© 2016 Manly Training
The Man of Her Dreams (pt 3)
Last week I explained that sacrificial love means taking the time to show your wife affection. However, sacrificial love also means loving your wife enough to talk with her.
Let’s talk about CONVERSATION – In a recent study done by a leading woman’s magazine, women said that their number 1 complaint about their husbands was that they didn’t talk to them enough.
Men, talk to your wives. Talk to your wife about her day, and about what interests her, and about how she feels. Talk to her.
And women, you know that we men are sometimes a little weak in this area, so help us out. Let me share 3 steps you can take to help your husband talk to you more.
a. Show some interest in his interests.
b. Let your husband talk as much as you do.
c. Make conversations with your husband pleasant. You can and must discuss some unpleasant things from time to time, but don’t major on them. Don’t spend all your time talking about how your husband has let you down. Make your conversations as pleasant as possible.
Unlike the need for sex, conversation is not an emotional need that can or should be met exclusively in marriage. Your wife’s need for conversation can ethically be met by almost anyone. But if it is one of her most important emotional needs, whoever meets it best will deposit so many love units, she may fall in love with that person. So if it’s her need, it’s crucial to your marital happiness that you are the one who meets it the best and most often.
The need for conversation is not met by simply talking to someone. It is met when the conversation is enjoyable for both persons involved. Good conversation is characterized by the following:
(1) using it to inform and investigate each other,
(2) focusing attention on topics of mutual interest,
(3) balancing the conversation so both have an equal opportunity to talk, and
(4) giving each other undivided attention while talking to each other.
Conversation fails to meet this need when
(1) demands are made,
(2) disrespect is shown,
(3) one or both become angry, or
(4) when it is used to dwell on mistakes of the past or present.
Unless conversation is mutually enjoyable, a couple is better off not talking to each other at all. An unpleasant conversation not only fails to meet the emotional need, but it also makes it less likely that there will be an opportunity to meet the need in the future. That’s because we tend to prevent our spouse from meeting our needs if earlier attempts were painful to us.
Men and women don’t have too much difficulty talking to each other during courtship. That’s a time of information-gathering for both partners. Both are highly motivated to discover each other’s likes and dislikes, personal background, current interests and plans for the future. But after marriage, many women find that the man who would spend hours talking to her on the telephone, now seems to have lost all interest in talking to her, and spends his spare time watching television or reading.
If your wife’s need for conversation was fulfilled during courtship, she also expects it to be met after marriage. And if she fell in love because you met her need for conversation during courtship, she risks falling out of love if that need is not met during marriage.
Does she have a craving just to talk to someone? Does she pick up the telephone just because she feels like talking? If she sees conversation as a practical necessity, primarily as a means to an end, she probably doesn’t have much of a need for it. But if she uses conversation “just to talk,” and enjoy conversation in its own right, and is frustrated when she hasn’t been able to talk to someone for a while, consider it to be one of her most important emotional needs.
Men, sacrificial love requires affection, it requires conversation, and it requires Honesty & openness. Next week we will dive into understanding how Honesty and openness can transform your relationship with your wife.
This is part 3 of this series. I have received numerous emails and tweets about this series, so I pray it will continue to bless you. If you missed the first two parts, here are the links so you can catch up.
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