I will never forget the way you looked on your wedding day. You looked radiant and lovely and almost perfect. And that smile you had on your face spoke volumes of your love for John, whose ring you were going to wear, and of your hope of a better and happier future. I will cherish that image of you in your wedding gown for the rest of my life and I pray that the reality of marriage will exceed your wildest imagination and expectations.
You asked me for insights that may help you make a success of your marriage. Well, John, your husband has also asked me for the same thing. I sent him his letter last week and I have asked him to share it with you and you are also to share yours with him.
Solace, I know you know that you married a man but I am not too sure that you know what that means. A man is a very different animal from a woman and if you don’t understand that, then you may put yourself under a lot of unnecessary pressure.
First of all, a man is very simple compared to a woman. Even the anatomy of a man is simpler than that of a woman. You plan what you chose to wear. For a man, unless he is going for a special occasion, he does not plan what he is going to wear.
Look at the fashion of men. Since we came up with the shirt and trousers and jacket, we have not bothered to change them. Over that same period you women have gone through hundreds of changes in what you wear. That should tell you how simple we men are. Our needs are simple; what it takes to make us happy is simple; our world is simple.
Now the biggest mistake a woman can make is to fail to understand how simple a man is. If you make that mistake, you will waste a lot of emotional capital trying to understand a man because you will assume that there is more to his action or words than there really is.
So, don’t second guess John. Don’t read much into his actions and words because there may be nothing there. He is a man; he does not always fully think through what he says.
The average man is not deliberate, not in the sense that a woman can be. So, for instance, if he forgets your birthday, he is not sending you a message; he is not indicating that you don’t mean that much to him; he simply forgot it. If you want him to remember your birthday, give him heads up about two weeks to the day.
If he buys you deodorant, he is not saying that you have body odor. He is simply giving you a gift, that is all. If he really wanted to tell you that you have a body odor, he would have said so to you directly and not said it through a gift. If you don’t understand this, you will take offence when none is intended.
Solace, men don’t talk when they are in pain. A woman will like to vent her feelings. A man has been socialized to hide his feelings and sometimes to even deny them. It does not mean that he does not feel; it only means that he does not know how to articulate them. If you are having problems in the workplace, you will like to talk about it any chance you get. John on the other hand, if he is having problems in the workplace will keep it to himself and talk about them only when he has decided what he is going to do about it. So, if he does not talk about what is eating him up, don’t get hurt that he does not see you as part of his life; just allow him to be. When he is ready he will open up about it. In the meanwhile, serve him his favorite meal and he will be fine.
Solace, I hope you are not too possessive because if you are, you cannot live with a man. A man has many things that take his attention and he may not always be able to prioritize them right. For instance, a man’s work or career may occupy him more than you think it should but he will respond to demands from work and ignore you not because the work is more important but because he knows he will be lost without a job and because he cannot give full attention to more than one thing at a time.
A man’s mother has a special place in his heart and you should not even try to take that place. Never ask your man to choose between you and his mother. He may not choose right and it could have serious consequences for your marriage. So, I hope you are not too possessive. Just be content that nothing can take your place as his wife. But if you decide to pull him from some of the things that take his attention, you may find that you have cheapened your place in his heart.
Solace, I laugh whenever a young lady says I want my husband to be my best friend. Fact is, he cannot be your husband and your best friend at the same time. So, get one female best friend and whenever you really want to chat, invite that friend over or you go over to visit that friend. Or plan fun things with that friend. This way, you will not have to depend totally only your husband for verbal fulfillment.
Finally, I want you to know that men have very fragile egos. Men seem hard on the outside but inside, they are very fragile. Women on the other hand look very fragile and delicate on the outside but inside, women are very strong. So, Solace, you can easily crush John’s ego but the day you do that, your marriage is over. Never embarrass John before his friends and in public. Never question his authority when the children are within earshot. Learn to massage his ego and he will go out of his way to make you feel good all the time.
Solace, John married you because he loves you but don’t expect him to say often that he loves you. It will be nice if John will learn to say I love you to you on a daily basis but he will not. So, let your expectations of your husband be realistic and you will be very happy.
And talking about happiness, don’t expect your husband to make you happy. Find ways of making yourself happy and then whatever he does to make you happy comes to add on to the happiness you create for yourself.
All the best, Solace. John is a good man and he will try his utmost to make you fulfilled as his wife.