Your husband really does want to make you happy, but he needs your help!
A Wives Only Wednesday post.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a Wives Only Wednesday post. As the name implies these are the posts written exclusively for wives. I also have a Men Only Monday series for Husbands.
I love my wife dearly, but I’m probably not the first husband in history to think his wife can be a bit, well, complicated.
I am willing to bet that your husband genuinely wants to make you happy and love you well. I dare you to believe the best and that he is for you. The thing is, your husband may not always know exactly what loving you well looks like, and here is where you can help him out.
Spell It Out
Even though you feel like he should know or care enough to find out what you need, your husband doesn’t get it. Trust me. If you want it, tell him. Then thank him.
I think God had a sense of humor when he created males and females so differently. I know that isn’t a popular notion today, but the fact is that statistically speaking, men and women are just different.
One way in which they are different is found in their key needs. While it isn’t true in all cases, chances are that your husband puts things like respect, being trusted and sexual intimacy high on his list of needs. You, on the other hand, most likely have a strong need for things like emotional intimacy, meaningful communication and feeling cared for.
Your husband will have a tendency to express love in ways he wants it expressed to him, as do you, which means your are going to need to communicate your needs to him. For most men, however, just expressing your general needs is not enough. He also needs help knowing what that would look like coming from him. Plainly spelling out what love looks like to you in no way invalidates his desire to make you happy. It simply increases the likelihood of him being able to do it.
Even if you have to tell him, it still counts!!
An Unsolvable Mystery
Many husbands look at their wives as an unsolvable mystery. By comparison men are much simpler creatures. If bringing you flowers made you happy last week, then he’ll assume bringing you flowers this week (or every week) will have the same result. It might. Or it might not. In fact there is a small chance that the same gesture, when repeated, will actually annoy you.
Now I’m not trying to accuse you with my observation that women can be complex and hard to figure out. But in my experience, how you receive a love gesture from your husband can depend on many factors: how your day went, your hormone cycle, whether he called you during the day, or any number of other complicating factors.
My point in saying this is that you do him (and yourself) a big favor if you keep on communicating your needs. He wants to meet them, but he may not be able to always sort out what they are in the moment. So help him out by saying, “It would be so wonderful if we could spend a few minutes together after dinner.” Or “I’m so tired, you would be my total hero if you would help get the kids in bed.” Maybe your husband is super aware and sensitive, but it will help him to know where you are and exactly what you need, since it’s likely a moving target.
Help Him Help You
Most guys want to be helpful, and we tend to like to fix stuff, even if we aren’t that great at it.
So let your husband help you out, even if it’s with something you know he will do differently than you (or perhaps not even as well as you). Ask him to carry something heavy, to reach for something you can’t or to help you solve a problem you are wrestling with. He wants to be useful, and he wants your trust.
He wants and needs to be your hero.
As your husband makes an effort to love you well and to help you out in practical ways, be sure to show appreciation. He won’t always get it just right, but criticism will cause him to withdraw and give up. He may stop making an effort altogether if he feels he will just fail in your eyes. If he doesn’t feel trusted, respected and appreciated, he will tend to withdraw.
I’m not suggesting you be insincere, but I do suggest that you be a gracious receiver. Give him the benefit of the doubt and affirm him in his efforts.
I know that there are exceptions, but I honestly believe that a vast majority of husbands are good-hearted when it comes to wanting to make their wives happy. Choose to believe in his love for you and his good intentions. And help him to know how to love you well.