By Py Kim Conant
From the earliest days of dating your man through years of marriage to him, it is inherent in his being a man that he constantly risks rejection by you. Early in the relationship you may turn down a date, not want to go to the restaurant or movie he suggests, refuse his good-night kiss (even on the third date, as I foolishly did to the man I later married), not let him come into your home, not want to have sex. Your man has the courage to keep taking the initiative with you, proposing things to you that you might turn down, thereby rejecting him in the process of rejecting his idea or suggestion.
Respect your man’s courage in the lifelong journey of risk-taking that he embarks on with you. It takes balls to be a man. Real nerve. Respect that. Even after you are together, even married, his risk-taking continues. A man’s life always involves a risk of rejection. It’s bad enough that he faces that risk at work (as do you, too, of course), but he also faces it at home, even from you, his woman who loves and respects him.
At work, a man may risk rejection (of an idea, a project, a request, a report, an opinion) that could negatively impact how he feels about himself as a man. However, a man’s greatest psychological vulnerability is not the risk of rejection at work, but the risk of rejection at home, from you, his woman. A man’s ego is most vulnerable when, after you have established a sexual relationship, he tells you that he wants to make love to you. At that point you hold his ego in your hands.
If you refuse his invitation or request for sex, you may think that you refused for some objective reason, such as the late hour, illness, chores that need doing, your own distractedness, not enough time, hunger, the baby’s diaper, not in the mood, or a hundred other reasonable scenarios that preclude lovemaking at that moment. If he were to ask why, you’d say, “Nothing personal; it’s just ___________ (fill in the blank).” You probably wouldn’t see it as a big deal. “We’ll make love later,” you’d probably think, if you thought about it any more at all.
“Wait a minute,” you might think, “I’m tired/it’s late/we have to leave in twenty minutes. That’s why I said no. I’m not rejecting him. I love him and I love his manhood.”
For him, when you refused his (brave, risky) offer to make love, you refused his manhood. Translation: You refused him as a man. He feels bad about himself as a man, refused by his girlfriend, fiancée, or wife, rejected by the woman he loves, his manhood rejected by the woman he loves, his manhood refused and rejected. It doesn’t feel good to be constantly rejected.