Husbands, perhaps your heart will resonate with these questions. Why does your wife ask you, “Do you love me?”, when you have already told her before that you do. Why does your wife take it personally, when you communicate that you need some space, some time alone? Why does she think you’re trying to get away from her?
Women have an underlying insecurity about whether their man really loves them. When that insecurity gets triggered, they are determined to get the relationship back on track. So husbands, reassure your wife that you love her. If you need some space, some time alone, you might say something like this: “I need space right now but I want you to know that we’re okay.” Your wife knows that you love her, but women need to “feel” loved. What are some signals that husbands need to recognize, signs that their wives may need reassurance?
- Your wife is verbally wanting you to tell her you love her. She says it to you, and it’s clear that she is waiting for you to reciprocate.
- Disappointment when you say you’re going to do something alone. She wonders why you would not want to include her?
- She wants to talk, a lot, about the marriage, especially when you’re not in the mood for it.
Logic vs Emotion
Men tend to live more in “logic” rather than emotion. Our wives know “logically” that we love them, and for us husbands, that’s enough. One wife made this observation: In a man’s mind there is a recording, frequently heard, having to do with his being a provider. He is concerned about it because he feels responsible. In a woman’s mind there is a recording, having to do with the emotional state of the marriage. Even wives in a good marriage, have said that they know it would only take a few bad blowups to derail the relationship. They see it happening all around them, even in the Church. Thus, our wives are vigilant about taking the temperature of the marriage.
Things that might trigger a wife to feel insecure:
- Conflict – you’ve had a disagreement, something is wrong, your wife feels like you are not pleased with her.
- Withdrawal – husbands need more time to process.
- Silence – simple solution is to reassure our wives that our silence is not “against” her in any way. We just need more time to pray and think.
Regular Reassurance + Pursuit
Even in the middle of a conflict that you know is going to take some time to resolve, give the reassurance: “Honey, we will work this out. It might take some time, but it’s going to be okay. And I want you to know, I love you.” Men, try not to get defensive. She wants to discuss and talk, but it might feel like an “attack” on you!! When words are not working, offer her a hug.
Men have the idea that pursuing a woman goes with dating, not with marriage. But women need to be pursued in an ongoing way. Here’s a comparison: a man needs to feel that his wife sexually desires him (He may have felt this during the dating phase, then wonder why it hasn’t continued with the same intensity in marriage). A woman needs to feel pursued, knowing that her husband is thinking about her (She may have felt this during the dating phase, because of how intentional he was with his words, but then wonder why he doesn’t do it like he used to).
It’s definitely important for husbands to be good providers, but even more important than financial security, most women desire emotional security. Your wife desires to feel connected and close. Men derive their sense of self-worth from being good providers. We are showing our love by providing financial security. So, if we are spending more hours at work, it will result in more love expressed. Our wives DO appreciate this provision, but it’s not at the top of their list. Here’s what our wives need:
- You are her best friend. She wants to be connected with your heart. She wants to hear what you’re thinking. We don’t want to be her best “girlfriend”, talking for hours, etc… but husbands and wives should be best friends.
- She feels secure when her husband makes spending time together a priority.
- Husbands that are active in the life of the home, provide a canopy of security for their wives.
- Regardless of the amount of our income, our wife feels secure when she knows we are doing our best to provide.
What kind of marriage and family history do you want to look back upon? When the children grow to be adults and you are back to where you started, just the two of you. The most cherished memories will not center around money, or the house you built, but upon the daily life you shared together.
How our wife “feels” about a problem, IS the problem. Men are problem solvers; we enjoy fixing things. Aside from technical requests, our wives don’t want us to fix things. First and foremost, she just wants us to listen. Your wife may even say, “You’re not listening,” when you can prove (by your watch) that she has been talking for 15 minutes (That’s a long time). If our wives feel that we have fully listened, and sought to understand, that is the “fix”.
If it’s emotional – apply listening skills. If it’s practical – apply fixing skills.
Are “listening” and “hearing” the same thing? Our FULL attention needs to be upon our wives when they need it. We must filter out all distractions. If we actually don’t have the time, or we are exhausted, then be honest about that and set up a time asap, to give her your full attention. Listen for the right thing. Don’t be listening for only facts, so you can fix the issue. Listen to how your wife “feels” about the issue.Then, acknowledge and affirm. Simply restating what you heard her say, will validate her.
How NOT to listen:
- Tell her she’s overreacting, blowing things out of proportion.
- Question her version of the facts.
- Ask her to stop crying.
- Offer spiritual correction.
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