How do women and men differ in preparing for a relationship or marriage?
Let me get straight to the point. I’ve noticed women are naturally inclined to think about and prepare mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for a relationship and marriage. Women are fed blatant messages to be better, be fit, be lovely, be smart, successful, play an instrument, sing…dance, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll land a man.
Whereas a lot of guys don’t necessarily feel pressure to have everything together as long as they have a stable job. For those who are Christian, being able to lead spiritually is important to them. I decided to try not to be too biased so I put out the question to a few people I know. I asked some Christian married men what they thought: What was a priority for you in preparing for marriage and did you think about preparing mentally or emotionally? Was anything at the forefront of your mind other than finances? The answer I received from most was it never occurred to them they needed to prepare mentally or emotionally but they assumed they were ready to be married and had everything in place.
One man said he knew he needed to prepare emotionally and mentally because he’d had such an intense and difficult childhood. Other than that, the assumption for most of the guys was that they were good. I think for most men the biggest wake-up call was after they got married and there was this whole creature standing in front of them who thought and felt and did everything differently from what they always believed was logical and right. Their wives processed information in new and strange ways and in so doing, didn’t always have the words to describe why they made the choices they did.
I have a bit of sympathy for men here. How would you know you needed to do something before you’d experienced it? It’s like thinking you’re physically fit because you throw weights around in the gym once in a while and then for one week exercising with real athletes. You’d realize pretty fast you had no idea what “in shape” was! The demand on your body would be so much higher.
Relationships and marriage are like this. It looks super fun and cute from the outside and but it’s such hard work on the inside and requiring so much more then it seems even for those who have prepared in every way they could. In hindsight, all of these guys said that they figured out how unprepared they were later but the good thing is that they all did something about it!
To be continued next week where I will share more about some of the challenges women face because of this and the very real imbalances that can result from not taking time out to prepare in a well rounded way.