A Great Marriage Requires Men and Women Who Are Different
“A happy marriage is a long conversation that seems all too short.” ~ Andre Maurois
Before I was married, up until the last steps I took down the aisle single, I believed that men and women were more or less the same. Except for anatomy, of course.
I disregarded stereotypes of women portrayed as overly emotional and men acting overly stoic. They were caricatures drawn up from old school thinking. I believed that gender differences resulted more out of nurture, not nature.
I grew up through the ranks in the public school system at a time when teachers taught from the same playbook: men and women were equal. A woman can do anything a man can. In some cases, even better.
I didn’t doubt it.
When I left home for college, I didn’t have enough rebellion in me to pursue an English degree over something practical.
Why not pick an area of work men traditionally dominated in? I started researching fields where women were least represented. Engineering.
The majority of my colleagues have been men, but I never felt I was any different from them, even if some male co-workers felt otherwise. That was their miseducation, I figured.
I was naive and very mistaken.
I’m not saying a woman can’t get a man’s job done quicker or better.
What I’m talking about is making a life together.
Once I got married, I learned quickly that men and women are different.
* A man’s body temperature is skewed 5 degrees warmer than reality. A woman must gently disregard a man’s input when adjusting the thermostat or she will forever be wearing sweatshirts and socks to bed.
* Men lack the ability to self-soothe when a spirited debate ensues. A man avoids sensitive topics but women enjoy exploring feelings and what-if scenarios.
* A man thinks that active listening means nodding and maintaining eye contact. A woman needs lots of spontaneous interjections like “Really?”, “I can’t believe it!” and “Honey, you’re the best.”.
* Men feel sleepy when they’ve had a long day, but women start waking up to talk as soon as they get comfy in bed.
* Men like to veg out when they are stressed. Women like to talk.
* Men like to hear the how-did-your-day-go recap once in cliff notes, but women like to tell the director’s cut version, along with different angled replays thrown in.
* Men like to solve your problems, while women like to talk about the problems.
* Women like films with British accents, that talk more than move. Men don’t.
We were definitely made equal before God, but I happily yield to the notion that men and women are not the same.
There are many side benefits to being different and married.
I don’t have to pick up dead critters, if need be. He does.
He can get me ice cream when I have a pity party — and make me laugh or allow me to cry, while eating it.
We may not see eye to eye on everything, but we can take the other gender’s view and try it on for size.
We aren’t always able to solve every problem, but we care more about each other’s feelings than the solution.
When we see our differences, we remember we each have individual stories, that include our hurts and our dreams. We respect each other as friends first, as spouses second.
He can put all the IKEA furniture together, while I pick it out.
I can tell a funny joke and provide comic relief. Because he’s the only one who’d get the punchline.
I can admire him and tell him the many ways I remember all the little things I appreciate about him…
… As I turn up the thermostat, lay down from a hard day’s work, and talk until we both fall asleep.
I never thought I’d say this, but men and women are different.
A marriage is happier for this fact.
“God created human beings…Reflecting God’s nature.
He created them male and female.”
What do you think are the differences between men and women — if any?
What are your thoughts on love and marriage?
“Friendship fuels the flames of romance because it offers the best protection against feeling adversarial toward your spouse.”
~ John Gottman, The Seven Principles for Making Marriage work
I received one of the best marriage advice in a book given to us, by a godly couple who has enjoyed over 40 years of wedded bliss: The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman.
If you’re looking for a practical book about marriage that is both interesting and challenging, check it out here.
We’re in the middle of a special February Faith Jam series — Unwrapping Love. Check out next Thursday’s topic below and be sure to weigh in with your voice.
*** NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN — FAITH BARISTA JAM! ***
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Today’s Faith Jam Topic 2/10:
What I Wished Someone Told Me About Marriage
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Next Thursday’s Topic 2/17:
Share your thoughts on faith and love — or —
What are you discovering about God’s love for you?
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