How do I Serve Her Better by Putting Her First?

BY: - 11 Dec '14 | Marriage

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Oprah, Life You Want Tour

If you haven’t read the book, “The Five Love Languages,” by Dr. Gary Chapman, I suggest it as excellent reading to continue to grow a healthy relationship, or help to heal a broken relationship.  While it takes more than a book to build our relationship, one thing is certain, there is action required to serve another human being.  There is no way around it.  Our narcissistic nature encourages us to put ourselves over others, even when we are not aware of it.  It’s important to address one of the five love languages, “acts of service,” by learning what it means to put your spouse’s needs before your own.

Selflessness vs. Self-preservation

I was having a discussion with a client recently about putting her man’s needs above her own.  She couldn’t totally grasp the concept.  It wasn’t that she was out of touch or clueless, the fact is, she is used to putting herself first because she never saw anyone else put her first.  She was taught to look out for number one by default.  This mindset is a commentary on our relationships as a whole.  What I wanted her to see was conflict between selflessness and self-preservation.  Self-preservation says I take care of number one.  Selflessness says I take care of my significant other or my spouse above all else.  Self-preservation presents the message that if my needs are met, then and only then can I meet the needs of others.  Selflessness says by meeting the needs of those I love first and foremost, I am meeting my needs.

Every woman’s love language is not acts of service.  That’s ok, because every man should still desire to serve his woman.

Putting someone else before yourself is not a list of things you check off.  It’s a complete change of how you think about the world.  One of the things I was taught years ago in sales training, is that people are most often not listening to what you are saying.  People are actually waiting to talk.  This is an example of our selfishness.  Great salespeople ask great questions and listen more than they talk.  They listen to the customers and find their pain points and needs, instead of forcing a solution or product on a customer.  The same should hold true for relationships.  Men, if we are thinking “what can I do to help her” before I think of what I can do for myself, then the act of service comes naturally.

Selfishness is the Biggest Challenge

Every woman’s love language is not acts of service.  That’s ok, because every man should still desire to serve his woman.  She will love and appreciate you for it.  If you read my articles here and in other places, I write about selflessness and service quite a bit.  The reason for this is, selfishness is the biggest challenge I see in the relationships I work with.  If we think of our spouses and significant others more and ourselves less, we could alleviate a lot of the challenges we face in our relationships.

If you ask her what can you do for her today, each and every day, eventually, she’s going to take you up on it.  When you follow through on serving her, she’s going to realize how considerate you are and appreciate you for it.

There are two important things we see when we put our mates first:  We find that when we work to fulfill the lives of others, in that humility, our lives are ultimately fulfilled.  The second thing we find, is that if both parties in the relationship are truly selfless, all of our needs are met.  When two people are striving to meet each other’s needs, they are satisfying the ultimate needs of the relationship and they are providing those needs with humility and sacrifice which are great expressions of love in a relationship.

BMWK, Do you put your spouse first?

About the author

Jay Hurt wrote 85 articles on this blog.

Jay Hurt is a Relationship Coach, columnist and author of the book, The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship (http://9tenetsonline.com/about-the-book ). Jay’s focus is working with people who want to design better relationships and get more out of life!

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Why Men Look at Other Women and How to Address It

BY: - 11 Dec '14 | Marriage

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A single woman in her late 40s/early 50s was on a date with her gentleman-friend at a semi-formal event. They were holding hands. But his neck was on swivel…looking at a bunch of other women. She noticed it but didn’t say anything at the moment. She waited until they got outside. Then she told him in a polite yet determinant way that ‘I don’t play that. That’s disrespectful’.

He was like, “What? Girl…you trippin’!”

So she was like, ‘Whateva! But you’re not gonna disrespect me when we’re out together.’

So she stopped seeing him. Was she right? It depends.

After she told me this story, she asked me, “Why do men look at other women, even when they are out with someone?” This is what I told her. (caveat: this is an explanation not a justification.)

From the time of pre-teens, men were socialized to admire females’ bodies. ‘She gotta phat butt.’ ‘She has big breast’ is the standard conversation that goes on among boys in school, on the block, on the phone…everywhere. This fixation intensifies through the pubescent years of high school, the sexual exploratory days of college, and through the youthful folly of their 20’s. Looking at other women has grown into an automatic, involuntary response to a female stimulus, like saying ‘amen’ to a preacher who’s preaching a good sermon.

Enter the love of his life. Now, he’s expected to stop looking at everyone else and focus his attention solely on one person. Noble…indeed. But his challenge is, he has to consciously retrain himself to stop doing a very natural involuntary response to a female stimulus that he’s been doing more than half his life.

There are three types of men in this regard. Jack is able to control himself and not check out every woman that crosses his path. Sam tries, but finds it very difficult. He’s the one that tries to act like he’s not looking, but is obviously checking her out. And then there’s Mike. Mike doesn’t care. He looked, is looking, and will look again. And there’s nothing you can say or do to stop him.

Ladies, if you are in a relationship with Jack, you’ve got yourself a man that has retrained himself not to check out every woman. Keep him. He is considerate and cares about your feelings.

If you’re with Sam, be aware that he’s not intentionally doing something to you. He’s just doing something that comes automatically natural to him…like an ‘amen’ at church. This was me for the first year of our marriage. I didn’t realize I was still looking at other women until I got tired of my wife ‘trippin’ about it. I had to really check myself. And she was right. So I made an intentional effort to stop because I cared for her feelings. Be patient with Sam. Let him know how you feel about what he’s doing and give him an opportunity to change his behavior. But show some empathy for his plight and give him grace to change over time. It’s an unrealistic expectation to expect him to stop cold turkey, a decade-long automatic behavioral pattern over night.

If you’re with Mike, he’s a lost cause. He likes looking at other women. It gives him a dopamine high and he doesn’t want to stop. The only way he will stop is if he decides to. If you’re dating him, don’t expect anything other than what you’re already getting. Consider this a warning. If you’re married to him, this issue is the least of your problems.

Like I said, I’m not justifying this as appropriate behavior in order to get you to accept it. But you do have to accept that some men aren’t intentionally doing something to you, in spite of how it might feel. For those men, me included, if you are patient with them and get them to see how it makes you feel, then they will respect your feelings and, over time, cut back on looking at other women.

BMWK — How do you feel about men looking at other women?

About the author

Heath Wiggins wrote 83 articles on this blog.

The Purveyor of Understanding - Heath Wiggins married Bernadette (Bernie) Wiggins in October 1997. Together they founded the Family Bootcamp, LLC., a relationship consulting business that helps people improve the communication and trust in relationships. In 2013, Heath launched the blog and book His Leadership Her Trust to combat the lack of trust women had in allowing men be leaders in their relationships. His mission is to teach Christian men how to lead in such a way that women trust, respect, and actually want to them.

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