I use the phrase “Standing on Giants’ Shoulders” for a reason. It is because I do not just think of this stuff; it comes from the experiences of myself and those that came before me.
The phrase “Never Let Them See You Sweat” does not apply to marriage.
Here’s a short explanation about why…
Sometimes when you are growing up, the advice you get from your friends, especially your close friends, is not good. Taking life advice from someone who has not even been driving a vehicle for a year is risky at best. Your trust that you develop between each other as good friends should not be misconstrued as a source of good honest wisdom when it should come from another who has experience (“stand on giants’ shoulders”).
For example, you should not take advice about skydiving from someone who has just watched it being done on the History channel. If that was your only source of knowledge about it before your first jump, you may survive or you may not…and if you did, the whole experience would probably be ruined by panic rather than enjoyment.
I had 3 or 4 very close friends during my teenage years and as usual, we sat and talked about girls and the future. One bit of friend advice that I got, stuck with me but never took. I just really never believed it. His philosophy about girls was that you should never let them know what you are thinking…never let them figure you out. Because if you do, its all over.
Sounds like a trust issue, right? Never let your guard down.
Well, I am not going to start telling about the consequences of his thought process, although they were pretty bad. Coming from a “broken” home , as it was called (I could write a whole other post on the psychological effects of being called “broken” and/or “damaged goods”), I reasoned and saw why he thought that way. It was all about security and letting your guard down. It is similar to the religious experience of getting “saved”. If you do not let your guard down to let Him in, guess what? He didn’t get in and He still isn’t in your heart if you haven’t. It is as simple as that. (You can apply that to marriage as well regarding the two becoming one. Have you become one?)
Now I will be one of the first to tell you that I am not the authority on “what women want” but I do know a few things about it because women have some of the same needs as men. It is just that many times, men and women do things differently because of the way society and heredity has fashioned us to think. But we all have basic needs and this is one…
Basic need: Security
We want to feel secure about many things: being fed, comfortable, and curious as a babe. Adding being confident, able and accepted as a child. Being able to support our family, have a decent future and be healthy as an adult. I am sure that I left out a few things, but these are just an example.
It is an innate need in all of us to feel secure. None of us want our lunch money taken every day. None of us want to have a new job every week because bosses fire us. None of us want to open our hearts to another just to have it trampled upon.
Just as I have written earlier about failure being a part of success, failure is a part of letting your guard down as well. There will be times when God asks you to do things that are uncomfortable. There will be times when you wonder if you should actually share your real feelings to your spouse because of your fear of rejection. Know this, many times I have had to preface my talk with my wife by telling her that I am not seeking to hurt her with what I am feeling but my intentions are to make our marriage stronger and I didn’t want my lack of proper words to cause unnecessary pain.
Failure will happen in your relationships…and it is up to you to get up and brush yourself off to try again.
Remember, it is not about you falling, it is about how you get up because the success is in the “getting up”.
Having the need for security is basic because you want to know what to expect from your spouse. If every time you said “I love you” to her, what if you did not know if you would get a positive response back or even a response at all. That is like a waiter taking your order and then leaving the restaurant or bringing you someone else’s order.
Being predictable with a little bit of positive spontaneity is good for your relationship. If you know what actions bring a negative response, you should not seek to do those things.
This all revolves around what I have told my boys for years about marriage, that I believe was given by God.
There is a beauty in predictability..