It’s time for another installation of ‘How To Have A Good Marriage’. In Part 1 I discussed how important it is to find the right partner and make sure you both have an agreed upon plan for the future. Part 2 discussed a very common mistake women, especially newlyweds make, which is always forcing their husbands to talk about their relationship. In part 3 I will examine the difference in how men and women show affection.
I am a girly-girl and I have had close friendships with women my entire life. I think I know women pretty well. It has been my experience that in general, women like to talk. About everything. We feel loved when we discuss the daily minutia of our lives, our kid’s lives, our friend’s lives, even people we have never met lives! We exchange ideas and opinions, troubles and laughter, and I think women find talking and letting their emotions out a wonderful stress reliever.
Men are different. They tend to relieve stress by being physically active such as playing a sport or even a video game. They are more cerebral creatures and there is something (which I find baffling) they get out of playing video games that gives them pleasure. Personally, I think it the feeling of accomplishment when they virtually kill the bad guy or get the touchdown. Maybe they can live vicariously through the computer. What ever the case may be, they need tangible actions or achievements to feel less stressed.
So women use their brains to discuss their lives and find meaning amongst their peers and men like to use their brains to achieve goals or solve problems. This makes them feel needed and loved. Here is an example of how men and women might miscommunicate their love: A man comes home to a wife whom had a very hard day. The kids were horrible, her head is killing her, and she need an extra twenty minutes to finish making dinner. So the husband herds the kids outside and he plays with them while she finishes. They all sit down to dinner and the wife asks her husband how his day was. “Fine”, he replies. She tries again, “How do you like your chicken, I tried a new recipe I found on Pinterest”. “Not bad”, he grunts. The wife, who is used to communication to show love thinks her husband is mad at her or being insulting. So she says, “why are you mad at me?”. “I’m not made at you” he replies, “why are you always asking me why I am mad?”. Then they get in a big fight because she thinks he doesn’t love her and he is baffled by the whole situation.
But look at the scenario again from his point of view. He comes home from a long day and all he wants to do is be with his family. He walks in and instantly realizes his wife had a bad day. So he decides to give her a break and play with the kids. Playing with the kids is an action that he is using to help show his wife how much he loves her. He is just as tired as she is and he also had a bad day. But he is putting his feelings aside to help his beloved. He might not actually say to his wife, “wow, I am really sorry you are having a bad day. I am going to take the kids outside so you can finish dinner in peace”, but to him, the action of taking the kids is how he shows his love, not words. So when she tears into him he just doesn’t understand why she would think he doesn’t love her. Men use actions to show their love, women use words.
Now, obviously women show their love through actions as well. We will cook our husband his favorite meal because we love him. We might even put out even though all we want to do is watch Grey’s Anatomy and go to sleep. And men do talk about their feelings, and use their words to compliment and sooth their wives. But in general, men and women show their love differently.
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So the next time you get frustrated with the lack of communication from your husband ask yourself what he does to show you he loves you. I know my husband loves me because he takes out the garbage without asking, eats my cooking without complaint, never gets cross when I order out, gets up with the baby at night, and he still comes home to me every day, even if I have been a total witch to him. I have learned to read his actions as signs of love and for the verbal communication I need I go to my sister, my mother, my friends, and this blog! My husband rarely tells me if I look pretty. But if I put up a picture here or on Instagram, I get instant feedback and usually someone tells me if I look good! I don’t need my husband to say it because I am getting it elsewhere. But none of the aforementioned people take out my garbage, fix my pipes, or kill the spiders. My husband does that for me, and that is how I know he loves me. Knowing how to read your husband’s ways of telling you he loves you will do wonders for your marriage.