As I sat on the couch with tears running down my face, this question came to my mind. I processed it over and over, wondering why my husband didn’t understand my need. I soon realized I was too afraid to tell him.
Over the weeks and months that followed, I came to the conclusion this question was a very common question in the heart of every wife, although it may manifest itself in differing actions or attitudes.
We silently speak this question to ourselves…
When we’re fearful.
When we blow it and we need their grace.
When we need them to be tender toward us.
When we feel neglected.
When the tears fall from our faces.
When we lash out.
When our hormones are raging.
When the storms hit.
When we’re unsure and insecure.
When we seek to control the situation.
When we’re afraid to follow their lead.
I know for me, when I experience any or all of these emotions, what I’m really saying to my husband is this:
Can’t you just love me?
But I don’t say those words because I’m fearful; fearful of exposing my weaknesses. I don’t voice my heart’s concerns because it requires me to be extremely vulnerable, and vulnerabiltity is not a strong suit of mine. I’d prefer to put on battle armor and head into war than bare my soul to another human being.
But God wired us wives with the need to feel loved by our husbands. (It’s why He commanded our men to love us like Christ loved the church.)
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Eph. 5:25
So I’m faced with two choices.
Either bare my soul and face possible rejection. Or expect my husband to read my mind. By the way, he’s not a very good mind reader. I don’t think any man is, really.
My man and I have had countless conversations of what he needs from me and what I need from him. Over the years, as the seasons and stages haved changed, sometimes our specific needs have changed. But what has remained constant is his need for respect and my need to feel loved.
I can watch and study him to find out how he feels respected by me, and thus, become an influential wife. And I’m sure he studies me. But sometimes I’m a little more complicated to figure out than he is. Therefore, I have to tell him specifically what I need from him. It’s always an uncomfortable conversation for me to have because I’m letting down my walls as I hand him my heart.
But we’ve found this vulnerable and transparent process to produce a fulfilling and thriving marriage in our lives.
Here are 2 simple ways to start this process in your marriage:
- Ask him what makes him feel respected by you, and then do it. If you struggle in giving your guy respect, then ask him how and what you can do to help him feel respected by you.
- Then it’s your turn. Perhaps he’ll ask you how he can love you? If he doesn’t, you can give him some ideas!
To have a deeper, more fulfilling marriage, grab my latest book and Bible study, Wives of the Bible.
Live a poured out life for Christ,