Emotional connection is the key to your wife’s heart.
One of the ways you can resist the drift towards isolation in your marriage is to have a Marriage Staff Meeting. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the agenda in your marriage staff meeting should include pursuing spiritual connection, emotional connection, and physical connection. Healthy marriages are strong in all three areas.
Although connecting spiritually is the most important, connecting emotionally is a close 2nd and is sometimes the area couples struggle with the most, especially men.
Generally speaking (but definitely not always), women tend to be more feeling-oriented and driven by emotions. And men tend to think about life according to the facts and are more driven by intellect (I’m not saying men are more intelligent than women, nor am I saying that women are more emotional than men. I am saying that generally speaking, men and women are motivated differently). When these two somewhat opposite perspectives try and communicate or connect, there is potential for frustration.
Neither one of these tendencies are necessarily sinful nor wrong, but whatever your inclination, God wants you to grow in the area you’re weak. For many men, this means being intentional about increasing their emotional intelligence and capacity.
God is an emotional God who has created us as emotional beings. Consider that God gets angry, weeps, mourns, grieves, is compassionate, he is loving, etc… You are created in His image, and therefore you were created with emotions. And there is probably more value to your feelings than you think. Your emotions are valuable to you and your marriage.
Emotions should be valuable to us because they reveal what is going on in our hearts. I’ve heard emotions referred to as “windows to the soul.” It is essential to understand our heart better because it is the wellspring of life (Prov 4:23). Everything we do flows out of what is happening in our hearts. If you are serious about changing and growing to be more like Christ, then we need to be able to discern and understand what is going on in our hearts. Understanding AND sharing our emotions with our spouse help us do that.
We can’t completely understand our hearts by ourselves. God’s design is that we understand it with others’ help. And your most significant other is your spouse. They know you better than anyone on the planet and have valuable insight that you need to help you understand your heart so you can grow to be more like Christ. But, they will be handicapped in assisting you if you don’t open the “window to your soul” by sharing your emotions with them.
An emotionally healthy marriage is where a husband and wife regularly share and discover each other’s hurts, fears, dreams, and needs.
So men, since you’re in charge of initiating and setting the agenda for your staff meeting, below are some exercises to help you and your wife start the process of connecting emotionally.
- Praise each other
- Ask each other and discuss your answer to a thought-provoking question
- Discover what each other’s most essential needs are
- Confess ways you have hurt or sinned against your spouse
I hope your staff meeting serves as a catalyst to move your everyday conversation with your spouse from sharing what you know and what you think to more of what you feel and who you are.
This culture will create the best environment for an emotionally healthy marriage but also be one that is primed for God to grow the 2 of you into everything he wants you to be. That’s the goal.
And men, one more thing…
Emotionally healthy marriages have the best sex. Seriously. Physical affection follows an emotional connection. If you want her to want your body, give her your soul.
Hans co-founded Marriage Revolution with his wife, Star, in 2010. He counsels couples in The Woodlands, TX, speaks at marriage conferences around the country, and provides leadership and direction to Marriage Revolution.