Like all generalizations, this statement does not apply to everyone; however, it does apply to more couples than not. Women need to bond with other women.
Laura Walker Jensen – in her book, Dated Jekyll, Married Hyde – writes, “Women need other women. Otherwise our poor husbands would bear the brunt of our shifting moods and emotions all the time.” Men, however, don’t have that deep need to bond with other men. They may joke about male bonding when they have a poker night or go for a little one-on-one basketball, but they are not usually longing for a deep, personal, emotional connection with other guys.
Why Should I Care What He Does?
Many women do not understand how much their husbands need them to care about their interests and exploits. We women have relationships with a number of people, so it is easy to forget that our husbands want to bond with us, share with us, and be with us above all others. It is flattering in a way, until we simply are not interested in what they are doing.
Just as men can show love to their ladies by actively listening to them verbally process through their lives, women can show love to their men by adopting an interest their man’s hobbies and goals.
From time to time, Eric wants me to watch him play video games. “What? Seriously? Why would he want me looking over his shoulder?” When I am playing a video game, I do not want someone else watching me. It makes me nervous. However, when Eric is playing a video game, he wants me to watch because he wants me to be a part of his life. He wants to share who he is with me and show me his accomplishments (even if it is saving a princess from another castle ~smile~).
He does not want his buddies stopping over to watch him play, but it means a lot to him when I sit down and watch him conquer and divide. ~smile~ That is why we ladies should care. You can shoot many love arrows into your man’s heart simply by being genuinely interested in what he does and admiring his accomplishments. Whereas, ladies want to be adored for who they are and their beauty, men want to be revered for what they do. It is not arrogance – it is how God made us different!
Men Want a Playmate
I remember a college professor saying that men get married because they want a playmate. Companionship does not look the same for women as it does for men. Women are excited about the security and emotional closeness that marriage brings. Men are excited to have someone to play with… a buddy for life!
How disappointing would it be to get married and then have your lifetime buddy reject and ignore the very interests that define you? Even though it does not always make sense to us, we ladies should go out of our way to make our boyfriends’ and husbands’ interests a higher priority for us.
Another phenomenon we ladies do not understand is this: sometimes our men just want us to be with them while they work. Do not be surprised if they start flexing or playfully brag about their abilities. They were created to be strong and to show their strength. It is natural for them to want to prove to their girlfriends and wives that they are competent, capable, and strong. ~smile~
Be Understanding of Each Other’s Needs
Laura says that when she goes out with girlfriends, her husband (Michael) putters around the house and works on various projects. The same is true for Eric! When I go out with a friend, he usually stays home and works on something. As an extravert, he likes to spend time with other people; yet, he usually wants me to be with him when we are with others.
When we were newly married, Eric kept telling me that he wanted to make new couple friends. Since I still had my college girlfriends in town (and I’m an introvert), I did not feel the need to make new friends. “He can make new friends if he wants to, but why do I have to be involved?” Now I know. He wants to be social, but he wants his lifetime buddy to be with him. Making friends is easier and more enjoyable when we are both involved. He likes me. He wants me around. How sweet is that?! ~smile~
So when you get married, prepare for your different social needs. Men, do not begrudge your lady her time with her friends. She will be a better wife if she is able to decompress verbally and emotionally with other ladies. Ladies, do not neglect your man. Spend time with him while he works or plays, even if you can think of a hundred other tasks that “need” to be accomplished. Be his lifetime buddy and be thankful that he wants your time and attention. (Remember the saying, “A dog is a man’s best friend.”? It’s the loyal, fun companionship he’s seeking!)
Always More Humor
Eric read Dated Jekyll, Married Hyde to me over the phone when we were dating – and I am glad I read it again now. It is an enjoyable book with short, humorous chapters. It is great reading material while you are waiting at the dentist or if you only have a few minutes to spare. Laura has endured difficult circumstances (e.g., breast cancer, etc.) and chosen to find humor in them.
Perhaps the greatest tidbit I picked up from her book is that I need more humor and less seriousness in my life. I need to learn to laugh at our differences more and stress about them less. Thanks, Laura, for the reminder and bringing us such a fun book!
Men, are you looking forward to marrying a buddy for life? Ladies, are you looking forward to marrying a protector, provider, and lover?