Marriage Missions International

What Every Husband Should Know About His Wife

Before we go into the article concerning “What Every Husband Should Know About His Wife”, we have a You Tube comedy music link for you titled, “Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife” written and performed by Tim Hawkins. It’s pretty good advice (and funny too)! Please click onto the following link to enjoy:

Here’s another You Tube comedy music video for you, which you might find helpful (as well as funny). It’s written and performed by Dante:

And then, after reading the article below, we have a link to an additional article, which could further help you in your relationship with your wife.

And now for the article:

WHAT EVERY HUSBAND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT HIS WIFE:

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, said, “Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not yet been able to answer the great question: What does a woman want?”

Well, Freud, may not have been able to identify the deepest needs of women, but modern research has. A wife’s most basic needs in marriage are: (1) to be cherished, (2) to be known and (3) to be respected.

She Needs to be Cherished “I can’t understand it, Doc.” Doug was talking before he even sat down in my counseling office. “Lisa has everything she could possibly need. She doesn’t have to work, she buys lots of clothes, we live in a great place, we take wonderful vacations, I’m faithful—but she’s miserable.” Doug shook his head and said, “I just don’t get it.”

We talked a bit more about his seven-year marriage and how he tried to express his love for Lisa. “I’m not the talkative type, Doc,” he said. “I show my love by providing the very best I can for her.” This poor husband didn’t realize that his love-starved wife would have traded all the clothes and vacations in the world for a little tenderness from him.

Without meaning to, a husband can completely miss one of his wife’s most important needs: to be cherished. This need is too often overlooked by husbands because we don’t feel the need for it as deeply as women do. But that doesn’t discount its validity. Your wife needs to be cherished.

She needs to know she is number one in your life. If it came down to an evening with your buddies or a night with your wife, she needs to know you would choose her—not because you have to, but because you want to.

What can you do to cherish your wife?

Consider how often you say, “I love you.” Some men don’t feel the need to say it with words, but every wife has an insatiable need to hear it. Your wife also needs evidence that you are thinking about her during your day. A small gift or a quick phone call to say, “You are on my mind,” can mean the world to her.

As a man, you probably have no idea of the effect you can have on your wife by being gentle and tender, making her feel cared for.

…Does cherishing your wife mean sacrificing golf games, success at work, or nights out with the boys? Believe it or not, the answer is no. When your wife is satisfied in knowing that she takes first place in your life, when she knows she is the most important thing in the world to you, she will encourage you to do the things you enjoy. It is part of the mystery of marriage: When a woman is truly, genuinely cherished, she feels free to encourage her husband’s independence.

Before Doug learned to cherish Lisa, she would complain about his fishing trips. In fact, Lisa wanted a separation because “standing by a lake was more important to Doug than I was.” But once Doug genuinely made Lisa number one, once he began to express true tenderness, Lisa pleasantly shocked him: “I’ll cover for you at the meeting next Thursday so you can get an early start on your fishing trip if you want.” Lisa made this offer because she now felt secure in her position of importance.

“To love and to cherish” is more than a phrase from your wedding vows. It is one of the most important needs your wife will ever have. By meeting it, you are sure to build a partnership that brings you both pleasure…

She Needs to be Known For a woman, being understood means having her feelings validated and accepted. That’s not as easy as it sounds. I’m a psychologist. I often spend my day doing just that with my clients. I know how to empathize with a person’s pain, to feel his feelings and convey understanding. But when it comes to my marriage, something makes me want to solve Leslie’s problems instead of understand them.

She will tell me about something and I will passively listen until I have heard enough and then, as if to say I’m ready to move on to other things, I will offer advice. I’ll lecture instead of listen. To this day, it often takes every ounce of self-control I can muster to bite my tongue and actively listen.

At least I’m not alone. Consider this fact: Men say three times as many words in public as they do in private, while women say three times as many words in private as they do in public. Women like to match experiences, to draw one another out, to volley in conversations. But when it comes to talking to their husbands, many women feel like the wife who told me, “Talking to my husband is like playing tennis with no one in the other court.”

To meet your wife’s important need to be known, you need to actively listen to her, reflecting back to her what she is saying and feeling, and genuinely wanting to understand her. This point cannot be overemphasized: Women need to have their feelings validated and accepted. They need to have you see and experience the world the way they do, instead of explaining to them why they shouldn’t see it that way.

Men have a tough time realizing that offering a listening ear is all a woman needs at times —or a comforting hug, a loving statement like “You are hurting, aren’t you?” or “You are under a lot of pressure, aren’t you?” Listening to your wife talk without offering quick solutions is the only way to meet her need to be known.

