Marriage Missions International

What Every Wife Should Know About Her Husband

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No one plays as significant a role in meeting a man’s unique needs as his wife. Researchers have identified his needs, but only his wife can truly satisfy them. Some of your husband’s most basic needs in marriage are: (1) to be admired, (2) to have autonomy, and (3) to enjoy shared activity.

He Needs to be Admired Being appreciated is a man’s primary need. He measures his worth through his achievements, big and small, and needs them to be recognized. A woman’s need for admiration and appreciation, while certainly important, is rarely as strong. When a woman seeks appreciation she is more accurately wanting to be understood, to be validated. You see, there is a significant difference between men and women when it comes to being admired. Men derive their worth more from what they do, while women derive their worth more from who they are.

Look at it this way. When women do not receive admiration from their spouse, they tend to be more motivated than ever to earn it. But when a man does not receive admiration from his spouse, he begins to lose motivation to try. Without a feeling of being admired, a man’s energy is drained. He soon feels inadequate and incapable of giving support. Without being admired, men lose their will to give.

You have no idea how damaging a critical statement is to your man’s personal power. He responds to not being admired the same way you do when he invalidates your feelings. It is demoralizing.

I counseled a woman who became confused when, after criticizing her husband, he did not try harder to earn appreciation from her. She mistakenly assumed that she could manipulate him to give more by withdrawing her appreciation. But that never works with a man. Admiration is the fuel a man needs to get going. It gives him power.

Now, before you begin heaping words of praise on your spouse, I need to give you a word of caution. Never fake your admiration. By simply saying flattering words to your husband, you can do more harm than good. To have any value, praise must genuinely reflect your feelings.

He Needs to Have Autonomy During our first year of marriage, I remember bursting into Les’s study to let him know I was home. He was beginning a grueling doctoral program, and I had just begun a new job. “How are you doing?” I asked as I slipped behind his desk and wrapped my arms around his neck.

He sat almost motionless, taking notes on a yellow pad. So I tried again: “Did you have a good day?” This time I heard a slight sound. “Mm-hmm,” he murmured. “You wouldn’t believe all the stuff that happened to me today,” I started to say. Les interrupted, “Give me a minute here, ok?”

I walked out of the room feeling terribly dejected. “Why doesn’t he welcome my caring for him?” I thought. “I would stop anything I was doing if he greeted me that way.”

Only later in our marriage did I realize what was actually going on. Men and women cope differently with stress. According to John Gray, author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, men, when faced with stress, “become increasingly focused and withdrawn while women become increasingly overwhelmed and emotionally involved. At these times a man’s needs for feeling good are different from a woman’s. He feels better by solving problems while she feels better by talking about problems.”

Once I understood this distinction, I was able to meet one of Les’s primary needs —to be autonomous. It is a universal male need. Whenever a man is under stress (an important deadline is approaching, he is under pressure at work, etc.), he requires a little space.

At such times he becomes absent-minded, unresponsive, absorbed, and preoccupied. Unlike women, men typically don’t want to talk about the situation, they don’t want to be held or comforted —not until they have had time to themselves.

I have learned from experience that if I try too early to disengage Les from his problem, I get only a small part of his attention while he continues to mull over whatever is really on his mind. It is as if he is temporarily incapable of giving me the attention I want until he has a moment to adjust to his agenda. I now know enough to say, “Is this a good time to interrupt?” and he can say, “I need another five minutes” or “I’d really like to unwind by watching the news first.”

You see, part of the need for autonomy is the man’s need to have time to regroup. Some wives complain because their husbands don’t immediately talk about their day when they come home from work. They first want to read the paper or water the lawn, anything to clear their mind before engaging in the relationship. It’s a male thing. But giving your husband space when he needs it, whether you understand it or not, will gain you a happier husband.

This idea of giving my husband autonomy was a difficult lesson for me to learn. I instinctively wanted to support him in the way that I would want to be supported. If I were in his shoes, for example, I would want to be asked lots of questions about how I was feeling. I would want to be held and pampered. But that’s a woman’s way, not a man’s….

One of the great gaps between husbands and wives is in their notions of emotional intimacy. If you are like most women, intimacy means sharing secrets, talking things over, cuddling, and so on. But a man builds intimacy differently. He connects by doing things together (remember, men focus on achievement). Working in the garden or going to a movie with his wife gives him a feeling of closeness.

Husbands place surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions. The commercial caricature of men out in the wilderness, cold beer in hand, saying, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” is false. It can get a lot better than that when a wife joins her husband in a shared activity that he enjoys.

Les recently came home from a speaking engagement in Lake Tahoe. Before he left he was excited because he was going to fly in a day early and do some skiing on his own time. I was so happy for him. He loves to ski —fast —and when we go together I always feel like I am slowing him down. But when he came home from his trip I was shocked by his report: “Well, the powder was great and the weather was perfect, but it’s just not the same skiing without you.” Wow! All the time I thought I was a tag-along, and it turns out that he doesn’t really enjoy it without me.

Now, I’ve counseled enough women to know that you might be saying, “What do you do if your activities have little in common?” The answer: Cultivate your spheres of interest. Don’t allow you and your partner to drift apart because you can’t find something enjoyable to do together. I have seen too many marriages fizzle because a wife didn’t use her creative energies to build enjoyable moments of fun and relaxation with her husband.

Make a careful list of recreational interests your husband enjoys. Here are a few to get you started: antique collecting, any and all sports, camping, canoeing, table games, puzzles, cooking, dancing, hiking, horseback riding, jogging, movie-going, ice-skating, sailing, listening to music, swimming, traveling, walking, woodworking, and so on. Your list should be as long as possible. Next, circle those activities that you might find somewhat pleasurable. You can probably find a good half-dozen activities that you can enjoy with your husband. Your next task is to schedule these activities into your recreational time together.

If you learn to meet your husband’s need for recreational companionship, you will discover that you are not only husband and wife, but best friends too.

The above article comes from the book, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marry, written by Dr Les Parrott and Dr Leslie Parrott, published by Zondervan Publishing. This book is based on the fact that marriage doesn’t have to be a gamble. 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 skills.” They’ve also written two companion workbooks —one for the man and one for the woman.


