Some of you might have already read Section I below as I posted it as a blog on my website recently. Please skip Section I if you’ve already read it.
There are numerous wife skills that we have learned in Wife School Online, but I want to again re-emphasize what is the Big Kahuna and what is the Big Cheese. Even women who have been studying this material for years admit they continue to wrestle with doing/giving these two skills/concepts to their husbands.
The first of the two most important wife skills/concepts to master is to quit trying to fix, change, or lead your husband. Of course, you give your input to him and WSO discusses multiple times how to appropriately do this. But being in “commando-mode” is a wife’s natural propensity and this tendency absolutely slays a husband’s affection toward his wife. Men do not like being bossed around.
Yes, I realize that your husband’s weakness set drives you bonkers, so therefore you try to fix, change, and lead him. How interesting it is to note, however, that a woman’s weakness set doesn’t drive her husband bonkers (as long as there is not too much emotional turmoil and he’s getting enough sex.) Did you get that? Husbands are not the primary ones who try to change and fix us; we are the ones who want to change and fix them. (Reread Chapter 2 in Wife School on Acceptance for more review.)
And guess where this struggle comes from? “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.” That’s right, your desire to change, fix, and lead your husband has been going on since Genesis 3. This trait of contentiousness has been in the female DNA since the Garden.
Even with you becoming the new and improved Wife of the World, your husband will still have his weakness set until the day he dies. If you don’t deal with this issue of accepting his weakness set, you will communicate disapproval to him. And Friend, communicating disapproval to your husband is Trouble with a capital T. Men do not feel affection toward women who communicate disapproval towards them.
I absolutely love the way Scripture nails it when it discusses our greatest struggle of contentiousness as early as Genesis 3. But then, just as remarkable, the antidote to our struggle is given in 1 Peter 3: “…your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
The antidote for fixing, changing, and leading your husband is to instead have a gentle and quiet spirit. There is only one way to get a gentle and quiet spirit and honestly, it’s not very glamorous. It is found by asking yourself the biggest question of any woman’s life: “Who will rule my life? Who will sit on the throne of my heart and rule?” That is the million dollar question for any woman. You can learn charm, good sentences to say to your husband during conflict, and all sorts of wonderful strategy to help him understand you, but until your heart is surrendered to the One who created it, you will not have a gentle and quiet spirit. And without a gentle and quiet spirit, you will attempt to fix, correct, and lead your husband. This boxing match between you and your husband will continue until either the day one spouse dies or until you get your commando-personality in check.
Realize that every day, your tendency to fix, change, and lead your husband will surface. This one action of yours—slaying your contentious spirit—will do more to change and improve your marriage than anything else, uh, well, except skill/concept number two, which we will now discuss.
Here comes number two. Maybe you should go get a cup of coffee first. Then, take a deep breath before you jump into this next tank of cold water.
Women, the number two skill/concept we have to learn is to understand the enormity of a man’s sex drive. Actually, there is so much science available now that documents the huge discrepancy between a man’s desire and a woman’s that this is no longer an issue that women have to take on faith from their mothers. (Again, I remind you, this is only true in 80% of marriages. Re-read chapter 32 in Wife School if your marriage is in the 20%). Understanding and accepting men’s voracious appetites for sex is difficult because it’s like telling you that although you need to sleep 8 hours a night, this other person needs to sleep 16 hours a day. No, that’s not even a good analogy, because the numbers are much larger than just double. The numbers are as large as “men want sex 37 times more than women”. I can’t even think of anything that is an analogy where something else is up to 37 times more. I mean, it’s a crazy difference. It’s not your experience and you don’t have this appetite. So it’s very difficult for women to accept something they don’t feel and don’t see. It’s like saying there is a new color in the rainbow, sloom, and you can’t see it or experience it. That’s what it’s like for women to understand this appetite of men for sex. We can’t see or feel it. So our tendency is to dismiss it, or at the least, minimize it.
If you reread chapter 9 in Wife School, you’ll be reminded how to navigate this discrepancy in sexual appetites. Again, you’ll see that the first step in sex is not “arousal” but “willingness”. You’ll also be reminded how we give our husbands a drink of lemonade when they are thirsty because we love them. This whole paradigm stands on the premise that we meet a need in our husband because that’s what love looks like. We figure out how to make our husbands happy because as Proverbs 31 women, we “bring them good, not harm, all the days of our life” (Proverbs 31: 12).
Let me remind you once again that you, the wife, are the only legitimate sex that your husband is allowed. That’s right, just you, Babe.
And guess what else I’ve recently learned? Sex is incredibly good for men. And lots of sex. Just google this and see. The studies abound. Forbes.com on NBCnews.com said “that by having sex three or more times a week, men reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke by half.” By half! Many other healthy side-effects from sex abound, also. What may seem like an inconvenience and burden to you is lifeblood to your husband. When women learn about men and their sexual appetites, and then make huge allowances to satisfy men in this area in the marriage, men get happy.
And when husbands get happy in the marriage, they turn to you, open to you, and allow you to influence them. And there, My Young Chickadee, is where you become satisfied in the marriage. Researcher John Gottman found that husbands who accept their wives’ influence are four times less likely to divorce or have an unhappy marriage. http://foreverfamilies.byu.edu/Article.aspx?a=37. When you win the ability to influence your husband, then you become happier in the marriage.
There are umpteen-and-one skills to learn to become a Marriage Champion. But rules number one and two cannot be overlooked.