Husbands often struggle to share their needs. But, what if they did?
We husbands are a funny bunch. In some ways we are paragons of contradiction. Some of us have a tough exterior but are soft in the middle. Others say few words but no shortage of opinions. Still others never talk about feelings but wear them on our sleeves. It is no surprise that our wives often wonder what in the world is going through our minds. But, since many of us don’t really share what is going through our mind, our wives are often left in bewilderment. They feel like outsiders yearning to get closer to us but not knowing how to do it. This post is for those wives who wish for a little glimpse into their husbands’ head.
Here are ten things that your husband probably wishes you would do. But, here’s the kicker. He probably will never ask.
I admit. For many of us, it is hard to get in our heads because sometimes we don’t even understand what we’re thinking. Until we figure it out, we may not talk too much about it. And, even then, only in bite size pieces. Even then, only if we feel it is safe to do so. Yes, we husbands are funny like that sometimes.
Why is it so hard for us husbands to ask for what we want? That’s a tricky question. But, it is usually one of five reasons:
We’ve been socialized to believe that real men don’t ask for such things.We don’t feel safe enough in the relationship.Makes us too vulnerableIt seems too trivialFear of rejection
So, to help out both us husbands and our bewildered wives, I’d like to propose 10 things that we husbands wish our wives would do—even though we may never actually ask for them.
10 (Unspoken) Things Husbands Wish Their Wives Would Do #1. Give him a foot rub Our feet bear the weight of our harried lives. Oh, how sweet it is to have a soothing foot rub to melt away the tension. But, there is something oh so hard about asking my wife to give me a foot rub. Maybe it’s just me. But, I have no problem asking for a back massage. But, when it comes to my feet. That feels very different. It is a more humbling experience.
I believe that is why Jesus talks about foot washing in the bible as an act of humility and service. A foot rub touches into a primal emotion. I think that is why it is so hard for me to ask. It may be even easier to pay a massage therapist to do it than to ask your wife.
But, wives I’m telling you the stomach may be the way to the man’s heart. But, his feet may be the way to his soul.
#2. Take a shower (or bubble bath) together
Men are visual. Your husband loves to see your body (at least I love to see my wife’s). The image of stripping down and soaping up one another is romantic and sensual for most husbands.
We men can think of showers as being functional—to get clean. But, tantalize your husband with an invitation to join you for a nice long shower.
#3. Tell him he looks good
Men are all over the spectrum as to how fashion conscious they are. Personally, anyone who knows me, knows that I’m pretty much on the bottom end of that scale. For me, a pair of comfortable jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt is my preferred attire. For years, I knew my wife would have preferred if I upped my fashion game—at least a little bit. Well, I’m doing a little better.
But, regardless of how sharp a dresser your husband may be. He wants to know that you find him physically attractive. It enhances his self-confidence. It strokes his ego. And, for some of us it even encourages us to put a little more effort into how we dress if we know that it really matters to our wife.
#4. Affirm his leadership of the family
Good husbands want to feel that they are helping to guide their family in a positive direction. Granted, some may do it with words while others do it with deeds. But, at our core, we are wired this way.
Husbands may never ask. But, it makes him feel good to know that his wife sees him as providing leadership. It doesn’t mean that he is doing it perfectly. But, if he is doing it at all then that is something to affirm.
#5. Express gratitude for the provision that he makes for the family
Sometimes, a husband’s consistent effort to provide financial, housing, food, clothing, and other necessities of life is taken for granted. Some wives sometimes feel as if he is just supposed to do that. Instead, he is often criticized for all of the things he doesn’t do.
He doesn’t talk enough. He doesn’t take me out enough. He doesn’t spend enough time with the kids. The list can go on and on.
But, most husbands just want to feel really appreciated for the things that they actually do day in and day out. Sometimes, wives don’t fully appreciate these things until they are gone.
#6. Show him that you’re his biggest fan
Husbands want to know that our wife gets us. I want to know deep in my heart that my wife values me for me—not some image of what she wishes I was. I want her to accept my gifts and passions as important. I want her to be my biggest cheerleader—the president of my fan club.
It isn’t just in the words that she says. But, I want to feel her support for me through the ups and downs of life.
#7. Tell him that you’d marry him all over again
My wife and I have been married for over 26 years. We’ve gone through good and difficult times together. I’ve done some things right. But, I’ve done many things wrong in being the best husband for her.
But, it makes me feel great when I know with confidence that she has no regrets in choosing me. If she had it to do all over again, she’d make the same choice. Few things are worse than a husband feeling like he is a disappointment to his wife. It is not only emasculating. It drives a wedge in the marital relationship.
In the midst of all the choices that you could make, make sure your husband is confident that you’d still choose him.
#8. Tell him you trust him with your future
It is an amazing responsibility to think about my wife’s and my kids’ futures being to some degree in my hands. In many ways, one’s future is all one has. You can’t do anything about what has happened in the past. The future is where your dreams are now.
We live in a Western culture where couples are constantly splitting up because they don’t see a hopeful path as a couple. So, it is amazingly affirming for your husband to know with surety that you trust him with your future.
#9. Show him that you want to tackle your finances as a team
Finances are a tricky subject. In some homes both spouses work full-time outside of the home. In others, there is only one breadwinner. Sometimes, the husband makes more money than the wife. Other times, the opposite is true.
Regardless of your situation, finances are probably a critical topic in your home. Some husbands feel that this is their burden alone. Other husbands who make less money than their wife feel as if they are less respected as a leader of the family because of it. Sometimes, financial challenges are used as a battering ram to pummel the husband into submission.
Regardless of who makes the money or who manages it, most husbands want to feel like it is a team effort to meet the challenge. Tell him you want to be on the same team.
#10. Encourage his lovemaking
What caring husband doesn’t want to have a fantastic sexual relationship with his wife? We all do. But, sometimes, it’s really hard to talk about the likes and dislikes during intimate encounters. Sometimes, we don’t know when we should be more gentle or when we should be a little more assertive. Sometimes, we need to be less sensitive to understand that our wife’s headache really is a headache and not a personal affront. Sometimes, we need to be less demanding as to the number of sexual interludes that we “need”.
There is a lot that goes unspoken in the bedroom. And, it is so intertwined with what transpires outside of the bedroom. But, sometimes, we husbands need a little more understanding when we struggle to perform to your (or our own satisfaction). These times challenge our psyche and can destroy our self-confidence.
If you are satisfied with your intimate encounters with your husband, tell him that. He may not know how to ask you. If you feel no less loving toward him when he has the miscues in the bedroom, tell him that. He almost certainly won’t ask you. Verbal and non-verbal encouragement are so critical in this highly sensitive (pun intended) area.
So, there are my 10 unspoken things that I believe wives can do for their husbands. I’m sure that some of you wives are questioning why or how you should encourage your husband in an area if he doesn’t seem to be making sufficient effort in any one particular area. This is a great point. But, sometimes, it is important to encourage that which you don’t see yet. The key is to affirm the baby steps. Even if there are really small ones. In many instances, if you sincerely encourage the small things, you will begin to see bigger things.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts about these ten thoughts. Are they spoken or unspoken in your marriage? Wives, test any one that you hadn’t thought about.
Leave a comment and let me know what happens (you can keep it G-rated).