I know that when my husband married me, he took on hefty responsibilities—not just for himself anymore—but for me and our future children, including promises to…
- Please (always),
- Provide (as much as possible),
- Protect (when necessary),
- Problem solve (as called upon), and
- Procreate (as agreed upon)
But it wasn’t enough.
Because my appetite for attention was insatiable and his execution was never up to feminine standards, my subtle calls for transformation (“hints”) began to sound more like commands. Of course, when that approach didn’t work either, I resorted to ultimatums. It nearly broke us. What I didn’t understand at the time of course was how insecurity—common feminine anxiety—was the actual saboteur. Misdirected and misunderstood, my fear-inspired attempts to connect with my husband actually threatened to disconnect us—permanently.
You’ve probably jousted like that with your own wife and know what it feels like to be knocked off your horse. Chances are her heart remains a moving target, and your efforts to play Cupid continually fall short. As frustrating and demoralizing as that may feel, I’m here to ask you not to give up on her, or yourself. There is a way to aim those well-intentioned arrows with pinpoint accuracy.
In this archery lesson, we’ll identify seven relational values women prize most (beyond the above five “P’s”). Honoring these seven feminine needs or desires, practically universal to women, will work wonders in allaying her fears; minimizing behaviors that hurt you both.
Note the first letter in each value: their alphabetical order will help summon up the right one at the right moment. Champion archers, in the heat of a tournament, have to know their stuff by heart.
- Romance: “You are my everything and I love being your intimate.” In other words: “I love being close to you, physically and emotionally, and when I am not near you, I am thinking about you.” This counters her fear of feeling unwanted, or in competition with your other responsibilities and interests.
- Security: “I will never leave you, and I will never leave you wanting.” In other words: “I am committed, heart and soul, to your happiness and well-being. This counters her fear of losing you.”
- Trueness: “I am always authentic with you.” In other words: “I may not be as emotionally expressive as you are all the time, but I promise that our relationship is grounded in honesty, and I will try to honor your need to know how I am feeling.” This counters her fear of feeling left out, shutout, or lied to.
- Understanding: “I want to know what you are thinking and feeling.” In other words: “I can’t necessarily be your therapist, but I will be your confidant when you want to talk, and your partner when you ask me to help problem solve.” This counters her fears of exposure, loneliness, or being judged unfairly.
- Validation: “I support you. I believe in you. I’ve got your back.” In other words: “You can count on me to be your ally, your biggest fan, and your first line of defense.” This counters her fears of being unimportant to you, or that she is too much alone in the world, overused and under-appreciated.
- We-ness: “We are our own club, our own team, our own universe.” In other words: “I see our marriage as a full partnership and will keep our relationship pre-eminent and exclusive.” This counters her fears of being dominated/controlled, or of being disrespected/dishonored.
- sXYZ: “You are incredibly beautiful. I love to share my soul with you and love to feel your soul through our physical intimacy.” In other words: “Your body is the most beautiful body in the world to me, your intelligence is the most intriguing, and your personality is the most alluring above all women, and when we make love, my desire is to share my whole self with you and to help you feel safe in trusting your whole self to me.” Counters her fears of being physically unattractive or inadequate to you, or of being desired for her body only.
Ramona Zabriskie, a wife of 38 years, is the multi-award winning author of Wife for Life: The Power to Succeed in Marriage and founder of the highly acclaimed Wife for Life University, a one-of-a-kind virtual school for wives that transforms marriages through a step-by-step, principle based approach via live mentoring, classes, and community. Watch Ramona’s free information-packed webinar, “Your Power to Succeed in Marriage” on demand at ramonazabriskie.com.