While everyone has always told me that guys are just different than girls in what they want (or need) in a marriage, it just sort of flew by me each and every time I heard it. The pastor at my church would do a sermon on marriage to discuss these gender roles, or I would see a BuzzFeed on Facebook that had gone viral. And as I heard and read it over and over, nothing really clicked.
You're probably thinking, "I know where this is going. She is going to tell us that as soon as she got married, it clicked."
Wishful thinking, on my end. If all of that had just clicked as soon as I got married, boy would I have saved myself a lot of arguing, yelling, tears, and sadness. Because I will tell you, that it definitely doesn't just click...for anyone. And if you think it does, then you're living in a dream world!
My husband and I attended marriage classes at our church even before we got engaged (that's right, we were not even engaged!). Of course we knew that we would one day get married, but the same principles apply to all relationships, married or just dating, and don't we all want to have happy relationships? We knew we did, so that's why we went! These classes we great - we got to hear from couples who were struggling in their first year of marriage, couples who had been married for 50+ years, and couples who were welcoming their first child into the family. We learned a lot not only about others, but about ourselves and I truly believe that some of these experiences formed the foundation of our marriage.
But the idea of gender roles and what each gender really needed out of a marriage did not come until later.
My dad gave me a book called "Love & Respect" my Senior year in college. I read it, and didn't really remember much. And then once we got married, I read it again and it sure did change my view on marriage and on how I was terribly misunderstanding my husband and his needs.
I wanted one thing from him, love, and assumed that that was just human nature to want it. And he thought the same thing, but about respect, rather than love. We had each other all wrong and until I read this book and realized that I was not heading in the right direction, there was no way our marriage would thrive.
No, I am not saying that this book changed my life forever (although it did change me and my thinking significantly). But it sure was an eye opener and was the best eye opener I ever could have asked for. Our marriage is not perfect, so don't expect to get that out of it. But do expect to want to work harder and longer for a more perfect marriage.
I don't write book reviews often (and this review is not sponsored, in case you were wondering), but with how much it helped me in my marriage, I wanted to spread the word to all of my beautiful couples out there!
(Click on the book to purchase it. I am sure you can find it on Amazon and Kindle too!)