10 Things Your Spouse Needs To Hear You Say

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What does your spouse need from you?

I dare say “words” might not be high on our list when you think about your mate’s needs. At least I know they weren’t high on my list!

But the truth is, words possess creative powerThus the words we use in marriage are powerful and reality-forming. What we say or don’t say to our spouse can shape us for good or for bad.  

As life and marriage gets busier – kids, career, church e.t.c – the small but important things tend to suffer first. Important, affirming, building, creative words are cast aside and forgotten: replaced by practical, ‘real’, unexciting often un-creative vocabulary.

Once exuberantly expressed and deeply felt, our creative powerful words lie unused. It’s time to reclaim them and love our spouses through our words!

So here are 10 words and phrases you need to bring back to your marriage. (Or just use more often!)

10 things your spouse needs to hear you say

1. I need you

We first see vulnerability in our relationship with God. He says we must become as little children in order to inherit His kingdom.

The level of sweetness and intimacy we enjoy in marriage is directly related to our ability to be vulnerable and broken together. We must never stop needing each other. And showing each other that we need each other.

The level of sweetness and intimacy we enjoy in marriage is directly related to our ability to be vulnerable and broken together.Click to Tweet

2. I am praying for you

Prayer is powerful. And most people appreciate being lifted up in prayer. When going through a rough patch, your spouse will feel affirmed and cared for. Letting your spouse know that you are praying for them deepens intimacy.

See 2 Powerful Keys to Help You Pray For Your Husband More Often

3. Please, Thank you

Joyce Meyer shares the story of this couple friend of theirs who were incredibly courteous with each other. The words ‘Please’ and ‘Thank you’ filled their every day vocabulary. They drove Joyce crazy.

“Who in that world does that any more, you are married for goodness sakes!” she thought.

Later on, she began to see and appreciate the value and beauty of a life filled with courtesy, gratitude and humility. Such words reflect our attitude of love, respect, appreciation, honor and awe.

4. I love you because…

Most of us want to know why we are loved.

When my husband tells me that he loves the way I handled a particular situation or appreciates the way I made a certain meal, I am over the moon.

Being specific, (“I love you because…”) instead of being general, (“I love you”) often builds up our spouses in a deeper way.

5. You are beautiful/handsome

Your husband/wife needs to know that you still find them attractive.Life has a way of altering our physical landscape. We need to hear that we are beautiful in each others eyes.

6. I believe in you

I love hearing these words from Tommy. I feel affirmed and strengthened. I think most men agree that a wife who stands by them (through thick, thin and loony) is a treasure and a gift. We are made to be affirmed.

7. Important things your spouse needs to hear – “No”

Marriage needs boundaries. And not boundaries, but observed boundaries.

For example, I tend to be persuasive pushy by nature and sometimes the most loving thing my Tommy will tell me is “No.”

Most couples are opposites in terms of personality. We bring different strengths into the relationship and balance each other out.

Further, just because we are married doesn’t mean anything goes. The people in the relationship are still important: More important than the institution of marriage itself.

So if a spouse is abusive or toxic, the suffering spouse has every right to call that out and get themselves to a safe, healthy place.

8. I am sorry, forgive me

So often we say “I’m sorry” because we want a battle to end. Nothing wrong with tapping out because that’s what we need sometimes.

But real repentance means acknowledging your faults and making a turn to become better. It means dealing with yourself first.

When you are open and honest and mean what you say, your spouse will often sense that. And your true repentance maybe the only thing needed to resolve whatever issue is on the table.

9. What do you think?

We need to involve each other in our decision making processes. Involving your spouse communicates that you value them, their thoughts and insights.

It’s one of the ways we all feel loved: it affirms your partnership and helps manage expectations.

10. You are my hero

Your spouse may not act “heroic” all the time. But being a hero has nothing to do with perfection. It’s about the things that they do well (there must be something they do well since you married them, right?)

The world already tells your spouse what they can’t do or can’t be. There’s so much pressure to perform and shine. Your spouse needs to refuel from your faucet of love. If you don’t refuel them, who will?

And that is my list of 10 quick things your spouse needs to hear you say today! What can you add to the list?


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  1. Women Abiding says:

    What a beautiful list, and from my almost 15 years of marital experience, I can completely agree that these are crucial and beneficial! God bless you in your precious ministry, dear one xxx

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  3. So many great ones here! I might simply add, “I choose you.” I think we need to hear at times that if we had it to do all over again, our spouse would choose us all over again.

    1. What an awesome addition J. I love it when my hubby tells me that he’d marry me all over again. the words are reassuring, deeply affirming…especially cos he knows me so much better now! Thanks for sharing that.

  4. One I especially like, though it often gets stuck on the way out is “I missed you”. It makes me vulnerable in a way I’m not yet comfortable with (working on it), but it makes his eyes really light up. I guess it lets him know I was thinking about him.

    1. That’s a great addition Becki. I know my hubby likes the fact that I make a big deal out of his arrival at home, and i agree that it communicates that we are thinking about them, esteem them and they are important.