To read additional articles on this subject,
please click onto the  and CBN links
and then the link below to read:







From the web site, an article written by Fawn Weaver:


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78 Responses to “What Every Wife Should Know About Her Husband”
  1. Eric says:

    (SINGAPORE) For once, I don’t see "sex" as top criteria. I’ve read lots of commentaries that rank sex as top criteria… but seriously, what is sex without admiration and respect?

  2. Zama says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  I am so thrilled about this article, for the first time I understand why my husband will withdraw from me when he is stressed. At first I thought he was shutting me out but now I understand that he needs to be by himself. Thank you for a great article and sharing this most important thing with us.

    I have also realised that my husband enjoys watching soccer if I am there with him and I used to resent that. But now I will cherish those moments even more because I now appreciate how much they mean to him.

  3. Madelyn says:

    (USA)  Me too!! I thought I was being ignored as well. I don’t think it was selfish of me to think that, I just think that I was unaware of what was really going on. Thanks so much for this article :) It’s helping me have a more positive attitude already.

  4. Jenny says:

    (USA)  “because a wife didn’t use her creative energies to build enjoyable moments of fun and relaxation with her husband.” Excuse me…it is now the womens job to keep the marriage going. I disagree. Also, this article does way to much generalizing for women, such as women “seek appreciation…wanting to be understood, to be validated”. Wrong again! Women seek appreciation for just that reason, to be APPRECIATED.

    Way to often men take their wives for granted and so if the men learn to keep appreciating their women (but be sincere) when she does things for you such as fix a nice dinner, or pick up dry cleaning etc…remember, it is not her job. Men can get their own clothes and feed themselves so if a women does this, then men need to appreciate all the time and effort.

    It is also very important that men keep nurturing the relationship in order to keep it going in a positive way. Furthermore, men need to get involved with his wifes interest and take part in it, and this will satisfy mens need for recreational companionship and all the while cultivate the relationship.

    • Sarah says:

      (USA) Actually… it IS a woman’s job to care for her husband. That is like saying it isn’t the husband’s job to provide… she can do it herself. Sure it is true that a man can care for himself as a woman can support herself but why get married if you’re going to stay in the “I” mindset? Honestly, if you were my wife and acted with such entitlement I wouldn’t show you any appreciation either.

      Marriage is about serving your spouse, not the other way around. You will find if you let go of your pride… (don’t say you are not speaking from pride because it is dripping from your words)… you will find that your spouse will go out of his way to show you appreciation. Giving with the expectation to get something in return is not really giving, it is self serving.

      • Melissa says:

        (USA) Sir, you say “marriage is about serving your spouse, not the other way around.” That makes no sense. By using YOUR words marriage is about serving your spouse. One could say that was for husband to follow or one could say that rule is for the wife to follow but the way it is written it is impossible to decipher because the first half alone “marriage is about serving your spouse” is for husband AND wife. The second half “not the other way around” implies marriage is a one way street, only one is to serve the other. So it is confusing. If marriage is serving your spouse then it is for man and woman, husband and wife.

        My grandmother said best “if a husband loves his wife as God loves her and if a wife loves her husband like God loves him there will never be a shortage of love, respect etc. and each should give 100% to the other.”

        Marriage isn’t about “control” it is about respect for one another and Man is not the head of the home …God is!!!!!!! and once everyone realizes that life in the marriage home will be blissful.

        • Andrew says:

          (AUSTRALIA) However, the responsibility before God for the home is on the man. This is a thought to give pause that a man will answer to his Creator for the home, not (only) to his wife. When such a man loves his Lord completely, he will love his wife wonderfully well (not abusing, not ignoring) and be worthy of submission to. God hears, pour out your heart to the Lord, pray much for your spouse, expect great things from the treasure-house of God’s heart. His grace is sufficient.

        • Peter from United States says:

          Actually what SHE said makes perfect sense. Marriage is about serving your spouse not the other way around, which translates to, marriage is about serving your spouse not being served by your spouse. This does hold true for both partners. We husbands are to serve our wives just the same as our wives are to serve us. Just as you said, it is about respect, caring, love for each other, and taking care of each others needs. As for your statement that the husband is not the head of the home…

          Ephesians 5:22-23 (New International Version) “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.”

          So while yes GOD is in charge of everything, the husband is the head of the home.

    • JP says:

      (USA) Sounds like this lady is on here for a reason. If this is offending you then you might want to check that you are in fact, not appreciating your man. Remember God made woman from man so that man would not be lonely.

      • Jean (wildcat fan) says:

        (USA) You are so misguided and wrong. Women, don’t let these men trick you! Be strong! Anti-women movement people, please do not contribute to the brainwashing of women. I pray for you all, that you will realize that the husband is the head of the house and should go first as the head in showing his family how to love and appreciate. It is not Godly for a man to sit back as a king and have people wait on him hand and foot, and do everything in the house for the family, while the wife bows down to kiss up to him as if he is dripping gold. Women, first of all have female issues that they need to take care of before they go running up and kissing up to a mere mortal man.

        It is not the wife’s responsibility to do all the caring and appreciating. Anyone who suggests that is a cold hearted individual, who doesn’t respect women and sees women as lower than an animals. Men have an awesome responsibility to show love, adoration and respect for the woman too. Who wants a spoiled, wimpy man who clams up and tightens his mouth like a pouty infant with gas and colic, so that his wife will come running and say, “I’ll forget about my needs and put everything on hold while I run up behind you and ask you want?” Why would you as a human being even write and suggest a practice like this? Some of you people need to think before you write stuff on the internet. You must realize that vulnerable, gullible, young females will read these male worshipping, women demeaning, articles and comments and believe them to be truth. Please stop it now!!.

        This is why women are changing rules of the relationship game. Many women are fed up and tired with this subtle movement to have women worship men like kings. Jesus is Lord of all!!! (not your husband)

      • Jean ( Wildcat Fan) says:

        (USA) JP, a woman needs to be admired too. We are not animals JP. Do you think we are robots with no human feelings. Why do you think women fusss so much?