She Needs to be Respected Men are usually quite unaware of how much women need to be respected. Why? Because when men are not respected they react very differently. A man who doesn’t feel respected, for example, is apt to become self-righteous and indignant. He feels even more worthy of respect when others don’t respect him. He may even give less until he gets what he feels he deserves.

Women operate differently—when they are not respected they feel insecure and lose their sense of self. That is why it is so vital for you to take special care of your partner’s need for respect.

There are a number of ways to show respect to your wife. To begin with, do not try to change or manipulate her, but rather, honor her needs, wishes, values, and rights. I know a woman who, because of her upbringing, valued the tradition of having her door opened for her by her husband. She knew the custom was kind of old-fashioned, but it meant a lot to her, and she asked her husband to do it.

Her husband never took her request seriously. “You’re kidding, right?” he’d say. “Nobody does that anymore. That’s why we’ve got power locks on the car.” By laughing off his wife’s request, this husband weakened his opportunity to meet one of his wife’s deepest needs —to be respected.

Respecting your wife also mean including her in decisions. I am always amazed when I find a husband who wields all the power in a marriage and makes all the decisions, regardless of what his wife thinks. I have known men who will make decisions about relocating to a new job in another part of the country without even consulting their wives. I don’t know of a quicker way to tear down a woman’s sense of self and ruin the possibility of a happy marriage.

Build your wife’s self-esteem and sense of security by asking for her input whenever you can, even on the small things. When you make a decision that might affect her, say: “I’m thinking about.What do you think of that?” or “I’m thinking we should.What would you like?”

Respect says, “I support you, you are valuable to me, and you don’t have to be any different from who you are.” In return for this respect a woman will be able to relax. She will not have a compulsive need to prove herself as an equal, but will automatically feel and be equal. What a wonderful way to live with a woman.

The above article is written by Les Parrott and comes from the book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts written by Dr. Les Parrott and Dr. Leslie Parrott, published by Zondervan Publishing. As psychologist (Les)and marriage and family therapist (Leslie) who counsel hundreds of married couples, they have “learned that living happily ever after is less a mystery than a mastery of certain skills. Although married life will always have its difficulties, you will steadily and dramatically improve your relationship by mastering certain life skills.”

They’ve also written two workbooks as companions to this book, one for the man and one for the woman. “The twenty-one self-tests in the workbooks will help you and your partner put into action what is taught in this book. As an additional help, they have provided questions for reflection at the end of each chapter that are suitable as discussion starters for couples or small groups. Finally, if you would like to bring this program to your church or small group setting, a video curriculum is available, also entitled, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts.

— ALSO —

To further help you in your relationship, below is a Crosswalk.com web site link to an article written by a pastoral counselor. Please click onto the following link to read:

FOR MEN ONLY: A HUSBAND’S PERSONAL CHECKLIST

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Comments

84 Responses to “What Every Husband Should Know About His Wife”
  1. MN says:

    (SINGAPORE)  Now we all know what to do -the tough part cometh -HOW to DO?

  2. Corai says:

    (NL)  I’ve been married for almost 4 years. From the beginning my husband cheated on me. I caught him, argued, involved the pastor, etc. and things stopped for a while. 2 years ago, he started chatting, mailing, calling a lady from his village in Nigeria. I told him that if he doesn’t stop I will leave him.

    He stopped (I thought), only to find before Christmas 2011, that they are still in contact. For me, this article is a fairy tale… My husband refuses to protect me or our family. If I try to explain how our family (we have a baby too) is affected by his behaviour, he gives me silence treatement or becomes angry. I’m tired and I have no hopes for “us”.

  3. Yagwit says:

    (USA)  My husband is a decent guy, no drinking or jailtime. Our problem is he leaves without saying anything, he never calls to say he’s okay. He doesn’t like it when I call him throughout the day. He says I complain about everything. I’m not trying to complain. I worry a lot, my nature. He doesn’t touch me unless for a few minutes of sex. I give him all the sex he wants so he will be close. I even ask for it when I’m not in the mood. I’m desperate to be near him.

    Sometimes he talks to me before sex too which I like. Otherwise he avoids me because I’m too loud. When I ask for a note that is contolling behavior. If I ask if a contractor paid him he says that I complain so he doesn’t say. I worry if the bills are going to be met even when I’m not paying them. My husband lets people slide in hopes of more jobs but people are draining us dry, taking advantage of his rates.

    Well anyway, I told him we could split but he doesn’t want to sign anything. I’m confused because I thought he’d be glad to see me go. I requested only my clothes and photos in instance of divorce. I would rather he found someone he wanted to be around than be miserable with me. I can’t make him happy and I can’t change myself to suit him. I don’t drink or spend money. I do beg for affection but I’m very loving. I don’t act on 90% of the times I want to hug him. I didn’t touch him for four days so I’m trying hard to curb my obsessive, loving personality.

