I could go into a bunch psychology and spiritual teaching about the differences between the two sexes, and it would be truth. But I know that you guys don’t like all of the flowery details…you just want us to get to the meat of things, right? That’s what I’ve been told so I’m going to try to honor that for you right now.
Here is the cliff notes version:
- Men and women are very, very, very different. Our emotions and desired responses in times of doubt or distress are not the same emotions and responses that you have. So don’t respond as if they were.
- Women want to be beautiful. Both inside and out.
- Women want to be appreciated for our minds, our spirits, and our unique personalities.
- Women don’t want to be treated like children.
When you say things like, “Is that slice of pizza a part of your diet” or “did you workout today,” what our psyche hears is “You are fatter than I’d like you to be.” Obviously that is very stripped down, but that’s the nuts and bolts of it.
We torture ourselves about our food choices. Trust me when I tell you that if your feminine counterpart is eating something she shouldn’t, she has already taken note of that fact and decided that either 1. She doesn’t care at the moment, or 2. She has it under control and can make the difference up somewhere else.
Now I know what you’re thinking. “But she complains about being overweight. If I can help her have some accountability…” Just stop right there. I’m not saying that you’re wrong. Accountability is a valuable tool. But YOU, the predominant male in her life, is not the best person to play that role. We don’t want you to be our dads. We don’t want to feel condescended to or judged by you. Even if your intent is purely positive, we want you to be our place of refuge, not the place that stresses us out.
So what DO you say? Well, I’d say you should listen to the bluegrass singer Alison Krauss when she said, “You say it best when you say nothing at all.”
Compliment us. Build us up. Not about things surrounding our diet and exercise habits, but about our unique qualities that you love. Give us physical affection. Show us that you will love us no matter what we look like or how many times we mess up. Make us feel like we are special to you.
When you feed us with that type of confidence, it will empower us to do much greater things than even you would think possible. Do not underestimate the power that you have to both cause our hearts to soar or to tear us down.
We want you to be part of our journey. We want you to share in our victories and we want your shoulder to cry on when we mess up. Just don’t try to fix us or advise us or rebuke us. In 1 Peter 3, it says that husband’s should dwell with their wives with understanding. That’s all we want…is for you to just understand.