By Cassandra Soars
My husband is a great man. He’s kind; he’s humble; he has a gift of hospitality, which means he’s happy to serve the people around him, and he rarely complains. But this often translates to him not telling me what he wants or needs. So it’s taken some guess work on my part to understand what he wants from me. After almost nine years of marriage, I think I’ve started to figure out what he wants and needs.
Are you wondering what things your husband wants from you? After talking to a number of couples, I noticed some common themes. While each man is different, here are the top 5 things your husband might want from you.
1. Recreational companionship: There are different types of intimacy, and recreational intimacy is one of them. Many men connect best over an activity or sport. There are no negative emotions involved, just a healthy and fun sense of competition. On your next date, try engaging in a sport or activity you both enjoy.
2. Trust: Part of being in an intimate relationship is a sense of trust. He wants to know that you trust him–that you trust him to make good decisions and be your equal. Sometimes I tend to give my husband advice as if I know better than he does. I grew up as an older sister to younger brothers, and he was the youngest child in his family. This dynamic often doesn’t contribute to making him feel like I trust him, but I’m working on it. I have started asking him for his advice on the things I’m working on, and I realize just how valuable his strategic input is. This helps build my sense of trust in him so I’m better able to show him that I trust him. Many wives question their husbands about why or how he does things, making him feel like he has to justify himself. All he really wants is to know you trust that his way could work too.
3. Sexual fulfillment: Many husbands feel like this part of their lives is lacking. My counsel to wives who struggle with spouses not feeling fulfilled sexually is always to work on their own sexual fulfillment. This will ultimately lead to their husbands being more satisfied. You can’t do something all the time for someone else. When sex is mutually satisfying, both partners will feel more content.
4. Appreciation: Your husband wants to know that you appreciate him. Especially for those things he does for you that you might naturally take for granted like taking out the garbage, changing light bulbs, mowing the lawn or other little things he knows you want him to do. Acknowledgment shown through thanking him will go a long way in helping him feel appreciated. (And when your husband feels appreciated, you might just find he helps out even more.) For some ideas on how to affirm and appreciate your husband, see the inset.
5. Space: Sometimes your husband just needs a little space. He wants, even needs, a few hours or even a whole day where he can just be, where he doesn’t have to work or do anything for anyone else, where he can just take care of his own needs. This will be good for both of you.
Affirmation and Appreciation
Words of affirmation go a long way for all of us, but especially for the man in your life. Men really do like hearing compliments – especially from their wives. So, today, try to compliment your husband at least once.
1. Compliment Him on the Physical.
Compliment his strength, his eyes, or his hands. Compliment the way he walks (I recently saw my husband walking in the distance, and noticed he walked with confidence and purpose. When he reached me, I said, “You have such a strong walk.”).
Tell him he looks great or handsome when he leaves for work, for church or to work out.
Compliment his profile, his back, his shoulders. Compliment him for something physical that only you would know.
2. Compliment Him on the Mental and Emotional. Tell your husband he’s smart, witty or wise. When he’s done a good job figuring something out, or putting something together praise him for it. Compliment him for being a rock emotionally. Give him a compliment for being mature, steady and dependable.
3. Compliment Him on His Father/Husband Role. Praise him for his success at work. Compliment him when he has a good day on the job, or when he earns more than he expected. Compliment him as a father for the way he relates to your children; the way he plays with them; or makes time for them.
4. Compliment Him on the Way He Treats You. Say, “You really hear me when I talk” or, “I really appreciate the way you’re always there for me when I’ve had a bad day.” Men like hearing that they are being successful in making you feel loved and secure. Try this one: “I always know that as long as you’re around, I’m safe.”
Try to give your husband a sincere, specific compliment every day. Doing so will help you focus on your husband’s positive traits, and it will make him want to be around you even more.