How I Write a Romance from a Man's POV

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Silver Skies 11022018 1996 Version

When I wrote Silver Skies in the 1990s, I chose to write it mainly from a man’s point of view because I was so proud of the real Brent Spiner, that I wanted to share him with the world. He was the classiest, sexiest lover I’d ever encountered my entire life at the time. Actually, I still feel that way about him! He actually seemed too good to be true at first and it took me about a year to be fully convinced he was for real. It just didn’t seem possible that a rich and famous celebrity would understand the depths of my soul. I’d always pictured celebrities as being ego-driven and shallow. But to my utter amazement, the most important person in my life, turned out to be a famous person who didn’t give a flip about fame, but cared everything about connection. At the time I was married to a narcissist and sociopath (and didn’t even know what those terms meant at the time) and was a co-dependent.

Brent and I had a lot in common and that’s why we bonded. We were both deep, intuitive and dedicated to a serious, emotionally deep and committed romance with whoever we’d fall in love with. At the time, the only sex I’d had was with a sociopath, and while he could go through the motions of sexuality in a manner that sometimes brought me to orgasm in the early stage of our relationship, I did notice that he didn’t seem to care at ALL about emotional, spiritual connections. I think as a young lady, I had a fairly strong sex drive, even though I was a virgin when I married, that that alone made the sexual connection fulfilling for about a YEAR. I mean I’d never had sex before. But within a year, I started to feel isolated and rejected. I noticed he was consumed with changing me into the woman who would make him LOOK GOOD to the church. He also treated strangers better than he treated me. In fact, he’d fawn over church people in public and treat them like they were the ultimate and then in private he’d scold me about everything I did wrong. At first, I believed him. I told myself, I was a horrible sinner and needed to improve. But I noticed the more I tried to implement what he said I needed to do to be better, the more he criticized me and the more he seemed unhappy with all I did. Also, the conversations were all about ME AND HOW I NEEDED TO IMPROVE. Most of the criticism centered around what I did that made him LOOK BAD TO OTHERS. Finally, I subconsciously realized that I would NEVER MAKE HIM HAPPY NO MATTER WHAT I DID. I figured out that the problem was HIM. He had admitted to me that his mother married a sexual abuser and that as a boy he had been violated. I didn’t think much about this, until I realized this affected him far more than he was willing to admit to himself. It seemed to me that his entire energies were focused on proving to the world that he was something that he was NOT. But rather than try to fix what was wrong with him, to become a deeper, more meaningful self – his focus was OUTWARD on trying to force the world to believe in and enhance his PERFORMANCE. In fact, if you tried to shatter the illusion he meticulously presented to the world, he’d lash out at you like a viper and give you a thorough taking down, ranging from lashing, hurtful comments designed to put you IN YOUR PLACE, to punishing you by giving you the silent treatment and giving you the hard, cold stare for at least a week. By the time he was through with you, you felt like the most worthless piece of trash that ever inhabited the universe. He actually seemed to ENJOY putting me in my place if I dared to shatter the performance he gave to the world. At this point, I started writing Brent Spiner, and decided to share all aspects of myself that he condemned, assuming Brent would also condemn me. But he seemed to have more sensitivity than my awful ex, so I gave it a try. Writing him, had nothing to do with his celebrity status. In fact, he was the first and only Hollywood celebrity I ever wrote or cared about enough to contact. My brilliant intuition sensed that this was a man who MIGHT like me as I really AM.

So how does this translate to a male POV character? LOTS. I had read several books about the male temperament and one of the strongest needs of men is to BE ACCEPTED FOR WHO THEY ARE. This is vital in any relationship. Men also like to be admired for their manliness. But even more vital, is to be accepted for WHO THEY ARE. Though I am not a man, I was stuck in a relationship with someone who did not accept me as I was and was consumed with CHANGING ME. So I really identified with MEN at this point in my life and their deepest need for acceptance.

And so I decided I wanted to write a love story from a man’s POV and his deepest need, to be accepted as he was, was DENIED. His wife was the sociopath that my husband was to me. I understood the hurt, the bitterness about being stuck in marriage to someone who HATED THE REAL YOU and tried to make you dysfunctional by hating yourself, in order to pacify their fantasy of their own superiority. At first, when he wouldn’t accept me, I’d lash out at him and beg him to understand. But tears, screaming, NOTHING WORKED. It only made him dig in harder and made you feel like it was YOUR FAULT and not his that you were not happy with being treated like a wall that he echoed his ideas off of, that he made you feel utterly worthless, like you were only a decoration that he wore in public to maintain his image. In fact, if you didn’t feel that he was far better than you, he’d dig at you until YOU DID and then he’d smile with haughty satisfaction that he’d put you in your place and he was ALWAYS RIGHT ABOUT EVERYTHING. Unfortunately, the price you paid for surrendering your identity to him, was he trained you to become passive, lazy and a blimp that he could run over. Then he’d have the GALL to criticize you for just the qualities that he trained you into. “Why haven’t you vacuumed today? The place looks like a disaster!” “Get to those dishes and get off your lazy butt.” “You dare to disagree with me? You are a rebellious wife!” Sometimes he’d throw in some curse words. Within a year, I noticed he also added in lying. Actually, he was a liar the whole time, but I was too co-dependent to figure it out right away. I noticed he was hyper critical of others, but never, ever was he wrong about ANYTHING.

