Have you read Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs? Chock-full of biblical wisdom, the author covers the topic of friendship in marriage in a way that may be surprising women. Listen to Dr. Eggerichs:
"The wife who wants to show her husband that she likes him—that she is his friend—will be patient with his strange request to ‘just come out here and be with me. Watch what I am doing, or just watch TV with me, but let’s not talk.’ When the husband calls the wife in to ‘just sit by him,’ he is working on their relationship in a significant way—not significant to her, perhaps, but extremely significant, nonetheless. This is the way a husband communicates. Males prefer shoulder-to-shoulder communication instead of face-to-face communication, and this can occur in the simplest of ways. For example, during our first year of marriage, Sarah and I were in our apartment. I was reading, and she was on the couch. She said, ‘Shouldn’t we be talking?’
I replied, ‘I’m content just being with you…’
Research studies confirm the male preference for should-to-shoulder communication with little or no talking… My observation is that men grow close by doing activities together, shoulder to shoulder. Over time, these common experiences and mutual interests result in a sense of bonding. There is little negativity and few complaints. They don’t focus on their relationship, and they rarely talk about how they feel toward each other. As they become friends, one thing is certain—each is there for the other.
Many men can recall being a ‘blood brother’ with his boyhood friend. Two drops of blood blended together symbolized the ‘forever’ bond. The commitment was to be shoulder to shoulder, fighting to the death if need be. Little girls do not enter this kind of dream world, but little boys do. They build their forts and are ready to do battle and die together. Even now, as I write this, I feel the depth of emotion that every little boy has felt about his ‘blood brothers.’
So what’s my point? One day, the little boy grows up, becomes a man, and meets a special young woman. He proposes, and they marry. In his maleness, he assumes the two of them will be together, shoulder to shoulder, just as he has been with his male friends throughout his life. His request is simple: ‘Hey, let’s go do something together.’ Early on, his wife may cooperate. She is a real friend. However, three children and one ton of laundry later, there are so many more important things to do than fly fish and hang out. Besides, when they do have time to be together, she needs to talk. To her talking is the way to connect. Being together and never talking is absurd!
In most marriages, then, there is a real difference in basic needs… Obviously, there must be some give and take at this point as there should be in so many other areas of marriage. Just as sometimes he must make the effort to be with you face to face, you must also make the effort to be with him shoulder to shoulder. When he calls you to be with him and you just do it, with little or no talking, you will see the energy flow into him."
Learn more about friendship in marriage from the male point of view by reading Love & Respect or by visiting Dr. Eggerich’s extensive website.
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Please Join Us For Today’s Topic
Now it's your turn to talk. You can approach today's topic, "Friendship in Christian Marriage" any way you want. Tell us what you two do together that fosters good feelings between you? How do you and your husband celebrate your friendship? We want to know.
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The Marriage Monday Meme Will Take a Break
Originally, Christine (Fruit in Season) had the bright idea for this meme. Over the past two years, I've had the immense privilege of hosting Marriage Monday at Chrysalis. I know many blogging Moms look forward to visiting the MM contributors the first Monday of every month—even if they don't link up or leave a comment.
Last autumn, several sweet sisters volunteered to serve as guest hostesses. My special thanks go to Robyn, Andrea, Lynn, and Jennifer for doing such an spectacular job.
Changes are ahead. Summer is around the corner (yes!) and with it comes new schedules and responsibilities for Moms. I’ve decided to give Marriage Monday a little bloggy break. May, June, July and August will be off, and then we’ll start meeting again in September 2009.
I will miss reading your posts, and learning from your marriage wisdom. However, enjoy this little breather, and take the time to create some new memories with your husband. Ciao for now!
Do you enjoy Marriage Monday? What would you change? Be bold!
Photos: pilgrimgirl, (Flickr)