What do women want from their husbands?
Sometime back, I wrote a post titled 8 Things A Husband Can’t Get Enough Of and it has remained one of the most popular posts on the blog!
Today it’s the womens’ turn as I share a list of nine things husbands can do to make their wives feel loved and cherished.
Since most of my readers are women, I am counting on you ladies to pass the post to your husbands!
Go back and read 8 Things Your Husband Can’t Get Enough of and compare notes. See how you are doing at loving each other.
Before dive in, let me add this: today’s thoughts are generalizations. Not all women want to be loved this way and certainly women want more than 9 things from their husbands.
But many women like these nine things. And my goal is to inspire husbands to make a study of their wives so they can serve them based on their uniqueness.
Without further a do…
9 things women want from their husbands
Real intimacy is not one-sided. Wives not only want to feel close to their guys; they also want their guys to feel close to them.
They desire for their relationship to be his safe place, where he can let down his guard, open up about his fears, feel wanted and respected.
Nonetheless, vulnerability and exposure makes most guys want to run to the hills. It takes effort and growth for a husband to let down his guard and allow himself to feel safe in his marriage so intimacy can grow.
Alongside his feelings of intimacy, women also want to share the depths of their hearts and feel nurtured (Vs. being logically dissected.)
Most healthy wives understand intimacy in marriage is a journey so they just appreciate a man who tries.
Small things build up feelings of intimacy. Example
- Listening when she shares something that broke her heart
- Checking up how she’s doing after that talk
- Offering a shoulder to cry on (no fixing!)
- Pursuing friendship with her
- Pursuing her outside the bedroom
- Sharing inside jokes
- Working on goals together
- Cuddles and shared downtime
- Sexual intimacy
- Offering to make her life easier (because you’ve been studying what drives her nuts/she complains about the most. And instead of brushing her off with lines such as “why do you allow such little things to upset you?” you ask how you can help.)
Ask her: What one thing can I do to make marriage feel more intimate?
2. To be heard
One of the things I adored about my husband when we were dating was his gift of garb. He was polished in his communication, self-assured and persuasive.
He was also remarkably patient with me. He pursued me conversationally, asked good questions and expressed his desire to know my heart. I fell hard in love.
Then we got married.
And our vibrant communication died, sacrificed at the altar of expectations, selfish demands and immaturity.
By the mercies of God, we continued to work on us, and though we made a mess for a few years, I was encouraged because we were at least trying.
Conversation with my husband was, and remains, one of the things I treasure about our relationship. I am not the easiest person to listen to because I have way too many details and I talk to process.
But he works at it and keeps getting better at making me feel heard.
I know I speak for many wives when I say we recognize and appreciate it when our men try to listen well.I know I speak for many wives when I say we recognize and appreciate it when our men try to listen well.
Men: listen, really listen to her. Turn to her when she’s speaking. Be patient when you need her to repeat or explain something you don’t understand.
Let her “win” when you don’t get it.
Ask her clarifying questions: Admit your limitations but also your willingness to be there, conversationally and emotionally.
Show up when she needs you instead of shutting down or hiding because you can’t solve her problems or it’s too hard.
Don’t be dismissive or make light of things that matter to her world.
I know, from talks with my husband and other men, that this is an area of struggle for most men. (Especially since they have to navigate their womens’ baggage too.)
However, husband, if your goal is to build a healthy marriage and make her happy in the process, you will give this level of communication your best shot.
Gain extra brownie points: schedule a weekly “check-in” where you discuss each other’s week and plan for the coming week/month.
Ask her: How am I doing in our communication? What area can I improve to make you feel heard?
Every week, I get heartbreaking emails from wives who are struggling to trust their husbands: Nothing unravels the fabric of a marriage faster than a lack of trust in a spouse.
Women need to know they can trust their spouse. But more than a guarantee against infidelity, they want a marriage devoid of the appearance of infidelity.Women need to know they can trust their spouse. But more than a guarantee against infidelity, they want a marriage devoid of the appearance of infidelity.
Security in marriage goes beyond trusting a husband not to stray. She also wants to know she’s #1 in his thoughts and priorities. She feels safe and secure, knowing her husband will fight for her and protect her.
A good wife will not make unnecessary demands on her husbands time or take advantage of his availability and sacrifices.
Most wives just want to know their men are doing everything within their power to keep the marriage safe. Not just from outside intruders but from meddlers from within.
Ask her: Is there anything I do or don’t do that makes you feel unsafe? Is there something I do or don’t do that makes you feel like you are not my top priority?
4. Things women want from their husbands : Study
A wife craves to be known by the man she vowed her life to. But information isn’t good enough; she desires for her husband to put that knowledge to good use through adapting to her needs.
Know what she hates? Comparison. Rigidity and inability to understand and accept her changing needs and personhood.
A woman’s life is cyclical, and her needs are regularly changing. (Think monthly hormonal tides and ebbs, pregnancy, childrearing, empty-nesting e.t.c)
She’s also a sister, an aunt, a wife, a mom, a worker or businesswoman, a volunteer, a friend, a homemaker and the list goes on.
Certainly, men have seasons and responsibilities too. But they do a much better job at segmentation. Thus life can feel a little smoother and less chaotic/draining because different areas of life don’t bleed into each other.
Most women struggle with compartmentalizing: That’s why she remembers how you didn’t listen to her three months ago and how your lack of attention played into the argument last week and why you won’t get away with (insert issue) today.