        We were not made, in that sense of the word. We were not made for man to ignore and abuse and demean. We were made as a helpmeet. We were made after the man, but God loves us too. It is not meant for a man to abuse, ignore, or mistreat a woman and forgets about her needs. I’m sorry that men have distorted and twisted God’s word so much, that you think that we do all the work and men do none. With that thinking, it makes women lose faith in men. It makes women see Satan in men. Men wouldn’t abuse their dogs. You men rub and stroke your dogs more than you do your wives. Do you think God wants men to not stroke, adore, and show appreciation to their wives? That’s more Satan like thinking.

        This part of my comment is to women. Love yourselves before you get into a relationship with a man. You’re not validated by any man, not dad, not boyfriend, not husband. Don’t allow men to control your mind. Don’t give sex so freely to men you’re not married to. So what if they leave you? Keep your self esteem. Do not accept the man made doctrine that is abundant in these last days, that tells women to appreciate men who do not appreciate you. Don’t kiss up to a man. Have your own mind. Don’t allow any man to pout and convince you that you’re doing wrong in the relationship because you don’t worship him. Read all of God’s word.

        Remember that these anti-women people, will scold you and blame you for your husband’s sins. God wrote in the Bible giving husbands AND wives responsibilities to each other. Satan is trying to destroy women. Don’t allow these people to convince you that you must walk on eggshells and pray for a man for 40 years while he sins against you. Absolutely not!!! Men are grown people too and they know how to watch a football game, have sex, and eat. So they know how to respect women. Don’t let your husband make you do all the work in the marriage. Women are not accountable and ARE NOT accountable for men’s sins.

        • Dustin from United States says:

          Wow…you should really read the other side of this article…”What every husband show know about his wife” Then maybe you will see it is not as one-sided as you think.

    • Dee says:

      (USA) Amen to that! It is not a woman’s job to do these things for her spouse. It is out of love that one gives to another. A person should not do things and expect appreciation, but a person should not take without giving it.

    • CJ from United States says:

      You’re the exact reason why we marry outside the U.S. You seem very entitled. You made that response all about you. Get a clue!

  5. Justin says:

    (USA)  My wife doesn’t work outside the home. She doesn’t bring in any income. I get taken for granted all the time. She just knows I’m going to work to earn money for her to spend and expects me to do half the house work. So I’m doing all the work to earn income and half the house work. Is that fair? No. And a few months ago I stopped.

    It’s important for women to ALSO keep nuturing the relationship and get involved in their husbands interests. You need to stop being so one sided and thinking that men should do everything.

    • Steve says:

      (USA)  You sound just like I used to be. You don’t even know how much your wife helps you. I assume you have kids and that’s why she doesn’t work outside of the home? If that’s true, then please hear my heart, my brother. I believe it is YOU taking her for granted. Just think about what she really does… You don’t have a clue what it takes to keep a child in daycare (effort, stress, cost). You also don’t have a clue how upside down your world would be if you were a single father like me, with no wife to care for that child all day and night. Man, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

      And when my child gets sick, I have to take off from work to take care of him. I have to be concerned with all the grocery shopping, the laundry, the toilets, the beds being changed, the meals, the cleaning, etc. The cost to have other people do what your wife does is OVERWHELMING. I used to be in your shoes, man, and I didn’t know how good I had it until I didn’t have any more.

      Stop focusing on what praise and adornment you aren’t getting from your wife. SET THE EXAMPLE. Praise her efforts and how much she means to you and helps you. Tell her what a great mother she is. DO ALL THE THINGS YOU KEEP COMPLAINING THAT SHE ISN’T DOING FOR YOU. I promise if you do that (and not just for one week), she’ll naturally follow your lead.

      Women get tired at the end of the day, bro. They need physical assistance, and they also need to feel like they are not alone… that you are on their team. Stay at home moms are isolated a lot dude. Women weren’t created for that. They need their husbands! While you’re helping her, talk to her, man. Ask her about herself, tell her about your day at work. Turn on some music and clean while you groove! Clean at the same time, so you can spend quality time together. You need to commit to this new way of supporting her as a lifestyle change, not just a week’s worth of flowers and fluff. You know you get to leave your job and quit working for a while. Why do you think she should just keep going until bed time (cleaning, etc.)? Think about it, and I’m sure you’ll do the right thing. Good luck, man.

      • Jen says:

        (U.S) Steve, It sounds like you have really grown from your experience. I wish my husband could realize some of these things, but he doesn’t get it and just thinks because he brings in the money that that covers him for everything else and he doesn’t need to help.

        Our marriage has been very rocky since the birth of our daughter 5 months ago because all he sees is that he isn’t getting all the undivided, pampering attention he used to. I have lost my best friend, and I have felt I numerous occasions that I wanted to leave with my daughter. I hope he learns what you did, but before it’s too late. Thanks for your honesty on here.

        • JP says:

          (USA) Before it’s too late? Don’t you marry for better or for worse or is it fight or flight? Intensify your prayers for your marriage. Only God can make him into what he is supposed to be.

      • Dee says:

        (USA) Wow! It’s like you paid a visit to a stay-at-home mom’s brain and took notes. Good for you. I don’t know how many times my ex and I discussed the issue of him working from 9-3 every day and then coming home to ignore the kids, play video games and not even clean up after himself let alone help with the rest of the house. He would constantly tell me that his job was to bring home the paycheck and mine was to take care of the kids, the house and him. 4 kids in 8 years and he never once woke up with them, fed them, bathed them, took care of them when they were sick, nothing. And forget about chores. I couldn’t even get him to take out the trash. I homeschooled my children; we only had 1 car, I never even had a phone. Lonely doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt.

        To make things worse, whenever we argued, he made a point to remind me how inadequate I was, how he didn’t like my “systems” for cleaning and taking care of everyone, that it was his house and his car and his money and that if I didn’t like it that way, I knew where the door was. Well, I found the door and I must say I’m better for it. I have a life outside of my home, I have self-worth again, I don’t feel emotionally abused any longer. Sometimes things cannot be worked out. I prayed for 15 years for things to get better, I tried everything I could think of to fix our relationship, but he refused couples counseling, refused to have a meeting with our pastor, refused marriage Bible study at our church. I will always be sad that my marriage didn’t work out, but some people are blinded by a cloud of smoke of how they think things should be and it suffocates the other person to the point where they must seek air or perish. It’s good to hear that there are men out there who actually get it. I just wish you didn’t have to lose it first and I sincerely hope you find love again.

