In 1986 singer/songwriter Madonna released the song “Open Your Heart”. While I don’t agree (obviously) with everything Madonna does or says, one phrase from this song is very powerful. “Open your heart with the key. One is such a lonely number.”
Today’s post may be perhaps one of the most challenging for us as men. Here at Happier Husband we have many very practical action steps. The One Thing challenge, to Stop Fighting, Stop Doing This, to cherish her Before She is Gone and many others. Some of these posts have called us to simple acts of love and others have brought us to tears. But this post is a different kind of call to action. It may make you uncomfortable, but if you do it I promise you’ll love the results!
Intimacy in marriage has several aspects. Just reading the word intimacy will for many of us bring up thoughts of the physical area of our blessed union. The physical is important but it’s not all that is necessary. Studies show that for a woman to truly be happy and engaged with the physically intimate area of a relationship she must be emotionally intimate as well.
Guess what? The same applies to men. The degree is different and may manifest itself not as powerfully, but the need is still there. Would you like another very practical suggestion to increase the joy and peace in your marriage? To be able to feel safe and even more loved? It’s simple.
Open your heart.
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” – Proverbs 31:10-11 (emphasis added).
When you are afraid, don’t just suck it up and move on. Open your heart to your wife, your soul mate. Share your hidden fears, let a few tears flow, it’s normal. Share the dreams you have long buried. Talk to her about your day, the fun and the challenges. Talk about your love for her and for the Lord. Read books, listen to podcasts and discuss what they meant to you and how they changed your perspective.
Tell her what she means to you. When you are dealing with a physical issue don’t just “man up” and expect it to go away. Let her know about it and go get some help.
I have to say that we were several years into our marriage before I really understood this. Also I still struggle at times with the fear of vulnerability or the fear that she will respect me less for being “weak”. Here is what I have discovered. Sharing my weaknesses makes our marriage stronger. It also allows her to comfort and build me up. She can then pray for me in a specific fashion. If you want to really be touched then listen to your wife pray for you. It is incredibly powerful. Don’t miss this seeming paradox. When I share my weaknesses with my wife I become stronger through her love for me and her love for God!
Let me wrap this up.
She loves you. She wants to know you, what excites you, what concerns you, what gives you joy. If you don’t share with her you are cheating her of the chance to love you in a much deeper fashion and you are cheating yourself of the intimacy of having someone who can love you more than you ever expected.
Open your heart.