I’ve heard it said before that a marriage can be thought of as a living organism. Like any organism, “the marriage” can starve and die if it doesn’t receive the proper and adequate nutrition it needs. And even though there are many different forms of relational nutrition for a marriage, I wanted to highlight 2 forms in particular. Below I will share arguably the 2 top marital fuels that are important to a marriage: one for men and one for women. Hopefully when you marry, you can remember this little article and make special efforts in these key areas throughout the rest of your lives together and beyond.
Marriage Fuel for Women: Good Listening—
Why is listening so important for women in a marriage? Because women will often talk out loud and vent in an effort to bond, to work through feelings, and to make meaning of life. By talking and articulating their feelings out loud, women can feel validated, understood, empathized with, and find agreement. When a woman vents and talks out a problem or issue and the man listens well, she feels better emotionally, as well as feeling cared for, supported, and loved by him. Women are generally more verbal creatures than men. And as such, being listened to becomes very important for a woman to feel close to a man. A wise woman once told me that “for men, sex is sex; for women, being listened to is sex”. Another female client I talked to came up with a new word: “communimate”. She said that when the communication and listening is good in the marriage, there is also a strong likelihood that “mating” will soon follow. Put them together and you have a winning combination. Words of wisdom.
So, how can men listen well? In short, there are certain things to do and other things to not do. Do give: empathy, understanding, validation, agreement (where possible), patience, interest, questions, periodic summaries, good eye contact, and focused attention. Be active and allow her to stay in the talkers role too as you stay in the listeners role. Let her “get it out”. Do not: interrupt, act disinterested, act impatient, argue, give unsolicited advice, get angry, switch the subject, make it about yourself, or multitask. For more ideas on listening well, see this article: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/listening-skills-14/.
Marriage Fuel for Men: A Good Sex Life--
Why is sex so important for men in a marriage? Because it is powerfully ingrained. Instinctively pressuring, demanding release and relief. Research and clinical experience shows that on average men have higher libidos that women, have a faster sexual response cycle, and enjoy sex more than women. Our Heavenly Father built men this way on purpose. This was not an accident or an error. He included this powerful drive in us that pushes us towards women and acts as an essential bonding agent for us: we feel closer to our wives after sex and feel happier and more satisfied with our relationships. Our strong sexual drive pushes us towards marriage and family life and helps us overcome other selfish wants, interests, and pursuits. How powerful is this drive in us men? Very. Watch this classic Family Feud clip to see what men state they would be willing to do for sex. The show is for fun and comedy but it does highlight just how important and powerful this drive exists in us. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dUhuF9_WiM&t=7s.
So ladies, what can you do to keep this area strong in your future marriage? Here are a few suggestions: 1) learn about how often he is interested each week and work with that to whatever reasonable degree you can, 2) let him know clearly and specifically what you want and need sexually to help you have a positive, enjoyable experience, 3) help him understand how his listening and other positive treatment of you helps you be more in the mood, as well as any negative actions he needs to stop that put you out of the mood, 4) if you have physical or psychological blocks or challenges on this subject, work with the proper physician or psychologist to address and remove these challenges. This could include hormonal issues, body image issues, PTSD from childhood abuse, and so on. Finally, in addition to these efforts, please act enthused, energetic, and be an active participant when together. It’s OK if it an act, seriously. We guys just appreciate the effort. Because if you treat this as a duty, chore, or obligation, it will lessen the experience and hurt his marital satisfaction.
When you marry in the future, there are many other things to know about what is needed beyond these two issues. However, because of the prevalence of complaints and frustrations on these two main issues in my therapy office, I thought they would both be important to highlight. Keep this information in mind and give this fuel to your spouse to keep your future marriage strong, fed, and bonded. And remember “…neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.”—1 Corinthians 11:11.
P.S. If you can questions, comments, or a future article request for me, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|2020-12-14||Randy Gilchrist||Marriage preparation|
About the author
Hello, my name is Dr. Randy Gilchrist (aka "Dr. G"). I am a licensed clinical psychologist, a licensed marriage & family therapist, and a certified hypnotherapist in private practice in Roseville, CA (www.dr-rg.com), practicing since 1997. Also, I am happily married in the temple (Manti) since 1996 and have 4 sons. I am a volunteer writer and contributor to LDS Dimension. I use my training, education, and experience to share insights with LDS Dimension on all things of interest to the LDS dating community. Please read my articles and columns on this site to assist you in your online dating journey. Also, to be considered for an answer in a future Q and A column, please email me your dating/relationship oriented questions to email@example.com. Finally, I also offer a powerful, effective worldwide custom hypnosis recording service just for LDS Dimension members for weight loss, pornography, and many other issues of concern to those in the LDS dating community (please learn more now at www.dr-rg.com/lds; email me questions to firstname.lastname@example.org).