Four Keys to a Healthy Marriage – Part 2

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We can readily see that there are some basic differences between men and women when it comes to our expectations of marriage. Often times it is unfulfilled expectations, which lead to major problems in our relationships. Not only within marriage & the family, but at work, among friends within the church & even in our relationship with God.

The four ingredients that every marriage needs are as follows.

1. Security; 2. Meaningful conversation;3. Meaningful Touch; 4. Romance

Meaningful Communication: Meaningful communication is something that does not come naturally for most men. It is a learned process, which takes time to develop.

Dear Ann Landers: My husband doesn’t talk to me.  He just sits there night after night, reading the newspaperor looking at T.V.  When I ask him a question, he grunts “huh, or Uh’huh.”  Sometimes he doesn’t even grunt uh’huh.  All he really needs is a housekeeper and somebody to sleep with him when he feels like it.  He can buy both.  There are times when I wonder why he got married.

Communication was the second most important need that a woman had in marriage. Because women are more verbally oriented than men it is much easier for them to express their feelings. This is not to say that men are not verbal, but they do have to work at it more than women do.

The average man speaks about 12,000 words per day, while the average woman speaks around 25,000 words per day. Studies with young children have determined that while in play, girls communicated nearly entirely through speech, whereas boys communicate as much by sounds and action as they do by speech.

Women have an easier time expressing their emotions verbally than most men do, because they are more in touch with their emotions than men are. Men tend to be more logic & fact oriented, while women tend to be more emotionally oriented. Men have a difficult time carrying on a meaningful conversation if they do not have a given destination for the topic under discussion. When a husband comes home from work, and his wife asks, “can we talk?” To him these means present me with the facts, and definite information.

To ask a man, “how do you feel about our relationship etc.?” He is going to more than likely respond with some factual information. It is very difficult for a man to truly respond with how his emotions feel, because men usually don’t respond emotions first. They respond logic first, fact first. As husbands, we men must learn to recognize, and respond in a proper manner to the needs of his wife. If more men were self-starters in the area of communication, fewer wives would be cranks.

We must learn to recognize a woman’s moods, and body language as criteria for how we respond to them. By failing to recognize, and respond to our wives needs in a proper manner, is much like throwing cold water on someone. It closes their heart, and builds walls between you.

(Proverbs 27:14 NKJV)  He who blesses his friend with a    loud voice, rising early in the    morning, It will be counted a curse to him.

(Proverbs 15:1-2 NKJV)  A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger. {2} The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.

What really frustrates women is when they are upset; a man will say something like. “I don’t know what you are so upset about.” or “I don’t know why you are making such a big deal about this!”  What a woman hears in a statement like this is, “You really have no right to be upset,” when in reality she may. It also says to her that her feelings & opinions are not as important as yours.

Wives, you must recognize that your husband may not be able to read your mind, and may be having a difficult time responding to your needs if he does not have more information to go on. When your husband does initially try to move to meet your needs, don’t blow him out of the water by being critical of his attempts.

What really frustrates a man, is when a conclusion cannot be reached. Men are goal driven, task oriented, and they feel incomplete if they cannot bring resolve to a situation.

There is one main ingredient you will need in order to communicate effectively……TIME, TIME, TIME!!! Meaningful communication is not accomplished on the way out the door to work, or as you are dozing off to sleep, or during commercials of the football game.

(1 Peter 3:7 NLT)  In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat her with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. If you don’t treat her as you should, your prayers will not be heard.

Effective communication involves the heart. It is more than the exchange of information. Communication involves an element of intimacy. Effective communication calls for vulnerability. We must be willing to trust one another with our hearts. We must learn how to draw one another out of our shell by using gentleness & persuasion.

(Proverbs 20:5-6 NIV)  The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out. {6} Many a man claims to have unfailing love, but a faithful man who can find?

(Proverbs 15:28 (NLT)  The godly think before speaking; the wicked spout evil words.

(Proverbs 15:23 NKJV)  A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

(Proverbs 16:24 NKJV)  Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the sound health to the bones.

Communication requires effort, time & understanding on both our parts as husbands & wives. It requires that we step out of our comfort zone & open our hearts when at time this may feel like the most difficult thing for us to do.

Meaningful Touch: The human emotions, and even our immune system have need of meaningful touch in order to remain healthy.

(Ephesians 5:28-31 NLT)  In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man is actually loving himself when he loves his wife. {29} No one hates his own body but lovingly cares for it, just as Christ cares for his body, which is the church. {30} And we are his body. {31} As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

Touch has to do with the first need, SECURITY. A hug, or caress makes us feel secure. Touching actually causes our bodies to release endorphins, which is the chemical which makes us feel happy, and peaceful

A German group of psychologists, physicians and insurance companies who cooperated on a research project, designed to find the secret to long life and success, made a surprising discovery. The secret?  Kiss your wife each morning when you leave for work!  The meticulous German researchers discovered that men who kiss their wives every morning have fewer automobile accidents on their way to work than men who omit the morning kiss.

The good-morning kissers miss less work because of sickness and earn 20 to 30 percent more money than non-kissers.  How do they explain their findings?  According to West Germany’s Dr. Arthur Sabot, “A husband who kisses his wife every morning begins the day with a positive attitude.”

We all need to be held or embraced on a regular basis whether we realize it or not. This reduces stress, helps our immune system, and gives us a sense of well-being. Children who are not held and nurtured by their parents in a consistent proper manner will have a difficult time having a good self- image. No matter how many material goods they may have. One of the top complaints teenagers have concerning their parents is that they are not sure their parents really love them. I believe this is due many times to a lack of holding, and meaningful touch.

Romance: Romance is the special little meaningful thing we do in marriage that are out of the ordinary. Romance of coarse is so much more than sex. Romance, is what keeps the mystique in a marriage. When all the mystery is gone from a marriage, it is destined for the mundane. Without regular romantic gestures and interludes, married life becomes mundane, and uninteresting. I enjoy doing nice things for my wife which she doesn’t expect, simply because it makes her happy.

Romantic ideas & suggestions. Flowers, love notes, cards, walk in the woods, a picnic, dinner for two. Coffee at a nice little coffee shop. A romantic movie; various gifts; a call during the day to let him or her know you are thinking of them. A weekend get away. Send the kids to a sitter, and spend the evening at home alone.

Find what the other likes, and do those things for them. Be creative, that’s half the fun!

 

 

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