One of the greatest challenges in marriage is navigating the differences between the typical male thought process and the typical female thought process. God (in His wisdom and His sense of humor) gave men and women very different perspectives. When these differences are understood, the husband and wife can harmonize with each other and see the world with more depth and perspective than either can could do alone.
To help you ladies understand the mind of your man, I've listed below the main things that seem to dominate our thoughts. I hope these insights spark some rich conversations in your marriage.
If your husband is like most guys, his thought are probably dominated by...
(In no particular order)
1. Concern for your happiness
This one might surprise you, but most husbands can never be happier than they believe their wife is. Your happiness, contentment and joy is of the utmost importance. Sometimes our own selfishness and pride gets in the way, but your happiness is a consistent thought. When you are unhappy (or you seem unhappy), we'll try to figure out how to make it right.
This one probably isn't a shocker, but we actually think about sex even more than you think we do. It dominates our thoughts. In fact, most of us wish we could dial down our mental sex drive. We'll often gauge the health of our marriage based on the health of our sex life.
3. How to achieve more
Most guys are results-driven, and even if your husband has achieved "success" in life, chances are he still feels like he doesn't measure up in certain areas. Men can be (to a fault) driven to achieve. Engage with your husband in conversation about his goals and dreams and remind him that healthy relationships, not trophies or money, are the ultimate measure of success. We guys need to be reminded of this often.
4. Searching for peace
Men tend to crave silence and solitude in a way most women do not. Men tend to mentally recharge through silence and contemplation while women tend to recharge through conversation and engagement. Again, these are generalizations which don't apply to every individual, but I've observed them to be true in a majority of couples.
This one might seem carnal and shallow, but we think about food all the time. If you took all the brain space we use up thinking about food and sex, most of us would have the mental capacity to memorize an encyclopedia! I've been thinking about my next meal the entire time I've been writing this article!
Most men are wired with a need to be a provider for their families. We'll often think hard about ways to make ends meet and generate more income to provide. Sometimes this healthy need to provide can consume us and evolve into an unhealthy need to generate wealth motivated by selfish ambition more than family provision.
7. Sports* (but not necessarily for the reasons you're thinking)
We love seeing modern-day gladiators battle it out on the field and we even will sometimes live vicariously through them (since we all have an inner gladiator inside), butthis isn't the only reason we like sports. We also like sports because on that field or court, everything makes sense. The lines are clearly drawn, the rules are known by all and scoreboard is always in view. We wish all parts of life were this clear and measurable. We want "success" but don't always know if we're winning or not in most areas of life.
*Even when a man isn't into sports, he will usually gravitate to one or more hobbies where he can "keep score." (Video games, fishing, car shows, poker, etc.) There seems to be a hard-wired desire for structure and/or measurable success in most men's hobby pursuits.
8. Pain from the past
Just like the "instant replay" in sports, most of us have a few major life regrets or scars inflicted on us that we are tempted to keep replaying in our minds. They haunt us until (or unless) we learn to embrace the richness and depth of God's grace. If a man won't embrace grace, he'll lock himself in a mental prison where he will punish himself (or punish those around him) for the wrongs he's done or the wrongs that have been done to him.
9. Leaving a legacy
Every man wants his life to count. He wants to be respected by his family and he wants to make a lasting contribution to the world that will endure beyond his own lifetime. Most men feel the constant pressure of wanting to leave a legacy, but not knowing where to start or how to do it. We often need to be reminded that being a faithful husband and dad is the best legacy of all (even if there's never a marble statue carved in our honor).
This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.