Doug Fields has a great new book in which he targets advice for men about stepping up and becoming the man their partner can love and respect. It's called 7 Ways To Be Her Hero: The One Your Wife Has Been Waiting For (W Publishing Group 2014). While Doug has a background in ministry and church leadership, he's an entertaining and approachable writer and speaker whose book has universal truths no matter your background.
Fields encourages each person to develop some depth, as well as slowing down to get out of living life like a NASCAR race. There is more to life than speed. Quality relationships take time, effort and intention. Anyone can fall in love, all it takes is a pulse. It's keeping the connection that is admirable and requires that people dig deeper into understanding themselves and the other person.
So what does Fields recommend that men do to become their partner's hero?
1. Edit. Don't say everything you think. Avoid defensiveness and criticism.
2. Choose your words carefully. Use them to support, encourage and build up your partner. Be sincere and specific. Notice what is loving and right in the other person. Let them know when and how they positively impact your life. Fields recalls Gary Chapman's five love languages, encouraging men to find out whether their partner prefers:
• Words of affirmation
• Quality time
• Receiving gifts
• Acts of service
• Physical touch
When you identify your partner's preferred language, use it.
3. Become a world-class listener. Ask questions to deepen your understanding. Make eye contact. Don't multi-task. This creates emotional intimacy. Try to grow beyond sharing clichés, facts and opinions into the deeper levels of sharing feelings and needs.
4. Go big with small things. Be generous emotionally by noticing her preferences and needs. Pay attention and do small actions that will please her. Doug shares great examples in his book of moving past selfishness to being sensitive to making your partner's day easier or better.
5. Increase non-sexual touch, like holding hands, hugging and kissing hello or goodbye, sitting by her on the couch, or touching her gently when you pass her. It's been said that when it comes to sexuality, men can be like microwave ovens and women are more like crock pots. Gentle, non-sexual, non-demanding, affectionate touch is something that most women want more of.
6. Putting the pride aside. Great guys can apologize and admit mistakes. Humility and confidence are a winning combination.
7. Care for her heart. Help her heal from childhood wounds and past relationship pain through your devotion and steadfastness. Point out her strengths and the things you love about her. Fill her tank. Help her to feel safe by being trustworthy and honest. Inspire her respect by being impeccable with your word.
Doug Fields' insights come partly from many years of facilitating and leading men's groups, speaking with women, and his own marriage. 7 Ways to Be Her Hero is a quick, easy read and has lots of relatable vignettes. It's a gem of a book that just might make a big difference in your own life, or the life of the man you love. Emotional intimacy in relationships is built one day at a time, and this book can give you practical tools to do it.