10 Things Men Wish Their Wives Knew…


Couple lying on the bed and smiling

In her great book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men, nationally syndicated newspaper columnist Shaunti Feldhahn recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than one thousand of them.

Yes, you may be different, but in general she found men to have the following characteristics in common….See what you think:

  1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn’s research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.
  2. A man’s anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, “You’re disrespecting me!” But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.
  3. Men are insecure. Men are afraid that they aren’t cutting it in life — not just at work, but at home, in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly, they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don’t receive this affirmation from their wives, they’ll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.
  4. Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family. Intellectually, it doesn’t matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It’s not a burden they’ve chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support.
  5. Men want more sex. Everyone’s natural response to this is probably, “Duh!” But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their “needs”). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn’s research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man’s sense of feeling loved and desired.
  6. Sex means more than sex. When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!
  7. Men struggle with visual temptation. This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn’t just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of “visual rolodex” that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can’t control when these images appear.
  8. Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic. True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands’ confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it’s likely that he’s asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What’s not romantic about that?
  9. Men care about their wife’s appearance. This isn’t saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.
  10. Men want their wives to know how much they love them. This was the number one response of men. Men aren’t confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.

Any of these ring a bell? Share your thoughts……..



Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

13 thoughts on “10 Things Men Wish Their Wives Knew…

  1. Yes, yes, yes, and yes.This article really resonates with/for me. Married to my dear wife of 30+ years, and we’re still learning…

  2. you gotta be kiddin? This man sounds like a spoiled child. Women step up and fulfill their role on a daily basis. Respect is something you earn, so if your not feelin it,…
    Leave the competition on the golf course with the guys and take care of your wife and kids.

    • This isn’t “a man.” This is the bottom-line results of a wide-ranging survey of men from all walks of life. I’m sorry it bothers you, but it’s the truth, it’s exhaustively documented and I resonate with it myself. (And I have three daughters and a bride I love dearly, and I knock myself out for them constantly. Most of my life revolves around family.)

      Shaunti also makes a good argument that for men, “unconditional respect” is what “unconditional love” is to a woman. It should be an a priority given, not simply given when earned. I thought that was a great observation.

  3. I agree with each point and really find it worthwhile to understand about my husband. He has shared many of these thoughts with me already so I know they are accurate and tells how much he appreciates all the affection, and affirmation I give him. I also really want to look great for him! These things go along with the 5 Love Languages too!

  4. Yes,yes,yes. Absolutely! And, no, respect should not have to be earned; in our society, we can’t kill or harm anyone. Why? Because every one is a human being,( and a child of God ) and as such, deserves that much respect. So then, does a woman have to earn “unconditional” love?

  5. The book is really well written and based on a lot of facts. When I read it I thought ~ you have to be kidding me, but my husband assures me it is right on. It really opened my eyes and changed our marriage! Thanks for posting. One can always use a refresher!!!

  6. Enjoyed reading 1-10 brought back memories to some of the issues that were hard to explain without it coming across in a negative way.

  7. Yes great post; but how am I supposed to present this information to a wife who simply doesn’t care and doesn’t respond? I’m at my wits end.

  8. I personally do not require “general respect” as a high need in my world. However, I absolutely need my spouse to respect my wishes, needs, and desires. In our world, it’s not just about her.
    “Relating” within a relationship is action – it’s all action words and takes a certain amount of effort to complete those actions.

  9. I sometimes really just do not know what respect is. I have the most respect for my husband and sometimes he will still say things like I have no respect for him. Just what is it? Can you give an example of each of these?

    • He may be referring to you not asking his advice/opinion on things, esp. important matters, that involve money, kids, future, etc. You may respect him as a person or businessman, etc. but men need to be needed at home as well.

  10. Thanks so much for your reply. You might start by simply praising his efforts in positive areas (helping you, being kind, or thoughtful, etc.). Ask God to help you be more encouraging and to look for ways to make him feel affirmed, special and appreciated.

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