Mystery and Romance: Does a Christian Marriage Need Them?
- Thursday, February 11, 2010
Mystery and romance are traits we often associate with the dating days -- when two lovebirds delight in the process of discovering one another. The glow of these early days often fades as familiarity, responsibility, and routine settle in, leaving many wives feeling empty and discouraged. But did God intend for women to say goodbye to mysteriousness - and the accompanying romance - once rings are exchanged?
In her book The Woman of Mystery: Unveiling the Secret to True Romance, Hayley DiMarco asserts that married life is not meant to be void of either mystery or romance. In an interview with Crosswalk, Hayley shares some common mistakes wives make and how they can reawaken romance in their lives and in their marriages.
CW: Why write a book about romance when couples have pressing, unromantic issues to worry about like the economic downturn?
Hayley DiMarco: When I talk to women, married and single, they have this vision of their lives. They hope life will be something really romantic. I don't think that ever goes away even when times get rough. We still go to our chick flicks and think, Oh, wouldn't it be great if life was like that? Women are longing for [romance], but they are not finding it. My husband and I counsel really troubled marriages. We see a lot of problems stemming from expectations on the woman's side. I really felt like this was an opportunity to write a book that would help women who aren't content with where they are, who thought life was going to be more than what it is, and [who] want to understand how to better their relationship with the men in their lives.
CW: What role does mystery play in marriage?
HD: I think that is what appeals to men in the female body and the female form -- it's mysterious. It's not like theirs. The way we act is different. It's intriguing.
A lot of women think [mystery] is for the single girl -- they know she has got to be a little mysterious so he stays interested. The trouble comes when we drop the mystery, and we want to "keep it real." We tell men everything about us, about our past, about our health problems... we talk on and on. It's just, "Here I am, take it or leave it."
[Men] throw romance out the window when they marry us, because they caught their prize. Why would they work to catch what they already caught? I think the same thing happens for women. We catch the guy, so why do we have to keep up the mystery? Why can't she wear her sweat suit and hang out and not do her hair? We change, and the guy thinks, this is not the woman I married, that tried so hard. It's not alluring to any man, married or single.
CW: Some people would say the great thing about marriage is that you know everything about each other and you are comfortable. So, what does mystery look like in married life?
HD: I think that for most of us, we get confused, and we think that love means giving people what we love. But love is really about knowing the other person and giving them what they love. I find that a lot of us tend to be occupied with self. Mystery does not do that. Mystery looks at the person we are with… and thinks: What is he interested in? What would drive him crazy? Does more talking make him crazy? Does he just want to sit down and watch TV?
A happy marriage is both partners continuing to be aware of the desires and wants of the other. Wouldn't the world be an amazing place if we all did that? Really, this is just an opportunity for women to relearn mystery.
CW: Do you have some observations on what men typically want from their wives?
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