WHAT MEN AND WOMEN WANT FROM MARRIAGE
MEN WANT RECREATION WHILE WOMEN WANT CONVERSATION
For any successful marriage, romantic association, or any form of meaningful relationship, I focus a lot on dealing with the fundamental needs of men and women, and what each gender is naturally wired for in a relationship. Couples as well as young adults in love relationships engage in needless fights because of the ignorance in understanding these fundamental differences in needs. Let us now turn our attention to the subjects of conversation and recreation. While men desire recreational companionship, women desire more of conversational companionship.
Universally more men delight and engage in sports than women. More men than women will do and die to participate in or watch several games in the playing fields of the world. Although both genders enjoy games to different extents, the majority of women would not sit up for hours late in the night watching football on television as men do. There are several recreational activities that women do not even get involved at all in many countries. There are a number of husbands who desire to have their spouses or even daughters to accompany them to their favorite games, but as much as some females wish to do so, the majority of wives and females do not get excited about the recreational activities of their men or husbands. That recreational activity will have more meaning to a woman if the man engages her in conversation while the game goes on.
Most often that is not the case, and in many instances it is not even possible to engage in any serious conversation while the game is going on. Unless it is a special game where a daddy or husband has a special performance that the wife or family needs to be present as a gesture of honor or encouragement, the wife or female companion might just be sitting down while the man alone enjoys with his male friends.
We know that in every relationship both partners wish to hear nice and satisfying words from each other in all matters of communication. Females, however, naturally crave for more words from the lips of men. The female gender is naturally wired to be a creature of the ears. Which means that women are more auditory than men. Males on the other hand are wired to be creatures of the eye. Men are therefore more visionary in orientation.
These basic differences cause women to desire more conversation in every marriage or close relationship. Any man who is a good conversationalist will always draw more females to himself than a man who is a lesser or poor conversationalist. No woman will truly enjoy any marriage with a man who does not communicate properly and converse well. If communication and conversation are poor in a marriage, a woman cannot enjoy sexual activities with the husband as well — the two go together. I have already pointed out that sex is the deepest form of communication between two people. Women would love to surround any man who converses with them very well, and especially tells them nice things that make them feel valuable in life, and especially makes them feel worthy and important in the life or company of a man. I am actually saying this from experience. I often say that: “Rich conversation and affection equals the soil in which women grow.”
I have emphatically pointed out in all of my marriage and family counseling as well as seminars, the important truth that: “Communication is the blood of all relationships.” The whole idea of marriage or any love relationship starts with communication when a man proposes (speaks, communicates) love to a woman, or a woman dropping hints about her love interests and intentions to a man. A female responds to the proposal of a man with communication as well, and says yes (or sometimes no). The man is therefore expected to continue communicating very well with the woman in various forms throughout the marriage. The best form of communication in every marriage or love relationship is conversation. Wives strongly desire good conversation from their husbands. Remember that although men also want good communication from their wives, a man is a leader and an initiator, while women are naturally responders. The communication and conversation of a woman will largely be in response to the kind of communication and conversation the man initiates with the lady, and thereby draws responses from the woman. Both the quality (how rich and essential) and the quantity (how much or low long) of the conversation should be taken into serious account.
The level of communication and conversation must be upgraded along with the needs of the relationship between every man and every woman as the marriage or love relationship progresses through different stages. Every man must learn how to start a good conversation, and also learn how to spice up his conversation initiatives from time to time, according to the needs of the occasion. He should watch out for negative factors that hinder or destroy conversation initiation or richness in the marriage or love relationship. Chief among these enemies of communication and conversation are: unresolved conflicts, resentment, dissatisfaction with an aspect of the relationship, selfishness, pride (that will not, for example, make you admit wrongdoing or say sorry), domineering and controlling spirit, competition instead of love, fear, shyness, unfaithfulness (flirting with another person), and nursed anger that is not voiced out. This topic is so essential to all marriages and relationships, and all of us muct recognize it as such, and make every effort to communicate effectively and maintain the fire in our relationships.
CONVERSATION IN LOVE RELATIONSHIPS
The level of communication and conversation must be upgraded along with the needs of any productive relationship or marriage, and every husband (or male fiancee) must learn how to start a good conversation, which will elicit a conversation response from his wife (or female fiancee). Wives can initiate good conversation too, if they need conversation but their husbands would not talk. Both partners must learn how to upgrade and enrich their communication and conversation quality and content at different levels in the marriage or love relationship.
You will notice that at later stages in a marriage when old age chemical and physical changes do not allow the couple to enjoy much sexual intercourse, the richness of their general communication and conversation will keep the romance still sailing triumphantly on the waters of marital love. Every couple must therefore vigilantly look out for enemies that destroy communication and conversation in any love relationship.
I always cite wrongdoing (sin) as the first enemy of communication and conversation. Why did Adam and Eve run away to hide from God in the Garden of Eden, and broke their communication with God for the first time? It was due to disobedience (sin). Anytime any friend or lover is hiding from another friend and would not communicate when no conflict at all has occurred between the two people, then there is at least 90% chance that the one who is hiding his or her communication and avoids interaction, has something wrong or fishy to hide as well. Any time a husband, wife, or fiancée does something wrong that hurts the relationship, hides the truth about a matter, tells a partial truth, or flatly lies to your face, the insincerity and guilt build a huge communication barrier in the person’s mind and heart, and will by all means block conversation between you and that guilty person.
