Get a large jar and start collecting change for some future gift or vacation. Or, just save for a nice date night.
Bonus: Show her how important she is to you by giving up something you regularly buy and putting the money from that item into the jar.
If you don’t have enough time together, your relationship is limited – or worse. Too little time together causes us to feel disconnected. Communication becomes difficult, we lose track of what the other likes and does not like, we miss changes in our spouse, and sexual desire is lost (by her if not you).
Because of how God made her, the amount of time she needs to feel connected to you is almost certainly greater than the amount of time you need to feel as connected. If you value your marriage, make time together a top priority. Make whatever changes you must, including reducing the time you spend on other things, or even eliminating some of what you do. Invest time in your marriage and it will improve – fail to invest time and your marriage will suffer.
BTW, I know I mention this regularly – there is a reason for that – it’s important!
You communicate from one side of your brain, while your wife communicates from both sides of her brain. This is a basic biological difference in the brains of men and women. This is based on actual physical differences in the brain that are present at birth – it is not a result of learning or culture.
What does this difference mean? It means she has more to say about everything – she has more words. What’s more, she needs to express those words to feel she has been heard. If you cut her off or ask her to bottom line it, she will feel you don’t care or could not possibly have understood her. The difference also means that her “more words” will tend to run you over – actually making it more difficult for you to understand her than if she had said less.
Is there middle ground that will let her be heard and you have a chance to actually hear her? Try letting her talk till she is done, than asking her for a brief high points review so you will be sure you have heard what she wants you to hear.
Bonus: Try very hard to avoid that universal reaction to being run over with words – the eye roll. Odds are she will take an eye roll as meaning something other than “I am drowning in verbiage”.
Pray for the Lord to protect your wife while you are apart, and especially while she is “out in the world.” And let her KNOW that you pray for her safety on a regular basis.
I’ve seen several references recently that a foot massage is about the best warm up for sex that you can do. The book I am currently reading (by Dr. Amen – more from it when I finish, it’s packed some place) explains this – in the brain the part that processes feelings for the feet is right next to the part that processes feelings the clitoris. Apparently the brain can have some overlap going, so a good foot massage may get her brain thinking sex. The author also says a man should go shoe shopping with his wife, as it may unconsciously be a form of foreplay for her!
I’m thinking nightly foot massage would be a good plan…
For most women being romanced where others can witness her being loved means more than being romanced in private. Maybe it’s a bit voyeuristic, maybe not; certainly, the fact that you are not embarrassed to show your love for her in public is a factor.
What can you do? Try “old time” gentlemanly acts like opening her car door, pulling out her chair, or helping her with her coat or sweater. Giving her a flower is always good. A small wrapped gift on her plate at a restaurant will make an impression. Something as simple as holding her hand also qualifies.
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Do you support what she enjoys? Do you devote money to the hobby, collection or activity that brings her happiness? Do you consider the timing of things she would like to do when you make plans? Do you offer to watch the kids so she can attend a show or conference that pertains to her interests?
It’s great to say you support her, and her interests, but your actions rather than your words will tell her if you really do.
Saw something today that got my bride and I talking a lot about how we deal with folks – and how that plays out in marriages. As we walked from the rear parking lot to the front of a restaurant we went past two cars that had apparently been in a very minor fender bender (no damage could be seen). I overheard the woman on the phone saying “he tried to cut me off, and he called me an uppity b****.”
Inside the restaurant everyone was talking about the event, as it was out a plate glass window from where we sat. A waitress who saw it said it was barely a bump. Patrons said the woman jumped from the car cussing so loud that every word was clearly heard through the glass. We watched as the woman waved and gestured and screamed. We watched first one, then a second police car showed up. We watched two police men lean down inches from the bumper to try and see the damage. We watched the woman rant. We heard everyone around us who had been there longer say she was rude – both men and women saw her as out of control. It was half an hour after we arrived that the fellow in the second car finally left, and the police were with the woman for almost ten more minutes.
My bottom line observation is that what the woman did had nothing to do with the man who hit her, or what he did or said. What she did was all about her, about her injuries, her feeling she is not valued or appreciated as she should be, or whatever else she was failing to deal with. I doubt the guy who bumped her could have said or done anything to avoid her over reacting, but calling her names (even if a dozen people agreed with his assessment) did not help, it made things worse.
I’ve been there, I’ve done the same. It feels good to strike back when you are attacked, especially if you did nothing wrong or the attack is grossly disproportionate to what you actually did. It is human nature to defend one’s self, to strike back, to return word for word and blow for blow. It’s natural, it’s human, but Jesus said it was not what we should do. Jesus told us to turn the other cheek, and to walk the extra mile. Initially these things don’t feel good – they don’t even feel right. But think about what they do. I can imagine that the woman I saw today is still upset, and is making life unfun for those around her. Had the fellow who bumped her been willing to swallow his need to defend himself (he hit her from behind, he was wrong on some level) he could have left the woman less upset – and in the process made the rest of the day better for her and for all those she touched; not a bad pay off in my mind.
It’s easy to do these things with a stranger – there is no follow up and no chance that our kindness will come back to bite us; but what about marriage? Do these things apply in marriage? Yes – with a caveat. Certainly we need to turn the cheek and go the extra mile for our bride – but we also have to live a real and honest life with her. If we “swallow it” all the time, we could be enabling her becoming selfish and demanding. How do we control our desire to defend or strike back without becoming a door mat? To me the secret is timing – knowing when to turn the cheek, and when to point out a wrong attitude or action on her part. Often it’s a two part process – turning or going the extra mile when she is upset, and then dealing with deeper issues later when she is calm. For some there is also a wisdom to knowing what “day of the month” it is – reasoning with a woman in the midst of PMS is unwise and virtually always ends badly for all involved.
“A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.” (Proverbs 15:1 NKJV*)
*The New King James Version
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