      I love that you are working on it 🙂 Funny thing, blessing our husbands in this way blesses us too! It’s such a worthwhile effort.

  5. Good morning, Ngina!
    I clicked the link on Wifey Wednesday knowing I had already read this, but I like to review and compare notes.
    Experience has taught me that when a husband hasn’t heard some of these things in a long while (especially the “hero” idea) they take a while to warm up to it. Once they do, the sheepish grins are totally worth it!

    1. Amy, thanks so much for clicking through and reading (again!) and sharing wonderfully.

      It’s true that it can take a while when they haven’t heard it before! But when we keep at it, it’s all worth it!

      I’ve also found that backing up my words with real actions/attitude really helps. For example, if i tell him he’s my hero, i need to be treating him like a hero..thus my words just confirm what I communicate in other non-verbal ways.
      Thanks so much.

  6. Great, great post! I am a big proponent of saying all these things. Our men do get beaten down out in the big world and women have been taught that we have to fight for more power when, in reality, we hold immense power in our words. Far too often, that power goes unused or worse, misused.

    “I’m proud of you” always goes a long way at our house.

    When I first began to tell him this, I had to ask if it sounded weird. I felt a bit like I was praising a child. In hindsight, it’s a little odd that being proud of someone should be considered condescension, isn’t it?

    In any case, he said it wasn’t weird and that he like to hear it. So, I like to say it!

    1. Love your wonderful insights Colleen. It’s true we hold such power and influence..but many of us don’t know how to use it.

      I love your addition. Those are powerful life-giving words. Husbands love to be recognized and celebrated for their achievements.

      You have inspired me to actually ask what he feels one area. Thank you so much! Thanks for coming by and sharing

  7. This is so great, Ngina – I read it when I was out of town and wanted to come back home and print them out so I can remember them. Thanks for the great suggestions!

    1. So blessed that they were a blessing to you! That’s a great idea, printing them out. Doing that right away! Thanks so much.

  8. I love this list. Especially that quote by Hoosier Farmer. Quite appropriate, that walking through the clean room would not make the love any less. Wonder how that applies in real life? An addition I would give is, ‘I forgive you’ after they apologize without necessarily going back to fish from the river of past mistakes. Great post Ngina.

    1. great addition Jep! that would come right after “am sorry, forgive me”. Letting the past stay in the past is crucial in a relationship. thanks for that insight

  9. Betty Draper says:

    I love when my husband looks t me fully in the face when I am sharing something…makes me feel important to him. Great list Ngina…

    1. Thanks Betty. I love when my husband does that too. Having his undivided attention makes me feel truly heard.

  10. This is so amazing Ngina the 10 words to say to your spouse. I would add Lets do this.. Its because we are often doing seperate tasks that eventually are for the same purpose of the household, kids, school, Church, but when you are actually doing one task together at the same time, it brings such a level of connection that is hard to explain. Thanks for this awesome post.

    1. wow, Lincoln, that’s a great one! Doing things together is a definite plus. A great way to deepen connection and increase effectiveness. .just makes a couple pull together intentionally. awesome point.

  11. As a “words of affirmation” person (Love Languages book) I can really relate. And this is a GREAT list to ponder. Thank you!

    1. Mike, am a ‘words of affirmation’ person too! (and ‘acts of service’)…i guess hence the post 🙂 thanks so much for reading.

  12. Great list!

    “I believe in you” kicked me in the gut. I think God wants me to tell my spouse that. Thank you!

    1. TC, am right there with you! I don’t always remember to say these things as much as i should! Thank God for His reminders 🙂

  13. WOW, what great and needed words Ngina. It’s so essential to continue to say these words to our spouse and loved ones. I would add: I believe in you, you can do it. Great post!!!

    1. “…you can do it” is a great addition to # 6 Dan. They are great words of affirmation and encouragement.

  14. Thanks for sharing Ngina. It’s always great to have a reminder for those things. I think you hit the nail on the head with the list too. Very specific yet broad enough to get most every situation.

    1. Thanks Jared. It’s so true, we never quite ‘arrive’ when it comes to these relationship matters. Glad you’ve enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Those are all great and I’m not sure anyone couldn’t use a reminder. The one thing they need to hear, or maybe not hear sometimes is us. Sometimes I think they our spouses just need to be heard. Listening with intent is a pretty good addition I think.

    1. That’s a great addition Floyd! The unspoken “I am listening” is yet another way to connect with our spouses. That’s a great gift to give our loved one – one that goes a long way to deepen and grow a relationship. thanks for that insight.

  16. Great post Ngina! I have learnt something new today, from No. 4, “I think most of us want to know why we are loved.” This could help us on building some of our character traits which if no one mentions/affirms them, we may never take time to improve on them.

    1. Sarah, so true, the natural tendency is to grow the area we are affirmed in – whether positive or negative! Affirming a positive trait is a powerful motivator and produces all this goodness in the relationship. Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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