Understanding each other’s needs is vital to the longterm health and happiness of your marriage.
This list isn’t meant to be comprehensive or universally applicable to every single marriage (because we’re all unique), but I do believe these “needs” represent the vast majority of men.
1. The need to feel respected
A man’s need for respect is every bit as strong as his need for s*x. Even in those moments when he doesn’t “deserve” your respect, still give it and you’ll be affirming him and bringing out the best in him. Ironically, your husband usually needs your respect the most in those moments when he “deserves” it the least. In marriage, disagreements are inevitable but disrespect is optional.
2. The need for reflection
Most men have a hard-wired need for daily silent reflection. They need to unplug and decompress. This isn’t an excuse to lounge on a recliner all night drinking beer and watching Sportscenter, but do your best to give your husband some time daily to have a few moments of uninterrupted time to reflect and decompress.
3. The need for s*x
The husband doesn’t always have a stronger drive than the wife, but most men list “s*xual fulfillment and frequency” as their number one or number two need in marriage. “Daily” intercourse may not be possible or practical, but make frequency a priority.
4. The need to feel productive
Men can gain deep levels of satisfaction, energy and self-respect from what they “produce” daily through their career and/or service. Men want to know their work is making a positive difference. Affirm your husband’s work inside and outside the home and look for ways to encourage and support his endeavors.
5. The need to feel strong
Every little boy wants to grow up and be a “superhero” and grown men still hold those same desires to be strong and heroic. Regardless of how much (or little) we can bench press or the size of our love handles, we want to feel like powerful protectors of our families. A wife’s words and actions have the power to make a husband feel like a hero, so build him up and help him become the best version of himself.
This article was originally published on Patheos.