Failed marriages are like cars that have rusted out and been banished to the junkyard. At one point they were shiny and new, but eventually the owner stopped maintaining it. All it took was one little spot of rust.
How can we keep our marriages from rusting out? One of the best methods for treating marital “rust” is to practice the art of romance.
There are many ways to restore romance into your marriage, but one way is by speaking love in your spouse’s language. Men and women are very, very different. Romance looks different for both of us.
Men need romance, but for a man, romance looks a lot like, well, nudity. Romance means being naked. It’s always sex, fun, and honor. Sex and honor and fun. Watching a football game in your underwear? That’s romantic.
For women, though, that is absolutely not the case. Romance means long, slow touching…talking…anticipating. She does not want to get there quickly. Sex, for her, is a destination you both reach at the end of a long road.
The most romantic marriages occur when each spouse has learned to speak the other’s language. Romance is when he learns to speak woman, when he willingly shares with her, opens up to her, and talks about his feelings. It’s when he takes care of the kids or makes plans for dinner.
Romance is when she speaks man. She does this when she disregards whether or not she feels sexual (most of the time she probably doesn’t) and gives him the gift of sex anyway. She treats him with honor. She offers him sex and fun.
When both of these songs are playing, marriage can be a beautiful and intoxicating harmony.
Both are thinking of their own needs. Both are thinking in their own language. To succeed in marriage, you need to be thinking in the opposite language. Great marriages are emotionally bilingual.
At this point in our marriage, I know Karen’s language. She speaks woman, not man. When we were having problems in our marriage, it was because I was trying to give her a language lesson. And she would be trying to give me language lessons.
But romance is a language demonstration, not a language lesson. But getting married and trying to force your language upon your spouse is like moving to another country and wanting everyone there to start speaking English. You can’t do that. You have to pay attention and learn the language of your environment.
In the world of the opposite sex, you have to learn to speak their language. Stop worrying about your own needs and desires, and pay attention to theirs. That’s the core of romance, and nothing rust-proofs a marriage like romance.