Have you ever wondered what is actually going on in your husband’s brain? When asked what he’s thinking about, a man’s typical response is, “Nothing.” It’s not that we’re always thinking about nothing; it’s usually that we don’t know how to put our feelings into words.
Your husband actually wants you to know what’s on his mind, but he doesn’t always know how to say it. Of course this is a generalization and certainly doesn’t apply to all men at all times. Still, it’s no secret that guys struggle to communicate their feelings and desires as their wives struggle to know “What’s really on his mind?”
I’m going to share 3 common desires most men have, but are unlikely to say out loud. Hopefully this sparks some healthy conversations in your marriage. These may not apply to every man, so ask your husband if these are true for him. It may lead to some of the most intimate conversations you’ve ever shared.
1. He desperately needs your respect. He wants to know you believe in him.
Even the most confident man is secretly desperate for his wife’s respect. When a husband feels respected by his wife, he believes he can take on the world. When he feels that his wife doesn’t believe in him, he will carry deep, hidden wounds. The smallest act of affirmation like laughing at his cheesy “Dad Jokes” can make his confidence soar. But the smallest cutting remark or rejection can crush his spirit. Your respect (or lack of it) carries the immense power to build him up or tear him down.
Maybe your husband isn’t acting very respectable right now, so you feel entitled to withhold your respect until he earns it. This is an understandable perspective, but it’s also a wrong one. A lack of respect rarely motivates a man to improve. But finding something in him to praise and respect will usually make him more motivated to keeping earning and building your belief in him.
2. He wants you to initiate sex and he wants you to be receptive when he initiates sex.
Your husband thinks about sex all the time. No matter what he’s doing at this exact moment, he would probably much rather be making love to you and he’s most likely thinking about it right now. The average man has a sexual thought at least once per minute every waking hour of the day. Men who are happiest in their marriage almost always cite a strong sexual satisfaction with their wife.
Ask him about this. Ask him what his fantasies are with you and share yours with him. Obviously, these fantasies have to stay within the sacred, monogamous covenant of marriage, but there’s still a lot of room for creativity and FUN. Don’t let insecurities or feelings of inadequacy about body image get in the way. Your self-confidence turns him on. He loves YOU. He wants YOU.
As a quick disclaimer, some guys have a lower sex drive. This can happen for all kinds of reasons including low testosterone, depression, exhaustion and a myriad of other factors. If your husband’s drive or desire seems low, don’t take it personally. Talk about it and work together to find solutions. If your desire seems low, take the same approach. Talk about it and work together to find solutions.
3. He wants you to know that you’re his best friend AND he wants you to see him as your best friend too.
Most women have a group of female friends that provide emotional support and deep friendship, but most men don’t have this same kind of closeness with other men. We have golfing buddies or a Fantasy Football league, but the typical man considers his wife to be his best friend (or at least he wants her to be). Your husband wants you to have friends and to get with your girls, but he wants to be your BEST friend.
He wants to be the one you come to first with good news (or bad news). He wants to be the one you’re escaping to, not someone you’re escaping from. He wants to share adventures with you and create enduring memories with you. If you’ll both invest in your friendship with each other, you’ll be making a wise investment into your marriage. The strongest marriages are between two best friends.
This list isn’t one-size-fits-all, because no two people are exactly the same and no two marriages are exactly the same. But if you’ll ask your husband if these three statements are true for him, it could spark some great conversation. Building a stronger marriage always begins with communication. For more tips and tools to help you and your spouse grow closer together, please check out all the resources available here at XO Marriage.