    His family does not hug so I give him the space he likes. I want him to ache for me the way I do him. He thinks supporting me is love. I DO appreciate our home and things. I just want some attention. He said he hugged me all time before we married because he needed the comfort after his grandma died. I thought he was affectionate. He is self confident, having little want for reassurance. I was confident but it seems the more he excludes me the more assurance I need.

    I miss him after about five hours but he stated missing home takes about two weeks. I feel like a monster. I do want to stop asking about his day, when he gets off work, and to touch me. I don’t want to be controlling. I also suffer from anemia, which keeps me sleepy. He says if I were awake more he would touch me. I told him I’m sorry to nod off it’s not because of boredom. I’m painfully tired.

    This is another reason I requested separation. He could find someone healthy to wake up early with him. I am sooooo confused. I want to love him in my over zealous way, have him entertain my silly ideas, and talk and listen to each other. I have so many faults like yelling when overwhelmed and talking incessently. He has to hear tons from me. I am writing him emails about things so I don’t yell. I’m trying t listen to him without misconstruing his words. Sometimes he will say small job so I think not all day and night then he will say another job after that, which I miss… then dinner is cold and I’m sad about eating alone. Advice please! I’m out of solutions!

  4. Amy says:

    (USA)  Well! My husband doesn’t believe in any of the things mentioned above. In fact we live in the same house but he has the down stairs and I the up stairs. Its been this way for over 40 years. He doesn’t want anything from me nor does he really love me. We only had sex once and that was enough for him, I guess. He has only slept with me maybe 2 hours during our marriage. He won’t father any kids he says he hates the little runny nose puuuky brats.

    He also told me I can do whatever I want, he didn’t want to hear about. He told me I could leave him or have a boy or girl friend to keep me company; he didn’t care. I’ve been so confused and angry all these years. I just don’t know what went wrong. Before we were married he was really stand offish. We never petted. All we did was hold hands and kiss. I was deceived into our marriage. So many years have gone by and now I’m in my 60s and don’t really care about him any more.

  5. Nazila says:

    (IRAN)  I live in Iran but my fiancé lives in the U.S.A. (California). We became engaged one year ago but before me, he had a fiancé in Los Angeles. They’re now separated but sometimes my fiancé talks to me about her. Unfortunately I’m so sensitive about this subject. I don’t know I what can do before I go too crazy!!! Omg help me :(

  6. Liz says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  The Bible says that men ought to love their wives as Christ loved the church. It also states that we love Him because He loved us first. I would just like to encourage men everywhere to adhere to this simple principle. If this applies to you Sir, Stop being a spiritual baby who expects your wife to mother you into loving her. Be better than that, be her Hero! God bless you all!

  7. Janine says:

    (PORTUGAL)  I’m recently married …less than a year, and am very hurt by my husband. I wish he could see this article.

    I don’t feel respected or cherished. I feel that his parents wishes/feelings are more important than mine. I am so tired of talking to him about this -in fact it’s not my nature to say the same thing over and over, so I just let it ride now. We live 200 km from his parents. He decides to go there when he wants and we have to go -end of story. But he is smart, he makes it like I agreed to the decison.

    The other day he got a call from a colleague about a reunion dinner in the town his parents stay in …he accepted, and told me about it afterwards. We were just at his parents’ house 3 weeks ago, and now we are going back there. I find this irritating and disheartening… I feel controlled, like I have no say with anything. All the furniture in our house is essentially what he wanted …even the house he chose before even giving me the opportunity to see what was out there. I feel like a guest in his house: somebody that should be grateful for board and lodging and food (I don’t work anymore). I look after the kids and clean the house, and I feel that he does not appreciate what I do because it’s not ‘work’ as such that brings in an income.

    And all this makes me cringe at thought of sex with him. So it’s counterproductive. I don’t know what I can do anymore. I love my husband. I want us to be together forever but I don’t know if I can live this way …he makes me feel unwanted, and not needed.

    • PJ says:

      (U S OF A) I don’t mean to be rude, but why do you let your husband make all the decisions? Does he physically control you? Just tell him that you are just as equal to him and from now on you will make decisions together.

    • Sarah says:

      (USA) You need to be assertive, make a decision and stand by it! Next time he tells you last minute that you are going to his parents tell him that You will not be going because you have other plans,ie laundry, cleaning out and organizing a closet or such and explain your time is just as important as his and that you wish he would have asked you if you where free that day.

