I recently wrote an article entitled Four Gifts for Your Husband to Save Your Struggling Marriage. It examined some important needs that men have in order for your marriages to flourish – respect, some slack, prayer, and authentic sexual intimacy with your spouse.
But let’s get real for a second. Marriage is not ’50/50′; a marriage where either or both of the involved parties only gives 50% of themselves 50% of the time is a marriage doomed to failure. Marriage is a 100/100/100 proposition, at least a great marriage is. It takes 100% of the involved parties giving 100% of themselves to the covenant 100% of the time.
While it is true that your wife has an innate responsibility to love you well in the ways you need to be loved, the converse is equally and proportionally true. You also have an innate responsibility to love your wife well in the ways that she needs to be loved.
Or as my own husband responded to the article, “It is absolutely incumbent upon me to do the same for you, to love my wife equally well.”
Drop mic (hit the sheets).
Because a man who loves his wife well will also be a man who is well loved.
But how? I get it, guys. I really do. The struggle is real. You almost assuredly think you are loving her well. You work hard to provide for your family. You initiate sex with her frequently (and then oftentimes feel frustrated because she seems so unengaged). You fill the house with nice things. You spend long trips on the road so she can have what she needs and wants. You put a roof over her head, clothes on her back, food on her table, and a steering wheel in her hands. You do…well, everything you do…for her!
But she doesn’t feel loved?? What the… Frustrating, right? Definitely.
So what gives?
This is one of the most interesting and common conflicts that I encounter on my journey to support marriages. There is a huge chasm between the needs of men and women, and men often believe they are filling her tank with Avgas when they are really pouring in water, and vice versa. It’s a recipe for marital engine failure.
Ah, the intricate workings of the female mind! Here’s the thing, she simply doesn’t work like you. It must be one of the biggest cosmic jokes of all time. Men [primarily] are created as physical beings and women [primarily] are created as emotional beings.
Therefore, you truly are doing all the right things (and you are an amazing husband and provider so keep up the great work), they’re just not necessarily the things that speak to her heart!
Those things are necessary and keep life rolling along smoothly, but they don’t necessarily make a marriage great. In fact, sometimes we get so caught up in doing the ‘right’ things that our marriages go wrong, slowly fading into nothing more than mundane co-existence at the best…and Hellbound misery at the worst. Nobody in their right mind wants to suffer through that.
Here’s the thing. You’re a good man. I know you truly want to love her well, after all you chose her! You made her your wife! You vowed to spend the rest of your life with her. We just need to find ways to cross that gender chasm and make your marriage rock!
So what does your wife need to feel well loved? Here are four gifts that you can give your wife that can revive your marriage and rekindle the dying embers into roaring flames of passion.
1. Appreciate her. You probably think you do (and you assuredly do in your mind) but I’m telling you she doesn’t know. Listen to me one more time, guys – SHE DOESN’T KNOW. This is, hands down, the number one frustration I hear verbalized from your wives. You must make an intentional effort to notice the things she does and tell her and often! She desperately desires your verbal affirmation. She doubts herself, her worthiness, her wifery on a daily basis. She needs to hear you tell her that he is doing a great job.
2. Love her. You need sex; she needs love. True story. But sex is love…right? Yes (for you) and no (for her). Did I mention the cosmic joke? What does that even mean, love her… It’s such a subjective term. To her, it means to actively pursue and date her. It means doing all those things you did when you were still trying to win her over because essentially that’s what you are doing – winning the heart of your wife every single day. That’s loving her. Hold her hand. Hug her for no reason. Hold her without expectation. Adore her. Have eyes only for her. Love her–fiercely, jealously, without reserve. Is this hard when you are constantly traveling? Exceedingly. But it will also be received with exceeding depth of heart because she knows that too. Send her messages, leave her gifts or notes, tell her you miss her every day.
3. Pray for her. Praying for our spoused is an important activity that often gets pushed to the side and neglected in our busy day-to-day schedules. One leg leads to another leads to another, and before you know it an entire day…or trip has passed without kneeling on her behalf a single time. However, spending a few dedicated minutes each day in specific, intentional prayer for and/or with your wife will drastically alter the health of your marriage. It will change hearts, alter perspective, and breathe new life into you both. Whether you use a guided prayer book such as Just Winging It: Prayers for My Pilot Wife, or write down your own specific prayers, including regular prayer for your bride in your daily grind will breathe new life into your marriage.
4. Help her. You labor and toil all day, or perhaps you travel for days or even weeks at a time. When you hit the door to your own [hard-earned] home, all you want to do is put your feet up for a few minutes and rest. In fact, you absolutely deserve rest! But so does she! I know it’s hard to imagine, but life without you is hard and exhausting! Surprise her by offering to help with dinner, doing the dishes, folding a load of laundry (which you can do while watching football!), or watching the kids for a couple of hours so she can go grab a cup of coffee and unwind. Knowing that you are in this life together and that you are willing to help her breathe will completely change her! She will feel less overwhelmed, more appreciated, and happier – and a happy wife equals a happy husband.
Look, I know that you don’t necessarily understand why she needs these gifts from you, but she does. Desperately. Perhaps we don’t even understand it ourselves; it’s just the way the female heart is wired. That, however, is the thing about love and marriage. We don’t have to understand why our spouse needs certain things, only that he or she does, and then we should give it our best effort to fulfill those needs because we chose them, made a vow to love them, and want them to be happy. Maybe your marriage is soaring right now, or maybe it is experiencing a stretch of turbulence. However, if you give her these four important gifts, you will begin to rekindle and stoke the flames of your marriage.
If you want to be a king, treat her like a queen. Be patient. JIt may take a while before she realizes that these changes are here to stay, but once she does, prepare to experience joy and intimacy in your marriage like never before…inside the bedroom and out!
This is her Avgas, brothers; fill her up.
~Angelia (a pilot wife)
Just Winging It: Prayers for My Pilot Wife (autographed)
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