The Importance of Loving Your Wife
I believe that a marriage can be successful even if only one partner is willing to try to make things work. In this case, I am going to be addressing what it is that men can do to help to strengthen their marriages. It might not come as a surprise to you when I say that you need to "love your wife." But what I have discovered is that many men don't truly understand what this means.
Love is more than an emotion for us. Love takes action, love gives. And if you aren't acting on your love for your wife, she might not be feeling loved.
Love in Action
Husbands, love is active. I understand that you have heard your entire lifetime about how "love makes the world go 'round." You've heard it in lyrics and you've heard it in poetry. You've seen it on TV and read it in books. If we could all just love one another, the world would be a better place.
While I can't argue with that statement, the truth is that we cannot begin to improve our world unless we can begin to improve ourselves. And that starts with learning how to love actively.
So what does active love look like?
Love Keeps Courting
Okay, gentlemen: I have a surprise for you! The courting process doesn't stop when you ask your wife to marry you! If you are one of the many men who wasn't aware that although you have won her hand in marriage, she needs to be won again, and again, and again, you certainly aren't alone.
Remember in the days when you were dating your wife, the things that you did for her. You went out for dinner (she didn't have to cook!), you brought her flowers and chocolates, you found special ways to spend time together. All these things that you did told your wife that you were thinking about her when you weren't together. These things told her that she occupied your thoughts even when she wasn't nearby.
Then you were married. For many men, marriage is the finish line. But for women, the situation looks entirely different. Women want to know that you love her. She wants to know that you think about her when you are apart. Think about the little things she does for you: she prepares your dinner and has it ready when you arrive home from work, or she writes notes and puts them in your packed lunch. She might call you in the afternoon just to hear your voice. She does these things because she loves you. And frankly, she hopes that you will return the favor!
Make a date with your wife. Make it a regular date, once a week or twice a month. Hire a babysitter and get her out of the house. Do something nice for her. Give her the opportunity to get dressed up. Buy her flowers and bring her chocolates. Or if you can't afford anything so fancy, rent a movie and cook dinner for her.
Love is Affectionate
It is easy, within marriage, to stop being affectionate towards one another. Particularly when men often view sex as affection. Here's something you might need to know: Your wife doesn't feel the same way. She wants to be hugged, and kissed. She wants you to take over some of the chores that she does every day, and she needs to hear you say that you love her.
I know you're busy. I know that there are many things that overwhelm you. I understand that as a man, you worry about being good enough, about being successful, about supporting your family. All of these things are important. At the end of the day, sometimes you just want to come home and relax and be left alone.
But your wife works, too. Whether she is a housewife, a stay at home mom, or a working woman, she works as well. And whatever her job, it never ends. She probably doesn't have the same desire to sit down and relax as you do at the end of a tough day, but it could mean the world to her just to have a simple hug and a kiss and to be told she's beautiful in your eyes.
Love Lets Her "Win"
Clearly the leading cause of divorce is couples who just can't get along. They argue, and arguing leads to fighting, and fighting all too often leads to separation and divorce. One of the main causes of never-ending arguments is the fact that couples just don't know how to fight fair. They are wrapped up in a cycle (which I will discuss in another hub) and they lose the ability to see things through one another's eyes.
In the arguments that I have with my husband, the biggest problem that we have encountered is our difficulty in letting the other win. Yes, this is a two way street. More often than not, I respect his authority and step back, allowing him to make the decisions, even when I don't like them or feel that he is getting into the danger zone. We are also lucky enough that most arguments are resolved when we finally reach a mutual agreement. However, it isn't often that he lets me "win."
There is nothing wrong with giving your wife her way once in a while. You aren't going to make her spoiled and she will feel loved when you do. It isn't going to make you less of a man in her eyes and you won't lose your authority in your home. You will simply find yourself gaining a special peace.
Love is Giving
Love is giving -- even when you don't feel like it. Sometimes, during an argument, it is easy for men to shut their wives out. They don't want to hear what the woman wants to say and they feel nagged and disrespected. So they shut their wives out.
Gentlemen, I need the opportunity to tell you that this is the worst possible thing that you can do to your wife. In fact, she will feel downright abused when you "stonewall" her during an argument. When you lock her out and refuse to talk to her or resolve the dispute, she feels incredibly unloved. It is natural, at that point, for her to continue coming at you and trampling all over your emotions as a response.
This simply is not an effective tool to use during an argument. I understand how you feel (though your wife may not). You desire her respect more than anything on earth. You married her, and one of your missions in life is to earn her respect and to make her happy. When you argue, you probably don't feel as though you are succeeding. But locking her out will make her feel unloved, and in return, will cause her to treat you with more disrespect.
I will be addressing the issue of respect in marriage in another hub. I hope you will read it!