When I read the Twilight series (yes, I read all four books – including the long passages of Bella pining away incessantly for Edward), it seemed that we were setting up our teenage girls for incredibly unrealistic expectations. Here was Edward, perfect Prince Charming, with only a little paleness and a couple of fangs as drawbacks. Otherwise, he was flawless, perfect, a girl’s dream date. I commented to a friend that author Stephanie Meyer should have at least given Edward a little foot odor.
But the ridiculous standard isn’t set simply by Twilight. Watch a Disney princess movie with a swashbuckling knight rescuing the damsel in distress, read a Harlequin romance with a muscular hero embracing the heroine and making love to her for hours on end, read a typical marriage manual about how good husbands should talk openly for hours about how they feel. We ladies have long been idealizing some unattainable ideal for the guy who should come and sweep us off our feet!
Give your man a break. Let him be who God designed him to be.
A few observations and generalizations about real princes:
Men talk less than women. And they talk less about their relationships and feelings than women do. As evidenced by Home Improvement, grunting almost counts as its own language for the male species. Your husband is not likely to bare his soul on a daily basis, and don’t try to make him do so. He will talk to you, but men are much more likely to share while doing parallel activities than when sitting face-to-face and they may take several days to reveal something that’s been on their minds for a while. Create a secure environment for him to open up, and most guys eventually will.
Men are singularly focused, not multi-taskers like women. For too long, I expected my husband to look around the house and see everything that needed doing as I could see it. Well, he doesn’t. Male brains don’t work like female brains. God made men to be more mission-minded. They conquer one mountain at a time; and when allowed to function in that way, they are great at it. Don’t berate him for not knowing your infant’s entire feeding, sleeping, and diaper schedule. Do your multi-tasking, and give him a “Mission Possible” list, so he can tackle one item at a time and check off each mission accomplished as he goes.
Men think about sex a lot more than women do. But the fact that he can only rub your back for two minutes before wanting to turn it into something else entirely does not make him a selfish pig. God designed him to desire you – when he sees you, touches you, and sometimes even when he thinks of you. Women have sex when they feel loved; men have to sex to feel loved. In fact, the only time a male produces Oxytocin (a hormone that increases relational bonding) is post-coitus. Sex is an emotionally charged experience for a man.
I know this is simplifying things a lot, and it barely scratches the surface of male/female differences. The point is that wives can spend an inordinate time dreaming of what their life could be if only their husband would be like the charming character from the last romantic comedy they saw. Or if only their one-and-only was immortal and had all of eternity to gush over them and how perfect they are.
But our husbands are flesh and bone – no script. And that’s a wonderful thing! They are our real princes. Appreciate it.
P.S. Of course, I’m Team Edward. As I pointed out to a friend of mine (who is Team Jacob for some inexplicable reason), who wouldn’t rather date a vampire than a dog?