Are We Still Pursuing Our Wives?

I hate divorce. I hate hearing that a couple I know has decided to give in and call it quits. I hate the pain it brings on both sides, not to mention how it affects the kids involved. And you know what it all comes down to in most cases? Lack of pursuit. At some point in the marriage, one or both sides decided that other things (life, work, golf, etc) were worth pursuing more than their mate. Now yes, there are other reasons for divorce (cheating, abuse, etc), but I wonder how many could have been prevented if there was a conscious effort by husband and wife, to continue to really pursue the other person, just like they did before they walked down that aisle, and maybe even for the first few years after the wedding. While this could apply to both husband and wife, I’m addressing the husbands in this post, so buckle up guys. 🙂

What do I mean by pursue? I mean this – Remember before you got married? Remember how it was when you were first dating? It didn’t matter if you were at work, or playing ball with the guys, or whatever, you had her on your mind. You were always thinking about the next time you would see her, or what you could do to be romantic, or what little gift you wanted to surprise her with. You were trying to win her heart. You were trying to make her think that you would stop at nothing to make her feel special, and want to spend the rest of her life with you. You were constantly pursuing the goal of winning her heart. 

Now fast forward to 5, 10, or even 20 years of marriage. Somehow, and maybe even without meaning to, “life” started to creep in. Since you had already “won” her heart now (come on, you spent all that money on the ring for crying out loud!), your male “once I’m done with one task, I move to the next one” mind started to kick in, and suddenly that amazing girl who used to occupy 95% of your waking thoughts (and some of your sleeping ones too), now was now buried somewhere after the golf game on Saturday, your goals at your job, and trying to raise 2 or 3 small kids while maintaining some sort of sanity. Somewhere along the way the pursuit slowed, or maybe even stopped.

My dad used to say “you lose what you don’t appreciate”. When I was a kid, I used to roll my eyes when he said that, because most times when it was said, I had just gotten scolded for not taking care of something, and it had gotten damaged or ruined. We have to realize guys (and the sooner the better), we can’t just say “I do”, and then put the gear shift into neutral, and hope to cost the rest of the way on the “we’re in love, so what could happen” feeling. As husbands, we have to continue to do those things we did when we won her heart! And “but I just don’t feel like it” is just lazy. Our wives don’t want to feel like they come in on our priority list right after getting the garbage to the curb every Wednesday night! They want to know we’re still crazy about them! They want to be the apple of our eye, just like they were in the early days.

“But I say I love you all the time!” Yeah, but do your actions line up with your words? We all love the old saying “talk is cheap”, but oh how true it is! If you’re saying “I love you baby! I really want to spend time with you!” on your way to the golf course, she’s probably not going to put much stock in what you’re saying. Look for ways to say “I love you, and you’re still everything to me”. I’m not going to list out a “top ten romantic ways to tell your wife you love her” either, because all wives are different! You’re going to have to think back (come on, you can do it) to your dating days and remember the little things. That place you used to take her to watch the stars (even thought you spent most of the time looking at her). The hangout you used to always go to and get the corner booth. The coffee you used to bring her at work, even though her work was 10 miles out of your way. You get the idea. 

As I’ve watched marriage after marriage of people I know break up, I wonder. I wonder at what point it started to break down. At what point this couple who was by their own admissions “madly in love with each other” just a few years earlier, now can’t stand each other. When did the nights of cuddling on the couch every night and sharing each other’s heart in conversation, get traded for him staying up to work, and her going to bed early? When did the priorities shift? I bet if you asked the couple, they couldn’t pinpoint a time or date it started happening. It just did. Over the years, pursuit was lost, and along with it, sadly, the marriage was too.

Does it take a little effort to continue to pursue your wife’s heart throughout the ups and downs of your marriage? Sure it does! But the when the alternative is being in a marriage where a slow acting poison called “inactivity” is killing it, it should be an easy choice to make. We can’t settle for normal guys! Our wives deserve BETTER than normal! Be the man that your wife fell in love with in the first place. Be a husband that pursues his wife!

