My husband and I have been married for more than six years now and it is not something to drop jaws open, but life has certainly thrown us quite a number of lessons to make things a little lighter as we go on. One of which came from a book we were reading a few months ago: a woman’s basic need is to be loved by her husband; a man’s is not love but respect from his wife.
I was struck by the realization of the knight-in-shining-armor and damsel-in-distress concept that, well, admit it or not, we all are enthralled upon. Men are often pictured as the knight (one of noble birth, strong, and admired by many) while women, of course, the damsel (one to be rescued, swept away, and should be taken cared for). This idea is in every love story ever made.
Men are built to need respect while women, love. If a husband cannot identify that his wife is looking up to him, he is at a loss and may worry that his marriage is insecure. On the other hand, a wife’s security rests in feeling loved by her husband.
The two basic needs of husband and wife are directly proportional to one another. The more a husband loves his wife, the more she can respect him. The more a wife respects her husband, the more he can love her.
A husband should love his wife in every way as he loves himself. This implies communicating his love to her in words, thoughtfulness, self-sacrifice, body language, tenderness, preferential treatment and every other action. My husband woos me every now and then with poems, love letters and songs (he plays the guitar and sings to me and our daughter every so often). He carries my bag, calls from the office just to say he misses me, prepares me a hot cup of tea after giving me a backrub at the end of a tiring day; he listens to my boring stories… laughs, cries and enjoys silence with me. (sigh) I could tell a million more things but I really have to finish this blog. Ha ha…
A wife should revere her husband despite his flaws, limitations and inclinations – however different they may be from hers. Part of the esteem a wife can give her husband is to venerate him as her head, honoring his position of responsibility for their well being as a whole. My husband is very rational in many ways. I tend to get occasionally impulsive and he often explains the long term effects of what would happen if I do that something I was excited about. Of course, I would eventually concede when I see things his way (he’s usually right, you know). But even if I don’t agree with him 100%, I’d still follow his lead because I know it would be for our family’s benefit. I am also the exact opposite of my husband when it comes to sports. I’ve hated jocks and everything that comes with them – arrogant jargons, shrieking groupies, sweaty shirts… the works. But because he “loves the game” (and I love him), I’ve come to appreciate these things as much as he does.
It’s good advice when we hear people say for men to treat their wives as if they were still their girlfriend, companion, and lover all rolled into one; for women to pray, respect, and submit to their husbands. It’s not all that easy but when we make the effort to do so, the benefits would run ahead of us. Our marriage is still a work in progress, but with wisdom we get to harvest every now and then, I know we would be able to go through bumpy rides okay.