A man who studies his wife will discern when she needs a break from the daily demands of life and suggest a coffee with a girlfriend or an hour at the park, reading a book.
A man who knows his wife will refrain from making fun of her weaknesses or idiosyncrasies, particularly in front of others, (even if she does it sometimes) because he loves to honor her and build her up.
A man who adapts to his wife’s needs will accept her changing preferences without guilting her or making her feel stupid. She may have liked flowers two years ago, but presently prefers a tidy sink. Accept it and move on.
Ask her: Do you have a need I don’t meet and how can I meet it?
A woman appreciates a man who shows a deep sensitivity for her needs. A man who covers her even when he doesn’t understand. Who protects her vulnerabilities.A woman appreciates a man who shows a deep sensitivity for her needs. A man who covers her even when he doesn't understand. A man who protects her vulnerabilities.
How do you show sensitivity to your wife?
Give her preferential treatment.
Don’t just endure her, cherish her.
Speak up for her.
Don’t be hard on her, trying to win every argument. Be thoughtful (see #6.)
Stop telling those jokes that embarrass her.
Trim those habits which feel okay to you but always make her irritated.
Pick up after yourself.
Ask yourself: What habits do I need to improve so my wife knows I treasure her more than anything? What can I do to show more regard to her?
6. Things women want from their husbands : Thoughtfulness
Sometimes back, I heard a husband share his frustration when it came to buying gifts for his wife. Then one day, he came upon the brilliant idea of asking directly what she wanted.
He went a step further and started a list of the things she talked about the most. For example, when they went to the mall and she oohed and aahed over something, he noted it down.
His secret list was his way of keeping the “surprise” game strong.
Come anniversary, birthdays and holidays, he didn’t have to think too hard. The gifts were always appreciated but beyond making her happy, they were easy to buy.
Thoughtfulness is like a dash of ginger and cardamom to an ordinary cup of chai; it takes what is common and makes it special (excuse the illustration, that’s my Kenyan!)
Think about ways you can be thoughtful this week.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel – you can do what the man above did. Or start by following her cues.
Join her in the kitchen when she’s cooking – you don’t have to cook, talk about her day.
Pick up her favorite brand at the stores.
Fill up her car with gas.
Let her sleep in.
Give her a massage with no expectation of sex afterwards.
Bring her a small gift when you travel out of town so she knows she was on your mind.
Text or call her during the day to find out how she’s doing.
Ask her: How can I better serve you in our marriage?
7. A working financial plan
Women want to know there’s a plan. And that their men are working the plan, not just talking about it.
Lack of financial planning makes her fearful and insecure about the future.
A lot of factors influence a man’s ability to provide for his family but there’s much grace and patience when a wife knows her husband has a plan and he’s doing something to make that plan work.Women want to know there's a plan. And that their men are working the plan, not just talking about it.
Ask yourself: Do I have a vision for my life and my family? Have I communicated the plan to my wife? How am I working on the vision?
8. The man she married
And his continued growth.
My husband and I were having a discussion earlier today, and right in the middle of it, I stopped, marveling at the intricate and curious ways God created him.
My husband is smart as a whip, perceptive, brave, a hard worker, a lover of God and people. He is physically strong, rugged and tough in his reasoning.
I married this man, and I love his manliness and how it drenches my feminine world.
A wife wants her man to show up in his God-given masculinity. Please note that masculinity is not defined by muscle, brawn or tradition. True masculinity is about the character of a man’s heart.
Show up in your marriage. Don’t hide, or entertain passivity. She needs all of your loving-and-confounding manliness.
Don’t be afraid to bring all of yourself to your marriage because if you can’t start there, where else can you go? (And truly matter)
It’s hard being a man in today’s world, perhaps even in your marriage, but you aren’t called to build the whole world. Just your little corner of it.It's hard being a man in today's world, perhaps even in your marriage, but you aren't called to build the world. Just your little corner of it.
Ask yourself – What areas have I been absent in my marriage? What changes do I need to make today to be more present?
9. Partnership and support
One of the things I love about marriage is it’s potential for unity. No other union brings as much spiritual, physical, emotional, economical, social and sexual togetherness as marriage does.
This sense of being “one” in all areas of life matters to women. Without it, they feel exposed, unsafe, even cheated.
As a husband, you can set the tone in these areas but beyond leading, remember she’s an equal partner in the relationship; you all bring different strengths and wise is the couple that learns to leverage their unique gifts and wiring.
Don’t dismiss her nature and God-led intuition: without them you would be a very single man, or a married man in a lot of trouble. Instead, consult, partner and pull together.
Furthermore, remember her dreams and aspirations were all poured into the marriage bowl when she got married.
For the most part, a husband will either stir her towards her dreams or be a source of conflict and discouragement as far as they are concerned.
Ask yourself: Do I see my wife’s potential? Do I know her dreams? When was the last time we talked about what she wants out of life? How am I encouraging her to pursue her dreams? How is she my partner?
Summary: Things women want from their husbands
In summary, these are the 9 things women want from their husbands
- To feel close and intimate
- To feel heard
- To be secure in marriage
- To be known and accepted
- Thoughtful attentions
- A money plan
- Support and partnership
Certainly, these are not definitive, and I would love to hear your thoughts!
For the women, how do you want to be loved by your husband? For the husband, where do you struggle the most when it comes to loving your wife?
Add your thoughts in comments! And if this post resonates, hit the share buttons and let friends know!
Are you wrestling with the overwhelm of marriage?
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