We have already blogged that the #1 determining factor of your wife’s happiness in marriage is your “emotional connection” with her. If you miss that one, check it out.
The question us guys are asking now is – just, what the heck does that mean?
We don’t relate to each other that way, so it is difficult to grasp the concept. Basically connecting involves:
- getting to know her, and
- becoming more deliberate about expressing your love for her
Your wife is wired by God to be relational. Remember, she was made from man, not from the ground. God has given her a uniquely wonderful heart that desires to connect with you. She doesn’t want to connect rationally, statistically, or logically. She wants to talk. She wants to express emotion. She wants to process those emotions…..by talking through them. Trying to “land the plane” is futile – so, just thank God for her uniqueness, and enjoy the ride. Ask Him to help you become a better, more attentive listener.
* Talking takes time – your time – time away from stuff you want to do. That’s where sacrificial, Christ-like love comes in. We are to love her “as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her”. See that. We are to be willing to give ourselves up for her. That is God’s standard. So, we never get to do what we want? Not at all – actually the more you give her the time and attention she desires, the more readily she will encourage you to do the things you want. Isn’t that funny how that works? We embrace our role as servant-leader husbands, and God blesses us with more of the things we want in return. Reaping and sowing. “He who loves his wife, loves himself”….sound familiar?
* Talking takes energy. You know that desire to have a wife who desires you sexually, and sometimes even initiates sex? In a similar way, your wife wants her man to desire her – emotionally – and to sometimes initiate talking (connecting emotionally). Yes, that is odd for us to grasp – but it is nevertheless true. So, how about you reverse the role and take some time out of your work day, or evening tv programming to grab some time alone with your wife and just talk.
You actually did this before, remember – when you were falling in love? Ask her about her day. Ask her “real” questions about her job, her parents, her friends, etc. – and then LISTEN. Look her in the eyes, and actively listen to not only WHAT she says, but the emotion behind the words. Try follow- questions like:
How did that make you feel?
Is there anything I can do to help?
What needs to happen next?
Show that you are listening, and that you care about what she is saying. Don’t offer to fix anything. Don’t offer your sure-fire, logical solution (which makes perfect sense to you)….unless she specifically asks. Most of the time, she doesn’t want to talk to come to a conclusion or to fix the problem – she simply wants to process the issue/problem with you.
The point is – one of the all-time, #1, ultimate ways of letting your wife know that she is indeed the most special person in your life, and that you really, really love her – is to take time out of your day to engage her in conversation. Not just the routine, how’re the kids, what’s for dinner kind of conversation – but conversation about her life – think emotions, like happy, sad, fearful, angry, anxious – and listen for them. She will love you for it, and God will bless you for it.
P.S. – talking with the TV on, or while you check and/or answer texts and emails does NOT count. Focus on her.
Guest host Dan