      • Laura says:

        (USA) If there were an award for you I would award you. Its sounds wonderful. Just know it touches my thoughts. The truth you’ve spoken is not to just that man, but how it kinda is for me! Thanks!

      • Cassandra says:

        (UNITED STATES) Steve, it was beautiful reading your words. I’m a stay at home mom and my husband makes me feel very inadequate about what I’m not doing. He does plenty at home, he does the laundry, cleans and makes breakfast on the weekends, but he complains that I don’t clean enough. I cook, I take care of our daughter and pay half of all the bills.

        Due to his Stress at work, he takes it out on me and makes me feel that I’m not doing enough. Thanks to this article, I learned to give him is space and most importantly stay away from the BS. I will be there when he needs me and Hope that things get better again.

        • Vivianne from United States says:

          Cassandra, my husband is much the same way-ANYTHING stressful in his life is my fault. However, he doesn’t help around the house at all.

      • Parveen says:

        (INDIA) Hats off!

      • Vivianne from United States says:

        Steve, God bless you. It has been awhile since you posted this comment, and I pray that you are no longer single. YOU are a gift to anyone who crosses your path. Your son has a most wonderful father! I send you many hugs and blessings!

  6. Sara says:

    (USA)  @Steve, You can tell you genuinely mean what you said. You can also tell you have grown from your mistakes. The saying, “A women’s work is NEVER done”, is so true. I bet if your ex-wife read your comments no matter how your relationship is now, she would appreciate (genuinely) the fact that you realize what she was doing for you everyday.

    A woman needs to feel appreciated too. I read this article and I feel it leaves out so many important aspects of a women’s needs. I know what the article was meant to be about, but I feel the article should be fair. For instance, one person commented, that a man can also join into the wife’s activities too. I think both parties should do this not just the man, and not just the woman. When I read the comments that Steve wrote, I was moved and I as a woman appreciated hearing them. Thanks again!

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Of course it leaves out many things. It’s because the thesis of the article is what every wife should know. The target audience is wives. To suggest the article is lacking is like saying if we are studying The Story of the Renaissance in Europe and don’t mention what Native Americans are doing that we missed the boat.

      No, it’s that we’ve focused on one aspect of a bigger picture. To view this as missing on what men are doing wrong is to totally miss the point of the article.

  7. Paul says:

    (USA)  I tell my wife nothing about myself. Further more, I don’t need any of the things mentioned above. I don’t want sex with my wife or anyone else. I told her 30 years ago that I refuse to have sex with her and that’s the way its been. Its the best 30 years of my life. My wife asked me one question, why did you marry me? My answer was and still is I wanted to see what married life was all about, that’s all. I disliked it and still do. She’s boring and unattractive, whinny and complains all the time. I found out not answering or talking works best. I hate porn and am not gay.

    • Michael says:

      (USA)  Dude, how old are you? Did your wife decide to stop having sex because you did? How does that work for you?

      • Paul says:

        (USA)  When I stopped having sex with my wife I was in my 30s. Now I’m in my 60s and totally glad I stopped. All these years I haven’t cared what she did, she can leave when ever, have affairs with other men and women it just doesn’t bother me. I have no need to know what shes doing. We never talk any way!

        • Laura says:

          (USA)  Why are you even married? This person might as well not exist to you. Do you have fond feelings for her? My husband is my very best friend and I can’t go on any time at all without wondering about him and making new memories together and being together and sharing our life. This makes me sad for the both of you.

          • Paul from United States says:

            No I have no feelings for my wife, and like I said she can do what ever she wants. I’m not holding her hostage, she can leave whenever. I just hang out in my new place of refuge my my garage. It’s air conditioned and heated with an upstairs apartment. The only memory I have is being left alone and working in my shop and on my cars.

    • Melissa says:

      (USA) Ummm, even I can spot a fake post. The guy is a professional BSer. He is not married; he doesn’t have a whiney wife sitting alone crying on the couch. Lordy, what a story he told and shame on y’all for believing it.

  8. Jacqui says:

    (SOURH AFRICA)  I suppose it comes down to the difference between men a woman. A man has a duty to take care of his families financial needs; a woman, on the other hand, takes care of the other basic needs. A man is proud if he does this. A woman also must be told that she is doing a great job.

    • Bev from United States says:

      You know, this is exactly how my husband thinks! And I resent him for it!! He thinks he should come home, have me serve him dinner in the living room, carry it back to the kitchen when he is finished, find him the remote, reach him the phone, bring him something to snack on AGAIN, get him something to drink… and all of this after I’ve done his laundry, cooked his meals, and did ALL the things the children required too! Tell me how one simple paycheck is deserving of all this? I think NOT!!!!!

    • Bev from United States says:

      He should be PROUD!! He puts in 40 hours of work per week and gets 24/7 pay for it!!

  9. Catherine says:

    (UNITED STATES)  My husband know has custody of his 17.6 year old son and he never asked me how I felt about the situation. And now he never spends any time with me, just with him.
    what should I do about this ?

  10. William says:

    (NIGERIA)  I really appreciate this site because it has helped me improve in my relationship. I used to be very angry with my spouse at the slightest provocation but now, I have learnt tolerance and I appreciate her all the more.

  11. Tabi says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  If you read Ephesians 5, it clearly outlines the diffirents ”’duties” given to both a husband and wife. Women must respect and obey their husbands as the head of the home at all times. Proverbs also tells us that woman are the nrturers and carers of the home, including her husband and kids. Husbands are told to LOVE their wives and give of themselves as Christ did for the church.

    Now, read 1 Corinthians 13 and it’ll explain what this LOVE truly entails. If you read closely you will notice that it is the man’s duty to ensure peace, joy and happiness in his marriage and home. It is his duty to ensure that his marriage follows the word of God, as the leader. A husband must lead with love and respect, not authority and financial power. Earning an income does not make you a leader, it does not excuse you from not cooperating in your household. It is only a small aspect of your duty as a husband. Your foremost duty is to LOVE your wife.

  12. Sara says:

    (USA)  You’re almost right Jenny. If you shut your husband down sexually, it will be very hard for him to continue nurturing the relationship. Men seek respect and women seek love.

