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.
In 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.
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.
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