“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 can be true —especially when it comes to the different ways that
men and women view and perceive many things!
We came across an article we think wives could benefit from reading. It
was written by Dr Val Farmer, who gave “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.”
Ladies, we encourage you to read what Dr Farmer writes and pray about it.
Ask God to reveal to you anything that you could learn that could be
helpful. Even though it wasn’t written from a Christian perspective, there
are a lot of 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. 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. 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’re working outside of the home, this is a two-way street. He has a
supportive role to play also. 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
• 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
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, we realize that many of these points are ones that you want from
your husband also. We get that. And he may not meet these needs —even
though he should. We understand that too. However, we shared them with you
NOT to infuriate you so you point fingers saying, “Me too! I want these
things too” or to tell us in response, “I’ll do my part if my husband will
do his.” (Please know –that’s not Biblical, no matter how much you/we want
it to be.) We share these points to help us all gain a better
understanding of the needs many husbands have expressed to gain understanding.
Below are a few Proverbs that tell 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).