In last week’s blog post, we kick-started a conversation on the differences between spouses and how it’s usually those differences that cause the most conflict with couples we see. Plainly, men and women think differently and have very specific needs that need to be met and understood to improve generosity, love, and grace toward each other.
Borrowing a page or two — or three — from Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn’s books for women only and for men only, we’ve already dove into a man’s greatest need — respect. Now, let’s talk about “a woman’s greatest need.”
What a wife needs — LOVE!
I often share funny stories with couples that I work with that really get to the heart of how men and women think. While men are constantly looking for respect, the woman needs love. In fact, she craves it so much that she seems to ask the same question over and over again: “do you love me?” And the man, of course thinking, “there she goes asking me over and over again if I love her,” says, “of course I love you. I told you that I loved you when we got married. If that changes, I’ll let you know.”
Again, this isn’t 100% true for every female on the planet, but for the most part, women find great security in knowing whether or not their man really loves them. And when they have insecurity about that love, they become preoccupied with making sure the relationship and everything between them and their man is OK.
Hence, the constant asking if you love her.
Sound familiar? Yeah, we thought so.
Respect vs. Love
Love is a very interesting ideal in terms of a man and a woman. There is something about how a man needs respect, but a woman needs love. In fact, a woman is never told from a spiritual perspective to love her man. She’s told to respect him. Conversely, a man is told to love his wife. Now, why would that be? God created a woman to love. She’s been given a sensitivity, compassion, empathy, and nurturing ability as part of her very nature.
The deeper wiring of men and women goes to how we are created to begin with. In the very beginning, a man was meant to work, provide, and care for his wife and family practically and emotionally. A woman was created to help him meet all the demands of providing for her and the family in this life. So, you can see how a man needs to know that he is doing the things that make him feel like a good provider, and his wife needs to know that she is important to him and loved for all that she does to support him.
As a man feels good about what he does, it’s easier for him to love his wife.
When a wife feels loved, it’s easier for her to give the support and respect that he needs.
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So then, men. How does a woman feel loved?
- She needs to be reassured that she is loved
- Make sure she knows that the couple-ship is OK
- When there is conflict, make sure she knows you still love her
- Ask her how she’s feeling, and listen without being defensive
- Understand that her feelings about a problem are more important than the problem
- Pursue her outside of the bedroom
- Let her know she’s beautiful
- Make sure she hears your appreciation and gratitude for what she does and who she is
- Plan time for conversations with her regularly
- Help her with the kids
- Let her know your successes, stresses, and your dreams
Do you want to get your hands on more books like the Feldhahns? Visit our resources page.
All we are saying here is that a woman wants her husband to show her as much love as possible. And at the end of the day, isn’t she worth it? The bottom line is that men can choose to express love to a woman even when they don’t feel it at that moment. Conversely, a woman can demonstrate respect toward her husband even if she’s not feeling it.
This is a mutual understanding of each other’s needs.
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Did we leave anything out? How are you trying to be more mindful of your wife’s need for respect? And how is that benefiting your marital journey together? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going at Mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.