The question of conversation initiation and continuation with a spouse or fiancée is a tough battle for many couples, and we want to discuss it a little more. Many women (who naturally love words from men) complain that either the husband “is too quiet “, “does not talk much”, “does not tell me his private matters”, “hides things from me”, “does not give me full information about important things”, “does not respond well to my questions or conversation initiatives”, or “turns every conversation into a fight”. Sometimes the complaints are from the man. In the future we shall revisit the whole subject of effective communication, but let me make a few points here about conversation:
1) Lack of fulfillment in a marriage or love relationship will always hinder conversation. You need to honestly and critically examine the genuine needs and interests of each other, and make every effort to fulfill them as much as possible in a reciprocal way.
2) Learn to say “sorry” very quickly as soon as you realize you have offended your partner. If it is a serious offence like fornication, adultery, neglect, physical abuse, financial cheating, revealing of an important secret to someone, denial of sexual or other need, domestic laziness, plunging of the family into disgrace and shame with a scandal etc. then you need to make special time to give your mate all the facts in honest dialogue, make genuine confessions, team up with him or her to prevent future problems, show by your word and deeds that you have truly repented, and work hard to open up the active lines of conversation again.
3) Even if you do not see where you went wrong but your partner complains that you have offended him or her, be wise and humble enough to open your heart to God and the person and sincerely say “I am sorry”, without allowing the devil and the pride of man to take advantage of the situation and develop a conflict or tension out it, and hinder conversation.
4) You must make a firm commitment to become a good conversationalist. Recognize conversation as a vital pillar for the survival and progress of your relationship, and learn how to initiate good conversation. Study to know the practical methods of engaging in meaningful, educative, edifying (building up), and heart-warming conversation. Observe how others converse, and read literature about conversation.
Some factors that will enable you to initiate and sustain good conversation are:
a) Look for common ground. For example the same dress, same school, same opinion, same opportunity, same experiences, same or similar dress etc., and even the two of you having the same problem, could be used to initiate conversation.
b) Develop a good sense of humor. Learn to create or share healthy jokes at the right time, and respond to jokes and humor of your mate properly.
c) Avoid statements, questions, and behavior that destroy conversation. If someone does not feel intimidated or put down by your words, actions, and behavior, the one will come closer to you without fear or concern, and enable you to initiate conversation with him or her. You should let wisdom and love control your words, deeds, and attitudes, so that your mate will desire drawing closer to you rather than being repelled by your words, actions, and behavior.
d) Learn to be romantic and affectionate. Good romance starts and promotes warm and excellent heart-to-heart conversation between lovers. Romance refers to your whole loving and affectionate attitude and actions towards a lover. For example: gentle touching, smiles, good laughter, hugging, kissing, loving looks, gentle and affectionate approaches, sweet and loving words said with gentleness, tender treatment and affectionate gestures, little gifts given frequently and with meaning, enthusiastic giving of helping hand, preferential treatment (allowing him or her to go first or take it first etc.).
e) Participate very well in sexual intercourse and sexual initiatives if you are married. Your good sexual participation becomes a springboard for conversation to roll. If your partner is sexually starved or unsatisfied, he or she will not desire to converse with you, or give the right responses to your conversation initiatives.
f) Learn to share. Unconditional and unselfish sharing of yourself and your resources will motivate rich conversation. The discussions about the resources and the sharing processes will even constitute conversation as well.
g) Show interest and be involved in your surroundings. Develop interest in current news and needs around you. Get the latest information in town, look out for needs and concerns around you, and turn them into subjects of conversation.
h) Study your partner for appealing elements of conversation. Every man or woman has specific subjects and interests that easily draw him or her into conversation in those areas.
i) Don’t talk too much. We are to talk very well and converse very well too. But if we exceed our speech limit and go overboard in our conversation by being verbose and winding in endless talk, then the receiver gets tired of you, and would not want to converse with you anymore. Learn how to engage in short term (casual), as well as conversing for a longer period of time.
j) Make good use of conversation opportunities. Eating time, entertainment time, shopping time, waiting time at a place (doctor’s office, bus stop etc.), both of you awake and lying in bed, time on the phone, doing work or project together etc., are opportune moments to initiate good conversation.
k) Don’t be boring. Know when and how to change subjects of your conversation appropriately otherwise people will be turned off by your continual harping on the same topics in several conversations. Exhibiting a good sense of humor and showing liveliness in your speech and actions at expected times, will also make you more enjoyable to be listened to. Being unduly repetitive in making a particular important point of yours also makes you sound boring, in addition to making you a bad talkative person instead of a good conversationalist.
Copyright June 2006 Rev. Dr.Samuel A. Kisseadoo (Professor of Biology, Hampton University, Hampton, Virginia, USA) Founder and President, Fruitful Ministries International Inc., 6 Red Robin Turn, Hampton, Virginia 23669, USA. Ph 757-7289330 Fax 757-7289335 Email: [email protected]