- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 30, 2009

Recent news reports seem to confirm the idea that all men are dogs. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, who is married, recently was identified as the father of Rielle Hunter’s love child; she’s relocating to be closer to him. South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford spent Father’s Day with his Latin lover; his wife and four sons have moved out of the governor’s mansion.

News like this can breed suspicion, and maybe some of the “good guys” out there are catching flak from wives who suddenly want to know, “Do you still love me?”

Here is some male counseling from someone who is dedicated to helping couples create and sustain happy, healthy marriages.

“Gentlemen, let me have your attention. I am about to give you the single most sought-after pearl of wisdom that men have craved since God made a woman out of Adam’s rib. I’m going to tell you what a woman really wants,” Pastor Mark Gungor writes in his 2008 book,”Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage: Unlocking the Secrets to Life, Love and Marriage.”

“This is particularly significant because most women don’t even know what they want,” writes Mr. Gungor, who speaks to packed audiences about marriage.

“What a woman wants — what she is longing for in her deepest of hearts — what all women want — is simply this. She wants to be chosen.

“For a woman, the whole of life is like a junior high school dance where she stands alone thinking to herself, I want to dance. But what she really means is, I want somebody to choose me.

“Men may not feel it as intensely, but they all know what it was like as a child, to be picked for teams on the playing field. … No guy wants to be the last one picked.… Everyone likes to be picked. But for a woman, this feeling is overwhelming.

“When a man proposes marriage to a woman, he is saying to her, Of all the women in the world, I choose you. On her wedding day, at the greatest party of her life, in front of her family, her friends, and God, she is celebrating, I have been chosen!

“The man who understands this holds the key to what a woman truly desires. Love is not enough. She must be chosen. Choose her.

“The complaining wife,” Mr. Gungor writes, “doesn’t really care that her husband watches too much TV, or plays too many video games, or works too long; it is that he does those things instead of choosing her.

“Guys, despite what you may have come to believe, your wife doesn’t need your attention 24/7, nor does she really care that you have other interests. She just needs you to exhibit, with regularity, that you intentionally choose her.

“Here are some suggestions: Instead of watching your favorite show, say to her, ‘How about I turn this off and let’s go for a walk?’ Instead of sticking your nose in a laptop for hours on end as you bring work home, tell her, ‘How about I shut this off for awhile and you can tell me about your day?’ Dare to skip a golf date or a day [of] fishing and tell her, ‘You know, the guys wanted me to go with them today, but I decided to stick around and give you a hand around the house.’ That act of choosing her reaffirms to her your love and commitment. Watch out, her response will be pretty dramatic.

“Truth is, guys if you will make the effort to demonstrate to your wife that you are choosing her, she will push you out to enjoy more time with other activities that you find enjoyable or productive. But you must demonstrate, ‘Instead of this, I choose you. Instead of that, I choose you. Instead of my buddies, I choose you.’

“Guys, you can scour the planet in search of happiness and fulfillment, but there’s no place like home,” Mr. Gungor writes. “When you have a happy, loving wife, it’s the closest thing to heaven on earth.”

Cheryl Wetzstein can be reached at [email protected]

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