“I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different.” We don’t know who wrote that statement but it sure can be true —especially when it comes to the different ways that men and women perceive many things! Women and men want different things.
We came across an article we think wives could benefit from reading. In this article Dr Val Farmer gave “points of advice that men frequently mention when it comes to describing what they would like in a marriage.” It was published in The Pilot— Independent and it is titled, “What Do Men Really Want in Marriage.”
Ladies, we encourage you to prayerfully read what Dr Farmer writes about what men want. Ask God to reveal to you anything that you could learn that could be helpful. Even though it wasn’t written from a Christian perspective, there are a lot of Biblical applications. See if you agree. Dr Farmer wrote:
What Men Want in Marriage
• Be less critical.
Men feel they’re often on the defensive and “wrong” just for voicing an opinion that doesn’t match their wives’ expectations and standards. They want a feeling of teamwork, cooperation, and a more legitimate discussion of issues in their marriage.
• Accept him for what he is —imperfect.
He needs to be accepted as he is with his own legitimate interests and hobbies. Take advantage of his strengths and good points. Men want appreciation, probably for the things they are doing for the family. Reinforce and reward the things you appreciate him doing.
• Don’t make every issue between you a fight to the death.
Some quirks and differences you can live with. Trying to change him adds to his and your frustration and resentment.
• The home should be a refuge.
It’s not to be a place where he faces a barrage of criticism and conflict. How strongly and frequently you are judgmental of him may shut him down. Or it may trigger an emotional response that exacerbates the problem.
• Forget the past.
Husbands feel that some past hurts and blunders in the marriage aren’t left alone. They feel matters they think are resolved are brought up unfairly in fights. “Let the dead stay buried.” Forgive mistakes. Don’t bear grudges. Don’t bring up the past unless it pertains to a current problem.
• Be supportive of work and leisure activities.
Men want their wives to understand that work obligations occasionally take precedence over family needs. Some of their priorities are out of their control. Men would like understanding and appreciation for the work pressures and responsibilities they face. A man’s work accomplishments and struggles need to be recognized and supported.
• They also want acceptance for their occasional need to be alone.
They want to pursue their personal interests.
• Be nurturing.
Giving emotional support, respect, attention, soothing and meeting his needs makes coming home special. Family meals together give more than bodily nourishment.
In homes where there is confusion, disorganization, anger or emotional distance, men don’t do well. The family doesn’t do well. This isn’t a rehashing of stone-age advice on how to please a husband —”shut up and wait on them.” Mutual roles need to be clarified, understood and negotiated.
If you’re working outside of the home, this is a two-way street. He has a supportive role to play also. But the nurturing and caring still needs to take place. What we are talking about is caring, not care taking. In the era of women’s greater involvement outside of the home, the baby shouldn’t be thrown out with the bath water.
• Verbalize needs.
Men don’t like being judged or criticized for not doing something they “should have known.” There are times when they just “don’t get it.” They want their wives’ expectations spelled out — the more detail, the better. Don’t expect him to read your mind. Be clear and spell out exactly what you want and expect from him.
• Be a friend.
Men want a safe haven. They want a best friend where they can unburden themselves and be accepted for who they are. They want to be able to share emotions. Plus, they want to know their thoughts and feelings will be kept confidential. Companionship, affection and romance are important. They want a friend who can take their side and is supportive of their struggles.
• Take responsibility for your own happiness.
Don’t expect your husband to solve all your problems. You will be disappointed if you depend on him to make you happy and always do the thoughtful, loving or right thing.
If you are insecure or unhappy with yourself, you’ll have a tendency to put strong and unrealistic demands on the marriage. Over time, unhealthy dependency breeds hostility and resentment.
Ladies, we realize that many of these points are ones that you want from your husband also. We get that. And he may not meet these needs —even though he should. We understand that too. However, we shared them with you NOT to infuriate you so you point fingers saying, “Me too! I want these things too” or to tell us in response, “I’ll do my part if my husband will do his.” (Please know –that’s not Biblical, no matter how much you/we want it to be.) We share these points to help us all gain a better understanding of the needs many husbands have expressed to gain understanding.
Lastly, below are a few Proverbs that tell the importance of gaining understanding.
Please prayerfully consider:
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2)
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16)
“Leave your simple ways and you will live. Walk in the way of understanding.” (Proverbs 9:6)
“Do not say, ‘I’ll do to him as he has done to me. I’ll pay that man back for what he did.'” (Proverbs 24:29)
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like him yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4)
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established. Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4)
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1)
Please note that in the next Marriage Message we will focus on “What Women Want in Marriage.” Stay tuned.
Steve and Cindy and Steve Wright
— ALSO —
Furthermore, there is a related article on what men want provided below, written by Tricia Goyer, for you to read:
• SEVEN THINGS I WISH I’D KNOWN ABOUT MEN BEFORE I GOT MARRIED
And here is something that explains further what men want and what they need:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: For Married Women Marriage Messages
2 responses to “What Men Want in Marriage – MM #196”
(KENYA) Very inspiring and educative. Makes of a better husband henceforth.
(US) I never see men buying or reading “HOW TO” books – only women. The information I have been reading on this web site is telling women what all they should and should not do. What about a man’s role to LOVE HIS WIFE AS CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH? I don’t see that happening; men don’t love their wives unselfishly, giving and not taking, taking, and taking even more. The many women I know all feel the same way: abandoned. There needs to be MORE sermons to men on how they should love and treat their wives -as Christ loved the church. I feel Jesus had more femine qualities by FAR than masculine ones.