What Husbands Need Most From Their Wives (Part 1)

What Husbands Need Most From Their Wives (Part 1) February 13, 2024

This is the first part of a multi-part series on what our spouses need, but may not always articulate. This week and next, we are focusing on husbands. After that, we’ll focus on wives.

You read the headline, and you’re pretty sure you know the answer.

Sex, right?

Yes, sexual intimacy does make list of what husbands are longing for in their relationship with their wives. But the nationally representative research for my bestselling book For Women Only – and interviews and surveys with more than 20,000 men over twenty years – reveal other vital emotional needs that often go unspoken.

So let’s peer into the deep, inner life of our man – and pull out practical ideas on how to love him in ways that actually make him feel loved. (In Parts 3-4, we’ll look at the unspoken things that often help wives feel loved.)

Here’s my prediction: As we focus on needs our spouse may not always articulate, we will start to see new levels of closeness and intimacy – far beyond just sexual intimacy – in our marriages.

Here are three caveats right up front: First, many of these needs are crucial for both partners. Just because men tend to have a certain desire doesn’t mean women don’t! And vice versa. Second, although these inner needs are similar across all relationships, a relationship that is controlling or abusive needs boundaries and help, rather than a focus on the abusive partner’s needs.

And finally, this is not an exhaustive list about men. (I’d highly recommend For Women Only for more detail.) Below are three research-backed, simple longings of men that they didn’t always know how to say. We’ll cover three more in Part 2.


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