"Why don't you come up and hug me?"
"Why do you keep your distance when we're around other people?"
"Why don't you do anything special for me?"
Are you familiar with these phrases? For the better part of the first few years of my marriage, I use to get these comments every week.
I'd just stand there and listen to her, completely oblivious to the specifics she kept mentioning.
As time continued to pass in our marriage, she continued to pester me with these questions, and I continued to do nothing.
This didn't lead to more intimacy; it led to more fighting and disagreements. In fact, we were more likely to have a yelling match than just a normal conversation.
This wasn't a marriage built on God, and it certainly wasn't the marriage we had dreamed of before we got married. I mean, we dated for nearly six years before we got married; we should have had this stuff all figured out by the time we got married, right?
Wrong. We were young, dumb and selfish.
And to be completely honest, some of you are acting the same way in your marriage.
So how did things change for us?
Well, a lot of things changed, but one of the biggest things that changed was my attitude. As I started getting God involved in my thoughts on these disagreements, I started to realize I was being very selfish in my approach to her needs.
Hear me out guys. Don't you have needs? Aren't there certain things you crave to hear you wife say to you?
As a Christian, there are certain things I want to hear from God such as, "Well done, my good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:23). It's refreshing to know that God recognizes us and finds powerful ways to encourage us in our daily walk just through his Word.
The same goes for me, and hearing things from my wife. Here are a few things I love to hear her say:
"Thank you for working so hard for our family."
"Thank you for protecting our family."
"I respect your opinion, and I believe in you."
Guys, those statements or something similar to those breathe life into us, don't they? The problem is simple though, these are not "normal" things for your wife to come out and say to you. She may think it, but as guys, we want to hear it. We want to know.
So things changed for me when I realized there were certain things that I needed in the relationship, and there were certain things that she needed as well.
And, you guessed it—her needs were different.
So what can I do to fulfill this attention she keeps asking me for?
1. Simply give it to her! That may be too simple, but it is true. Guys, you decided to marry her, and now you need to love her!
2. Get serious about knowing her love language. That's right, stop assuming you know your wife so well, and start exploring her love language. Better yet, grab the book by Gary Chapman here and read the book together. Not only will you discover the truth about her love language and her specific needs, but she will know your needs as well. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it?
3. Shut up and listen. Stop being "so busy." Shut off the phone and television. Stop what you're doing when she is talking to you and actually listen. If she throws out a little love nugget, don't just move on to your next thing. Instead, write down what she said on a paper or on your phone and figure out a way to do it.
- Plan to take her out this weekend.
- Plan to hug her every night before bed.
- Plan to hold her hand the next time you're in a group.
- Make her more important than anything else in your life, besides God.
I feel like we've come a long way in this article, and I think your challenge moving forward is pretty clear. From now on, work hard to listen to and understand your wife's needs.
You'll watch the intimacy in your marriage grow faster than ever before.
For the original article, visit manturity.com.
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