“You will tell them, won’t you? You will explain how important IT is to a man.”
If you could have squeezed my heart right then, I would have dripped compassion so thick, it would have looked more like unstirred paint than runny tears.
Oh, dear man. Dear GOOD MEN. What is it they cannot say but need so desperately for US to understand?
For a man, verbalizing a thing so deep, so central to who they are -- to WHAT they are – is impossible. They can only show us, and with baited breath, pray we accept and comprehend them. The dread of misunderstanding, of rejection, of disapproval, of failure in this way, is, to a good man, as horrifying as abandonment is to a good woman.
How is it that we have let the world make mockery of this sacred craving in our Loved One? Why do we dare become disdainful, neglectful, apathetic, or manipulative of such a sweet, simple thing; something so absolutely essential to our Loved One’s well-being; a sacred service only we can perform?
I didn’t say all that to the sisters. Instead, we took a more analytical approach, beginning with the derogatory cliche --
Men only want one thing from a woman.
-- contrasted with the truth:
Men are designed to perpetuate the human race; they are designed to create families.
Scientifically speaking, we all know what little boys are made of: sticks and stones and testosterone, which is the hormone that accounts for the higher level sex drive than females (on average). His predominant biological imperative is to reproduce himself.
And spiritually speaking, we know that not only are little boys meant to become fathers, but are destined to become one with a woman. Both roles are critical to their eternal progression and salvation for “it is not good that the man should be alone.” (Genesis 2:18)
According to Elder Packer, when a man has found his wife and companion, he has, in a sense: “found the other half of himself. He will return to her again and again for that regeneration that exalts his manhood and strengthens him for the testing that life will give him." (RS Conf, SL Tribune, 2Oct 1970, sec B p1)
Thus, we can characterize our husband’s instinctive urge as an “appetite” which forces him to behave a certain way -- OR -- we can embrace the “divine drive” because it impels him toward US, building his courage while breaking down his manly reserve. When received with open arms and an open heart, he can at last experience emotional intimacy: a state he innately shies away from, yet yearns for by design, and must understand.
You hold the key, dear wife.
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