I have been married for decades. And I have hosted multiple marriage retreats. Here is some simple advice from a man.
The Bible instructs men to “live with your wife with understanding.” Psychologically and emotionally they are not the same as men, any more than they are physically. We may try to be the best husbands in the world, doing everything that we think will please our wives, but it can somehow have an opposite effect sometimes. Wives may become moody, depressed, withdrawn, or angry, instead of reacting with appreciation and respect for our behavior. Of course, this is frustrating, and might create similar negative responses in ourselves. In that case, an argument is evitable. – The opposite is certainly equally true with women’s relationship with men. – Sometimes, when women think they are being wonderful and caring to their husbands, our reactions can be very confusing and even hurtful, although not intended.
The Bible plainly states that every married couple requires mutual love, respect, and honor to flourish. Without these daily ingredients marriages will wilt like flowers denied of soil and water.
Men, women are different. The sooner this truth impacts you, the happier your marriage will be. Men, never assume that you are doing what a woman wants. Ask them. – Yes, even then, they may change their minds and say, “That is not what I meant at all!” – And that is when understanding must come into play. Instead of becoming frustrated, be understanding. Always realize that your woman is in many ways an alien you will never fully understand.
Women, please understand that men instinctly need women to admire them. The Bible calls this respect. “Men love your wives. Wives, respect your husbands.” (Ephesians 5:33) Of course, both sexes need both. But more than women, men must be admired by their wives in order to be happy. Praise is the best thing they can hear.
The key to lasting love is listening to what our spouses really need and are saying verbally or otherwise. Being patient when we think we understood but did not. And to know that is because men and women do not think, feel, react, and think like the opposite sex.
Next time friction increases and an argument is about to happen; or, if it already has, stop. If you are a man, ask your wife to tell you how she feels, and what she needs. Then be ready to listen. DO NOT INTERRUPT! Listening to what you spouse says is critical to ceasing arguments. — If you are a wife, stop. Then change the subject and list things you love and adore about your husband. — Tell eachother why the other is special. Do that frequently.
Just remembering to stop, listen, and to be silent but attentive when your other other is telling you what they want. It will always have something to do with feeling loved, respected and cherished. Just the way we all want it to be.