After 24 years of marriage, I can confidently say I know slightly more about my wife than when we were first married. While this is obviously a tongue-in-cheek statement, I suspect many husbands can nod their heads in agreement. In our early years, I thought I understood what she needed from me as a husband, but after several years, I have come to understand that there was a gap between what I thought and her reality.
Husbands often think they have their wives figured out. But just when they think they have them figured out, something happens, and they’re back to square one. What husbands think wives want and what wives need from their husbands are often two different things. Here are 4 things wives need from their husbands.Our wives are not problems to be solved; they are people to be nurtured.
1. They want you to hear them, not fix them.
The other day, my wife started telling me about a problem she was having, and immediately I went into fix mode and was about to start doling out advice. Before I knew it, she said, “I don’t need you to fix this. I need you to hear me.” Our wives are not problems to be solved; they are people to be nurtured.
2. They want you to be their partner, not their roommate.
While working on my doctoral work, my wife and I often joked about her being a single parent. Because of my busy work and school schedules, it felt she navigated things alone. If couples are not careful, life can get in the way of working together. Wives want you to be their partner in making decisions, raising children, and planning for the future. With conflicting work schedules, sports, and other family commitments, it’s too easy to slip into survival mode with one another. Wives don’t want to do life alone; they want to live it with you.
3. They want you to be present in the moment.
They don’t want to compete for your attention. Put your phone across the room or in another room. At the dinner table, my family has a no-phone rule. Because of the nature of my job, I tend to get a lot of calls and texts after work hours, but we decided several years ago that our dinner table was off-limits. This one rule has been a game changer in our relationship and with our children.
4. They want you to initiate meaningful conversations with them.
Women tend to be more verbal than men. Wives value their husband’s attention, but they also want meaningful conversations with them. As an educator, I get paid to talk, and it’s not uncommon to be emotionally spent by the time I get home. As a result, I often use most of my words before I get home, and my wife often feels like she gets my leftovers. I have learned to try and be more intentional in our conversations by asking more open-ended questions and asking about her day.
The learning curve in marriage is steep, but with a little time and intentionality, a husband can learn to discover what his wife really needs from him. Ironically, we discover it’s not things that they’re looking for. What they’re looking for is a meaningful relationship with her husband. The good news is that there’s still time to cultivate your marriage into the partnership it was meant to be.
Sound off: Which one of these points do you struggle with most?
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How can I do a better job relating to you?”