    • AWH
    • September 6th, 2012

    I can’t agree more. After 10 years of marriage I can honestly say that the majority of our disagreements, arguments, or ill times have been during periods in which either she or I have failed to persue one another. (Usually failure on my part.) Sure, it’s not as easy to call and talk when both are working, but how easy is it to send a quick text now telling her how wonderful she is, how gorgeous she is, how much you love her, etc. Also it only takes 5-10 minutes to stop and get a card or flowers on your way home from work.
    It’s called romance. I know that’s nearly a forgotten term in men’s vocabulary but it needs to be restored. And it’s what most of our wives need. It’s what our mairrages need.
    Great post today!

    • John
    • September 6th, 2012

    Now how about somebody giving the wives some similar advice – when it comes to sex? A wife who has put sex on the back burner has no right to be surprised when her husband does the same with romance.

    • livinginblurredlines
    • September 7th, 2012

    Yes, please husbands! I have been feeling like an old shoe lately (and no, I do not put sex on the back burner, but he has taken it off the stove). When the hurt got too deep, I started withdrawing from hubby. He withdrew, too, thinking I needed space when in reality I just wanted him to reach out and draw me closer. The more upset I am, the harder I need my man to hold me and not let me go.

    Recently, a man pursued me a little before he realized I was married. It shocked me how I bit into that pursuit like a starving tiger! I was starving! I gave, treated, pursued, initiated with hubby, but got very little in return.

    Next time you walk by your wife in the kitchen and you hear a faint sigh, go back and embrace her. Next time your wife is upset, don’t get upset back, but hold her. If she squirmed away hold her tighter and say, “I love you too much to let you go when you are so upset.”

    My hubby had to leave for work (he works away from home) and he didn’t want to leave me so upset, so he made arrangements for me to be with him!

    I love gettings cute texts from hubby. I love when he responds to mine with eagerness. If you don’t already, spend at least one love making session a week or month focusing just on her needs and not worrying about your rocket going off……it probably will anyway.

    At least for me, 1 ounce of pursuit by hubby returns 10 lbs of love, admiration and respect from me.

    • Dave
    • September 10th, 2012

    Overall, I agree with your post — if we as husbands have stopped pursuing our wives or have become complacent about it, we need to step up and change that.

    However, I think I’m reaching a point like John is talking about. We’ve been in a sexless marriage for many years. For the last few I feel like I’ve tried to pursue my wife, but, while some things have improved, she just doesn’t seem interested in a sexual relationship. Lately there are days where I feel like, if she doesn’t want to be “caught”, then I don’t want to pursue.

    In these discussions, I often find the “think back to your courting days” line kind of interesting. Yes, I’m sure I acted differently then. The “infatuation” phase of the relationship creates some interesting dynamics. It also seems that she responded differently back then. She responded more strongly to a vase of flowers, or a phone call, and so on. I guess I just feel like, at some point, a wife has to respond to her husband’s pursuit (that doesn’t necessarily always mean sex). Somehow a man has to know that his pursuit is welcome or he’s going to give up. (Back on the single’s scene, pursuit that wasn’t reciprocated was called stalking.)

    • Maybe just take the lead and pursue anyway? She may respond when you start pursuing? You never know unless you try.

        • Dave
        • September 11th, 2012

        After a few years of “pursuing” (because that is always the first advice anyone gives to the “how do I turn my sexless marriage around?” question), there doesn’t seem to be much change. What I’m trying to describe is that, after a few years of trying to pursue her, and feeling like she doesn’t notice, or doesn’t care, or doesn’t want to be caught, I have days where I no longer want to keep up the pursuit.

        To make this less about me, I guess the idea is that a person can only pursue someone so long without some positive feedback. Pursuing the uncatchable is a tiring job.

        And I think this isn’t just about wives accepting sexual advances. How do we as husbands respond to our wives’ efforts to pursue us? When she makes a nice meal, do we tell her that we enjoyed it and appreciate her efforts? When she asks for time to talk, do we turn off the TV/computer and give her our attention?

