Gary says – to the women
Friendship. When you hear that word, what goes through your mind? Vulnerability? Transparency? Heart-to-heart communication? These are probably a good start in describing a woman’s needs. Now, allow me to give you some insight into your husband’s heart.
Barb was having lunch with some of her female friends one afternoon, and one of the women began complaining that her husband was golfing too often.
“Why don’t you go with him?” Barb asked.
“I can’t stand to golf!” her friend proclaimed.
“But you love your husband, Anna. Go out and play with him. Join him. Crawl into his world.”
What Barb helped her friend get a handle on was that you don’t have to be “good” at everything your husband excels at, nor do you have to be as enthusiastic about things as he. What matters to him is that you validate his interests and join him in some of his activities. Play with him. Recreate with him. Certainly he will have “his things,” and you will have “your things.”
What excites your husband? Playing the stock market? Join an investment club and learn the lingo. Watching a football game? Pop some corn and join him for a quarter of the game. This doesn’t mean that the stock market or football has to become your passion; what it does mean is that your husband needs to be your passion. Just as you desire your husband to enter your world, enter his. Encourage him. Cheer him on. If you don’t who will?
Barb says – to the men
Our bench. It’s our little place that we found as honeymooners 29 years ago atop a hill in San Francisco overlooking the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge. On this weather worn wooden bench, where we’ve carved our initials into the seat, we talk about life by both laughing and crying. Each time we visit, we walk away with a renewed love and devotion for each other, reestablishing our relationship as best friends.
Don’t get me wrong, I still long for those close, intimate relationships with my female friends, but my friendship with my husband is different. What I need from him is different from what I need from my girlfriends. Do you know what your wife needs from you in your friendship? Here are a few ideas. Do things together. Relax, kick back, and have fun as a couple. Find hobbies and interests that you both enjoy doing together. Let you wife know that you enjoy being with her, that she is special to you.
Create a secure place. Women love security. Let her know and show her that you are with her and committed to her. She needs the assurance that you will always be her companion no matter what. You show this by not leaving her emotionally, spiritually, or physically.
Step into her world. What makes your wife feel significant? Take interest in you wife’s world and help her express her dreams but also make them come true. Be her best cheerleader!
Create benchmark times. Just as Gary and I revisit our bench in San Francisco periodically and reflect on our life, marriage, and family – take time to reflect on your relationship with your wife and create benchmarks to mark progress in your marriage.
Your wife needs you as her best friend. Your life circumstances will change, and you will face difficulties, but you have committed yourselves to traveling through it together. Remind her that you will be partners as you develop your careers, raise a family, attend church, and invite people into your home.
My husband is my best best friend. My prayer for you is that your wife will also rise up and shout that you are her best friend as you understand her needs and lovingly meet them with your whole heart.
Copyright © 2001 Dr. Gary and Barbara Rosberg, used with permission, published by Tyndale House Publishers. Adapted from The Five Love Needs of Men and Women.