  8. Rich says:

    (AMERICA)  Hmm…the funny thing about this letter is that I do cherished my wife. She’s everything to me. After our 2 years of our marriage I have been doing dishes laundry and cleaning bathroom and bedrooms. Me and her both have a full time job and when I finished cleaning and wasn’t able to see a spot that wasn’t clean and she spot. Well, it all broke loose… I am starting to feel that I am not cherished, that she doesn’t see to things which I am doing… or am I wrong? Help me…

  9. Margaret says:

    (UNITED KINGDOM) I have been living in South Wales for 4 years 4 month. And during that time I feel I have lost my identity because my partner makes all the decisions. We renovated the house and he decided what colors, what curtain rods, what color for the wood for the floor, just everything. When I suggested something straight away he said he already had in mind what he wanted. So I didn’t get to pick anything for the home.

    Now he has bought a caravan and he said he wanted 2 sleeping bags as it would save having to make up a bed and the sleeping bags could just stay on the little side single beds. He said it was easier to do it that way. So again I had no say in the matter. He has also even looked at the cutlery and and a crockery set on ebay so he is taking control of it all. I sometimes think, am I needed for anything at all except cooking, and cleaning, and laundry service? Beside all this I work 40 hours a week. Oh and also I went online to look at a little tv for the caravan and saw one I liked and when I showed him he said, I already have one in mind. So I think to myself, where is my place in the relationship?

    I have not been brought up like this. I was always used to a woman deciding what she wanted for the home. My father was never interested in the kitchen and neither were my 3 brothers. It was alway down to a woman to having what she wanted in the home. I am feeling a bit worthless. Any advice please will be appreciated. Thanks.

    Now I don’t seem to waste my time saying to him that I like this or I like that. It’s easier just to not say anything because I know he will have an answer for me and it will be already taken care of.

  10. Nita says:

    (INDIA) My husband (who is not a bad sort in general) irritates me! When I talk to him, he pretends he can’t hear. He is either looking at the TV or reading a paper or browsing the net. I have to yell or slap him, to get his attention! If I request him to do any household chores, he does not do it, or does it very resentfully. He leaves stuff all over the house: socks, wrappers, dirty cups!

    If I want to go out on a weekend, I have to beg, but he is willing to run over to his sister’s house at her slightest whim. Just a phone call from any of his relatives and he is available! When his office colleagues phone, he has the time (and interest) to jabber with them for an hour! But if I want to talk, he’s toooo busy. The only time he pays me any attention is when he wants SEX! I have a deep resentment and anger against him. I ignore him, I go out on my own (that bugs him). I have started to put up a show of independence i.e. that I can be quite happy without him (that also bugs him). He provides for me well, but treats me worse than a maid or an unpaid concubine!

  11. John says:

    (USA) What a beautiful article. Maybe more marriages will survive the test of time if we try harder to understand our wife’s needs. This isn’t about what men do wrong. Rather, it’s about what we can do right.

  12. Sarah says:

    (USA) If you are one of the husband types that wants a submissive wife then be the type of husband that God commands – loving, kind, considerate, self sacrificing, nurturing, excellent work ethic, provider, helpful and a blessing, be this always, lead by this! Have a submissive heart for your wive and she will do the same.

  13. Michelle says:

    (PHILIPPINES) At this time, I’m totally disappointed. I’m so angry. I feel betrayed, unloved and most of all I hate my husband for neglecting these 3 basic needs in our relationship. Actually, I’m in pain right now because my husband doesn’t do anything to contact me nor make conversations with me to get me back. He is so selfish, so self-centered, and he doesn’t understand me at all. I know I lost my temper with him, but it was deserved for not trusting me, for not treating me as his wife and for chatting with another woman, asking her to massage his hand, while we are on a video call. I hate him for that.

    For our 7 years of marriage he never tried to give me a flower or even a gift on our anniversary. He doesn’t want to hear if I have problems. He will just say: “I don’t like to hear negative things, just good things.” When we go out he will take me to a cheap restaurant while when we go out with his family he doesn’t mind how much he spends. I’m so tired of this relationship with him. I sacrificed a lot. I’m so depressed. It’s a good thing my mother and father are always there for me.

  14. Kym from United States says:

    I’ve noticed that a man gets out what he puts in his marriage. If you feel you are putting in too much and she isn’t then it’s most likely that her needs are not being met but instead you’re assuming what they are and dye better not be ungrateful – right? It puts marriages in Horrible silence. I finally got my needs met somewhat and then I could tolerate the lack of sex in my marriage.

