Women put their faith in love. It’s their nature to do so and essential and satisfying to each one. It’s their primary mission in life. Denied opportunity to express it directly, they become saddened and lonely.
Men differ. Love is a light weight emotion. They don’t find it all that functional and useful in the grand scheme of manly life. He’s meant for something else—and he thinks bigger—than just loving someone.
Her love may not be essential to her man, but she’s much more than just likeable because of the enjoyable fringe benefits. It’s a vital, indirect part of a couple’s peace and harmony together, which a man needs more than her affection or sex. Without P&H, he feels guilty about something—aka indirect blame. Men don’t handle it well. Instinct advises: return it to the cause. (Readers don’t have to be told what that brings and how things usually turn out.)
One or more versions of devotion keep most men at home.
- Devoted to wife as kingpin in his life. It forms in a lengthy and chaste courtship. He primarily pursues conquest, until he discovers that she has admirable qualities that fascinate and promise much more than just sex for his present life. He learns from his actions to please her just for the sake of pleasing himself (aka devoted). When it becomes habitual, he wants her closer within his life; he feels better about himself in her presence.
- Devoted to God and moral virtue as the result of good upbringing. He habitually lives up to something or someone bigger than himself, which makes dumping wife and/or children anathema to his character. He admires himself for sticking up to his self-expectation. He finds disappointment when even accidentally he finds himself short of his expectation of living up to who he thinks he is.
- Devoted to his responsibility for others. Such as children, family development, and wifely need, which derives from the two above as a broader and more intense view of his significance to himself and importance in the lives of others. Intensity of devotion counts for much more dedication.
- Devoted to his job/career/lifetime project. Perhaps seen by wife as selfishness or single-mindedness, satisfaction found in one devotion has an amazing way of spreading to other endeavors. (Not all workaholics can be coaxed to take a more considerate line by better P&H at home, but many can.)
Wives have the natural ability to anticipate and figure out what to expect in the future. Opportunities abound. Example: Three testing periods give a glimpse of what’s to follow: The two-year glitch, seven-year itch, and twenty-year ditch and switch periods are described at post 2251.
She can read and estimate husband’s level of devotion to her, God, morality, and family. Red flags mean she should work differently and smarter to keep him rather than focus lopsidedly to perfectly keep house, tend to kids, watch soap operas, tip the bottle, paralyze herself with fear, blame him for whatever she despises, or complain about self-induced misery.
It’s old and I think Ben Franklin-ish: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The best insurance against a woman’s greatest fear of abandonment is to hold his conquering urge at bay until he develops some measure of devotion to her. Or, she sees other devotions in his character, such as closeness to God and interest in responsibility and living a moral life. The latter is a good foundation for his developing devotion to her, but it takes time and chaste togetherness works best.