What your wife needs from you
Choices and Needs
How our choices define our marriage
In a culture that’s giving up on marriage faced with any sign of struggle or unhappiness, we are given a choice of whether we will go along with the crowd, or do things a little different and commit to what we promised from day one—for better or worse.
Along with the choice of commitment, comes choices we are faced with every single day. These choices for our marriage are sometimes defined by our commitment; our passion; our anger; our love; our circumstances—you never know what kind of choices you will make throughout the day, but choices you will make.
When you make a choice to commit to your spouse, all the other choices for improvement and loving well, will not only be easier, but will be some of the best choices you will ever make. Most of you know—if your marriage is functioning and healthy, YOUR life will function and YOU will be healthy.
What do needs have to do with it?
Choices are many times made because of our feelings and needs. If we feel hungry, we choose to make a sandwich. If we need sleep, we go to bed—so on and so-forth.
In our relationship, if our spouse needs something from us—time spent together for example—we make a choice as to whether or not we give them what they need.
Needs are what make up a relationship. We all have needs. Why do you think one of the most popular marriage books is called His Needs Her Needs? Not only is our knowledge of one another’s needs one of the more important marital responsibilities, so is our choice to follow through in providing for our spouse’s needs.
Good intentions and love - why it’s not enough
I have never known someone who desired for their marriage to fail. You would think that because one desires and wills for their marriage to succeed, it would.
While we may have good intentions and love our spouse, sometimes, it’s not enough.
It’s with needs met that a marriage will truly shine. It’s with humility, true love, (and I mean that in the most literal sense) as well as an enormous amount of GRACE, that your marriage will be one that other couples envy. In essence, if you want to know what your wife needs so that you can fulfill those needs, and thus have a better marriage, then you’re in the right place.
In this article, I will focus in on needs that women have—because as a woman I know I have many, and in order to help you have knowledge of a woman’s needs, you might need to hear it from a woman other than your spouse.
Isn’t that humorous and morbid all at the same time? Sometimes, we can only adhere advice from outside sources, not from the ones who can tell us the EXACT needs they have; the defining factor of my first need on the list.
What a wife needs from her husband - in other words, “What do you want, woman!?”
My husband and I joke—by that I mean my husband calls me woman sometimes and not in a derogatory way, but an endearing, joking kind of way. You know, “What do you want, woman!?” That sort of thing. One day, my son, who had clearly not understood the context of calling a woman woman, said to me…
“Get me some water, woman!”
Nope. I shut that DOWN.
Anyway, let’s get to what women want and how you can better understand your wife—because let’s face it, you’re probably reading this article because you’re a bit confused as to what exactly your woman wants.
She needs to feel safe to share her heart (aka needs.)
Sometimes, when a woman shares her needs, she feels like she has to shout it from the rooftop in order to be heard. This can also be translated to something called nagging.
When your marriage is malfunctioning, this will be the case. Because she doesn’t feel heard, she may be communicating out of frustration, and not freedom that she can truly share her heart without you getting defensive or angry.
I’m not justifying her actions, but we are here to talk about what you can do in this situation of bad communication.
What you’re going to have to do is filter her words until you are both at a better place in how you communicate.
A great book on healthy communication that I recommend is called Resolving Everyday Conflict.
Think of all the times she has “expressed” to you what she needs. Probably on a daily basis. In fact, so many times that you have possibly blocked it out, and any form of need telling that’s being thrown at you a million miles per hour, is bouncing right off your thick head and whacking her in the face.
Okay, in all seriousness, let’s switch up the environment so your wife feels heard and appreciated and not like she has to nag you all the time to get her point across.
I have been at a place in my marriage where I felt like my good intended sharing of feelings, were being discarded of faster than I could finish my sentences. It’s very common, mostly because men and women are wired differently when it comes to communication.
I was communicating from my frustrations and hurt feelings, and he was hearing criticism; nagging.
So, how can you make your wife feel heard? There is a way! It might take some work to break the unhealthy cycle you might be operating out of, but there is hope.
Let’s go directly to the source—her heart. Her well intentioned, good willed, please remember who I am, sweet, sweet heart that you might have been neglecting for the past who knows how long.
Get this in your head now. Behind her nagging, is a woman screaming out, “Just love and accept me for who I am.”
