the post your husband wants you to read

As pastors, we do a good deal of marriage counseling. There are some general themes that tend to come up in most of our meetings. In general, the problem of selfishness weaves its way through most conflicts.

I only know one cure for selfishness: choosing to put the other person’s needs above your own.

The promise to do this is one of those golden, lovely, warm-the-heart vows we all take in our weddings. When life is good and we are feeling loved, honored, and cherished, we are thrilled to promise to put our needs low on the list. 

But when he spends too much time studying stats to hone his fantasy football team, or when she would rather peruse pinterest and anthropologie.com, that vow is quickly forgotten.

So, the question is, as a wife, what are the needs your husband has that you can raise above your own?

In the vast majority of marriages we have counseled, there are three main roads to a man’s heart: good food, kind words, and excellent and frequent sex.

Don’t roll your eyes. That’s what they like.

Most women are happy to oblige in the food department. The words can be harder to muster, but we all know kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, so we are willing to accept the need.

The word frequent used with the word sex is usually the kicker. That’s when wives stare at me blankly, like I have defected to the guys’ team and turned on my own kind.

Honestly, though, I have never talked with a couple in which both people feel their sex life is great, but the rest of the marriage is a mess. That doesn’t happen. Good marriages include good sex, and as far as most men are concerned, it is usually the area that needs to be fixed first.

You need to make that man want you. And you shouldn’t turn him down very often.

We have known couples who schedule sex on their calendars. I know women who never say no. However you work it out, you both should know and agree on the expectations you have for each other.

While we should ideally love our husbands above ourselves without any expectation in return, we will benefit eventually. It may take some time, but God promises that we will reap where we have sown, and we can only expect to benefit from loving sacrificially.

I have come to know God better when I have loved my husband, placing his needs above my own. I have won my husband’s heart and respect in greater degrees by loving him as he desires to be loved. As a side benefit, he has more grace for me in my own areas of weakness because his heart is tender towards me.

Love your husband. Be kind and text him during the day with loving words. Buy his favorite food or cook his favorite dinner. Put on something gorgeous and let him know you mean business.

It will all be worth it.

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • RoddyG says:

    .. It still astounds me that number 3 is an issue… But maybe cuz I've been waiting FOREVER! I'm also not there so I don't know what its like on the other aside. At this rate, however, I may be one of those "never say no" women… If nothing else just to make up for lost time! Ha ha ha!

    Good post Carrie- I'm saving this for the marriage files!

  • Tam Renée says:

    I liked this alot. I'd like to think my husband is satisfied, I actually am one of those "never says no" wives. And I'd like to claim that because my husband is ALWAYS happy, he has more patience for my moods, annoyances and gripes. I put my sleepiness, crankiness and whatever else over emotional I am feeling aside, and I consider his needs and be a submissive, willing wife. And it works out best for the both of us, because he is happy he focuses on my needs as well. And eventually whatever gripe I was feeling, becomes a thing of the past. And we're both happy. I'd also like to say that a sezually happy husband, makes dinner and cleans and takes over some of the kid responsibility (and whistles while doing it)… Love this post! ALL wives should read this and then respond accordingly.

  • Great post, Carrie. It hits our basic points. Allow me to add some spice? Respect and honor. If a husband doesn't feel respected by his wife, there will be problems. The vehicles you mentioned – food, words and sex – are the primary ways that respect can be conveyed. Let me quickly follow up with the reality that respect is a two-way street for sure!

    And spouses should keep this in mind about sex. It's not an accessory; it's a need, a drive. Think about it this way ladies: If they don't get it from you, they'll get it from somewhere else. Temptation is inevitable. Don't make it easy for your spouse to fall.

  • Peg Parker says:

    What I have learned is that while women need to feel cherished before intimacy, men need to be intimate before they can feel the intimacy and cherish as we need. I believe God calls us to walk 'as if' and to give before we receive. Intimacy starts in a woman's mind and we can make up our minds to choose to participate fully in intimacy just as we choose other good things for relationships.

  • It's not completely on the wife's shoulders to prevent a husband from cheating. I'm a widow but as a wife I was a never say no wife. It didn't change much for our marriage because the love and respect can not be shown in sex alone. I think this is a great blog post and I respect your reply Patrick.

    For ladies to remember that sex is a need for their husband is indeed true…not forgetting about good conversation, showing them love through their love language, sacrificing ourselves…and the husband in turn doing the same thing.

    Where it all hit the fan in my marriage was feeling too tired to love when I didn't feel the love in return. We have to remember that God loves us whenever we are unworthy of that love and so we should at least attempt to love our husbands in the same way – like they say – as Christ loves the church. It's a two way street.

    I'll become a wife to a new man in several months from now. My past marriage has taught me quite a lot which has prepared me to be a better person, wife, and mother. I'm abstaining until I'm married again but I love love love this post Carrie. Thank you for the reminders.

  • You're right on the money, Stephanie. We husbands are responsible for our faithfulness. My point was more of a request for wives to make it as easy as possible for us husbands to be faithful. I believe women are naturally stronger in this area. With our wives' help and understanding, we'll be strong too – under any set of circumstances.

    Your other points are terrific as well. We men need to be as aware of our wives' needs as we are of our own. I was willfully oblivious to my wife's love language – even after becoming aware that there even was such a thing. I'm still learning that my wife loves acts of service, while words of affirmation are huge for me. Those acts of service (acts of love) need to be as high on my list to give, as sex is for me to receive.

    Thanks for letting me share! Have a blessed day.