In the Village: Guessing can harm marriages

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 14 2011 1:00 p.m. MST

Eventually, the same thing is true in reverse. While men's desires seem to be easily satisfied, they change over time, and women, too, need to learn how to meet needs that men don't understand themselves.

It is impossible to learn these things by reading each other's physical responses. The meanings of involuntary responses cannot be reliably guessed.

Words need to be said —?kindly, with the assumption that the other person means well and wants to learn. These words cannot be taken as criticism, and they must not be said that way.

Nor can the words be engraved on stone. What was pleasing one day may not please the next.

Intimacy is a dance, but it is a dance with music, and the music is the language of love.

The dance of love is not taken or given; it is not demanded or bestowed; it is created together. It is better some days than others. It yields varying results, sometimes rapturous, sometimes comforting.

But when intimacy is a dance, you perform together, helping each other learn how to make each performance go well, always alert to what will please the other, never having to guess because you know your partner will tell?you what you need to know.

That dance reaches out into every other aspect of life. That cooperation, that alertness to each other can be seen in decision-making, alone or together: How can I help her, what does he need here, I should wait to bring this up, I think this may please her, I will do this now because it will make her, make him glad.

There is a reason that marriage takes place in mortal life. With roots in the flesh, nurtured by spirit, it blossoms into joy.

Orson Scott Card is a writer of nonfiction and fiction, from LDS works to popular fiction. Leave feedback for Card at www.nauvoo.com/contact_desnews.html.

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