A perplexing thing about marriage is how you live together day after day and yet you can still understand very little about each other. When we marry most of us believe this won’t be “OUR” problem. We think this happens to other married couples, but not to us. And then come to find out, “Yes, it has happened to us!”
Well, we can’t help you entirely with this issue. It’s one of those mysteries of life. But we can help you a little. We’re going to feature some things that author Cindy Easley had to say to wives on the subject of “oneness” at a Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference for the ministry of Family Life Today. We’ll give you 3 quotes from Cindy Easley’s talk. After each quote I (Cindy) will comment further on the subject. They will have [brackets] surrounding them. In the next message we’ll feature different quotes about a husband’s responsibilities for oneness where my husband, Steve will give comments.
Here’s what Cindy Easley says to wives:
Take the romantic lead. Teach your husband what is romantic. You are not usurping your husband’s leadership by teaching him how to be romantic. If you love candles, get out the candles. One night when we first moved to Virginia —we had moved from Texas and we didn’t have a fireplace in Texas. There was no need. But in Virginia we had a fireplace.
One day I said to Michael, “Do you know what I think would be really romantic?” And he said, “What?” And I said it would be really romantic to have a fire in the fireplace. We could just turn off all the noise in the house, put on some romantic music at night when the kids are in bed. Wouldn’t that be romantic? That’s what we had at our house that night. He set it all up, and it was wonderful. And it didn’t bother me at all that I had to plant, not so subtly, the idea. It worked, I thought, very well.
[This is a touchy subject because women want men to anticipate their romantic needs. But most men aren’t “wired” or taught to be that way. Some men are, but that seems to be rare. Many men may have shown a romantic side before marriage when temporary brain chemicals, which studies show to be present, were altering their minds. But later they “lost” their romanticism.
Women can think that’s just an excuse. But it truly does happen. Whatever DID happen, it’s important to quit being faultfinders and instead work with the way things ARE. If your husband is clueless as to your needs, then be a woman of grace and respectfully “help” him. There’s nothing wrong with doing that. We don’t live fairy tale lives. This is the real world. If your husband needs help, then gracefully quit complaining and start initiating. That may be what it takes to keep romance in your relationship. And that’s okay.
Here’s a tip for you:
If your husband is romantically challenged, point him to the Romantic Ideas we have posted on this web site for help. Or you can be the initiator and use them. Just DO what is needed and don’t get so caught up in the “who does what” circle.]
Here’s another quote from Cindy Easley:
Let me give you a little insight into your husband. Somewhere they have disconnected their thoughts and their feelings from who they are, from being able to express them. Some of your husbands are in that position. And you know what, ladies, for some of them it is a risk because for some of you are very quick thinkers. You’re decisive communicators. That’s a gift.
They aren’t that way. So ask them how they think, how they feel, and give them time to process. It may take hours, and it may take days. But give them time to process. And then when they tell you what they think or feel, even if you disagree, or you think their thought is absurd, do not shoot them down. Please accept their thoughts and feelings, because they are different from yours. Mine are different from my husband’s.
[This is a difficult thing to do. There have been scientific studies showing that most often women have more connective tissues within their brains to help them to be quicker thinkers. We’re not smarter thinkers, but quicker ones. Sometimes this is good. But sometimes it’s bad. If we speak faster than we engage the brain to think things through, then saying it quicker isn’t always best. The Bible points out, that being quick in speech isn’t always best. We list quite a few in the Communication Scriptures For Your Marriage.
But whatever the case, it would be wise to give our husbands “space and grace” in this area of communication. Some men will never be as skilled in expressing their feelings. Or maybe they don’t think it’s necessary or “safe” for them to do so. (This is another “male” trait that perplexes women.) On our web site we have quite a few articles posted to read that might help you to better understand this problem.
And one final quote from Cindy Easley:
Love is listening.
It’s giving your husband full attention. When Michael comes home from work, if I’m not in the middle of burning dinner or trying to teach our children a subject that I don’t know, then I will follow Michael up to the bedroom and just talk for a few minutes. You know, this is not the time for that deep conversation concerning a problem we have. It’s more of a “How was your day.” And he doesn’t even have to really answer.
Now, let me ask you, when you ask your husband “How was your day?” what does he say? “Fine.” We’re all married to the same men. That’s what they say. So at this point, just following into the bedroom, I let him get away with “fine.” It’s because we’re just kind of touching base here. I’m just letting him know that I’m interested in him, that I love him, that I’m willing to stop what I’m doing to give him a little eye contact as he’s changing clothes or to be in the same room.
Later I find it’s helpful after dinner, after the kids are in bed, when life has settled down in our household, to say, “So, you said that your day was fine. What was the highlight of your day today?” It’s ok at that point to ask him specific questions.
[The Bible tells us that there is “a time for everything under heaven.” In marriage it’s beneficial to be aware of what “time” will work best to engage in various activities and types of conversation. Just because it’s convenient for you, or because you crave certain types of conversations, it doesn’t mean it’s the BEST time to get the positive results you want. Marriage Message #251 – Wind Down Time would be good to read if you face this dilemma.
We know this issue can be challenging. But don’t give up. Give your spouse YOUR full attention whenever you can (knowing this is the right thing to do) and pray the Lord will continually show you how to work through, or in spite of this communication problem.
Also, below are 3 questions we try to ask each other at some point in the evening when we’re both home together.
– Did anything positive or exciting happen to you today?
– Did anything sad or disappointing happen today?
– What did God show you NEW today?
These have sure helped us to connect better in our marriage. Perhaps they will help you.]
If you want to read transcripts or listen to the rest of Cindy Easley’s talk you can do so by visiting the web site for Family Life Today at Familylife.com. The title of the series is “Understanding Your Husband.”
Please know that our prayers are with you as together we work to make our marriages the best they can be with God’s help!
Cindy and Steve Wright
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Messages