Welcome to our wonderful monthly column with its debut posting! If you missed our introductory posting, you can view it here. By viewing the introductory posting, you will also find out a little bit more about Rachael Eberle, who brings you her monthly column. Without further due, we will let you hear from Rachael in her column, Newly Wed.
“His & Hers”
I am sure you have heard the expression, “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Now kindly take that old adage, and mentally throw it out the window. You heard me. But you might be thinking, isn’t that what our parents have taught us since we were little? Isn’t that the “right” thing to do? I will acknowledge that there might be some truth in that old adage, but the realm of marriage plays by drastically different rules.
You see, the differences between you and your future husband far exceed your personalities – they extend to your foundations as human beings. Basically, you are both wired with different needs and desires in a mate, and just because you desire him to be a certain way does not mean he requires the same from you. Therefore, doing unto him as you would want done to you may give him little to no fulfillment.
I quickly discovered this in my own marriage. Like most women, I love to talk! As soon as my husband came home, I would bombard him with the details of my day. I anticipated the same kind of animated, emotional conversation I had with my girlfriends. While my husband made the effort to make that emotional connection with me, he usually did not seem rejuvenated afterwards. In fact, he sometimes seemed worn out! I simply could not understand how something I found so fulfilling had little effect on him. Sound familiar?
In his book entitled, “His Needs, Her Needs”, author Willard F. Harley, Jr. summarizes the primary five spousal needs of men and women in order of importance. The list for women is as follows:
- Honesty and openness
- Financial support
- Family commitment
While there are some exceptions, most of us can agree that these are the things we fancy the most from a man. Now let us look at men’s needs:
- Sexual fulfillment
- Recreational companionship
- An attractive spouse
- Domestic support
Whoa! Those lists could not be more different!
At first, this may seem like a frustrating predicament, but instead of wishing your spouse-to-be was more like you, learn to embrace what he wants. After all, how would you feel if your fiancé said, “I hate how different we are! Why don’t you want what I want? Why aren’t you more like me?” Obviously, such comments would be hurtful. You want a man who understands what you want from him and does his best to fulfill those wishes. Likewise, your fiancé would be thrilled if you did the same for him.
Once you have learned to embrace (not just tolerate) your unique desires, find ways to fulfill his desires in a spouse. For instance, you could offer to go hiking together, or buy tickets for the two of you to go to the next big game (recreational companionship). Leave him a love note in his car, or brag about him to your friends (admiration).
Appropriately fulfilling your role as a wife requires a lot of effort, so it is fair for you to wonder if this may benefit you in some way. Well ladies, this is where that “do unto others” motto comes into play; you will discover that as you work to meet your future spouse’s needs, he will be more interested and eager to meet yours. In his book “What Makes a Man Feel Loved?” author Bob Barnes does an excellent job of summarizing this point: “When a man is treated like a king, he in return will begin to treat you as his queen.”
Thank you, Rachael, for your insights, and we look forward to hearing from you on the second Monday of each month. Look for the next Newly Wed column on Monday, August 9th. If you would like to have a specific topic addressed, please email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.