What I Wish My Wife Knew

In her great book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist Shaunti Feldhahn recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than one thousand of them.

Yes, you may be different, but in general she found men to have the following characteristics in common….See what you think:

  1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn’s research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.
  2. A man’s anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, “You’re disrespecting me!” But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.
  3. Men are insecure. Men are afraid that they aren’t cutting it in life — not just at work, but at home, in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly, they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don’t receive this affirmation from their wives, they’ll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.
  4. Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family. Intellectually, it doesn’t matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It’s not a burden they’ve chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support.
  5. Men want more sex. Everyone’s natural response to this is probably, “Duh!” But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their “needs”). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn’s research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man’s sense of feeling loved and desired.
  6. Sex means more than sex. When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!
  7. Men struggle with visual temptation. This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn’t just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of “visual rolodex” that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can’t control when these images appear.
  8. Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic. True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands’ confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it’s likely that he’s asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What’s not romantic about that?
  9. Men care about their wife’s appearance. This isn’t saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.
  10. Men want their wives to know how much they love them. This was the number one response of men. Men aren’t confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.

Any of these ring a bell? Maybe we should share with our wives…..

Let us know what you think.

Huz

About huzband

Being married 36 years gives one a perspective that many husbands don't have. Good times: Hard times. Humbling, cry-out-to-God times. But after raising 3 amazing sons, and being married to my childhood sweetheart for many moons - I am a growing, learning, desperate-for-God-daily, happy and fulfilled husband.

9 responses to “What I Wish My Wife Knew

  1. Justwanttobeloved

    2, 5, 6 & 9. Dead on… Married 19yrs to my high school sweetheart w/ 2 beautiful daughters. I’m a entrepreneur and volunteer firefighter. In my professional career, 95% of my clientel are female. Until recently, i had always been faithful to my wife. I never cheated on her, because I knew I wouldnt be able to look her in the face.
    Rewind 4 yrs ago; my wife stopped showing affection for me. I noticed it and mentioned it to her right away. She did nothing to change it and it only got worse. It finally came down to when we wpuld actuslly have sex, iy was her giving me felatio for 30 secs so I would get an erection. She’d toss me the lube and roll over on her side with her vibrator handy. That went on for 2.5 yrs, all the while me telling her i wasnt happy.

    One day, a woman I had met years ago and was extremely attracted to showed interest in me. One thing led yo another and the next thing you know, I’m having an affair. I had lost that feeling of not bring able to look my wife in the face again and it took me a while to really understand why.
    2, 5, 6 & 9

  2. andre mccollum

    Enjoyed reading 1-10 brought back memories to some of the issues that were hard to explain without it coming across in a negative way.

  3. Wife to one, mom to 6

    The book is really well written and based on a lot of facts. When I read it I thought ~ you have to be kidding me, but my husband assures me it is right on. It really opened my eyes and changed our marriage! Thanks for posting. One can always use a refresher!!!

  4. Evan

    Yes,yes,yes. Absolutely! And, no, respect should not have to be earned; in our society, we can’t kill or harm anyone. Why? Because every one is a human being,( and a child of God ) and as such, deserves that much respect. So then, does a woman have to earn “unconditional” love?

  5. Wife, mother and President/CEO

    I agree with each point and really find it worthwhile to understand about my husband. He has shared many of these thoughts with me already so I know they are accurate and tells how much he appreciates all the affection, and affirmation I give him. I also really want to look great for him! These things go along with the 5 Love Languages too!

  6. fleur fille

    you gotta be kiddin? This man sounds like a spoiled child. Women step up and fulfill their role on a daily basis. Respect is something you earn, so if your not feelin it,…
    Leave the competition on the golf course with the guys and take care of your wife and kids.

    • David Sire

      This isn’t “a man.” This is the bottom-line results of a wide-ranging survey of men from all walks of life. I’m sorry it bothers you, but it’s the truth, it’s exhaustively documented and I resonate with it myself. (And I have three daughters and a bride I love dearly, and I knock myself out for them constantly. Most of my life revolves around family.)

      Shaunti also makes a good argument that for men, “unconditional respect” is what “unconditional love” is to a woman. It should be an a priority given, not simply given when earned. I thought that was a great observation.

    • truthckr

      Wow. I am so glad that most women don’t feel that way about us (guys).

  7. Dad of five, husband of one

    Yes, yes, yes, and yes.This article really resonates with/for me. Married to my dear wife of 30+ years, and we’re still learning…

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