9 things your husband is always thinking about

9 things your husband is always thinking about December 16, 2014

worried couple 2

One of the greatest challenges in marriage is navigating the differences between the typical male thought process and the typical female thought process. God (in His wisdom and His sense of humor) gave men and women very different perspectives. When these differences are understood, the husband and wife can harmonize with each other and see the world with more depth and perspective than either can could do alone.

To help you ladies understand the mind of your man, I’ve listed below the main things that seem to dominate our thoughts. I hope these insights spark some rich conversations in your marriage. Since I’m obviously not an expert on what women think, I’m going to try to talk my amazing wife, Ashley into share the secrets of a wife’s thoughts on her blog.

If your husband is like most guys, his thought are probably dominated by…

(In no particular order)

1. Concern for your happiness.

This one might surprise you, but most husbands can never be happier than they believe their wife is. Your happiness, contentment and joy is of the utmost importance. Sometimes our own selfishness and pride gets in the way, but your happiness is a consistent thought. When you are unhappy (or you seem unhappy), we’ll try to figure out how to make it right.

2. SEX.

This one probably isn’t a shocker, but we actually think about sex even more than you think we do. It dominates our thoughts. In fact, most of us wish we could dial down our mental sex drive. We’ll often gauge the health of our marriage based on the health of our sex life.

For tools to help you improve sexual intimacy within your marriage, check out our new video series, “Best Sex Life Now,” by clicking here.

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3. How to achieve more.

Most guys are results-driven, and even if your husband has achieved “success” in life, chances are he still feels like he doesn’t measure up in certain areas. Men can be (to a fault) driven to achieve. Engage with your husband in conversation about his goals and dreams and remind him that healthy relationships, not trophies or money, are the ultimate measure of success. We guys need to be reminded of this often.

Please encourage your husband to read this post on “Trophy Wife: A message for husbands” by clicking here.

4. Searching for peace.

Men tend to crave silence and solitude in a way most women do not. Men tend to mentally recharge through silence and contemplation while women tend to recharge through conversation and engagement. Again, these are generalizations which don’t apply to every individual, but I’ve observed them to be true in a majority of couples.

5. Food.

This one might seem carnal and shallow, but we think about food all the time. If you took all the brain space we use up thinking about food and sex, most of us would have the mental capacity to memorize an encyclopedia! I’ve been thinking about my next meal the entire time I’ve been writing this article!

6. Money.

Most men are wired with a need to be a provider for their families. We’ll often think hard about ways to make ends meet and generate more income to provide. Sometimes this healthy need to provide can consume us and evolve into an unhealthy need to generate wealth motivated by selfish ambition more than family provision.

7. Sports* (but not necessarily for the reasons you’re thinking).

We love seeing modern-day gladiators battle it out on the field and we even will sometimes live vicariously through them (since we all have an inner gladiator inside), but this isn’t the only reason we like sports. We also like sports because on that field or court, everything makes sense. The lines are clearly drawn, the rules are known by all and scoreboard is always in view. We wish all parts of life were this clear and measurable. We want “success” but don’t always know if we’re winning or not in most areas of life.

*Even when a man isn’t into sports, he will usually gravitate to one or more hobbies where he can “keep score.” (Video games, fishing, car shows, poker, etc.) There seems to be a hard-wired desire for structure and/or measurable success in most men’s hobby pursuits.

8. Pain from the past.

Just like the “instant replay” in sports, most of us have a few major life regrets or scars inflicted on us that we are tempted to keep replaying in our minds. They haunt us until (or unless) we learn to embrace the richness and depth of God’s grace. If a man won’t embrace grace, he’ll lock himself in a mental prison where he will punish himself (or punish those around him) for the wrongs he’s done or the wrongs that have been done to him.

9. Leaving a legacy.

Every man wants his life to count. He wants to be respected by his family and he wants to make a lasting contribution to the world that will endure beyond his own lifetime. Most men feel the constant pressure of wanting to leave a legacy, but not knowing where to start or how to do it. We often need to be reminded that being a faithful husband and dad is the best legacy of all (even if there’s never a marble statue carved in our honor).

