Wifey Wednesday: What Your Husband Wishes You Knew

Understanding Your Husband: What he wishes you knew (it's so much more than just THAT!)

Understanding your husband.

We may think that it’s a simple thing–he only needs ONE THING, after all! But what if he’s actually far more complex than we women tend to give him credit for? What if he has longings that he wish you truly understood?

Today, on Wifey Wednesday, I’ve invited Rob Thorpe of Square 1 Ministries to share with us what your husband wishes you knew.

I Corinthians 7:33-34 says, “one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how he may please his wife, and his interests are divided. The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband.

Pleasing one’s spouse assumes you know what it takes to please them – you know their needs and are deliberate about trying to meet them. Husbands and wives both have needs, and they get way off base assuming their spouse has the same ones they do.

Sadly, most wives today think their man only has one need….want to hazard a guess?

Yes, he does have that need, and it is a God-given physical and emotional need. But today, let’s talk about another need he is much more reluctant to discuss.

Deep down inside your husband has the same basic needs that you do – spiritual, emotional and relational. His physical needs may get top billing, but God created him with deep needs in other areas. Truth is – he doesn’t usually know how to articulate them, or is embarrassed to do so.

You already know that women tend to be more emotionally open than men….and women are more comfortable with their emotions.

But your husband has real emotional needs too.

Women tend to see feelings and behavior as the same. They act on their feelings. If a woman is angry, she behaves in that way. If she is elated, it’s expressed in her behavior. Usually a woman’s behavior is an open window to her emotions. But most men are not that way. They tend to hide their emotions. Men tend to embrace the philosophy that says that real men control of their emotions. This was usually reinforced early in his life by his father, grandfather, teachers and coaches.

Truth is – men are very emotional…we can be deeply moved by movies, music and beauty! Like you, we also have a deep need both to love and feel loved. And the love that is most precious to us, other than God’s love, is our wife’s love.

For Women Only, Revised and Updated Edition: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of MenIn Shaunti Feldhan’s great book, For Women Only, she reports the results of a large survey of husbands that were asked the question – “What is the primary thing you wish your wife knew?” The overwhelming response was – “How much I love her”.

Over several years of counseling and mentoring husbands, I have heard firsthand accounts of husbands saying things like – “I want her to know that I love her with all his heart and soul.” Others have said repeatedly, I love it when she is happy and hate it when she is sad or hurting.” We may not admit it to our friends, or even speak it to you – but, the love of our wife is critical to our survival!

In his book, Man’s Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl shared the account of his time in a concentration camp during World War II. He says that one particularly chilling night he and the other exhausted prisoners were forced to walk through snow to work the frozen ground with pickaxes until morning. Though few words were spoken, one of the emaciated men whispered, “If our wives could see us now! I do hope they are better off in their camps and don’t know what’s happening to us.” Silence followed the man’s remark, but Frankl writes, “…

each of us was thinking of his wife…..I looked at the sky where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife’s image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness. I heard her answering me, saw her smile, her frank and encouraging look. Real or not, her look was then more luminous than the sun which was beginning to rise. I understood how a man who has nothing left in this world still may know bliss, be it only for a brief moment, in the contemplation of his beloved.”

Next to an abiding faith in God, Frankl says the love of their wives gave men strength to rise from their crowded cots and face another pain-filled day. You see, contrary to popular opinion, men do have emotional needs….they need to feel loved by their wives if they are to go out and “slay the dragon” each Monday morning. We husbands may not face Nazi prison camps…but as Thoreau put it men live “…lives of quiet desperation” as we face the hopelessness and exhaustion and a hard-edged world week in and week out.

So wives, please look behind the facade.

We desperately need a wife who loves us so well that the memory of your smiling face and the echo of her encouraging words will keep us going in the face of our daily adversity. We need you more than you know.

Rob Thorpe is the author of “husband”: A User’s Guide.

