Men don’t often receive credit for their complexity. One of my biggest annoyances is how husbands are often portrayed in commercials and TV shows: emotionally unaware, irresponsible, wide-eyed, and well… a little dumb. Those portrayals provide for a half-hearted chuckle, but they’re caricatures.
I’d like to clear the air a bit. I may not speak for every man, but I have a feeling I speak for most.
Most men aren’t simple.
Most men aren’t just physical or sexually driven.
Most men need verbal affirmation.
Real-life men are complex. We’re not as simple as sitcoms portray.
I can only speak for myself, maybe others share my feelings: I want to conquer mountains, but not without Selena. I want to lead my family boldly, but not without agreement from my bride. I want to fight for sexual purity and integrity, but not without my wife fighting with me.
What good is slaying the dragon and climbing the tower if there’s no princess inside? Husbands need their bride’s agreement, adoration, and affirmation.
If you’re a wife, I hope you read this and get a new idea of how to love your husband a little differently, a little better. If you’re a husband, I’m curious to hear if I missed something.
Here are what men want to hear from their spouse daily.
4 Things All Husbands Need to Hear Daily
1: “I trust you”
Selena and I have struggled with this one. We’re in a new season of life with lots of uncertainty. We made a conscious decision to put off some aspects of life to run the course God has outlined for us. We’re unsettled. As I write this, most of our stuff is in an old moving truck, where it’s been for two months now. We don’t have a real “home” as we are renting in a temporary location.
Most of the time we’re in a agreement. On difficult days, she starts to feel frustrated. I don’t blame her, our life is in flux. That can sometimes cause us to fight over particulars as we pursue God’s big plan. It’s in those times when she doesn’t feel it that I need her trust me most.
When I can tell she’s flustered and wanting to abandon the course, I need her to trust me. Then, when she sighs and simply says “I trust you“, it has an inexplicable effect on my confidence and resolve. That’s what men want to hear.
2: “I believe in you”
I doubt myself enough for the both of us. Most times I feel like I’m holding on by a thread – trying to figure out how to provide, love my family well, and be a godly man/husband. When she expresses her belief in me as a man she is affirming her decision to marry me–that she didn’t make a mistake when she said “I do”.
The converse can be devastating to a man’s confidence. Think about it: “I doubt you can do it”… I can’t think of a more deflating blow to a man’s morale. You may not realize that by not telling your husbands you believe in them, you may be sending signals that you don’t.
By expressing belief in your husbands you’re explicitly locking arms with him and assuring him that together, you can make it through anything. What men want to hear is that you believe in them.
3: “I want you”
Sex is great, as most men will agree. But the act of sex is vastly different from the intimacy of sex. The pleasure of sex is magnified by desire. We’ve talked about the spectrum of sex; some sex is functional, some is intensely involved.
This phrase is not really about physical desire, however.
By saying “I want you“, you’re letting your husband know that you love him for his intrinsic qualities. You want him for who he is, no matter what he accomplishes or what he looks like. The intimacy of want says “I desire you”, “I want to be married to you”, “I enjoy you”. It doesn’t always translate into physical intimacy, but it will certainly always encourage your husband.
With that said, desiring your husband sexually and expressing it in your sex lives will go a long way to affirm him as a man. I know it’s true for me.
4: “I love you”
This phrase is last intentionally. Hearing “I love you” begins to lose meaning if it’s not evidenced non-verbally and backed by the other statements. Wives probably agree the same goes for them.
Still, men want to hear it, however. If you don’t say “I love you” at least a few times daily to your husband, start now. If you do say it, try this: stop him, square off, stare into his eyes, and stay it as purposefully as you can: “I love you”. Maybe seal the deal with a good kiss for effect.
Your husband will feel like superman.
Paul, Christ, and You
Paul knew what he was talking about in Ephesians 5 when he compares the husband/wife dynamic with the Christ/church relationship. The phrases discussed here are how we also express our trust, belief, desire, and love for Christ.
Wives, as you express these phrases (and others) to your husband, you’re not only affirming him as your husband, you’re also profoundly living out Paul’s instruction to honor him as the church honors Christ.
Wives, what encouragements have you found to speak to your husband?
Husbands, did I miss any phrases of what men want to hear?
About the Author: Ryan Frederick is a husband, outdoorsman, writer, reader and a guy desperately in need of Jesus. See more from Ryan on his blog Fierce Marriage or Facebook. Learn how to connect daily with Christ and your spouse with his new 30-day devotional Two as One.
**This post about what men want to hear appeared originally on FierceMarriage.com.