You don’t marry a gender; you marry a person. And yet the majority of Christian marriage books dole out advice based on gender stereotypes: “men need adventure,” “women need security,” “men like quiet time,” “women process verbally,” “men crave respect and control,” “women crave love and emotional intimacy,” “men are like microwaves,” “women are like ovens.” But even before we got married, Dan and I realized that just as often as we fit these generalities, we don’t. Dan knows I’d prefer tickets to a football game over a nice piece of jewelry and that too much security and not enough adventure leaves me feeling bored. I know that Dan is better at nurturing friendships than I am and thrives creatively when he has the chance to collaborate with other people.
So for all of this talk of men being “wired” one way and women being “wired” another, we have found, as Micah Murray puts it, that “wires are for robots.” We are human beings, and we relate to one another better when we stop expecting the other person to behave in a prescribed, programmed way but instead talk openly with one another about our actual desires, preferences, hopes, and expectations.