Men and women in lasting relationships share four fundamental connections: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. However, men and women establish these connections in different order and give them different priority.
Men build monogamy upon a foundation of physical connection. By that, I don’t mean touching, necessarily. Physical connection involves much more. Men need to be physically present with a woman in order to bond with her emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. He wants to be near her, to share time and experiences with her, to see her face and hear her voice, even before touching her for the first time. Physical connection is both primal and primary, which explains why men commonly dismiss long-distance relationships as futile, like having no relationship at all. This is not to suggest that men are fundamentally shallow; they simply experience the deeper aspects of intimacy by means of their physical senses.
Because physical connection comes first, physical connection remains foundational to intimacy. According to Willard Harley, author of the now-classic His Needs Her Needs, the top three relationship necessities for men are sexual fulfillment, recreational companionship, and a pleasing appearance—all sensory in nature.
Women, on the other hand, build monogamy on a foundation of mental connection, which is no less primal or primary than a man’s need to experience his mate through the five senses. In the beginning, when a woman is drawn to a man she finds interesting, she wants to know all about him, his character, his ideas, his interests, his goals. Being in his presence merely serves this need, but letters and long discussions by phone will do just as well. Generally speaking, a woman can tolerate a long-distance romance much better than a man, as long as she continues to experience a rich mental connection with her lover.
It should come as no surprise then, that this mental connection remains foundational to a woman’s experience of intimacy. According to Harley, she needs affection, conversation, and honesty/openness more than anything. While men automatically assume that affection means touching, women think of affection in terms of its mental and emotional significance. A tender note or an unexpected call “just because” are no less meaningful than a hug or a peck on the cheek.
In addition to affection, a wife needs conversation and honesty/openness from her husband. This mental connection to her husband is crucial to her sense of well-being.
To feel secure, a wife must trust her husband to give her accurate information about his past, the present, and the future. What has he done? What is he thinking or doing right now? What plans does he have? If she cannot trust the signals he sends . . . she has no foundation on which to build a solid relationship.
A woman experiences intimacy at its deepest levels when she enjoys complete access to her man’s mind. She feels closest and most secure when she can trust that he holds no secrets from her and when he freely shares his unfiltered, unedited thoughts with her. Even better when she enjoys exclusive access to his innermost self. So, when this connection is broken or violated, the fracture affects the entire foundation of her world.
The author of this post is Mark Gaither. The original post with comments can be found here: http://www.covenanteyes.com/2009/07/27/is-porn-the-same-as-adultery/
BE A MAN.