Wives live to give and receive love. Husbands live to satisfy themselves as doers, achievers, producers, and—hopefully but not always—as good marriage partners.
After marriage, she expects to be happy with the love she can provide and exchange, as she plans, executes, and shapes their marital home and life. However, he expects to be satisfied living with her in that life together. What she provides and what he expects make a huge difference and it lasts throughout their marriage.
Those different objectives make them compatible and interruptions don’t have to separate them. However, from day one each depends on something different from the other. It’s the most critical challenge of their marriage, to keep him satisfied with her so that he remains satisfied with himself.
His major challenge is to produce, provide, protect, and solve her problems. If he slips or fails to do so, she senses that she should stimulate him to do better. The smarter and wiser wives encourage their man to get moving and do better. They manage to do it without disturbing but enabling him to find new satisfactions within himself.
Contrary to woman-think, a man doesn’t enter marriage for her love except as he sees it capable of shaping their togetherness in ways that satisfy him. Woman-think says that by combining a man and woman’s love, all things are possible. Man-think says that marriage is for women except when they can provide husbands with a satisfying existence living together. Her love of him motivates her but not him. Her likeability and apparent loyalty primarily motivate him to find her satisfying for his life.
Women ask, what about his responsibility to make my life satisfying to me? He has none, and smart wives don’t want it anyway. Two reasons: 1) Striving for personal satisfaction does not appeal to women; too much else is more important. 2) If husband is burdened to satisfy wife, he will take charge of her and marriage and run the show his way. No wife in her right mind desires that.
Men measure personal success by the satisfaction they find within themselves. Satisfaction that arises out of first figuring or planning what to do and then accomplishing what they likely will or intend to achieve. Consequently, husbands expect success in marriage from what they identify as their responsibility and expected achievements, but they measure success by personal satisfaction.
They fully expect to do their part as they identify it, and whether wife helps or not. In either event, a husband expects to find satisfaction with his wife, satisfaction living with her, and the resulting satisfaction that can be credited to marriage. If any satisfaction with wife is missing, satisfaction with himself tends to vaporize and marriage takes on the aura of an original mistake. A man has a strong tendency to recover from self-induced mistakes, his wife’s objections to the contrary notwithstanding.
Marital success to a husband relies not on wife’s love for him, but predominantly on how her love motivates her to love living and caring for his castle and life. That is, she loves to fabricate, arrange, and manage all the things that bring them together, and which boil down to his satisfaction with her and their living together. He appreciates her indirectly and finds marital success from all the pleasant harmony she brings into their life together.
Her love of him is never enough. For marital success, she has to love marriage, family, togetherness, relationships, duties, arranging, managing, uplifting, encouraging, mothering, children, inspiring, teaching, admiring, and stimulating all the events and circumstances that a couple faces. In short, she loves running their show more than she shows or needs his proactive displays of his love of her. She needs confirmations of her importance, but she learns to get a lot elsewhere than from husband.
The wife’s burden in a successful marriage is to shape and harmonize their lives together, which requires that she loves doing it even more than she loves him. That is the ultimate in a lasting marriage. They morph as individuals into a closed-circuit togetherness from three female motivations. 1) She learns to forgive and live with his faults. 2) She finally visualizes him as Mr. Right. 3) What she creates as ‘us’ and generates as harmony personified is more important in her heart than love of her husband.
That’s right, success in marriage means she ends up loving him less than their harmonized togetherness; it’s part of what makes lifelong marriage work. She was born to generate a wifely ‘empire’ in which to perfectly raise children, and her man was an essential ingredient to get her started and help out all along and for so many years. That’s why love is never enough.