Good morning all! Today I’m going to touch on a subject that I don’t normally. Romantic relationships. This could, potentially, get a little complicated since I was never a single Christian. I didn’t start following Jesus until about a year after I was married to my sweet husband. So, to keep it simple, I’m just going to speak to my experience.
I am not, by any means, a relationship expert. In fact, while I have been involved in many relationships in my life, before Christ most of them were disastrous. My current husband of almost 25-years is my fourth husband. I was 21 the first time I walked down the aisle and I am now 58-years young. I’ll let you do the math and you will see that my younger years were, shall we say, full of experience. 😏 If you know my testimony, you know how true that is. If you don’t know my testimony and would like to, you can read it here.
Okay. Now that I’ve established my lack of credentials, let’s get to the heart of the matter. What women want is what I would specifically like to address here. Partially because men seem to still be stumped by this question of what women want and partially because we women seem to have a hard time communicating the answer. IF we even know the answer.
I think we all know that women want to be loved. That seems to be common knowledge to some extent; women want to be loved and men want to be respected. Here’s a little twist to that for you – women also want to be respected. We want to be cherished, protected, and we want you to read our minds. Unrealistic, but true. Men, we want you to just know when we need to be held and when we need to be romanced, when we need you to do the dishes and when we need you to notice that WE did the dishes, when we need you to fix something and when we need you to just listen.
I know this sounds impossible, but if you REALLY know your woman, you’ll know and that’s the bottom line for us. We want you to KNOW us. You’re not really reading our mind, you’re simply knowing us. On the other side of that coin, women, your man can’t really know you if you’re not communicating with him – especially in the beginning of the relationship. You have to tell him what you want and when you want it. Tell him when you really need him to bring you flowers, or a Sonic drink, or your favorite latte’ from Starbucks. Tell him when you’re exhausted and need him to take over bedtime with the kids. Whatever you need or even really want, TELL him. That doesn’t guarantee that you will get what you need or want, but I promise that there’s a certain satisfaction in knowing that you’ve communicated with him. Sometimes, I felt better just saying it out loud and after that, I could let it go.
This communication thing needs to work both ways. I hope he doesn’t get mad at me for sharing this (I don’t really think he will or I wouldn’t share it), but my husband is still learning the communication thing. He tends to be a bit passive/aggressive sometimes, keeps things inside, and when they really pile up on him he does the silent thing. It’s actually quite subtle and if you didn’t know him, you might not even recognize it. He’s REALLY good at it. After almost 26-years total of being together, however, I can see it. I know when he’s pouting, I know when he’s angry, and I know when he’s just plain tired. I know these things because I know HIM. This is scary to say, but sometimes I even know WHAT is bothering him without him telling me. I know, freaky, right? That’s what years of being with the same person will do for you. Or maybe I should say, years of caring about the same person.
You can be with someone forever, just going through the motions, taking them and your relationship for granted. I’ve seen it. It’s terrifying. There’s no growth, no real joy, no real investment in the other person, just habit. It’s sad and it’s avoidable. Communication is key; real, honest, sometimes difficult communication! And a lack of defensiveness. That’s been a hard one for me. I’m a lot of Irish and I’ll fight you in a heartbeat if you come at me. Unless I make a conscious effort to drop my defenses, which is a very important thing in a marriage – or a relationship headed for marriage. I MAKE myself listen calmly and respond as rationally as possible. That’s where a lot of Jesus comes in for me. He’s the center of our marriage and He makes these real and sometimes difficult conversations possible and fruitful.
I realize that I am coming from a place of great blessing. My husband is a wonderful man. He almost always puts me first and approaches difficult conversations very tactfully. He never says a harsh word to me or outright accuses me of anything. He approaches our relationship with a team attitude. He is 100% invested in me and our relationship. He almost always gives me what I ask him for, and quite honestly, I’m spoiled. He loves Jesus and Jesus helps him love me the way he does. My man is rare. I realize that not all relationships are like ours (obviously, I’ve lived the other side of this coin) and that things I’ve said here are not so black and white for some.
I can’t speak to every relationship, obviously. What I can speak to is my experience with relationships and what I’ve learned. These are the highlights for me:
- Take the time to be friends first.
- Communicate honestly and as calmly as possible.
- Invest in the other person and your relationship. Always make time with each other a priority.
- And, most importantly in my experience, make Christ the center of your relationship.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve never been a single Christian. I have been in three prior marriages and have had countless boyfriends (seriously, my sister and I tried to count them one night and kept losing count. Sad, I know.) and no relationship has been as good, as healthy, and as fulfilling as when Jesus was in the center. 25 years of marriage will attest to that! That’s just my experience. Take it for what you will.
Wow! This has been a long one. I apologize for taking up so much of your time. I guess I consider this an important subject. 😁 I also should probably change the title of this post to “Communication in a Romantic Relationship”, or something like that. While I do want men to know what women want, or at least what some women want. Obviously I don’t know what ALL women want. I guess, more importantly, I want to see healthy and happy marriages where couples flourish and enable each other to be the best that they can be. That’s my hope for MY marriage. That’s what THIS woman wants and my man better know it! 😘
(He even takes selfies with me!)