She said, “I want back the guy before we were married. I don’t like married guy. I miss dating guy.” I’ve heard this sentiment echoed from quite a few married women. The husbands are content except for a gripe about freedom and sex. The wives complain about romance, being taken for granted and not having help. From the outside looking in, it seems that it would be easy to fix their problem, but I realize that it’s much more difficult.
“Love is friendship set on fire”- Jeremy Taylor
What I have learned from talking to married people is that many men and women have a different belief about what being married means? I’m not talking about everyone. There are some people who walk into marriage knowing and understanding that they are going to give everything to their mate and do everything to lift them up and help them succeed in life. But, from what I have witnessed and learned is that women approach marriage as she has married the man who is going to love her more than any man has ever loved her in life. The fact that he’s chosen to marry her means that he is the one that will love her like no one else. Meanwhile, men approach marriage as the end of their dating life, loss of freedom and some think it’s the end of fun. This is certainly a recipe for frustration. In my eyes, here is how this occurs, women spend their dating life being pursued, romanced and treated like a conquest. Men spend their dating life pursuing, romancing and trying to win love. When the woman gets married, she says, “he got me. Now the real romance and loving can begin.” When the man gets married, he says, “Finally, I’m done. She loves me. Now, I can be my real self.” Married women have called it the bait and switch. They thought that romantic, attentive, affectionate guy would continue through marriage, but now all he wants to do is sit on the couch and watch sports. What he doesn’t realize is that a woman is looking for so much more from him as a husband as she did when they were dating. She is expecting him to share his life with her and to give her more attention. She’s looking for surprises, moments and to be reminded constantly that she is special. She is looking for many of the things he did to win her love. What the man doesn’t realize is that it is to his benefit to do these things for her. If you fill her up, then she will want to give to him. If he helps out with the kids, surprises her with flowers or jewelry and compliments her, then she will want to give him the freedom to do his own thing and there will be more sex. There has to be a balance. If one partner is meeting their needs while neglecting their partner, there will never be balance.
Relationships are layered because they are the place that we go to heal. It requires so much of you as a human being. You can’t hide behind everything that you do in your daily life. You can keep up your false, pleasant, loving self at work or even with family members. But, your partner is the one that provokes everything within you that you don’t want to deal with. Living with someone forces you to show the sides of yourself that you hide because it’s exhausting to keep up a facade all day, every day. The partner that you have attracted is supposed to bring up and bring out all the things that you don’t want to deal with. It’s as if they shine a light on your fears and the parts of yourself that you don’t like. It’s easy to see them as the enemy, but they are actually doing you a favor. They are revealing your wounds and through love are helping you learn how to heal them. In order to be in love, you have to learn to work through many of your fears. In order to love someone else, you have to be able to love them despite theirs. It’s no easy task.
“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.”- Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoy
We live in a country where people get married and divorced in 24 hours. You have to wonder about the expectations and reasons for getting married. If you’ve lasted past 1 day, you may be willing to put in the work necessary to stay together. But, nobody’s marriage or relationships has to be a place to die. Who you were as single people is what brought you together as a couple. You have the power to heal another person and to show them a life they never dreamed they could have. As a man, you can love her in a way that will enrich her life and leave an imprint of legacy on everyone you know, on your children and your grandchildren. As a woman, you can find safety in his love, open your heart and love the way God intended. A woman’s heart is an endless, infinite fountain of love when it’s open and allowed to flow. If both sides can approach love as where they go to do their best work and best loving, imagine what kind of world that would create.