Recently I conducted a survey with men regarding the difficulties of being open with a wife or girlfriend. The survey is still ongoing, (and if you’re a man who’d like to participate, please click here) but so far the results have been very telling. I’ll be sharing about them soon.
Now I may be making an assumption here, but I think it is generally more difficult for men to be open in a relationship than for women. I think that’s because God wired the woman’s brain to desire conversational relating, while men typically desire relating to their spouses in non-verbal ways, if you catch my drift!
As a life-coach, I often see a tug-of-war between wives who want more conversation or quality time and husbands who want more physical affection and sex. They are both trying to connect in their own preferred way, but feeling hurt because their spouse is resistant to their preferred desires.
I’d like to offer wives, myself included, a “Couple Connection Challenge” (Or “Triple C”) for the next four weeks/30 days to focus on connecting with our husbands in a variety of ways. I’m going to start out very gradually, since I know many of you in truly troubled marriages need a slow start. I’ll be providing daily ideas for each week to begin these steps that welcome our mates into our arms, as well as, hearts. (If you are a man who needs to connect with your wife, then please feel free to join the daily challenges as well!)
Week One of “Triple C” (Click here for a printable of this week’s challenges)
Make sure to initiate a kiss with your spouse sometime throughout your day. I think a surprise or “unforeseen” kiss adds a bit of spontaneity and romance to this simple act. (By the way, if this is too scary for you, then kiss your mate’s forehead or cheek.)
Plan a date for the two of you. Talk to your spouse about when you can get it on the calendar. Then create your date around many of your mate’s favorite things to do and favorite places to eat.
Pray for your spouse (on your own and not in front of him). Ask the Lord to bless your mate and to encourage him in your marriage. Then pray that you would love your spouse more deeply and be able to forgive him when tensions rise.
Ask your spouse what was a “high” and a “low” in their day, then really listen. By that, I mean, give your mate good eye contact, face him, and don’t try to do something else while you listen to him. Then reflect back what you heard him say, even if it sounds like you’re parroting word for word. Ask your spouse if you got that right before moving on in the conversation.
Ask your mate to do something with you today like: going for a walk together, watching a favorite show together, playing a game together, sitting and talking casually and positively about your day together, looking over an old photo album together while sharing with each other the memories that the photos stir, sitting out under the stars some evening and looking for specific constellations, etc.
Compliment your spouse on a physical characteristic he has that you find especially attractive. This is often a lost art in marriage—exercising our “flirting muscles.” If yours are anything like mine, you have “flabby flirting muscles!”
[Tweet “Exercise your flabby flirting muscles with your spouse today!”]
Give your mate an impromptu shoulder or back rub—leaning in to whisper in his ear how much you love him.
[Tweet “Join the “Triple C” challenge at messymarriage.com today!”]
What affectionate gestures does your spouse (husband or wife) especially like?
How can I pray for you and your spouse in this challenge or in life in general?
If your spouse is on the road or away much of the week, then think outside-the-box on these challenges. Some of them can be revised to a “virtual” connection through a phone call, Facetime, or Skype. Of course, the physical affection won’t be able to be shown, but you can tell your spouse what you’d like to do when he gets home! Maybe he’ll get home a little bit faster or at least with more “giddy-up” in his step!
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