Saturday, April 19, 2014


Do you remember my New Years resolution? It was to make Gary a greater priority than our kids. More than that,  it was to work on our marriage. It has been going well and I just wanted to share one major thing that I learned this past week.

What I'm going to share probably sounds really basic and many of you will probably think "Duh, who doesn't know that?"  But, for those that say, "That's a good point!", this is for you.  

I was/am a very independent strong young woman. I know how I like to do things and I like to be efficient. I feel like I can pretty much do anything I put my mind to and I love to ask questions to figure out the best way to do something. Over time, I have become less independent and I like that Gary is there for me to help in so many areas. However, I still have many strong opinions. I also organize most of what happens in the home so I have even more thoughts on how everything should run. I guess my sisters are right when they say I'm a bit bossy (but so are they – ha!)

{The day after we got engaged up at Green Lake}

There are certain areas where Gary doesn't like my questioning/help which I won't share here. He is laid back so when I first witnessed his anger, I was totally shocked. You can probably think of "the area"  where the love in your life is more sensitive. This week I learned the following, which helps to explain it:

Women want love, first and foremost.  When they feel unloved, they may cry.

Men want RESPECT, first and foremost.  When they feel disrespected, they may get angry.

*this obviously doesn't apply to all men and women, some are going to be different.*

When I say "Do you know where you are going?" "Why are you building the garden bed like that?" "Why are you parking here?" he hears "She doesn't trust me or believe that I can do it."  I'm just thinking "Is this the best way to do it?" Does it matter if we get a bit lost and are a few minutes late? No. Does it matter if he takes an extra minute to park? No. Does it matter that the garden bed looks different than I thought it would?  No. 

Just as Gary has chosen to love me, I need to choose to respect his decisions, thoughts, and work. I need to hold my tongue when I really want to say something that I know will come across as disrespectful or show that I don't trust his decision making. I have witnessed relationships with great respect in them and I do want to be more like that. This doesn't mean that I don't provide any feedback or gentle reminders, but I know the areas where he is most sensitive and I need to keep my mouth shut.  

So, maybe you already knew that respect is of upmost importance to the man in your life (could be your sons, dad, husband, boyfriend), but if you didn't, there you go. I wish I was told this nine years ago even though I feel like I should have known it.  So instead of saying "I love you", throw in some "I appreciate how hard working you are" or "Great work on fixing the sink!"or "I knew you could do it!" Or, in many cases, just keep your mouth shut – that's the big one for me.

If you choose to focus on the negative things, it's a cycle that makes things worse. Dwell on the good and the feelings will follow. Philippians 4:8 says, ` Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.'.

Louise aka the wife who will keep her mouth shut just a little more. Hopefully.

Men want to feel respected first and foremost. What does that look like for them?


  1. Always love your honesty, thanks for sharing. I may or may not be a bit of a bossy pants as well so this is good for me to hear :)

  2. This is the beauty of marriage...that we are constantly learning (hopefully, anyway) about how we can be better, love our spouse better and what is most important to them in how we show our love.

  3. Louise, you are dead right on this. My Joe and I have been married for many, many years. I have found that our greatest times of friction have been when he feels I don't respect his judgement. Love, love, love your man, and he will lap it up. But ask him whether he really thinks he can squeeze your car into that motorcycle sized parking space, and he will go gonzo on you. Worse, he will actually whip INTO that space! At top speed. Never mind that you can't open the car doors to get out...