Feeling a sense of entitlement as the woman or the man in a relationship truly hinders your capacity to love fully in your marriage. Entitlement prevents you from having mind blowing sex, and who wants that? In order to overcome our sense of entitlement, we have to work together as well as look inward to realize our capabilities and grow up through this process.
We sat down with the amazing Seth and Melanie Studley to talk about their own growing process through their feelings of entitlement and how they overcame the struggles they caused. They also told us stories from clients they’ve worked with and helped through these trials to help us realize that it is possible to stop letting entitlement hinder our marriages!
Are you Capable?
No matter how badly I want to give you $2, if I only have $1 in my pocket, it doesn’t matter. I am not capable of giving you $2. When it comes to our relationships, it is important to be aware of our capabilities and find ways to communicate those capabilities with our partners. If you aren’t sure of what you are capable of in your intimate relationship, take some time to explore and figure it out together!
If you’re not capable of something that you or your spouse would like to explore, you simply won’t be able to do it. And that is ok! Work up to it slowly. Take time to figure out what feels good for the both of you. And if that thing is never possible for you or your partner, be accepting of that and realize that sometimes our minds or bodies simply aren’t capable of certain things no matter how badly we may want it.
Growing Up Process
So many of us have a sense of entitlement, and entitlement and immaturity often go hand in hand. Entitlement happens in both spouses in different ways. Growth is vital in marriage and growing up requires you recognizing your own sense of entitlement.
Males often feel entitled to sex, thinking that their wife owes it to them to have sex with him any time he wants. After all, he goes to work all day to provide for them and feels the need for sex often. So why can’t his wife just give him this thing? The problem here is that it leads the woman to feel like she isn’t enough for him, or to feel like he demands sex too often and she can start to resent him for that.
Females often feel entitled to treat their husbands however they want. They think they can be mean to them, or belittle them, and still expect their husbands to treat them like they are princesses. Women may feel entitled to the perfect husband but not be even attempting to be the perfect wife. This can leave their husbands feeling hurt, rejected, and belittled.
In order to overcome these feelings of entitlement and work through the pain that these feelings can bring, we have to learn to grow. Personally, and as a couple. Take some time to look at your behavior and figure out where things can improve. Be willing to notice your own hypocrisies and negative emotions. Then find healthy ways to communicate these things with your partner and work through them together.
Tips To Help You Through Entitlement Pain
There are several tips that Seth and Melanie talked about to help us navigate our way through the pains that feelings of entitlement bring. One way is to use voice memos to communicate (more on this later!). Another is by expanding our concept of sex and our body awareness in healthy ways. Realize that there are beautiful, loving, safe ways to expand your concept of sex. Start to listen to your body- realize what makes it feel good, bad, loved, aroused, etc. and lean into those.
Another big thing that will help you through entitlement pain is recognizing, and perhaps changing, the way we speak to our spouse. Talk to them about the things that you want, but be sure not to present it as an attack. Don’t make it a big battle, and try not to tie an outcome to what you are trying to present. It is going to take baby steps, incremental change to really get out of the hole that entitlement helps us dig.
Try asking yourself the following question. Am I typically rigid when someone gives me feedback? Do I have a growth mindset or a fixed mindset (am I willing to change)? How will I behave if I don’t get my way? The answers to these questions will help you realize the things you are contributing to the problems you are having, which is the first step to making a lasting change.
How Can You See Your Own Entitlement?
We all have blindspots when it comes to our own entitlement, and seeing past those blind spots can sometimes be very difficult. It all starts with listening. What is your partner actually saying to you? Some of the things that your partner will say to you will instantly put you on the defensive. Pay attention to the things that you get defensive over- these are most likely your blind spots and where you are feeling entitled!
Pay attention to the way that your words are coming across as well. One way that Seth and Melanie suggest helping you hear the words you’re saying in the same way as your spouse is to use voice memos. Record the voice memo of what you want to say. Listen to it out loud and hear how they are going to hear it. If it sounds defensive or mean, start over with a new recording changing things up. Keep doing this until what you have to say truly comes across as constructive and kind as you would hope. “Kindness is clarity, and clarity is kindness.”
Going On a Vacation
One great way to think about Entitlement in marriage is to look at an analogy about going on a vacation. Let’s say the hubby really wants to go to Florida on vacation, but the wife doesn’t because she hates heat and humidity. The husband thinks, too bad. I’m paying for it, so we are going to Florida! And off they go.
When they get to Florida, they decide to go spend some time on the beach. The husband goes out in the water and enjoys splashing around in the waves. He is having a lot of fun, so he calls out to his wife to come join in. She replies that she doesn’t want to. She isn’t having any fun and doesn’t have any desire to come play in the waves. At this point, how much fun is this vacation going to be for the husband while seeing his wife miserable? Not much.
This is how feeling entitled and forcing your spouse into something they don’t want to do feels. You feel like this thing should happen right at this moment, or in a very specific way. But if you don’t both have a desire for this thing to happen then you aren’t going to have any fun. John Gottman once said “I never want to have sex with someone who doesn’t want to have sex”. Realize that there needs to be a give and take. Figure out what works for your both, and then grow on that together.
Seducing Your Spouse
Seduction comes in many shapes and forms! Sometimes it is what you would typically think of when you first hear the word seduction- sexy outfits and slow music. Maybe a fire in the background or chocolates and a dozen roses. However, seduction can also be simple everyday things that just really make you feel good and in the mood.
Sometimes just doing your spouse’s normal chores will be a huge turn on. Be careful with this one, though. Be sure you aren’t expecting sex in return for doing a chore. Perhaps just adding some extra flirty words or actions to your conversation throughout the day will do the trick. Be attune to what your partner likes and doesn’t like, and try to make it obvious that you are trying to do those things they like. Be in your body- maybe you want to have sex but your body isn’t on board yet. Do something to help your body match your mindset, like putting on some lingerie, or making out.
Don’t be afraid to try new things! You never know what’s going to turn your partner on. And sometimes just making the effort to turn your partner on and seeing that fire in their eyes will be enough to make you feel ready to go as well.
If you feel like you or your spouse is particularly struggling with the concept of Male Entitlement, check out our post specifically on that topic!
Anatomy of Marriage
Seth and Melanie have helped so many of their clients through times of entitlement pain. They have found tons of ways to help with their communication and growth mindset, and we are so lucky they shared a few of those things with us today! If you liked what you read, go check them out at www.anatomyofmarriage.com.
They also have an Anatomy of Marriage app, and a few emails you can reach out to!
If you are interested in coaching from them, send an email over to them at email@example.com
For general questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Like what you heard? Be sure to listen to the full podcast episode here! And be sure to download the Intimately Us app, the fun and sexy app for your marriage! It’s full of games, connecting activities, and ideas to increase connection and pleasure in the bedroom.