Women often blurt out this line with a heavy sigh, a frustrated tone, or out of wistfulness. Due to the multitude of tasks that wives need to fulfill, a myriad of matters to attend to, and numerous things to think about, don’t we all sometimes wish our husbands were mind readers? Having spoken to a number of women who express this same sentiment, I list down some of the things wives hope their husbands knew:
1. That I’m too tired from wifely duties to have sex! After a full day’s work, household chores, mommy duties, and a number of other things, many wives simply long to cap their day by stretching their tired bodies and getting a good night’s sleep. Being intimate with the husband is often far from their minds in spite of their passionate leads.
2. That I would love to just sit and talk. Women, by nature,like to talk, and especially so with their husbands. It irks them when they rattle on about their day and the only thing the husband could muster to say is a nonchalant “Uh-huh…” They also wish for their husbands to be more disclosing, engage in emotional discussions, and listen without judgments.
3. How to get cues. Women secretly hope that their men would understand cues without them having to run down minute details on the matter. Multitaskers by nature, wives sometimes resent it that their husbands need to be told explicitly about things that sometimes only needs “common sense”.
4. That his habit is killing me! Many women wish their partners would change a habit or two, especially those that aggravate issues already present in the marriage. It may be smoking, spending too much time on video games, or perennial lateness. Yet no amount of fixing or nagging can change your spouse – change must come from the person himself.
5. How to be more thoughtful. Many husbands stop courting their wives once they wed. However, it is important to continue the romance in a relationship, and for men to find ways to affirm wives of their love, through their words and actions.
The list can go on. In a marriage, it is best that both parties keep a high degree of self-disclosure, but it would also be good to know the differences between men and women’s emotional needs to have a better understanding of the matter.
According to Willard Harley, failure to care about each other’s needs causes marital frustration. He stressed, “Meet your spouse’s needs as you would want your spouse to meet yours.”
Men’s needs are far different from those of women, in that:
1. Women want affection, while men long for sexual fulfillment. This explains why women feel loved when cared for and thought of and men’s assurance comes from physical intimacy.
2. Women need good, thoughtful conversations, while men value having recreational companions or when wives take part in their activities and interests.
3. Women feel successful when they have an open and honest relationship with their husband, while men put a premium to an attractive spouse -- because he feels good when she looks good! Caring for herself sends the signal that the wife cares for her man and the marriage.
4. It is important for women to save and be financially secure while men often find enjoyment in spending on grown-up toys (aka gadgets).
5. Women get fulfillment and motivation in having a a committed husband who is involved in raising the kids. For husbands, admiration from their spouses motivates them, including support and affirmation on their contributions.
It is never easy to fulfill each other’s emotional desires, but awareness and understanding would be a good first step to improving the relationship. Loving each other may mean different things to both husband and wife, but when both acknowledge this fact, it could result to a fulfilling and enriching married life.