After about a year of this, he made the announcement to me that he wanted to go on deputation to the mission field. This made me feel like a horrible sinner, but I told him “no”. What I objected to, was not going to the mission field, but going there as a FAKE. I wasn’t about to try to preach to others about Christianity, if I didn’t feel our relationship exemplified what Christianity should be. So I made all my POV characters religious, to explore stuff like religious hypocrisy and religious sociopaths. One of the main character’s “religion” is the New Age Movement. The hypocrisy in this one is an interesting take on religious hypocrisy, that is very relevant and prevalent today.

When he apologized, it was only when he sensed that if he didn’t, the relationship might be over or he’d look bad to the church. The apologies were never sincere and only acted as band-aids to cover up real problems. By the time I realized he was an abuser and I needed to get out, or I’d be dead, he decided to go to marriage counseling. I realized that this was just an act and that he really had no intention to change.

So imagine you are a man and your wife is like what my ex was to me and this is how I created my male lead. I was married to a male NAG, always after me about something. I ended up being the silent sufferer. I just wanted PEACE AND QUIET. And I told myself, I really understand how some men feel about their nagging and controlling wives! So when I wrote the book, I identified more with men than women and decided I wanted to have male leads in a romance.

I also understood the need to have RESPECT from your partner, because he always treated me as the INFERIOR. Men have a deep need for admiration of their manliness.

So it was relatively easy for me to just add a bit of a need for admiration for my manly qualities from my lover, since as a King David woman, I tend to be manly and appreciate a partner who respects that and doesn’t find it a threat. So my male leads’ driving need is for admiration and acceptance, something the spouses of both of my male leads failed to give them. And something I also lacked in my marriage at the time. It was relatively easy for me to get inside of them for this reason.

The female lead was patterned after me in that she was heroic, a no nonsense woman who got to the point and didn’t play games with her men. She also understood the male lead, even adored all his qualities that his wife despised and was his soulmate that he could not have because he was married to a sociopath.

As I read the book, I find my male leads totally believable, because I created them from the part of me that is King David, that introspective, deep manly side of me that longs for unity with God. This is just the side of me that my ex rejected and hated, because he didn’t have this inside of himself and it made him feel inferior, something he abhorred about me. I made him feel inferior by WHO I WAS, something I had no control over and he was dedicated to maintaining his illusion of superiority.

I just created a female who was like my ex as Dor’s wife and it worked brilliantly. I had no idea that at the time, the real Brent Spiner was dealing with a woman very much like Dor’s wife (Loree McBride).

I would say as a woman writer of a romance with a male lead, don’t do it if you don’t like men, because it will show. I happen to like men and identify with them, especially if they are manly and heroic and have a deep side that is often misunderstood by the world. So I patterned my male leads as deep, heroic men, misunderstood, even castigated by the world. The novel is a journey in self-discovery and self-acceptance of this aspect of their manhood and the woman in their life helps them with that.

Another problem in my marriage was the after about a year, the sex became totally mechanical. Actually, it was always this way, but I never noticed at first, cuz I’d never had sex before. But when Brent called me and made love to me on the phone, I realized that not all men approached lovemaking as a mechanical lovemaking session, where part A goes into part B and the two parts move against each other and that’s IT.

The longing in Brent’s voice when he talked to me, showed me we had an emotional, spiritual connection and that he wanted that to be part of the lovemaking. I never realized it was possible for me to be SO TURNED ON by sex. I assumed that it was mechanical by it’s very nature, of part A going into part B.

Brent did foreplay to me with his words and the tone of his voice. Hearing that deep sensitivity and longing as he spoke to me, made me realize that my ex was a DUD in bed. But at first I thought Brent was a phone rapist, though he was a very polite rapist and would call me and I’d hang up on him and then he’d wait at least a week before calling me again. I noticed whenever he called me, he seemed more concerned about ME than him. I was writing him and telling him all about my life, my fears, my feelings of inferiority and about this strange person now calling me on the phone. It was usually at a time when I felt depressed and he would call me to cheer me up with his phone loving. I wasn’t used to having someone so IN TUNE with me.

When I got his music album from a friend in the mail, and listened to his album of love songs, I realized he was in love with me, a married woman. Now it felt like I was seeing light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. I was also very frustrated, because it was against my religion to divorce my husband. Of course, I did not realize that my husband was a pedophile and actually raping my son, or I would have felt less guilt about loving Brent long distance. But I needed to lose my co-dependency.

It made me realize that men can be just as sensitive, or even more so, than women, especially if they tend to be deep, intuitive types. So both of my male leads have a lot of deep, intuitive traits. This makes them very likable.

There are co-dependent men in the world and I made them my two male leads. They were the manly part of me that was being repressed and was miserable. The King David in me was crying out for love and acceptance, so I totally “got” any honorable man, who was in trouble with his spouse, because she was a criminal and needed to manipulate the good man in her life to her liking.

I understood the loneliness, the frustration, the depression, of being a co-dependent, and of not being accepted for who you are and then finding a dream partner who adored you as you are, and that you can’t have.

So basically, I’ve written a love story about heroic and good co-dependent men, stuck with narcissists or sociopaths. One of the men has a wife (Brianna’s mother) who is only slightly narcissist, and I just show that not accepting your man as he is leads to trouble. I show how it affects the man, by going deep inside him as he struggles with depression over his loneliness and feelings of inferiority and feeling like a failure as a man, and how not accepting the man is caused by a woman who herself needs to learn to accept herself and not obsess over getting all her needs met by her lover.

But I don’t keep my men in their co-dependent state, because they are inspired by a woman who is pretty well integrated (my female lead), who inspires them to break free.

But they learn that to break free, they have to take on the WORLD, which is stuck in a co-dependent prison with the Antichrist.


Copyright © 2019 Gail Chord Schuler. All Rights Reserved.