No one ever said marriage was easy. Knowing that close to half end up in divorce is a clear indication of that. But if you talk to couples who are best friends, have weathered storms, and have remained committed to one another no matter what, something that they’ll also tell you is marriage is very rewarding.
One of the keys to making it work – and last – is to pay close attention to what your partner needs. Needs are important. A definition of the word is “requirement” and if one or both people are not getting what is essential to them in a relationship, it can be hard to keep it happy and healthy.
So, just what are husbands needing exactly? There are more things that could go on the list than these five things, but ask just about any husband you know and they’ll agree that these are imperative.
One book that is pretty insightful as it relates to men’s need for respect in a marital union is Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs (Dr. Emerson Eggerichs). Something that it touches on is, sometimes relationships experience a breakdown because wives are trying to give love without respect, when men feel most loved when they are respected. When you respect someone, you value their opinion, you speak to them in a loving and caring way and you don’t nag them to death. You treat your relationship like a partnership, not a parent/child dynamic. More times than not, the more respected a man feels, the more love and affection you’ll receive in return.
If there’s one place your husband should be able to go to when he has great news or not-so-great information, it’s you. Something that’s awesome about being married is you have someone who committed to be your cheerleader and shoulder to cry on, no matter what. If your husband comes home and tells you about a promotion, celebrate him. If he loses his job, comfort him. Everyone needs someone to learn on. Married people should always feel like they have each other for that.
Ask pretty much any marriage therapist or expert (or man) you know and they’re going to tell you that to a man, sex is not seen as a casual thing to do; it is a physical need. All couples are different when it comes to how often they have sex. However, a sexless marriage is considered to be one where the couple has sex less than 10-15 per year. Always remember that sex isn’t just about pleasure or a physical release. For men, it’s one of the places they feel comfortable being “naked” emotionally too. That’s something to keep in mind the next time your husband initiates. He’s trying to connect mentally, emotionally and physically. Not just one of the three.
4. A sense of humor
What oftentimes gets you through the hard times is a good sense of humor. You have to be willing to laugh at certain situations and even laugh at yourself. There are a lot of guys who will tell you that what initially draws them to a woman is how she looks. But what keeps their attention is her personality, including her sense of humor. When’s the last time you and your husband laughed together? Something to think about.
Some couples will say “Love is patient” to one another on their wedding day but then they’re shocked when it’s tested. Although patience is usually defined as knowing how to wait, the true definition of the word is “the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like”. Many marriages would last longer if mastering patience was a priority. There are going to be challenges up the road. Learning how to be patient with your husband will make them so much easier to bear.