For additional tools to help you build a stronger marriage and family, check out my new book The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Chokwadi

    You left two things out on the list “Beer” and ” Friends” (doesn’t apply to some men though). My Hubby loves his bottle so much I doubt he ever worries about whether or not I’m happy. I think he’s more concerned about his friends and their problems than my worries.

  • Scottie d

    Did you read this whole article or just the headlines? This is pretty spot on for men in my experience and half of these are accurate for people in general not just men. Just because something doesn’t specifically describe how you are in life doesn’t mean there is nothing to it. Some of these don’t describe me but I’m not to proud as a “man” to say that the article makes some good points.

  • Scottie d

    Sounds to me that you need to discuss this with him and not post it on the internet. I drink my fair share of booze but nothing makes me happier than my fiancée being happy.

  • Glenn Peoples

    I’m no sports fan by any means, but other than that, direct hit!

  • Glenn Peoples

    “My Hubby loves his bottle so much I doubt he ever worries about whether or not I’m happy.”
    Having a drinking problem that causes relationship issues probably doesn’t belong on a list meant to be generally true.

  • Wendy B.

    I’m sure they have.

  • Josh Lake

    This may be YOUR thoughts, but mine are: Her happiness, Food, Math, Work, Films
    We are just as unique individuals as women, people. Not all men are exactly the same.

  • Elliot Ikilei

    Actually, the declining marriage rates are due, in large part, to a decline in the social environment, pioneered by the business industry restrictions being deregulated from the seventies (for the US anyway) onwards – Christian traditions have been a powerful, albeit eroded, obstacle to marriages breaking up all over the place, so cannot agree with you ‘GoodDad’

  • Elliot Ikilei

    Sorry to hear, but yeah, something that really needs to be discussed with him

  • hollypaige

    Very clear and concise, as men usually are. A good list for women to keep in mind. Great job on a subject women often don’t understand.

  • Brock Nelson

    Your crazy. My wife and I both had lives before Jesus that would fit your preferred model and had no peace, hurt, pain, broken relationships, and the list could go on. We both met each other after becoming Christians and decided to follow Gods plan. No sex before marriage. Was it hard in the middle of our dating and engagement to say No… Of course it was. But my wife and I are so thankful we decided to follow Gods plan.

    It’s crazy to think in a loving relationship you desire a performance based model. Do you realize what your saying. I’ll only love you “IF”. Tell that to your kids and get ready to screw them up. Hey son I’ll only love you and be a parent that watches over you IF you do things that I like. That’s not even shallow love it’s not love at all.
    Anyway as someone who has been on both sides of this argument Gods way is better. Sorry

  • jay0achen

    this is as ridiculous as the “10 things women think about everyday” companion piece, just not as offensive. *SMH*

  • Brock Nelson

    Also if you go by people who go to church then yes your stats on marriage are correct but going to church and being a follower of Jesus are not the same.
    Check out the stats when you ask couples if they pray together or actually read the Bible. Those stats are not in your favor.

    Marriage should reflect Gods heart. He doesn’t leave me when I mess up and don’t do what he says so I won’t leave my wife when she does the same.

  • Cody Stark

    Probably the first time I’ve ever seen one these lists that actually made sense. Of course, this generally applies to traditional ‘masculine’ men, the kind that can actually change their own oil or handle a gun. Not so much the modern, weak, sensitive, effeminate, limpwristed, metrosexual, vegan types.

  • DMcG

    I don’t think 4. is correct at all. Method of recharge is not a gender thing but a personality thing. Introverts crave solitude and silence for recharge, while extroverts thrive on socialization. My wife and I are both on the introverted side, though her more so than me. She would be happy to work home alone and never socialize with anyone but me, while I am ready for the occasional gathering and party with friends and family. We both love our quiet.

  • DMcG

    Glad it “works” for you, but you are completely wrong in general. There’s no security in a “performance-based” relationship, only threat. The failure of a marriage is rooted in one or both partners failing to meet the other’s needs. I want to meet my wife’s needs out of love for her, day by day. She does the same for me. We do it not because we feel it (though we often feel it) but because that’s what love does.

    When sex and intimacy are reserved for only one relationship, it becomes that much more special. Too bad so many of us can’t have that back. I really wish there had “only been one” in my life, but thankfully God is gracious and His second chances are plentiful.

