Men, your wife wants to connect with you. Think of it this way: you know that when the terminals get corroded on your car battery, your car won’t start. The posts need to be cleaned, greased, and then reconnected. When you take care of the connection, the current flows and the engine runs!
Over time corrosion can build up in your relationship with your wife. Men, it is your responsibility to do all you can to connect with your wife. No one else can do this for you and you cannot shift the blame—not even to her.
In the Bible, Peter admonishes men saying, “husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way….” (1 Peter 3:7a) It’s interesting that there’s nothing here about being sure she understands you, but that she feels understood.
Remember, your marriage is a marathon, not a sprint. It may take time for the corrosion that has built up to be cleaned off. So be patient with your wife as you begin to reconnect.
Here are three steps to begin to clean off the corrosion and connect with your wife:
Someone once said, “A shared burden is half a burden.” Ask your wife what you can pray about for her. Write down what she says. Follow through in prayer and then every few days ask her about those requests. It will remind her that she isn’t alone and that you are helping her carry that burden.
As men we tend to want to be solution finders. We solve problems all day, we fix things that are broken, and then we move on to the next thing that needs our attention. But our wives don’t always want something fixed or a solution given. Sometimes they just want us to pay attention as they describe what is happening in their world.
Listening and understanding is a skill every man can learn. Again, this is your responsibility to work on so that you and your wife can connect more consistently. We’ve written previously about how connect through listening here and here.
In the Bible the description of how a man is to love his wife reads: “just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25) So when something corrosive starts to well up inside you (pride, selfishness, impatience, etc.), shoot up a prayer and ask, “How can I honor Christ in my marriage right now? How can I love my wife sacrificially right now?” You can be sure God won’t hide the answer from you!
There are a myriad of different ways a man can learn to connect with his wife. Start with these three. Keep the “terminals” clean so the electricity can flow between you as you build your marriage!