May 20, 2009

What Every Wife Should Know About Her Husband

No one plays as significant a role in meeting a man’s unique needs as his wife. Researchers have identified his needs, but only his wife can truly satisfy them. Some of your husband’s most basic needs in marriage are:
(1) to be admired
(2) to have autonomy
(3) to enjoy shared activity

He Needs to be Admired
Being appreciated is a man’s primary need. He measures his worth through his achievements, big and small, and needs them to be recognized. A woman’s need for admiration and appreciation, while certainly important, is rarely as strong. When a woman seeks appreciation she is more accurately wanting to be understood, to be validated. You see, there is a significant difference between men and women when it comes to being admired. Men derive their worth more from what they do, while women derive their worth more from who they are.
Look at it this way. When women do not receive admiration from their spouse, they tend to be more motivated than ever to earn it. But when a man does not receive admiration from his spouse, he begins to lose motivation to try. Without a feeling of being admired, a man’s energy is drained. He soon feels inadequate and incapable of giving support. Without being admired, men lose their will to give.
You have no idea how damaging a critical statement is to your man’s personal power. He responds to not being admired the same way you do when he invalidates your feelings. It is demoralizing.
Admiration is the fuel a man needs to get going. It gives him power.
Now, before you begin heaping words of praise on your spouse, I need to give you a word of caution. Never fake your admiration. By simply saying flattering words to your husband, you can do more harm than good. To have any value, praise must genuinely reflect your feelings.

He Needs to Have Autonomy
Men and women cope differently with stress. Whenever a man is under stress (an important deadline is approaching, he is under pressure at work, etc.), he requires a little space.
At such times he becomes absent-minded, unresponsive, absorbed, and preoccupied. Unlike women, men typically don’t want to talk about the situation, they don’t want to be held or comforted—not until they have had time to themselves.
Some wives complain because their husbands don’t immediately talk about their day when they come home from work. They first want to read the paper (watch ESPN like mines) or water the lawn, anything to clear their mind before engaging in the relationship. It’s a male thing. But giving your husband space when he needs it, whether you understand it or not, will gain you a happier husband.

Enjoy Shared Activity
Husbands place surprising importance on having their wives as recreational companions. The commercial caricature of men out in the wilderness, drinking, “It doesn’t get any better than this,” is false. It can get a lot better than that when a wife joins her husband in a shared activity that he enjoys.
If your activities have very little in common, then cultivate your spheres of interest. Don’t allow you and your partner to drift apart because you can’t find something enjoyable to do together. Some marriages fizzle because a wife didn’t use her creative energies to build enjoyable moments of fun and relaxation with her husband.
Think of activities that you might find somewhat pleasurable. Your next task is to schedule these activities into your recreational time together.
If you learn to meet your husband’s need for recreational companionship, you will discover that you are not only husband and wife, but best friends too.
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