This is Lesson 13, Section III from Wife School Online.
Many women are disappointed with the fact that their husbands don’t know how to love them in a language that they (the wife) can hear. Many women do not understand that a husband has to be taught to love you, just like a four-year-old has to be taught to read. He does not come into the marriage understanding your longing for intimacy, tenderness, deep sharing, and romance. He does not understand your desire to feel his appreciation for your unique gifts and beauty. We have to remember that there is an order in teaching him how to love you. Just like you don’t learn algebra until you understand multiplication and fractions first, you can’t teach a husband to love you until you first understand his needs and fill his tank with the 8 A’s.
This order of the woman going first seems to be where women get hung up. God made women to be the influencers and He decreed that “wise women build their homes and foolish women tear theirs down”. This is the way God created the marriage, with the woman being the influencer. Wise women know the tides are coming in and that they cannot change nature, only adapt to universal truths. Demanding that the relationship is 50/50 may sound right, but you will constantly be disappointed since he has no clue what your 50 looks like.
Your husband is wildly different from you and you must repeatedly remind yourself that he wants different things than you do. What is important to him is not the same as what is important to you. This man thinks about his job, money, and sex. You think about your children, your home, your health (weight/looks), relationships, emotional intimacy and closeness, and the list of what you have to do. Women expect to come into the marriage and have both spouses give the same effort toward the things that she wants. She doesn’t realize that he basically doesn’t care about many of the things on her list. So after the initial hormones of the engagement die down, she realizes that she is married to a man who does not think about or care about what she does—at all! Why, he is interested in his own goals, not hers!
What a disappointment marriage is now! Why, she thought there would be roses, candlelight, and deep sharing in which she would feel like the most beautiful, adored woman on the planet. He, on the other hand, thought there would be sex and someone to applaud him while he made his mark on the world. Oh dear, oh dear.
Once we accept and understand a man, that he is wired radically different, we can begin to minister to this creature. As we progress in Wife School, we understand that our husband needs constant encouragement about who he is. He also needs recurring, engaging sex, and he needs a deep understanding from you of the struggles and pressures he faces daily with his job/calling. As women, we are engineered to perfectly supply these needs. We listen deeply, admire, appreciate, and soothe. When the beast comes out in the husband, we step it up, and soothe even more. The comfort and faithfulness we exhibit to our husbands is like a deep healing balm to a wound. How a man longs for a woman who refuses to see him through his failures, but insists on seeing him through his virtues. This man’s soul is attached to the soul of his wife.
Women are full of emotional tension, just like men are full of sexual tension. Much of her emotional tension is a negative tension toward her husband because he does not “love her well” and “he does not understand her”.
If a newlywed wife understood her husband, and then won his heart by meeting his needs, and then gave him a pass on “knowing her” until she has an opportunity to teach him (years needed!), then marriage in Christianity would turn around. When the wife has the husband’s heart open to her, she gently influences it, not demanding that things change today. He is learning Chinese (how to love a wife) and it will take a few years.
After his needs are met, a man’s shield falls off his heart. He begins to trust you and to want to please you. Then you slowly ask for your legitimate needs in a sweet way. I’m sure there are some hard-hearted, thick-brained men who don’t respond to this, but I have never seen one. Men respond to this, as plants respond to sunlight, good soil, and water. But most women don’t want to pay the price of persevering. They want to unleash their “emotional tension” and they want to feel loved today.
I am getting email after email of husbands turning and opening to their wives’ hearts as husbands begin to feel admired and their 8 A’s are met. If your husband is still not responding, then stop and think if you are still bringing emotional turmoil into his life. Are you meeting his 8 A’s? Do you have a gentle and quiet spirit that God has bathed with Himself, so that it is a calming influence, instead of a stirring and disruptive influence? God made woman to be the influencer and if she wisely builds her home, she will reap the benefits.
As I repeatedly say, men don’t usually come into the marriage knowing what women want. You have to win the right to be heard, and that is by your gentle and quiet spirit and the 8 A’s. You will have to teach him to love you in a language you can hear. But that is after, after, after, his tank is full.
What power you have. What influence you wield. But it’s not in demanding or blasting him with his inadequacies. It’s in your kindness, your comfort, and your goodness.
If you don’t feel loved by your husband, back up, re-organize, get your needs met in the Lord, meet his needs, and when his tank is full, ask for the top one or two things you want/need. I know there’s a list of thirty, but ask for the top one or two things. Praise him to the hilltop when you see any evidence of him responding. And live like this for years. Know that he will not get it the first, second, or even third attempts in which you try to explain things to him. Really, maybe not even after the first twenty attempts by you. But eventually, a man with his soul needs met, will respond to his wife. Mark this down: you won’t even recognize a man in five years as the same man if he has had the 8 A’s poured into him by a loving and sweet wife. It is quite the miracle. Love never fails. Men are created to want to please their wives. However, wives have not understood the playbook.
Word pictures (chapter 13 in Wife School) are magnificent for explaining foreign concepts to husbands. Use them wisely, but sparingly.