be like Doris Day in the kitchen of my castle. I could even claim a tax dependent. Wow! There may benefits I’ve not uncovered.

Hank recovers with new plan.

Ah,ha! Okay, that’s it. Now I got it. If she loves and wants to marry me, she will let me in her panties. She will bend, yield, and learn to appreciate my sexual competencies. Don’t know how far she will go at the beginning of such ultra smooth pressure, but it’s time to get this love-fest in a higher gear. It’s been her game of friendship development so far. Hell, I favor friends with benefits. Why have I been so quiet and accommodating of her wishes? My new campaign begins now.  I shall conquer the driver of this bus, so she can take me where it’s deservedly beneficial to me too.

But what if she throws me under the bus? Can I recover? Yes, I can, so look out tomorrow, honey, I shall replace you to steer our bus on a new course.

Meanwhile, Jenny knows to expect it. Intuitively, she already prepares for his put-out-or-else campaign. Having privately studied and perfected her strategy of managing sexual aggressiveness and turning threats into friendly banter, she uses techniques to make the competition end up her way. Her sexual history proves this: When passion drives, relationships don’t thrive.

As always, she expects to have her way, and relationship survival is paramount. Until, that is, she decides how and when conquest will happen. Delay becomes more difficult every time they are together.

As she does for each get together with Hank, she anticipates another surprise. Always ready, she doesn’t know the next will reveal Hank as up-and-coming conqueror intent on ….

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2595. Who is Responsible for Marital Success? Chapter 6


After he arrives home from fifth date, Hank wipes from his mirror, ‘Jenny, what does it take?’ Now he knows. If he wants her, he must earn her. Unsure just what that means, he determines to discover who she really is. The challenge inspires him. He figures direct inquiry and prying may not be best. Instead, he will feel her out by finding ways to please her. Unknown to both, he takes an early step toward developing his devotion.

Having wiped one sign, he promises himself the other sign will come down in no more than three weeks. He knows where he stands and now knows better what to say. He thinks, just you wait, baby, just you wait.

After saying good night by phone, their routine rituals intensify as nights pass and dreams magnify.  He imagines himself in bed and her entering it naked. He dreams of refining his competence and she joins him in pleasure.

Meanwhile, she too lies abed dreaming. She knows he would like her to first appear naked as if his sex slave, but she determines that he will see her as she wishes. After all, who’s driving this bus? She promises herself to approach the honeymoon bed in a gorgeously sheer, super feminine gown, smiling and smelling heavenly, and moving dramatically slow to demo with max effect that she has come to him. All the time visualizing bare-body togetherness wrapped in gentleness and intimacy she expects will follow.

Amid the fifth and sixth dates, their courtship emerges and they mutually understand unspoken promises. Two magnets turned face-to-face double their togetherness. The same happens with mutual attraction without mention of permanent or exclusive arrangement.

Actions confirm better; words can deceive. Men tend to avoid making the spoken promises that women seek to assuage fears of abandonment. Lack of verbal promises has two benefits. First, she can depend on his actions to reflect both truth and intensity of his feelings. Second, the absence of words to guide her causes very natural pressures for her to remain focused on his actions in the present, on his focus, on his life, and on the promises she sees therein. IOW, it helps keep her mind focused on him instead of her internal uncertainties.

Liking each other immensely, they yearn and arrange to spend even more time together. He doesn’t resist initiating new things to do, because she bows out and defers to his preference. He asks her less what she wants but tries to please her more with his imagination, affection, talent, skill, and competence.

He begins to widen their interests with more togetherness in new and unexpected ways. Crediting himself for great ideas, he fails to recognize that few are his. When he does become aware of what usually happens, his appreciation soars for her discernment. She is so smooth at it that he senses no challenge to his stature as leader of the team.

Never adding pressure, she hints, plants seeds, and otherwise lets him know what would please her; the purpose is to expand his devotion. Breakfast dates, comparing fast food favorites, chick flick movies, surprise picnics, celebrating special occasions, burgers and beer, visits with mutual and individual friends, fireside chats, centralizing competition in simple games, concert events, short trips using two bedrooms, reading favorite passages to each other, planning to travel someday, Sunday afternoon drives into the country, work outs together, swimming, avoiding TV except mutually favorite shows, reciprocating respect for the politics of each, dancing, Sunday church, library and museum visits. They stay busy together—within his limits of course—as she leads them toward more enjoyable times together. Laying around and doing nothing is undesired, except for picnics and other events planned for relaxation.

Many dates follow, their relationship blossoms, and she sees his devotion growing via the events just mentioned. He’s unaware that his actions to please her program his heart. He becomes so used to it that he enjoys it deeply, and soon it pleases him just to please her. He’s devoted to her and thoughts of exclusivity begin to surround her uniqueness. His interest in trusting her without doubt begins to develop.

He becomes bolder, dynamic in finding ways to relate well. She seems to go along for the ride, and he keeps expanding and embellishing the ride to please her. He is satisfied just to be with her, and she is happy in his presence. She learns to express a little of his dynamism by teasing him, but cautiously to see how far she can go.

He takes her for granted by seeking no special signs that she appreciates him, except for his persistent hinting that they should be having sex. She longs for an invitation to pledge their exclusiveness, but senses it’s the wrong thing for the moment. She figures that if dedicated exclusiveness with one another can be generated before they have sex, the more likely his faithfulness will carry over after they marry.

Her likeability eventually turns his interest into trusting her to be loyal to him exclusively. His trust and affection compound. His likeability turns her interest into trusting him to be loyal to her, and mutual bonding deepens. Without mentioning it, he presumes they have an exclusive association. Without admitting it, he senses that he loves her.

She starts to puzzle over his changed interest in sex. He acts horny, seeks more passionate moments. However, as previously, he steers himself away after she moves his hand or hints he is unwelcome to think that she weakens about lowering her standards. Still, something is different and she wonders.

Nevertheless he pushes more than before. He pumps her for details of her sexual history. Inquires about her marriage. Pries about boyfriends and other male friends. When she objects or refuses, he backs off. She figures he’s not satisfied, but he respects her sufficiently to stop prying. She respects him more than before, but she also knows he is not finished.

It’s puzzling. The more devoted he becomes, the more his resistance to harassing her about sex seems to fade. One would think the opposite; the more devoted, then the more gentle, understanding, and agreeable with her wishes. Not so, however.

The more devoted he becomes, the more he is due what he has deferred for so long. But it does not mean that his sexual aggressiveness emerges to plague her. He’s not above being slammed into an emotional upheaval too, and it begins ….

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