  13. Viola says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  I feel so empty inside, unemployed, stuck. My husband is very abusive. He calls me names and says I’m stupid and not what he wants. But when he’s not drunk he wants to apologize. He is also unemployed since 2009 till to date. I am 31 and he’s 43. I’m not sure what to do. He doesn’t care about me or our 7 yr old. I need advice on how to deal with this situation. We lost 2 kids last year. 1 was a stillborn and the send lasted for a day. Should I leave him as I still have feelings for him?

  14. Richard says:

    (USA) Lately, my wife and I have been going through a rough time with our marriage. We’ve been married for 12 years and have known each other for about 16 years. I have known this person for half my life. I recently saw there was a problem, feel real bad that I didn’t notice it years ago as its been going on for my wife. Now I realise the problem and what I have not been doing as a husband to make my wife happy. There is a real lack of communication between us now and I feel we are drifting apart.

    I love my wife very much. Now we are separated, have 2 beautiful kids, one 5 and my daughter 2. At this time my wife has locked me out of her heart and feels the relationship is not worth getting back on track. I feel very alone, sad, and hurt that she doesn’t want to try and work this out. I know with the trust of God we could get through this together but don’t know if it can be saved without the help of my wife. I feel like that I lost my life partner, the one person that I ever trusted most with my heart and feelings. I am looking for some guidance here and hoping that things could turn around for us.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Richard, I’m so sorry for all you’re going through in your marriage –especially since you have two little children who are involved, as well. Their little, impressionable hearts and lives are involved in all that you and your wife do to either end or repair your relationship. This alone should inspire BOTH of you to do all you can to give each other even more grace and motivate you to work all the harder. I’m so sad for you and for your children, that up to this point your wife doesn’t want to work with you on saving your marriage.

      As far “guidance” to turn things around, I’m not sure what to tell you, Richard. If you look through the “Save My Marriage” topic (and others that God points out to you) on this web site, you’ll see that we have quite a few suggestions. Every marriage is different, and the things that pushed yours over the edge to the point where it “broke” is different. You have to apply different methods to help along the healing process, according to whatever it is that caused the problems. Glean through what you read and apply that which appears that it’s the right thing to learn and to do.

      Yes, eventually your wife will need to join you and put the work in to help draw you closer together, but if you prayerfully read through the quotes, articles, testimonies, and perhaps even pick up a few of the suggested resources for further insights, I believe you will have a good start on what you CAN do. And then you need to start applying what you’re learning. You do it because it’s the right thing to do, not just because you want to have your marriage back. If you do it only for that reason, the change will only happen temporarily. You need to change from the inside out. Even if your wife doesn’t change, you need to, for whatever you have in your future. But prayerfully, your wife will eventually notice and be inspired to do her part, as well.

      It will be important for you to pray, work on your own issues (with your eyes off of hers –letting God take care of them and her), pray some more, guard your heart, be a faithful, growing man of integrity, pray some more, and watch to see how God can unravel this thing (if your wife will eventually participate with Him). But don’t be impatient. Your marriage didn’t get broken overnight and it won’t get repaired overnight either. Making permanent changes for the good take longer to implement than quick fixes do. Your wife will need to see that you are real in how you are changing, not just putting up a smoke screen that gives the illusion. And that takes time and hard work. I hope you’ll do that –that you’ll do what it will take to make good changes in your life. I pray that God will help you to do that and hope that your wife notices and that it will turn her head and life towards you, rather than away from you. May God bless you in that mission.

  15. Mrs. Ellerbe says:

    (UNITED STATES) Ok, what happen when a wife caters to her husband hand & foot & never gets the attention or affection she deserved in the marriage? He takes her for granted …she cooks cleans, wash clothes; encouraging him in all his hobbies, adventures, achievements & drops everything she’s doing when he calls for something. But he’s never there when she needs him… feeling like she is unworthy to him. He never compliments her on anything. What do you do then? I’m just asking.

  16. Motunrayo says:

    (NIGERIA) This has opened my eyes to how men actually behave when stressed and under pressure. I noticed that my fiancé usually keeps to himself when he’s undergoing a lot stress from work or other external factors and I get so sad and begin to wonder if I am not doing enough to get him out of it. Now I’ve learned to let him be and be supportive on the side and patiently wait till he comes out of it.

  17. Jenny says:

    (USA) Thanks for the great explanation of the value of “recreational companionship.” I especially appreciated the concrete suggestions on how to find common interests. This has been a struggle in my relationship. As you explained it, I can more easily see that it’s a male-female difference. When I get together with my girlfriends, we don’t “do” anything in terms of activities. We might go out to eat or go for a walk or grab coffee. Very different apparently from what men want. Your suggestions are very, very helpful and give me hope.

  18. Annie510 says:

    (USA) Women know these things already. We know that a man feels worthy because of what he “does” and his identity is wrapped up in that. Women know these things. We’re the ones reading the books about marriage, thinking about marriage, trying to improve the marriage, going to counselors about the marriage. Studies show the average man works 40-50 hours per week. The average man spends 14-28 hours a week watching television. The average man spends approximately 2 hours a week talking to his wife. And we wonder why there are so many divorces?

    Men would work regardless of whether they were married with children or single and childless. Men need to change their thinking when it comes to marriage. Absence doesn’t make the heart grow fonder; it simply kills a marriage. Women do plenty of bonding activies with men; women know how important sexual initimacy is in a marriage. The real problem is men are not reading the books -they’re not going to counseling; they’re not thinking about how to improve the marriage. It seems they are spending too much time at work and watching TV. Just do the math… and think about it.

    In other words, I believe men have TOO much autonomy. Most are gone 30-50 hours a week and when they come home, spend hours watching television or playing video games. How much more autonomy do they need?

    • Bridg says:

      (CANADA) You know all of this, but, not everyone does. I guess it’s for the people who don’t. I totally agree with you, well not that my man watches any TV (he works a lot though and spends hours on the potty), but I totally agree that men have way too much autonomy, way too much free time while we’re working. Speaking of which, we do too much of the work… here’s my theory as to why: If I am sitting still (rare) and my man is actually doing something useful, I have a very hard time just watching him. It goes against my grain to have someone work for me. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Who wants to feel lazy? Not me.

    • Tony says:

      (USA) Another blame it on the man post? If women know all these things, why aren’t they suggesting bonding activities that they know their husbands will enthusiastically choose? I think women are experts in how THEY would like to see the relationship go. Where I think the problem lies is that there are TWO people in every marriage. Is the wife an expert on her husbands dreams and desires?

