As a husband, I believe one of the most frustrating things in learning and understanding a woman’s heart is when you repeatedly fail to satisfy her or “make her happy” in spite of your best efforts. You know, when you throw up both your hands and say, “I just can’t win.” You try to do all the right things, say all the right things, and provide all the right things, and things may even go well for a while, but you eventually hear that dreaded phrase most men fear, “Honey, can we talk?” Rarely does that question provoke joy in a man’s heart or produce a peaceful conversation without conflict. In other words, “Can we talk?” isn’t usually music to a man’s ears, but rather misery to a man’s ego. It means you failed again at pleasing your wife.
Whereas woman’s greatest need in a relationship is typically safety and security, our greatest need as a man is basically to feel successful and significant. We want to know that we matter, that we’re capable, we’re strong enough, powerful enough, and we have what it takes as a man to win. That’s why receiving affirmation and validation from our dads or even other men is so important to us. But for now, if you want to learn and understand the heart of a woman, without it seeming like mission impossible when it comes to “making her happy,” you just need to remember one word:
When it comes to marriage, I don’t know too many counselors who stress how important consistency is. As a husband, you have a sincere desire to love your wife, to honor her, to cherish her, respect her, share with her, listen to her, make her feel appreciated, affirm her, romance her, comfort her, and to connect with her emotionally.
However, even the best intentions mean nothing if they’re not acted on consistently. And that’s the secret. You can’t just start and stop; you have to start and continue. Your wife doesn’t just desire those “security” things from you, and it’s not that she doesn’t appreciate it when you do provide them; but whenever you hear the question, “Can we talk?” it’s usually because she’s questioning your consistency in providing those things. Because providing those things “consistently” satisfies her need to feel safe and secure in your relationship. Do you get it?
A “lack of consistency” makes your wife feel vulnerable, unsure of you, herself, your marriage, and your future. A “lack of consistency” makes your wife feel vulnerable, unsure of you, herself, your marriage, and your future. The last thing you want is for your wife to doubt you, question herself and God, and to cause discord in your marriage.
But please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying you’re responsible for your wife’s happiness or that you have to be “perfectly consistent” in order to satisfy her; that’s unrealistic and literally impossible. However, as husbands, we do have to be “consistently consistent” in meeting her needs.
Consistency does not mean perfection.
Consistency in marriage is not you hitting the mark “all the time.” Consistency is you hitting the mark “most of the time” to the point that when you do “miss the mark” in your marriage (and you will), it surprises her. By hitting the mark “most of the time,” when you do miss the mark, you’ll find that your wife will extend you more mercy and forgiveness without conflict; because she knows you’re not perfect, and missing the mark is NOT the nature of your character.
So, resist the urge to be “perfect” in your marriage – which only leads to frustration, impatience, anger, even resentment. Instead, ask God to give you the grace and wisdom to be “consistent” in your marriage.
Sound off: What is the hardest part of being consistent in your marriage?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What area do you think I am most consistent in?”