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Marriage Fuel



I’ve heard it said before that a marriage can be thought of as a living organism. Like any organism, “the marriage” can starve and die if it doesn’t receive the proper and adequate nutrition it needs. And even though there are many different forms of relational nutrition for a marriage, I wanted to highlight 2 forms in particular. Below I will share arguably the 2 top marital fuels that are important to a marriage: one for men and one for women. Hopefully when you marry, you can remember this little article and make special efforts in these key areas throughout the rest of your lives together and beyond.


Marriage Fuel for Women: Good Listening—


Why is listening so important for women in a marriage? Because women will often talk out loud and vent in an effort to bond, to work through feelings, and to make meaning of life. By talking and articulating their feelings out loud, women can feel validated, understood, empathized with, and find agreement. When a woman vents and talks out a problem or issue and the man listens well, she feels better emotionally, as well as feeling cared for, supported, and loved by him. Women are generally more verbal creatures than men. And as such, being listened to becomes very important for a woman to feel close to a man. A wise woman once told me that “for men, sex is sex; for women, being listened to is sex”. Another female client I talked to came up with a new word: “communimate”. She said that when the communication and listening is good in the marriage, there is also a strong likelihood that “mating” will soon follow. Put them together and you have a winning combination. Words of wisdom.


So, how can men listen well? In short, there are certain things to do and other things to not do. Do give: empathy, understanding, validation, agreement (where possible), patience, interest, questions, periodic summaries, good eye contact, and focused attention. Be active and allow her to stay in the talkers role too as you stay in the listeners role. Let her “get it out”. Do not: interrupt, act disinterested, act impatient, argue, give unsolicited advice, get angry, switch the subject, make it about yourself, or multitask. For more ideas on listening well, see this article: https://www.ldsdimension.com/articles/listening-skills-14/.


Marriage Fuel for Men: A Good Sex Life--


Why is sex so important for men in a marriage? Because it is powerfully ingrained. Instinctively pressuring, demanding release and relief. Research and clinical experience shows that on average men have higher libidos that women, have a faster sexual response cycle, and enjoy sex more than women. Our Heavenly Father built men this way on purpose. This was not an accident or an error. He included this powerful drive in us that pushes us towards women and acts as an essential bonding agent for us: we feel closer to our wives after sex and feel happier and more satisfied with our relationships. Our strong sexual drive pushes us towards marriage and family life and helps us overcome other selfish wants, interests, and pursuits. How powerful is this drive in us men? Very.


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