5 Things Every Man Needs From His Wife
Hey friends! I’m back this week (as promised!) talking about marriage once again. And today, I’m focusing on you ladies out there, and how you, as a wife, can meet some very important needs of your man. To be totally honest up front, I’m feeling a bit vulnerable in sharing from this perspective. Partly it’s because I’m not a man (spoiler alert) and even though I am sharing my husband’s views in addition to my own, I can’t say I fully understand what it’s like to be the opposite sex the way I do my own.
I also understand that I am operating from an extremely privileged and blessed position: within a healthy, happy marriage. Not everyone is in this kind of a relationship, and I want to recognize that it truly, absolutely, completely takes both husband and wife to make a marriage work and last. I want to be sensitive to this in my advice-giving.
My husband and I started dating just before entering college — at 18 years old — and we were very good friends 3 years prior to that. So we have, in many ways, grown up together. We’ve run the gamut from geeky, awkward, gushing teenagers. to stressed-out new parents (5 times over), to uh, “mature” adults on the verge of empty nesting. We’ve had our share of obstacles along the way, but we have learned from them and used them to help make our marriage stronger. And it’s from this place and experience that I want to share what we believe all husbands need from their wives.
Once again, there are things that go without saying. Both the husband and wife need trust, loyalty, fidelity, and love in order for their marriage to work at all.
The same goes for compassion, kindness, respect, and the like. There’s a host of basics we must adhere to as married people, and I think most of you recognize and can name what those things are. I’m not here to point out the obvious and treat you like you’re dumb.
What I am here to share are some things that are maybe a little deeper than you’re used to considering when it comes to considering your man’s needs. Because I believe beneath the ‘surface’ needs that we might already recognize, are deeper, more critical needs that aren’t always so obvious. And to be honest, I think knowing why your spouse needs what he or she does can make all the difference. Knowing why can really inspire how we respond and what that response ultimately is.
Alright ladies, hold onto your hats! The 5 things every man needs from his wife:
- Validate him. Let him know, unequivocally, that he is worthy of your love. Tell him why you love him — why he’s good. He needs to hear from his wife that she approves of him as a man. That he represents masculinity well: he is strong, a good provider, handsome, makes you feel secure, etc. Equally important is to validate his feelings and emotions–let him know that they matter to you and that they are real. Think of how many outside forces are out there, ready to cut him down and convince him that he will never be good enough. He needs to know from you that he is.
- Be his friend. Your husband needs your companionship.To know that you like spending time with him because you like him, as well as love him. Show interest in the things that interest him; go with him to a game or two, find enjoyment in at least one thing he likes to do. Never ridicule or pass off the things he likes as silly, stupid, or a waste of time. You’d never do that to a friend, would you? I said in last week’s post that every woman needs her husband to be president of her fan club…this is very similar, but with more action and less talk. Friendship between men is centered around doing things together. That’s how the real connecting happens. Pick an activity or learn to do something together that neither of you has done before. Try a few things until you find something that becomes your ‘thing’ you do together.
- Speak words of affirmation. Obviously, they need to be genuine words, but this is so important, it’s one of The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman! Affirmation is very similar to validation, but I think it applies to a lot more “everyday” stuff. Compliment how he looks, his cologne, his sense of humor. Tell him that (and why) you think he’s good at his job. Remind him why you love him and why you think others love him too. Affirm him every single day, without fail. Watch the effect it has on him — you will see his confidence grow and his affection for you increase. And, most likely, the compliments will begin to flow your way as well!
- Tell him you appreciate what he does. We women work hard, but our husbands do, too. And they need to hear from us that we are grateful for their hard work. At their jobs. For mowing the lawn and scooping up the dog poop when he doesn’t feel like doing either. For reaching every dang thing in those upper kitchen cabinets for us so that we don’t have to climb up on a chair or on the counter. The late night runs to the store when we forget something or have a craving. We need to tell them we appreciate them doing the everyday normal stuff, just as we appreciate those times they go above and beyond. Because, don’t we like to be thanked for those things, too? Everyone wants to feel that what they do matters, especially as a husband or wife. We want to be significant to our spouses in all sorts of ways, and recognized for it regularly. When we lavish our appreciation on one another, the other person doesn’t need to ask for it or go in search of finding it elsewhere. Husbands need to feel they are appreciated at home more than in any other context.
- Have sex regularly. You knew it had to be on this list. I was gonna list it first, and my husband told me to move it to the bottom. And here’s why: It’s the summation of numbers 1–4. It encompasses all of them and then some. So here’s the thing, ladies: we’re not always 100% compatible with him, are we? Like, you know…frequency, desire, drive…that kind of stuff. This was a major marital obstacle for us, particularly because I am a sexual abuse survivor. But without getting too personal, I’ve learned some things along the way. First of all, that we just don’t see or experience sex the same way, as men and women. And if we want to reach some kind of common ground in this area, a husband and wife must talk about sex candidly, honestly, and at times and places where it’s less likely to lead to an argument. We must each share our hows and whys and whats about it all. Chances are, they’re really, really different. And the things you’ve assumed all along about each other might not be exactly what you thought. Underneath the physicality of it all, sex for men validates, gives confidence, and provides nurture and love in a different way than it does for women. It satisfies (in part) the very basic needs of worthiness, value, and love. So be present with him. Don’t make him feel like you are with him out of obligation to your wifely duties. Deep needs, like the ones I’ve described, are never truly met with fake substitutes.
There is, of course, more I could add to this list, but these are the most basic, crucial things every man needs from his wife. And as a wife that has been doing these things for years (albeit not perfectly) do you know what the result has been for me? I have fallen deeply, madly in love with my husband all over again — more than I ever have been. The actual practice of loving of this way — and the choice to practice it regularly — has led to an incredibly fulfilling relationship for both of us.
And believe me, when you both are loving each other in the ways I’ve described, meeting each other’s deepest needs, your marriage thrives.
If you missed it last week, click here to read “5 Things Every Woman Needs From Her Husband.”