      Instead of taking time reading all those books and complaining, where is the effort, the action to find things to do that you know your husband absolutely loves? You already know what doesn’t work, reading books and talking. As I said, experts on what appeals to women. This topic is what every wife should know about her husband. Instead of learning about how to meet your husband where he is, you complain that he’s not doing what you want him to do. I think you missed the point of this topic.

      • Jean ( FV Wildcat Fan) says:

        (USA) No person is blaming men, we are trying to get you to stop blaming women.

        • Tony says:

          (USA) To quote the post blaming men, “In other words, I believe men have TOO much autonomy. Most are gone 30-50 hours a week and when they come home, spend hours watching television or playing video games. How much more autonomy do they need?”

          Doesn’t read like that’s asking men to stop blaming women. Instead it reads, and I paraphrase, “It’s not us ladies, it’s you guys. If you would only shape up, things would be better.” I know blame when I read it, and that indeed is blame.

      • Jean from United States says:

        Since you are suggesting that wives meet their husbands where they are, in your opinion is it okay for a husband to meet his wife where she is? I don’t understand why you are scolding me.

        • Tony from United States says:

          Sure it is. And those things are said in the topics targeting men. Context is everything and the title here is “What every wife should know about her husband.”

          Telling husbands to meet their wives where they are in this thread is like shouting in an empty room. Guys are not coming to this topic looking for ways to meet their wives. If they read the title, they would not get the impression there are tips here for them to be better husbands. So to complain about those tips not being here is like complaining that they speak French in France.

  19. Llsa says:

    (USA) My husband just told me he has known for a month that he is spending New Years with his mother out of state. He did not want to hurt my feelings he said, but I am hurt. I told him that it was not right to have secrets and he would have felt disrespected if I had done that. By the way, his mom was never friendly with his previous relationships.

    • Dee says:

      (USA) My question is, why weren’t you invited? It’s not like he’s going to Vegas with his buddies, he’s going to start his New Year without his wife?! Most couples want to start the New Year together, to kiss at midnight, maybe talk about their hopes for the New Year and the resolutions that will inevitably be broken. It would concern me if my spouse didn’t want to start the New Year on what I concider the right foot. Why did he pick a holiday? Why not the weekend after? The best thing you could do is talk to your husband. A lack of communication is one of the first nails in the coffin of a relationship.

      • Jean (FV Wildcat) says:

        (USA) No, you all see, this is what I was telling you all about men. They want what they want, when they want it. They then threaten to cheat if we do not worship them, spoil them, and lose ourselves for them. Women are not supposed to stop her intersts to do only what her man wants. They are supposed to do things that both of them enjoys. You women had better not lose yourself for a man. Men do not want to work on a rleationships with their wives, they want their wives to do all the work in the relationship. This is fantasy, fairtale, make beleive and totally unrealistic. After a woman kisses her man’s behind a few times, he will disrespect her. He then reveals his true nature. He shows you that he is selfish and was not that into you from the start. Men are lovers of themselves. Stop, watch, and observe. It will be revealed to you if you just look.

        I really want to know why women can’t see what I see about men. I see men for what they are. That’s why they don’t disappoint me, because I know just how they work. I love myself and I am realistic. I do not worship any man and I do not hate any man. I give and expect the same adoration and respect in return or else, I give nothing. I do not allow any man to control my mind. I love and respect me. I am at the point where I do not write in and ask why men do this and do that, because I already know what they do and say. I only give advice or suggestions, because I do not lose all control with any man and do not allow myself to be taken in with all this blame wives propoganda that article writers and create. I read the word of God and know that God has responsibilities for men too. I keep my eyes wide open and do not exalt or worship a mortal man. Men are not God!! Please women, ignore their pouting and blaming of women and other foolishness. Go on with your lives and love yourselves and your children. Be the mature woman and love yourself and all people. And if a man wants to live for Satan, pray and ask God to help you to take care of yourself and your children and be strong. It is not your fault. Tell other women what I said.

        • Cindy Wright says:

          Hi Jean (Wildcat Fan), I have no doubt that you mean well, but you seem to be on a rampage to dump upon “men” as if all of them are abusive, whiny, self-centered, demanding people. I posted a few of your comments, but after reading one after another shoving a finger into men’s faces as if they are all abusive, I just can’t keep posting these types of comments. I do the same when it’s a man going after all women.

          I’m married to a very good man. I know very many good men. I also know some very cruel and abusive men (and some very cruel and abusive women). I’m very pro-active in warning women about these types of men, and men about these women, but in doing so, I don’t throw all men or women into the same bunch. That’s totally unfair and abusive in itself and incites unhealthy feelings towards those who live their lives trying to do what is right.

          This type of rampage is no more acceptable than to address “blacks,” “whites,” Chinese,” “muslim,” “jews,” “Christians,” “women,” etc… as being all the same and all abusive. They are not the same. SOME may be one way or another, but to address your comments as if “men” are all at fault for the abuses you have seen, just incites and ramps up rage, bitterness and prejudicial feelings and actions. I wouldn’t want to be judged by these standards and I don’t want to promote it when others do so. Some of what you say is true, but when you deliver it in this way, it is lost on those who need to pay attention.

          Jean, I could go on and on, but I have other ministry work to do. Please be careful here. As one woman to another, there are women who need help (and men who need help), but this approach will further complicate matters, rather than help them. There are abusive men and abusive women… abusive husbands and abusive wives. We’ve seen both and address both. Please try to approach these matters more on an individual basis and please be careful in making blanket statements. Your motives may be good, but how you deliver your message and the rage you do it in, can be toxic. Please pray about this. I hope you will.

          I sincerely hope you can help women. I sense this is your heart. And I agree that there are many, many women (and men) that need it. But applying Ephesians 4:29-32, when addressing these types of matters is important.

  20. Nids says:

    (INDIA) The article gives a good perspective on how to give the man some space, lest he starts running away from you. But what is causing problems in our marriage, apart from the above listed ones, is that we live with his family which includes a sibling with special needs. Due to certain things that happen, I feel a lot of fissure is because of that too. I am clueless as to how to deal with that.