As it may not be communicated in the best way, try and look beyond. She needs you to stop ignoring her feelings and listen to her heart.
Take her out for a nice meal or cocktail, look her in the eyes and ask her to share her heart with you. Let me help you out a little bit. Here are some questions you can ask .
What’s on your heart?
How are you feeling today?
Are you struggling with something?
Are you happy?
How can I be there for you?
What about the day was good, hard, funny…etc?
What is your favorite memory of us?
2. She needs you to want to want to.
I remember when my husband and I were first married and I was attempting to get used to his love for something I didn’t love so much.
I had this idea in my head—since almost our entire engagement was long distance—that we would spend every waking hour doing things TOGETHER after we got married. He also wanted such things, but within reason. His reason.
Now that we’ve been married almost ten years, it could be that the tables have turned, but that’s neither here nor there. My point being, I wanted my new husband to spend time with me because he wanted to, not because I wanted him to.
We want you to want to.
It’s not rocket science. Just meet her needs. Not because she wants you to, but because you want to.
Let me put it this way. If what your wife wants is not what you want, that’s fine. But make sure you are meeting her half way. Marriage has never promised to always go the way you want it to. There is give and take that needs to take place.
It’s absolutely fine for you to express your needs as well, but make sure you’re doing it a way that is still saying—I DO want what you want, just not right now. How you communicate here will say everything.
A woman doesn’t want you to fake that you want to do something. We want an authentic response, but also the willingness for you to look beyond your own needs as well.
3. She needs you to not shut down
I know that men have a hard time opening up and discussing their feelings. Because it stems from your insecurities and passivity since the dawn of time, sharing your heart is not something you delight in.
But what do you think your wife hears when you decide to shut down after a big fight, or worse yet, you just decide to shut down for no reason? She hears nothing. She doesn’t know what you’re thinking, and her trying to analyze and read between the lines will only fuel her fire.
Try this - before you shut down, (because what you might need is time alone) communicate to her first.
Saying something like,
“I love you, but I need some time alone to think. Let’s revisit this in — she will need a timeframe — and talk it through.”
If you can do this before you shut down and give her the stiff upper lip, it will mean a lot to her, and she won’t feel the need to scream at you to get your attention.
4. She needs you to walk alongside her and not overrule her.
Since the dawn of sin, men have distorted what God intended to be a mutual and equal bond between a man and a woman, an overruling and domineering power trip—read more on that here.
There, I said it. I am no modern day feminist, (I agree with some aspects and see nothing wrong with the origin of its intentions) but I do feel strongly about how men treat women unfairly and this is nothing new, even though it glares at us more now with social media spreading it far and wide.
No, this has been happening since the very beginning—I explain it more here.
If you see your wife as less than you, or that her opinion isn’t as valid as yours, you could be operating this way. Some men do this unintentionally, which is why it’s important to self-reflect on this to make sure you’re treating your wife as your equal.
If a woman doesn’t feel as though she is respected as your equal, she can respond one of a few ways: She can become passive and shut down; she could leave; she could become depressed. Ultimately, it can destroy her.
How you see your wife—as your equal or beneath you—can determine on whether you she will bloom or wither in your presence.
Sometimes, it’s the other way around. The women are more controlling, and as a result the man becomes passive—which is also a dangerous road to walk down.
To have mutual respect, love, and understanding for one another will not only create a healthy relational environment, you will both feel heard.
When we feel heard, we know that we matter to the other person. And that is a powerful feeling.
5. She needs you to be a good man.
Men feel loved when they feel respected. If you want to be respected, then she needs to know you’re a good man by your actions. Good men love their wives without hindrance.
Good men are defined by their ability to make good choices: they are humble, sensitive, gentle, kind, courageous—just to name a few.
But in my opinion, the one thing that makes a man a good man, is when he can admit when he’s wrong, and do the work to change when things need to be changed.
When a man can admit his wrong and do what it takes to improve, all of the other things will flow from this. You will never be perfect, but that’s okay. A wife doesn’t want a perfect husband. She wants a husband who can be transparent, authentic, honest, and real with her. Someone she can call a best friend in the good times and bad. She needs to know she can trust you.
Admission of wrong is one part of it, but to take another step and figure out what choices you need to make to change—that’s what will make or break your ability to meet your wife’s needs.
In essence, it will make or break your part in the marriage.