Let me preface this article with a small disclaimer. I am not an expert on marital relations, and I am not attempting to be. I have, however, lived a reasonably blissful marital life for nearly twenty-seven years. With this experience in mind, I began thinking today about what words of advice I should pass on to my son, and also to my soon to be son in law, on having a successful marriage. There are a lot of points to ponder, which is why so many books are sold on the topic. But I would start off by sharing that there are differences between men and women that go far beyond what they can ever imagine, and to keep this one thought in mind; Men are simple, women are complex.
Most men are relatively simple creatures. That is not meant to be a slam against us, guys. It is the way God made us, and in the same proportion that He gave women their complexity. Women secretly love this fact about us, no matter how often they joke about it, or even sometimes seem to be frustrated by it. Men rarely have any vagueness to them. They say what’s on their mind even though they sometimes wish they hadn’t. (This is probably why most men don’t talk much.) It is this straightforward simplicity, plus the fact that men cannot hide things very well, that should be a comfort to most women. Men should never want to come across as mysterious or vague to their spouses. Otherwise, they lose her trust, and trust is vital in a marriage. Men have fewer emotional needs and even fewer expectations. On the other hand, no man wants to be seen as one of those dim-witted male characters portrayed in television commercials. Men are simple in our make up, but not stupid. Any woman who thinks her husband is stupid should question her own intelligence back at the time when she said “I do”.
Regarding the female psyche; Men throughout history have marveled at a woman’s complexity. Notice that I did not say that women were complicated. Complex is completely different from complicated, regardless of what a thesaurus might say. The word “complicated” gives the impression of being difficult, or impossible to figure out. “Complex”, on the other hand, simply means that there are many facets to explore and consider. Intricate would be a better word. I think that God made women this way in order to compliment a man’s innate desire of needing a constant challenge. It is how we intuitively push ourselves to be better men. A woman’s nature is a fascination to a man. It’s something new and exciting to explore. A man shouldn’t view a woman’s complex nature as some intricate maze, to either totally avoid or to struggle through as quickly as possible. Instead, life with a woman should be like a newly discovered trail, with new vistas to discover, dark mysterious forests to ponder, and quiet streams to rest beside and reflect. Yes guys, there will be steep, rocky slopes and treacherous places along the way. But we men like to be challenged, don’t we? Smoothly paved, well-marked paths are boring, if you ask me. Enjoy the trip men, and make sure you are wearing the proper gear.
So that is my opening bit of advice to the young men I know, put as simply as I can for the masculine mind to understand. Don’t try to figure a woman out, because you can’t. Don’t try to make her think like you because she can’t, and you wouldn’t like it if she did. Just accept the fact that you need her the way she is and she needs you the way you are. Respect her for who she is and she, in return, will respect you. Enjoy the ride men, and make sure you have your seat belt on.