How does romance look different for a husband and a wife?
By Rhonda Stoppe
Valentine’s Day is when Americans focus on love and romance. What love means for a man is different than what a woman thinks about love. After all, that is how God created them! Understanding what each partner needs is key to a long and happy marriage.
Rhonda Stoppe, author of If My HusbandWould Change, I’d Be Happy, explains more about the differences between men and women when it comes to romance.
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Kim was busy with last minute dinner preparations when David waltzed into the kitchen with a bouquet of gerbera daisies. Amidst the chaos of trying to help their eight-year-old study for his spelling test and almost tripping over their four-year-old’s doll house, Kim tried to appear grateful for David’s thoughtful gesture.
David tossed the flowers on the counter and gave Kim a flirtatious grin and a wink. Then he went into the den to watch sports on TV until dinner was ready.
Kim thought, Oh yeah, that’s right buddy. You brought me flowers so I know what you are thinking about for later. Does the man not even notice that I am in survival mode right now? The last thing I want to think about is romance.
Maybe you can relate to David and Kim’s scenario. Remember when receiving flowers from your love would cause your heart to pitter-patter? I do.
When my husband Steve and I were dating, he used to leave work on his lunch hour to drive thirty minutes to my house to drop off flowers. Because his lunch break was only one hour he only had time to deliver the flowers, give me a kiss and then head back to work. As I stood clutching the flowers, I remember thinking, “How romantic!”
After we were married, and I became a stay at home mom, I remember Steve bringing flowers home. Only this time my response was not, “How romantic!” Rather it was, “How expensive!” because I knew buying flowers no longer fit into our single income budget.
What I didn’t realize is my less than joyful response deeply wounded my husband. Not only did I tell him that his attempt to be romantic had failed, but he also took my comment to mean he was failing me by not making enough money.
In If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy, Steve shared this insight:
“When your husband makes an effort to be romantic, help him know when he is on the right track. Remember, he is likely putting himself into a situation where he feels inadequate. This means your husband might think he is risking humiliation if he gets it wrong. He may even believe he will lose your respect if his attempt at romance fails.”
The Bible instructs husbands to live with their wives according to knowledge. The problem is sometimes our husbands need some help in figuring us out.
So it’s your job to help your husband learn how to romance you in the different stages of life. While a bouquet of flowers may have once spoken romance, now you can help your husband realize how much you would be drawn to him if he would jump in to help when he comes home from work.
What speaks romance to your husband? Let’s look at these three insights:
Play with him. Remember when you were dating? How did you spend time with your love? Most likely your courtship was filled with hours of conversation and playing together. Think back. How did you play together when you were courting? Maybe you went hiking, golfing or simply building sand castles at the beach.
If you’re like most women, the talking and listening you experienced in courtship filled up your romance tank. By contrast, the time you spent playing together likely ranked high on your husband’s romance chart.
All-too-often married couples forget the value of playing together. If enjoying activities with your husband filled his romantic tank then, it likely will do the same now, as long as you go along to enjoy his company and not to invade his solace with nagging or complaining about everyday life issues he may be trying to escape through his playtime.
Laugh with him. Laugh when your husband attempts to be funny. My husband is a pastor, so he preaches every week. I often laugh way too loudly at his jokes. The other day a woman said, “We all laugh harder at you because you think he is so funny.”
Then, before I felt embarrassed about my unbridled laughter during Steve’s sermons, she added, “I’ll bet all our husbands wish their wives would grace them with laughter like you do.”
Let him pursue you. When you were dating your husband, part of the romance for him was pursuing you. So devise ways to entice him to pursue you. When it comes to filling your husband’s romance tank, you’ll be surprised at how far a little flirtation goes.
Your husband may not be able to put into words what he needs from you, but you would be wise to find ways to romance him. Take some time to consider what speaks romance to you so you can help your husband learn to romance you through every season of life. I promise you won’t regret it.
Rhonda Stoppe is the No Regrets Woman. With more than 20 years of experience as a marriage mentor, pastor’s wife, author and speaker, Stoppe leads women of all ages to live lives of no regrets. She is the author of Moms Raising Sons to be Men, which mentors thousands of moms to guide sons toward a no-regrets life. Her latest book, If My Husband Would Change, I’d Be Happy & Other Myths Wives Believe, is helping countless women build no-regrets marriages. Rhonda is currently writing a new book, tentatively titled Love Stories of the Redeemed, releasing in early 2018.
Stoppe lives Northern California with her husband, Steve. They have four adult children and eight grandchildren.