    Also, your stats on the success of Christian marriage are faulty. Check Shaunti Feldman’s work on re-interpreting Barna’s sad statistics, filtered not for people who claim Christianity but for those who are actively attending church and practicing their faith. The divorce rate is more like 15%, which is nowhere near the societal average. There’s something to covenant marriage, when it’s given more than lip service.

  • elladeon

    GoodDad, asking not to be beaten is not “performance-based” marriage. A marriage is supposed to be a representation of the love of God for his people — eternal, sacrificial, joyful, and, at times, given to people who don’t deserve it.

  • Norm Donnan

    Maybe you need to look at the above comment.

  • jay0achen

    pretty sure you need to STFU and stop liking your own comment :p

  • Keith BellBob

    attempting to be in a performance related love will only get you hurt in the end. Man and woman cannot be relied upon to perfectly perform and keep each other constantly happy at all times. That’s not the way it works. That’s why Christianity has it set up that way so that, So that you can think your own thoughts she can think her own thoughts and together with the principles of Christ; forgiveness acceptance and compassion long-suffering, that’s the tried-and-true method of how family stay together. I’m glad you have a 30 year relationship that’s great. But even people who hate each other have 30 relationships. Getting to know somebody for who they are dating without sexual intercourse does not mean that you’re throwing strangers together And that they have no idea who they are. And yes, statistics do show a significantly decreased divorce rate among Christians. Not because they’re better than anybody else, but because they don’t live life as a performance-based ritual. Despite where you get your numbers fromit is in fact true that Christians and I hate to use the phrase good Christians but Christians in general do have a lower divorce rate then non-Christians. It doesn’t mean we don’t screw up it doesn’t mean we don’t get divorced people can walk away from that path all the time and iinstead choose to go the performance route with their whole well you don’t do this for me so now I’m not going to do it for you attitude and fall into the same pitfalls that non-Christians do and that’s where you see the divorce. people who do genuinely embrace the Christian ideal in fact tend to weather the storm in marriage instead of thinking that they could just walk away as you So succinctly put it. I respect your opinion, and I do hope for your sake that you both can keep up the whole performance thing so it doesn’t end in tragedy, God bless

  • Guest

    DAT BOOTY. That’s all i ever think about.

  • Malcolm Scott

    Some good points, but one omission in thinking about their Children, in particular how to help them not make the same mistakes they made. Another omission in thinking about a hobby or activity they enjoy. Final omission is that sometimes we don’t want to think about anything, that’s why we stare at the TV or work on fixing something.

  • Brandon Marks

    Your last sentence doesn’t describe men lol

  • Brandon Marks

    For sure man. My wife and I dated each other before we were Christians and then again….working on following God together. We were abstinant for 9 months and it really helped us love and trust each other. Glad we’re not the only ones!

  • Occam’s Stubble

    Good list. I’m not that into sports so that doesn’t apply to me but it probably does for most men. I think about politics a lot. So, maybe instead of sports, hobbies or other interests.

  • Michaelann

    the curious thing is to figure out what’s biological, and therefore innate, and what’s circumstantial. I’m currently the main breadwinner in the household, I’m female, and I find myself obsessing over money, how to achieve more, how to cope with the unseen rules and rewards of life. Are we sure these 9 can be generalized to men specifically?

  • IMaANIMAL

    Im an animal blob blob blob food, sex, sports, blob blob

  • Teresa Rincon

    Maybe you mean “nerdy”.

  • scantronpictures

    Hahaha. “Waaah, dis is offensive. I’m telling Mommy.” And you employed the self righteous “SMH”? You must be awesome to hang out with at parties.

  • scantronpictures

    I think the point is showing what most men think about, not necessarily showing things only men think about.

  • Brandon M.

    Sorry to vent, but can I say that stereotypes are not the answer. Some of these lists on this whole site (various blogs) are very generic. I am a man who is more internally based and contemplative, as this blog mentions, but I know PLENTY of guys who are NOT like me. I understand that these are tips to speak to a broader audience base, but I wish personality had more affect on lists like these. Instead of assuming that gender could somehow determine personality and habits simply because cultural influences encourage men to act a certain way for show… i.e.- be a tough guy that is into competition or success who is also a loner and doesn’t express himself as much his wife…blah blah same-old story. Gender is an important factor in life but personality matters too.