  21. Elnah says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) I am a staying home Mom. I have 5 yr old daughter. My husband is working and provides for evrything in the house but never gives me money without me asking for it. Why can’t he give me money without me asking for it? I think it’s unfair because he knows I have needs. Do I always have to ask? Help please or am I being selfish? I end up suffering because I’m tired of asking.

  22. Rut says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA) Hi, I’m married now for 1 yr and 7 months. I stay far from my husband due to his work. He only comes home 3 times a year. I lost his baby last year and now this year, a few weeks ago, I lost his son in a miscarriage. He never came home, never phoned. Then I decided to go to him and sort out our marriage. It was ok but now he doesn’t come home. He said his job is important. I don’t get love, no attention, no money, nothing, but I love him. Yesterday I called him and I decided to give him space. He didn’t call since then.

    • Jean(Wildcat) says:

      (USA) I am an experienced, wise woman, who does not hate men, but one who finally figured out what men are all about and what is exactly going on. I am one who has listened, studied, and observed woman-man relationships. I’ve realized that women have been brainwashed and are now allowing ourselves to be scolded, demeaned, objectified, used, and abused, by all men, our dads, boyfriends, and husbands. Women have got to stop this practice of abuse now! We have got to stop listening to the many anti women writers on the internet, in books, newspapers, magazines, etc, who claim to be marriage counselors. These people, women and men blame and scold us for men’s terrible, terrible sins. These writers are grossly unfair. They are verbally abusive to women and some women believe them to be the gospel. They claim to use the Bible as their basis for their beliefs and comments, but they are of Satan, because if you read the directions that God gives to husbands for tehm to do for their wives, you will see that these writers are not Godly.

      The first piece of advice I give to any woman, is to love yourself first. Stand in the mirror everyday and say I love you, to yourself, until you believe this. Do not look at your husband as if he is god. Don’t kiss up to him. Don’t initiate conversation with him when he is being nasty and cold to you. Be cool and go on around the house and outside with your responsibilities. Love your babies. Get yourself some hobbies, a job, some friends. Spend time with your mom and sister. Don’t make your husband your whole life, because he will then take advantage of you and he will turn cold and nasty, because he realizes then that you’re worshipping him. That’s his sin nature. Trust me, men are that way. Just stop and observe him and you will see. They are takers for sex, food, sports, wife’s adoration, worship, and respect. They forget all about their wife’s needs and the children’s needs. Many, not all husbands and men are very selfish and egotistical.

      • Tony says:

        (USA) Actually, if you read the instructions of God, it’s is to love God first, then your spouse 2nd. You (and I, it’s not just women) come 3rd or so.

        If you love yourself first, pretty soon, you’ll be just as selfish and egotistical as the husbands you critique.

        • Jean says:

          (USA) I will not go back and forth with you. After this post, I will make all my other comments in general. I do not know you and don’t care to know you. As I strive to obey the guidelines of this site, I will speak with honesty and fairness. Now, I don’t know why you feel that women should not want to be appreciated, but this is 2013 and women are beginning to just now realize that even though men are physically stronger, have more power, and money, that we have rights and are important too. We are struggling to get fairness and balance. All it what you want, but only real men will understand what I am writing here. Other men will just attack and be angry.

          It is okay, if I as a woman, have an opinion. No man validates me. God said to love your neighbor as yourself. So you see, I will love me! I don’t want or need a man to show or give me any special favors or attention. I grew up and was educated through school, relationships, and experiences. My parents taught me to respect myself and others, not just men. I give love and attention to my family and friends, not just to men. I am not selfish, even though it is all around me.

          So, when we continue to allow these so called marriage and relationship counselors and others, to scold and demean women for men’s sins, that’s when I will step in and support women, even if other women are scared or brainwashed. Yes, I’m discouraged, disappointed, and frustrated at how women are told to take the blame for men’s sins and still worship them. But I will not allow myself to take part in this evil practice.

          I am a woman who was wondrously made by God. I believe that he loves me. I believe that he gave husbands and wives, certain roles and that we are to respect each other as we fulfill those roles. I know that as a woman, God put a husband in front of me, and if I am not angry about this, then why should men be angry when women show frustration. Where is your understanding with us as the weaker sex? If you read the Scripture, you will see what you are to do.

          You all ought to have compassion for us, because if you all had to do the roles that women have, you all couldn’t and wouldn’t be able to fulfill them. A female child is born into the world with female only, physical situations, that she must endure throughout her lifetime. When we add to those situations, a bunch of junk about a man wanting us to exalt, worship, and bow down to him, then it is asking way too much and some of us will be brave enough to let you know.

          Be glad that God gave you all a role as leader, but remember what a woman/wife has to go through and remember that both the husband and the wife must love, honor, and cherish the other. We can’t wait on you husbands hand and foot, unless you’re going to reciprocate. Be selfless, not selfish. Women shut down too you know, and want to cheat too. It’s not all about you all.

          • Darrein from United States says:

            Jean, I read all your comments. It is very obvious you have been hurt but let it go. Go read 1 Corinthians and what it says about love. You are giving advice about love through your hate. How does that work? You are making your life miserable and it is not needed. Charity suffereth long, and is kind, is not puffed up, vaunteth not itsself.

        • Tony says:

          (USA) Jean, I’m aware of the year. Where did I say women shouldn’t want to be cherished or loved? If you read what I’ve said here, I’ve said that spouses (both men and women) are to put God first, their spouse second, and then themselves. That’s the pattern of Christ. He wasn’t about his glory. Christ was about glorifying God and saving humanity from it’s sin.

          So to suggest that I’m not aware of the year, or that I’m against women wanting to be loved and cherished simply indicates that you really do not understand what I’m saying.

          You have created a straw man. You wrote: “Now, I don’t know why you feel that women should not want to be appreciated, but this is 2013 and women are beginning to just now realize that even though men are physically stronger, have more power, and money, that we have rights and are important too. We are struggling to get fairness and balance. All it what you want, but only real men will understand what I am writing here. Other men will just attack and be angry.”

          Easy to knock down a paper target you create. But if you were honoring the guidelines of the site, you wouldn’t make false attributions as I wrote nothing like that.