    My husband today likes to throw it in my face that the lack of sex was because I cheated, which was not at all the case. We’ve been in this weird stuck yucky but doable place for 13 yrs now (20 yrs married) and I know he has to have his outlets too. He won’t admit it yet I admit mine and get totally talked down too but the sex never improves. He can go two months… I can’t go two days. I really like the closeness and of course pleasure of sex. My husband is a great guy. But I believe he is keeping his private life a secret so he appears to be the better person. What do you think about that? We are friends.We have kids, grandkids, houses, business with each other, and a lot of history together. Marriage isn’t perfect for everyone. I can manage if I have this one boyfriend in my life. Not boyfriends! I don’t think that’s had since I’ve good my husband the issues and he doesn’t change things in that area. That’s how I feel understood.

  15. Jane from Nigeria says:

    I’m just a tenant in my house (that I can live with). All I wish is see my three children grow up to be independent. I no longer stress to make my marriage work. I’ve tried for seven years. My husband abuses me for coming from a poor background, for misspelling, for the clothes I put on. Just when we are about to go out together, he calls his brother, sister and husband to attend the function with him, leaving me behind. I’m a nursery school teacher who is also schooling. I just turned thirty and he keeps telling me I have nothing to show for that age, that he achieved much at that age. He slapped me while I was on the phone with my mother, yelling that I’m calling another man, ceased the phone and finds out it was my mum and starts accusing me of telling my mum how bad he is.

    What am I to do? I can’t pretend I love him. I don’t need sex anymore. I believe I can do without him alone, but I can’t educate the children with my small salary.

  16. Jenna from United States says:

    My husband and I have been married for 5 years and have been together for 8. We were high school sweethearts. I love him very much and I think he’s a very good husband. At home he treats me like a queen and loves on me. He makes me feel so special. But there is one thing that keeps coming up in our relationship causing hurt feelings. When we go out with a group of friends, whether it’s playing pool at a bar, bowling, going to a friend’s party etc., he has a hard time showing me attention. He keeps assuring me he wants me there and I have told him multiple times that if he needs guy time to just tell me and I’ll understand but he has not said that to me very often.

    He tells me he wants me there and has fun with me. But for just an example we went to a bar to play pool, a big passion of his, and I like it as well but we end up on different sides of the room and my heart hurts cause I don’t care about anyone else in the bar except him. I want to be the one laughing with him and talking all night. When I tell him how I feel, that I feel neglected when we around our friends, like I don’t exists he just says sarcastically, “what do you want from me? For me to just sit there and talk to you all night?” I say no, I don’t expect that and want him to talk to his friends but I wish for more interaction, more laughing and having fun TOGETHER.

    I don’t understand why this is hard for him because when we return home he becomes the man I fell in love with again. When I have gotten advice before they say he’s taking me for granted and disrespecting me and that he’s immature. So am I just supposed to wait until he matures; what more can I do? I have written him many letters and talked to him about it many times and nothing changes. This is the only thing in our marriage we have come up again and again.

  17. Mary from United States says:

    Get used to it. After so many years, couples grow apart. I don’t care if mine is home more than 4 days a month. It has been 5 years since we were intimate, due to health, mine and his. I don’t mind spending time with him, as far as I am told by him he misses me. I could care less most of the time, as all I want is relief from my back pain. Human interaction is over rated.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      So sorry Mary, that this is your experience. Yes, back pain is horrible and the desire to want relief from it can be all-consuming. I’ve suffered from horrible back pain for a great deal of my adult life. But I’ve also learned that “human interaction” when it is given in a comforting way and when I work not to allow my pain to be inflicted upon those I am with, can be wonderful. I hope you find relief today from your pain and that you also can bring a smile to others around you.

  18. John from Kenya says:

    I have been married for over 16 yrs. Since then I also adopted the first born in the family who is turning 17 yrs in June. I was surprised that my wife advised that I look for another women to marry since I don’t know how to make love to her but have plenty of sex with her. She disapproves of anything that I do and any idea that I express and blames me for the vagaries of weather.

    I have discovered she started a business with her male former colleague behind my back and juggles her hours at work with visiting the business, which is premised at the guy’s home. This is usually at nite and whenever she has a day off. Of late she hisses at me whenever I touch her and safe keeps her mobile phone to the extent that she turns and grabs it whenever she senses I am awake at night. I have tried to talk things over to discuss her hostility towards me but she says she cannot meet with a third party to dialogue even a marriage counselor to secure our marriage.

    She employs house help for me and our third born who is in class four, nine years. I asked her to make a choice between me and the business associate, however, she says we need to maintain our relationship for the sake of the children. I lately shifted houses but she came along yet she continues whining to me. I am so stressed and feel helpless. Please advise.

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