  • Brandon M.

    I agree that “men or from mars” lists are overdone. I commented on the same issue… i’m a getting irritated with repetitious social stereotypes.

    But I DISAGREE with the premise that “Performance-based relationships (rather than covenant-based)”….

    Please let me explain: I’m sorry but that’s not true at all. I understand that your lasting marriage and the opposing divorce rate in religious circles makes your view seem right, especially when other people fail some much, but it’s not. What you are right about is that Christian singles (both men and women) embracing covenant marriage as a future way of life DO need to be prepared and ready to grow and mature. Covenant marriage is hard… not for those who are immature or self centered or who run away from emotions and responsibility. I have read some of your other comments and am not going get in a debate about statistics.

    Rather, I reference the old catchphrase to “not throw the baby out with the bath water.” Just because so many don’t seek God as to how to get “it” right, doesn’t mean that the original intent is wrong. The idea of covenant marriage is not diminished because of divorce etc. For example: professional football isn’t wrong just because so many guys get hurt and so many players are bad role models. There is still good to be found. Also, the Bible allows divorce if adultery is an issue and church tradition allows divorce when abuse is involved as well. So, it’s not a trap. If people would train up their children and siblings and younger friends in the family and community etc to be ready to with these things I have listed below* as a healthy foundation for their romantic love and marriages, then we wouldn’t be having this conversation. And since “dating” and even “courtship” are both defined so differently is so many circles, I don’t know how to even discuss it sometimes.

    *List: genuine faith, a close relationship with God, the ability to rise to a challenge, the desire for hard work, a sense of good character, spiritual maturity, and sacrificial attitude like Christ exemplified (as mentioned in Philippians chapter 2).

  • Brandon M.

    I think at least for my walk with God; it’s less about me worrying who the “real Christians” are versus lack-luster ones, and more about allowing the Holy Spirit of God to transform lives and guide us daily to into “all truth” (John 14) and “paths of righteousness” (Psalm 23). If BOTH my wife and I want to genuinely walk with God daily and trust Him more, we can then more easily receive wisdom from Him on how to make better decisions and love each other more. So, if more Christians would understand that judging people’s hearts is up to God (as said in Romans 14-15) than we could instead have a conversation about following Jesus “daily,” as in He asks of us in Luke Chapter 9… not debating stats etc and arguing over who who goes to Sunday morning and Wednesday night services more.

  • Brandon M.

    You see, I have to be who God calls me to be. I can’t get deterred by others. He literally called me to covenant marriage even when I was afraid of it, but it is working out for the best (even when it’s sometimes hard) and it is a blessing from God. I am glad. So, I can’t forget the idea of it when He put it on my heart and “His mercies are new every morning.” (Lamentation 3:22-24)

  • Brandon M.

    when I say “hard” I mean “relationally and socially and emotionally maturing as a person.” I’m not talking about letting a spouse abuse you. Sir, NO ONE wishes for an abusive spouse. The community and family of faith is suppose to rise up and help the abused woman, they who were present as the Pastor or whoever afficiated the wedding ceremony basically says in principle (though some actually say these words)… “All of us here agree that these two should be wed and that we will all support them with our prayers and fellowship and other ways if need be to help strengthen this marriage to the glory of God.”

  • confesshimaslord

    The one thing missing from the list is thoughts about God, his glory and how am I fulfilling that. I would genuinely hope those thought come into the minds of some men.

  • dlgRN

    I, too, was hoping to see God mentioned in this list. My husband is dedicated to raising his family and helping us all grow as followers of Christ just as God has purposed us. I am so honored and proud that I have a man who steps up and speaks up for Him. My husband’s earthly father has recently gone to be with the Lord and as hard as his death was, we all have comfort in knowing that he is in God’s presence. During his illness and since his death, my husband has stepped up to become the man of our extended family and I couldn’t be more proud of him and how he has handled everything, just as his own father would have. My husband is a man of God, and I’m so happy he’s mine!