If you will hang in there and read this whole post, I will explain the root of most of our marriage problems. Really.
I will cover as much of this issue as I can. For the real message and all the deep details, you need to visit Joel and Kathy's website. BestMarriage.com They have free counseling calls and an open forum for getting to the marriage you dreamed of. Now, on with the show.
According to the counseling I have received, every man has within him the full capacity to completely take care of one adult woman. We are fully equipped to meet the needs of only one. Get that? We can care for our daughters, or our mother, or others who need our help. But, we don't have the emotional capacity to focus the best part of us on more than the one. It should be our wife. With me so far?
The problem arises when we are children. Since very few men are willing to put that much effort into focusing on the needs of their wife, the kids get to do it. Momma needs someone to hang out with her. She needs someone out in the garden while she makes it pretty. She needs someone to sit down at the end of the day and have a conversation with her. She needs someone to take action when the trash is full, or the dishes are piled up, or the cat pukes on the rug, or that stupid light in the fridge needs to be replaced, or whatever. She needs someone to show her, by action, that she is important. If dad won't do that stuff, she ends up leaning on the kids. She needs the oxytocin to flow in her brain. The stuff that makes her feel at peace. The stuff that helps her relax and rest. It helps her body heal itself and gives her insulation against stress. She gets it from hugs, smiles, kisses and compliments. She gets it from any form of sincere affection. She can even get it from her cat if nobody else will do it. But, she wants it from her husband and children. If she doesn't get it, she gets cortisol. That's the poison her body produces from stress, anxiety, misery, frustration, loneliness, etc. It drags her down. It damages her physically and emotionally. It makes her dark and angry. Seriously.
So what's the problem? Wen daddy doesn't create mummy's oxytocin she gets it from the kids. Not a big problem, for her, as long as she gets it. The problem is for the kids. Specifically the boys. The boys grow up as mommy's little man. They gradually assume more and more of the things daddy should be doing with and for mommy. It creates a strong bond between them. But, it's probably not the healthiest bond. The boys often end up carrying entirely too much responsibility for mommy's emotional needs. The often become the only sympathetic ear when mommy has had a bad day. So, these little men grow up and eventually get married. There's usually some separation issues, right? They normally find that great girl who probably even reminds them of momma in some ways. Not really a bad thing most of the time. But.....
Once they slip that wedding ring on their wife's hand, something changes. She is no longer the girlfriend, or fiancé or even just a friend. She's a married adult woman. Wow. Do you see where this is going? Suddenly he is married to an adult woman who has needs. Eventually, those needs are going to look a lot like momma. Something inside us begins to resist. Something inside us starts to feel like momma is here and we are smothered by someone who needs us. We will often back away, or get aggravated or even run when those needs start to show up. Mostly because we never felt like it was right when momma was all in our business and now someone else is doing it. We want our space. We want momma to find somewhere else to be until we need her for something. It's not something we do on purpose or plan, it just kinda happens.
So, how do we fix it? First by understanding what has happened. Then by deciding that this is our wife and we love her. We want to be with her. We want to be involved in everything that matters to her. We want to meet her needs. We chose her. We had no choice in what momma we got, but we chose this person to spend our life with. We have to take action.
Jump on BestMarriage.com and sign up for the forum. Send them an email or even call them. Read the good stuff about how to make your marriage amazing. Whatever you do with this new understanding, just move towards her instead of away. She needs you.