      • Dave,

        If you read between the lines of your responses, you see a lot of pain, and a lot of “I’ve given up on my marriage, because I’ve tried everything, and nothing has worked”.

        All you can do is keep trying, and keep praying for your marriage, and fixing the things in your self that the Lord shows you you may need to work on. There’s always hope for your marriage! It just takes 2 committed people that say “we’re not going to settle for “ok” in our marriage.” You can do it!

    • francis Amos
    • September 10th, 2012

    I really enjoy reading this article.I learnt my mistake.I hope to get more of your marriage couraging articles

    • william
    • September 13th, 2012

    I agree with Dave, After getting a “hand slap”when I pursue it becomes more painful each time I am rejected. I bring home flowers and try to live in a way that honors her. My “concerns” are not recognized. Thank you

    • I’m not sure where everybody jumped off and made the assumption that the point of this post was to attain sex from your wife. The whole point of the post was what happens before a couple gets divorced, and how to avoid that. Sorry if I made it sound like this was a sure way to get to the bedroom. (not that it won’t help in this area…lol, but that wasn’t the point)

    • James
    • January 13th, 2013

    This is probably asking a bigger question than what is best suited for a simple reply in a comment section, but I hope you and a few of the readers may have a few thoughts that could set me in the right direction.

    My wife and I have been married for seven years, and my wife says she would like me to pursue her more, and I really do try, but I honestly have a difficult time understanding how to do this. (I have asked her, and she can’t really define it either.) So when I saw the title of this article, I was eager to read it.

    The article says: “What do I mean by pursue? I mean this – Remember before you got married? Remember how it was when you were first dating? …You were trying to win her heart. You were trying to make her think that you would stop at nothing to make her feel special, and want to spend the rest of her life with you. You were constantly pursuing the goal of winning her heart.”

    Actually, this is not true in our case. We had both read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” shortly before meeting, and we took a very cautious approach to the whole dating/courtship process. The heart is deceitful above all things, and we were very wary of our emotions guiding us into a bad decision. We intentionally made a point NOT to win over the others’ heart, but to carefully assess the wisdom of marrying each other. On the one hand, this approach worked quite well. We both agree very much on how to handle situations, because we discussed theological beliefs, finances, child-raising, politics, etc. And I certainly believe that God brought us together. However, we weren’t exactly “passionate” in the process, and I think we missed out on part of the excitement of pursuing a spouse.

    “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and other courtship-advocate resources made it sound like your marriage would be full of joy and passion if you just put your emotions in check for a while to make a wise decision in choosing a spouse. Unfortunately, when you put your emotions in check for a while, how do you get them “out of check”?

    We both love each other, and my wife is my best friend, but I feel lost in trying to pursue her romantically–because our relationship didn’t start out based on romance. I (incorrectly) assumed that romance would blossom over the course of engagement and the first few years of marriage, but that has never really happened to the point of desiring to “pursue” her. I don’t really understand what that means. I have already “caught” her. How do you continue to pursue something that is right in front of you?

    Thank you in advance for any everyone’s thoughts.

  1. Yes and No..true for the statement that it beautiful before the ring went on and then we became sophisticated. WOW! WHAT HAPPENED? one of you decided to grow up ( in your meaning ). Which it shouldnt, oh everyone decided to join the” jones” buy their little home, talk about 401k, and what Obama is doing for our children’s future…please.. take the man and or woman you are in love with and play hide the sausage. EVERY WHERE…
    What kills me is a friend of my wife finally got a divorce, she always complained about him and what he’s doing or what he’s not doing. Now, he seeing someone else and she’s awesome Jewish couple. She buys their daughter everything and he’s never been so happier than sin.
    Like he said to me she doesn’t want to do anything I have to ask for intimacy or pre ask..Which is ridiculous. .I stayed for my children. .very noble. What about your happiness? What about your state of mind? How she or he is treated affects the home front and work place..

    • Madhu
    • February 5th, 2016

    Wow! I am so impressed with your thoughts….you are simply exemplary… god bless you 🙂

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