“I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and
see something totally different.” We don’t know who wrote that
statement but it sure is true—especially when it comes to the
different ways that men and women perceive so many things!
Ladies, I (Cindy) came across an article I think all of us as wives
could really benefit from reading and applying. It was written by a
man, Dr Val Farmer, who gave several points of advice that “men
frequently mention when it comes to describing what they would like
in a marriage.” It was published in The Pilot— Independent and is
titled, “What Do Men Really Want in Marriage.”
It’s my prayer that you’ll read it with an open heart and mind to
see what you could learn from it concerning your husband. It could
be invaluable to every one of us as wives if we’ll take it to heart.
When I showed it to Steve and asked what he thought, he said he
wished all wives could read it because it could transform countless
marriages if wives would apply its principles.
Ladies, I urge you to read what Dr. Farmer has to say and pray
about it. Ask God to reveal to you anything that you could learn
that could help you. Even though it wasn’t written from a Christian
perspective, I saw so many Biblical applications. See if you agree.
Dr. Farmer wrote:
• Be less critical. Men feel they’re often on the defensive and
“wrong” just for voicing an opinion that doesn’t match their
wives’ expectations and standards. They want a feeling of
teamwork, cooperation, and a more legitimate discussion of
issues in their marriage.
• Accept him for what he is — imperfect. He needs to be accepted
as he is with his own legitimate interests and hobbies. Take
advantage of his strengths and good points. Men want appreciation,
probably for the things they are doing for the family. Reinforce
and reward the things you appreciate him doing.
• Don’t make every issue between you a fight to the death. Some
quirks and differences you can live with. Trying to change him
adds to his and your frustration and resentment.
• The home should be a refuge, not a place where he faces a barrage
of criticism and conflict. How strongly and frequently you are
judgmental of him may shut him down or trigger an emotional
response that exacerbates the problem.
• Forget the past. Husbands feel that some past hurts and blunders
in the marriage aren’t left alone. They feel matters they think
are resolved are brought up unfairly in fights. “Let the dead
stay buried.” Forgive mistakes. Don’t bear grudges. Don’t bring
up the past unless it pertains to a current problem.
• Be supportive of work and leisure activities. Men want their
wives to understand that work obligations occasionally take
precedence over family needs. Some of their priorities are out
of their control. “A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.”
Men would like understanding and appreciation for the work
pressures and responsibilities they face. A man’s work
accomplishments and struggles need to be recognized and supported.
• They also want acceptance for their occasional need to be alone
or to pursue their personal interests.
• Be nurturing. Giving emotional support, respect, attention,
soothing and meeting his needs makes coming home special. Family
meals together give more than bodily nourishment.
In homes where there is confusion, disorganization, anger or
emotional distance, men don’t do well. The family doesn’t do well.
When women reject or struggle with the homemaking role, there may
be a basic discontent that eats away at the marital relationship.
These traditionally female responsibilities are important despite
everything else that is going on in life.
This isn’t a rehashing of stone-age advice on how to please a
husband —”shut up and wait on them.” Mutual roles need to be
clarified, understood and negotiated. If you are working outside of
the home, this is a two-way street. He has a supportive role to
But the nurturing and caring still needs to take place. What we
are talking about is caring, not care-taking. In the era of
women’s greater involvement outside of the home, the baby shouldn’t
be thrown out with the bath water.
• Verbalize needs. Men don’t like being judged or criticized for
not doing something they “should have known.” There are times
when they just “don’t get it.” They want their wives’
expectations spelled out — the more detail, the better. Don’t
expect him to read your mind. Be clear and spell out exactly
what you want and expect from him.
• Be a friend. Men want a safe haven, a best friend where they
can unburden themselves and be accepted for who they are. They
want to be able to share emotions and know their thoughts and
feelings will be kept confidential. Companionship, affection
and romance are important. They want a friend who can take
their side and is supportive of their struggles.
• Take responsibility for your own happiness. Don’t expect your
husband to solve all your problems. If you depend on him to
make you happy and always do the thoughtful, loving or right
thing, you will be disappointed.
If you are insecure or unhappy with yourself, you’ll have a
tendency to put strong and unrealistic demands on the marriage.
Over time, unhealthy dependency breeds hostility and resentment.
Ladies, I realize that so many of these points are ones that we
want from our husbands also. And they may or may not meet these
needs—even though they should. But the purpose for us to share
this with you isn’t to point fingers and say, “Me too! I want
these things too, so I’ll do my part if my husband will also.”
That’s not Biblical (no matter how much we want it to be). It’s
to gain a better understanding of our husbands as God would have
us. Below are a few Bible proverbs that talks about the
importance of gaining understanding:
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing
his own opinions.” (Proverbs 18:2).
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding
rather than silver.” (Proverbs 16:16).
“Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of
Understanding.” (Proverbs 9:6).
“Do not say, "I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that
man back for what he did.” (Proverbs 24:29).
“Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you will be like
him yourself.” (Proverbs 26:4).
“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is
established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare
and beautiful treasures.” (Proverbs 24:3-4).
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the
foolish one tears hers down.” (Proverbs 14:1).
We pray this has been helpful! God Bless you!