  23. Mary from Canada says:

    I found this post while looking for ways to fix my marriage. I thought I might benefit from others’ life experiences. However, I don’t feel that you are correct. You cannot generalize men and women.

    For example, you said that when men are under stress they need autonomy, to be left alone, to sort through it all. I have found my husband to be excruciatingly clingy and needy especially when he is stressed. I am the one actually that always demands some alone time to breathe, and sort out my stress. So I’m sorry but I don’t think you can factually claim that all men are the same!

    • Jeff from United States says:

      I believe we need to go back to the garden to see God’s original intention for marriage. We also can see why there was a fall, man was not doing what he should have done and women was doing what she should not have done. We are imperfect people in a marriage that could have been. We come into a marriage and try to merge two very distinctly different personalities from different families and try to see how it all works out and in the end it can end up being a very jumbled mess unless we forgive, give constantly, turn ourselves back to God, and give forgiveness and ask each other for forgiveness and try for perfect had not the fall happened.

  24. Jillibeanlala from United States says:

    If you were to read some of the thousands of blogs, by thousands of men who post anonymously, and who post as themselves. You would be surprised at how wrong you are. While I appreciate your efforts to help, I must inform you that you are misleading & wrong. Men, at their core root, are horny& want somebody to take care of their needs. This is the bottom line on why they take wives& the biggest secret unknown to most women.

    If they let us know, the whole game would be blown. No woman would ever get married! Sure, there are nice guys & all levels of nasty, but the truth is that if they can be with another woman ( besides the very rare example) they will. Sure, they say they love us, they do, but it has to do with level of contentedness.

    If they have no extra money, the finances are controlled by both. For example, somebody else is& has always been watching. Then they can’t go in a back room with a stripper. Trust me, no matter how hot& sweet you are, how attentive, great cook, space giver& great mother, conversationalist& friend…You will never be the #1 choice by OWN FREE WILL..

    We are needed and wanted by default just like a maid, just like anybody they might have caught before us or after. We fill a role& that’s to keep house, bear children, bring an extra income and fulfill needs. They don’t really want to hang out with us, they would rather be in that VIP ROOM, which btw are EVERYWHERE.

    I never knew ANY OF THIS, then I started searching and was surprised to find men in my area giving reviews on yelp etc… Describing the building etc. Sorry!! But women should wake up& women should know!

  25. Jason from United States says:

    I feel like my wife in essence “throws me a bone” every once in a while by watching a movie with me or a show or something but is never really “there” even though we are in the same room… She thinks I’m totally off when I tell her that but I need it. Sex is sex but I want to be friends too, and it’s just not there anymore.

  26. Fani from United States says:

    I think my husband & I are not like most couples you refer to in this article. He doesn’t act like he enjoys doing things with me like painting the house to give it our own touch or working in the yard with me. Instead he acts like an enjoyable time for him is to be left alone while he works with his tools… and that he wants me & the kids to leave him alone so he can work.

    I feel unappreciated by him, which makes me show less appreciation toward him. I reciprocate feelings so if I get the feeling of being unappreciated I don’t try harder to make him appreciate me. I show little appreciation in return.

  27. Beryl from United States says:

    But, we must be careful that we do not treat women like yo yos and have them going back and forth, telling them that at one time a man needs space then later telling the wives that they need to watch the husband’s favorite tv show with him. This is so unfair. You know why, when wives say they want their husbands to watch her favorite tv show with her, you all demean the wives and say that they should not expect for the husbands to look at the silly wives programs.

    Now, do you see how wrong this notion is? If you all expect for wife to watch their husbands’ show, then the husbands should be willing to do the same for the wife. This world isn’t just about what a wife can do for a husband. They must both do things for each other.

  28. Tara from Australia says:

    In response to some of these comments -it is not logical to believe that man was created before woman. Religion is proven wrong all the time. I understand what the author is explaining, it is ok that men have different needs and cope differently than women do. I did not get the feeling that it was intended to put women down. Men and women can take care of one another and both still respect each other’s differences. A man should be treated as a man and a woman be treated as a woman. Our society can’t accept this anymore.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Tara, Truthfully, I/we don’t hold much value in what “our society” accepts or doesn’t. I/we care about what God accepts or doesn’t –what He ordains to be true or not. With all due respect, I would much rather trust in what God says than in what “our society” says to be true. I’ve gone the way of “society” –have been there, done that, and found that it’s filled with alluring wrappings and trappings. Deep down it doesn’t embrace truth, but rather tries to create and keeps recreating a form of truth in its own image of what it thinks it should be. When I deeply searched for Truth, it’s amazing what I found. It isn’t found in societies opinions, but in the person of Jesus Christ, and His way.

      • Tara from Australia says:

        True spirituality comes from within… Religion was created to oppress the masses. You can’t disregard society and the opinions of the people. The bible has good moral lessons that people should try to learn from but God is not in control, we are. We are what’s real.

        • Cindy Wright from United States says:

          Tara, I respectfully disagree with you on many of the things you wrote. Yes, “religion” can “oppress the masses.” But a true, personal relationship with God, through Jesus Christ, does not. As we embrace Him, we receive freedom. Even when guidelines are in place there is added freedom. As for disregarding “society and the opinions of people”… I don’t. I DO listen. Those who are true followers of Christ don’t disregard people and what they have to say, but love those who make up our society, with their various opinions. However, when their opinions go against Truth, then I refuse to go along with the crowd. There are many individuals and crowds that believe their way is right, but they are absolutely wrong. Just because society believes something, it doesn’t mean that I have to empty my head of God’s wisdom and go along with it.

          And as for your last statement that we are in control, not God… I couldn’t disagree more. God IS in control. You and I just don’t see (and can’t comprehend) all that is going on behind the scenes that will eventually bring about the greater good. Just because we can’t see something, and don’t understand it, it doesn’t mean that it’s not there happening, even as we speak.

          Tara, I wish I could go on and on about all of this with you, but it’s just not something I can do. This is not a format to debate these types of issues endlessly. There are other web sites for that. This is a web site formatted to help those who are married. So while I whole-heartedly, yet respectfully, disagree with you on the issues you brought up, I need to lay this debate between the two of us to rest, praying that someday Christ will reveal Himself to you so that you will see a glimpse beyond that, which is visible –to see and experience our Lord God as He truly is. I wish you well, Tara.

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