Wifey Wednesday: Christian marriage postsNow, what advice do you have for us today? Write your own Wifey Wednesday post that links back to here, and then leave the link of THAT POST in the Mcklinky below. Thanks!

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  1. Heather says:

    >Wow – thank you!

  2. Paul Byerly says:

    >Great post. You are correct that men have spiritual, emotional and relational needs, and that we suffer if those are not met.

    I would like to warn the ladies it's just common scene to meet the needs at the top of the list first. If someone has not eaten in a week, and it drowning, you don't fix them a sandwich! Deal with what is yelling at hubby the most (even if it's "that") and then he will both feel the other needs and appropriate them being met.

  3. >I also love to vacuum!

  4. Intimacy Isn't Just Sex says:

    What I wish my wife knew, or tried to understand, was that the physical side of things ISN’T just about sex, it’s about touch, holding, a surprise pinch, just being close. My “love language”, as most men probably, is physical touch.

    I’ve tried to help my wife understand that that doesn’t just mean I want sex all the time, but other things can be a great way for her to show me she loves me too.

    • Good point. My husband tells me the same.

      The part I have a hard time seeing past is that when I do touch – gently rub my fingers down his arm when I pass him, hold his hand,snuggle up to him on the couch, rub his back, etc…it always ignites his flame and leads to sex. So his message that the physical isn’t just about sex is starting to fall on deaf ears.


      • If we concern ourselves too much with “how will he/she respond” to what I do, this can cause us not to act in the first place and then we end up both losing.

      • This could mean his “tank” is really low too, perhaps doubling the times you give him physical contact will help. If he gets used to your touch then he’s constantly “full” and may not have the immediate desire for sex every time you do it.

  5. Wow, what a great post! Thank-you for this.

  6. Great post! It’s so nice to hear a man’s perspective (and also in the comments)!

  7. anonamom says:

    how do I smile when it isn’t a big part of my personality, I have many deep hurts that I have been working on, lots of counseling, but I am not a generally bubbly person. My husband does ask me to smile more. Do I fake it till I make it?

    • Elizabeth Ketchum says:

      You have to make yourself think about the good things in life. It doesn’t come naturally to me either, but negative thinking will destroy your joy in life. We can train ourselves to think about what we are thankful for. I try to make myself think of something I am thankful for even when things are difficult – sometimes it is just thinking of how I’m thankful that things aren’t worse than they are. Then I pray my thanks to God and think of how good He is. It’s hard, and sometimes I fail miserably, but don’t give up!

    • I struggle with the same thing. Serious hurts in my past… loss of husband and child, being cruely taken advantage of during my time of grief following those losses. It’s hard to find joy when we have seen the deepest dark this world has to dish out… but we can.

      It’s been over 25 years since the darkest days… and traveling the road to a new life was not easy. Lots of counseling, treatment for depression, etc. but I’ll offer up that one of the most beneficial things that I ever did was program my first smart phone calendar to ask me EVERY TWO HOURS. “What are you grateful for RIGHT NOW?” – Every two hours may sound crazy to some, but when you have a hard time seeing the sun for the sunshine… it’s good to have to constantly look around and FIND something to be grateful for. I had a rule in my own head that I could only use an answer once a day.. and as I got better at it, it was easier to find different things to be grateful for.

      And yes, sometimes it’s good to ‘force’ yourself to smile even when you don’t feel like it. People smile back. What you put out into the world is closely tied to what comes back to you.

  8. For some of us”..our husbands may think that way, but then they act totally different towards you. My husband says he loves me but then I’m not listened to. My husband says he loves me…but then he sits and watches football while I’m mowing lawn. My husband says he loves me….but when I express a need I get a lecture. My husband says he loves me…..but if I bring up,something that bothers me or a conflict, I’m told your wrong instead of us reaching a compromise. I’m told he loves me….yet he’ll defend his kids over me or my needs. Love? Love is patient, kind, not envious, doesn’t keep record of wrongs, is not selfish.

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