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3 Things Wives Wish Their Husbands Understood

I gave this presentation to a men's group at my church. The general thought has that I was very brave! I think they enjoyed it. I hope it helped.

I got some suggestions from some of the wives (and no, I'm not telling) as well as from Dr Willard Harley's "His Needs Her Needs" book. (http://www.marriagebuilders.com/)

3 Things Wives Wish Their Husbands Understood

What, only 3!

Setting the Scene...

By way of introduction...

Equal but Opposite?

Men and Women, Different, Equal, but really opposites??? The white and black are equal in area, but starkly opposite.

Or Equal and Complementary?

The "YinYang" an old Chinese symbol for balance and harmony. The YinYang is often associated in people's minds with Chinese traditional religion or with some form of magic. It is also thought by some (incorrectly) to refer to the balance of good and evil (as in "the dark side of the force"). However, these are not its primary meanings. It remains a useful tool for thinking about, among other things, the man-women relationship.
In the Bible, God says of the man He has created, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper fit for him." (or "I will make him a helper, a companion.") - Genesis chapter 2

Not opposites, but rather intertwined, complementing each other.

The areas of black and white are the same size as in the earlier semicircles. But now the outline shapes are the different (they are the same as each other). Here they are intertwined in a complex pattern.

Note too that at the centre of each is its "opposite" - white inside black, and black inside white. Man and woman are different, but not separate in their essence. Jews, Christians and Moslems believe God made man, as He says in Genesis chapter 2. In the same place He tells us woman was made from man, to be his complement; a companion , fit for him. Two fitting together and making a whole that is greater than the parts. "So God made man in his own image, in the image of God he create him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27


What's this got to do with anything? It is the cargo trike I am (slowly) making. It is held together with nuts and bolts, as I don't weld. Nuts and bolts are very instructive!

The Nut and The Bolt

Another symbol of "Equal but Complementary".
Which is holding the steering assembly to the main frame? The Nut or the Bolt? Answer: BOTH! Both are! Neither can achieve its purpose without the other, and the trike would be dangerous if either is neglecting its job.

Adam and Eve

"the woman was made ... out of his side to be equal with him,". Genesis 2 tells us woman was made from the first man's rib - flesh of his flesh and bone of his bone. Out of his side to be his equal.

"the woman was made ... out of his side

"The woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved." Matthew Henry

After years of marriage counseling ...

Dr Willard Harley, marriage counsellor and psychologist, found that his success rate was low, and that "most of the marital experts in America were also failing". He began to ask "What do you think it would take for you to be happily married again?" 10 major needs emerged.

Out of this he discovered 10 major needs, that if met helped a couple to "fall into love" again. He later wrote a book "His Needs Her Needs". The really interesting bit is that while husbands usually pick 5 as vital, wives pick a different 5! Obviously there is plenty of room for misunderstanding here.

We'll look at the top 3

1. She needs your AFFECTION

"Of course she knows I love her - I married her, didn't I!"

For men, the usual number 1 need is sexual fulfilment. Guys, just imagine your wife saying "But we made love on our honeymoon! What's the big deal now?" Just so, her need for DEMONSTRATED affection continues on past your courting days, and for all of life.

"Of course she knows I love her - I married her, didn't I!" But when did you last tell her?

She needs to hear you say "I love you", and often. When did you last show her?

She needs to see you demonstrate your affection - eg, random acts of floral kindness are seldom rejected.

When did you last help her?

She needs to see it demonstrated when help is needed, without always being asked.
She Needs Your Affection. It is the air in which she thrives - do not deprive her.

A fish cannot live well out of water. She cannot live well without affection. It is her due - she deserves it.

2. She Needs You to LISTEN

She needs you to communicate. The "strong silent type" is generally a cop-out. She needs you to listen and to talk.

A woman uses three times more words than men (most men don't talk much!)

Woman use more words than men, more often. (meaning, we men don't share enough - God made us as verbal creatures, and we should speak, and interact in more than grunts.)

Conversation gives her great pleasure.

We're not very good at it!

We need to give her time

Listen - you don't have to fix it!

I had two women tell me this one! "I just want you to listen. To know how I am feeling. You don't have to fix it!" SYMPATHY is more important than SOLUTION.

Nor do you have to change her. You CAN work on changing yourself! (Yes, yes, I know she is not perfect either - let her tackle that one.)

3. She Needs You to be TRUSTWORTHY

You may remember the story of the wooden boy Pinnochio, whose nose grew longer every time he told a lie, until it was so long he could not turn around.

No LIES! -She needs your honesty -She deserves it -Love depends on it

No "little white lies" either. She needs to know how you feel too. If you have had a lousy day, tell her. Don't cover up, then blowup later "can't I have a bit of peace!".
She needs to know (gently) if you really like the new hairdo (she'll know anyway!). She needs to know what you think. She'll know anyway if you are just being polite, and would much rather she kept her hair long (maybe you can help, so that she has more time for caring for that lovely long hair).

Ditto if you really do not like that baked salmon.

Ditto if you really do not like that colour on her (assuming of course that you are not colourblind, as many men are - in that case, best to shut up!).

No concealment ... even if the family finances are in trouble. She is your partner - she has a right to know, and to help (even if the money woes are due to some mis-spending of yours).

You are her comfort and security - do your utmost to deserve her trust

Concealment is the enemy of trust - Distrust is the enemy of a happy marriage. Remember too that a habit of "little" lies can lead to bigger ones, like having a affair with another woman. Never say "It can never happen to me!"

Honourable Mention

Do your share - a mum's work is never done. Try googling for "NEXT SURVIVOR SERIES Six married men" to see what a mum's workload is like, in case you need some convincing. We live in a hectic, exhausting world ("thorns and thistles"; remember which side of Genesis 3 we live on).

Give her timeout too.

"I need some time to myself!" Well, so does she. Love will see that she gets some. She will appreciate it.

In Summary

  1. Affection
She Needs Your Affection. It is the air in which she thrives - do not deprive her.
  1. Communication
The "strong silent type" is generally a cop-out. She needs you to listen and to talk.
  1. Truth & Trust
Remember Pinnochio, whose nose grew longer every time he told a lie, until it was so long he could not turn around.

"His Needs Her Needs"

Willard F. Harley, Jr. Subtitle: "Building an Affair Proof Marriage" http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi6020_needs.html
"I can't believe how peaceful and loving our marriage has become since reading this book. We went from being at the brink of divorce to experiencing the same love and excitement as when we first met."

This is a good book. I can't imagine a married couple that could not get something good out of it.

Now, who's going to volunteer for "3 Things Husbands Wished Their Wives Understood"?

Click here for the presentation (slideshow exported from Open Office as HTML)

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