Marriage.com: Tell us a bit about yourself and your book Angel On A Surfboard: A Mystical Romance Novel That Explores The Keys To Deep Love.
David Essel: Our new number one best-selling mystical romance novel, “Angel On A Surfboard“, is one of the most unique books I’ve ever written.
And the main theme is about understanding what blocks us from creating deep love. I took three weeks and traveled amongst the Hawaiian islands in order to write a book, and the end result was absolutely stunning.
This is my 10th book, four of which have become number one bestseller, and since we’re talking about men and communication every man in the world would benefit greatly by reading this novel.
I started in the world of personal growth 40 years ago, and continue today as obviously an author, counselor and Master Life Coach. We work with individuals from all over the world every day of the week via phone, Skype and we also take clients in our Fort Myers Florida office.
Marriage.com: Many guys struggle with sharing their emotions, this won’t be the first time that someone has brought up the fact that unless you change this, most of your relationships will be filled with chaos and drama.
Why is this? Why do men have such a hard time getting in touch with, and sharing their true emotions and relationships?
David Essel: The answer is really simple: mass consciousness.
Almost every man raised in Society today is surrounded by men that have not been taught how to get in touch with their own emotions and the depth needed in order to understand our emotions and those of someone else. So when you’re raised in a society that does not value a man who can communicate his emotions, most men are going to shy away from even trying to explore that side of their lives.
This inability to process emotions and communicate will also impede the understanding of what a man wants in a relationship.
1. Marriage.com: What are some ways men can learn to communicate effectively?
David Essel: Number one, by getting involved with their own feelings and emotions. This is easily done. In our sessions with men who want to become better communicators, I first asked them to start to communicate with themselves.
When they feel super excited, I asked them to journal about what created that excitement. If they’re really pissed off, they have exercises to help access why they’re angry, mad or pissed off.
If they’re bored, I have them write about what’s going on in their life that would create boredom.
In other words, if you can get better in touch with your own emotions, you’ll have a better chance of expressing them when needed.
2. Marriage.com: How could a guy who might be too shy in their relationship ask his partner for a back rub? That’s one of the things men want but never ask for, fearing being snubbed.
David Essel: This is so easy! Offer to give your partner a back rub first. Take your time. Give them the most amazing backrub they’ve ever had in their lives.
And then, ask them if they would like to do the same for you, either today or another day. Give them options!
This opens the doorway to ask for what you desire, by giving someone else something they might desire first.
3. Marriage.com: One of the things men want in a relationship is more variety in their sex life. What are good tips for men who want to ask their partner for their sex life to have a lot more variety?
David Essel: Sexual boredom is very common in long-term relationships. A man who wants more variety is going to also understand that he might get rejected and that’s OK.
Just because you want something, doesn’t mean your partner will want the same thing, so we have to be open to the fact that if we discuss something like a new variety of sexual positions that they may initially become defensive, or feel that they’re not good enough as they are.
I will begin the conversation by having my clients talk to their partner about what is going on sexually that they really enjoy, that their partner does very well.
We open the door for a more open-minded approach to sex when we complement our partner on what they’re doing right now that we really love.
The next step would be to ask the partner are there certain sexual positions or toys that they’ve never used but had always wanted to?
Have you ever desired to role-play sexually? In other words, I would ask them questions about what they might like to do different sexually, before giving our partners any ideas of what we want.
You can also ask them if they’d like to watch any sexual education CDs, there are thousands on the market, or if they’d like to go visit a professional to talk about enhancing their intimate connection through sex and other forms of affection.
One of the things men want in a relationship is an exciting sex life, with more room for novelty, but not at the expense of offending their partner.
Put them first in communication, and you will reap the rewards down the road.
4. Marriage.com: In the gamut of things men want in a relationship is respect. How does the male partner ask about getting a little respect? Actually, make that a lot.
David Essel: If we’re not getting respect from our partner, get ready, it’s our fault, not theirs. We teach others how to treat us, it’s an old saying that is 100% accurate.
