We know what the research says…”Men are stimulated more by sight and physical stimuli while women respond more on an emotional level–to tenderness (which can be expressed physically), and to what she perceives as sensitivity to her needs.”
The misunderstanding of this fundamental difference is a major obstacle in many marriages. A woman doesn’t understand how a man thinks about sex, so when he’s able to separate the act from the argument they just had an hour ago, she feels hurt and used.
A man doesn’t understand what makes her feel cherished, and so it doesn’t make sense to him when she reacts coldly to his sexual advances.
And that’s just one example of how our misunderstanding can affect our marriages.
I was thinking, though, about how wives often hold unfair standards. I don’t know about you, but if I knew my husband was even entertaining the thoughts of viewing pornography–other women who are painted, surgically altered and altogether not real–I would be devastated. I know many women struggle with this because many men struggle. We are, and should be, hurt by this type of infidelity.
But how many times have we committed emotional infidelity against our husbands?
Simply put, for a man to desire to look at another woman’s body hurts us because it means he isn’t satisfied with ours; he is comparing, even if he doesn’t mean to. And in such a case, a wife feels hurt AND the pressure to “be better” than she is.
Have we ever compared our husbands? Have we ever admired a trait in another man and secretly thought, “I wish my husband could be more like that?” Have we read books about men who aren’t real but felt real and wished we could be the recipient of their tenderness and intuition?
If I am stimulated in an emotional way, the way he is stimulated in a physical way, there is no difference between those comparisons. He is simply (though wrongly) admiring qualities that are beyond his grasp. And any comparison we make on an emotional level is virtually the same sin.
May the Lord give us hearts for our husbands only, patience with their faults, remembering our faults as well. Let us see him as God sees him–a work in progress–and commit to doing our part in loving him to his potential instead of wishing him to be things he is not.
If every woman (I’m talking to myself here!) would look at her husband and dwell on his positive traits, encourage him where he is, and determine to be the one person in his life with whom he knows his faults are safe, if he knew she was the one person who saw the best in him, those positive traits would grow and make him a man greater than even he thought he could be.