Codependency, in my work, is the largest addiction in the world, and if you’re codependent with your partner, they will not respect you at all. For women, who find themselves looking for an answer to the question, “how do you make a guy interested in you?”, the most important pitfall to avoid is becoming codependent on the partner.
If you were to tell someone, that you don’t appreciate how much they drink, and the next time they get drunk you’re going to take a 90 day split from the relationship, your partner will only respect you if you follow through on your words.
So if they get drunk again, and you don’t separate from them for 90 days, they will have zero respect for you and that’s just one example.
Anytime we tell a partner, that we don’t want them doing XY or Z, and they do it, and we don’t have a consequence, we have just lost complete respect. And we should lose complete respect if we’re not willing to follow up on our own words.
5. Marriage.com: One of the things men want in a relationship is their female partner taking initiative. What would you tell the male partner who wants their significant other to make the first move in their relationship?
David Essel: I would tell them to look for a dominant partner. They sound very submissive, maybe an introvert, and if they’re afraid to make the first move then they should find someone who’s not afraid to make the first move, someone who will be a leader in the relationship.
6. Marriage.com: How can he tell his partner that he needs emotional support?
David Essel: Everyone needs emotional support, sometimes much more frequently than others. One of the greatest ways to get emotional support is to have a person who will listen to you without giving advice.
I teach all of my male clients, when they sit down and they want to talk to their partner about some stress they’re going through, to begin the statement with something like “I want to share something that’s really stressful in my life right now, I would love it if you would just listen, hold my hand but don’t give me any advice. I just need to get this off my chest.“
This is magical the way it works.
7. Marriage.com: Let’s say he just wants to hang out with his friends tonight?
David Essel: The most important thing when we’re talking about taking time away from our relationship is to give our partners ample notice that we will be out with friends on a certain day and time.
In other words, if you know you’re going to play cards with your friends next Thursday night, and you wait till Wednesday to tell your partner, that’s totally inappropriate.
As soon as you know you’re going to be spending time with friends, we need to share that so everyone is on board.
8. Marriage.com: How could a guy who might be too shy in their relationship ask their partner that they just need some alone time?
David Essel: In communication, let me repeat, because this is so important, rejection is part of the game.
Understand, if you need time alone, your partner may not agree or may not like it but we can’t carry their feelings with us.
We need to have the strength to let them know that we’re going to be spending time to do ABC, whatever that is, and the downtime is necessary for everyone in every relationship. Among the few things men want in a relationship is a reasonable downtime and if you are a woman reading this, you can show some love to your beau by being more accommodating of that.
Couples that do “everything“ together, usually burn out.
9. Marriage.com: What are good ways for the male to ask their partner that they want her to show them sexually a lot more than what they have been getting?
David Essel: Always begin with a compliment. “Honey I love the way you perform oral sex on me, it’s unbelievable every time!”
Or whatever your favorite part of sex with your partner is, complement them. Don’t make up lies, but compliment them and what they’re doing well.
Then after that, you can say “I absolutely love the way you perform oral sex on me, and I was wondering if you could also do this“. Whatever “this” might be.
In other words, a lot of partners will be shy if you say to them “blow my mind show me every sexual trick that you have“, but if you lead them down that road slowly, they will open up much more quickly.
10. Marriage.com: After a long week of work, it’s finally the weekend, and all you want is for your partner to take the lead on what they do tonight. How can they bring that up nonchalantly?
David Essel: I always encourage people to communicate super openly, just to lay it out on the line.
“Honey, this week has been crazy, I’m going to ask you to go ahead and make plans for tonight, I will do whatever you want to do if it’s a movie, dinner out. I’m just going to ask you to take charge here tonight, I’ll see you at seven.“
This type of email or text should be sent early in the morning or early in the day, giving them plenty of time to think. If they push back and say they don’t know, let it go.
Or you can or ask them to make plans for the next night if they feel put on the spot to do it today. For women, one of the things guys want from you is taking charge and calling the shots at planning dates sometimes, so he can just enjoy while thanking his stars for having landed up with such an amazing partner.