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Wednesday, May 18, 2011
For about almost a year now I’ve been periodically featuring “Man-up Monday” posts in which I specifically address husbands. My goal with these posts is to call men to step forth into their biblical role as husbands in their marriages.

So that no one can accuse me of being sexist or biased, today I’m introducing “Wives only Wednesday.” It’s WoW, if you want to use the acronym, which also happens to accurately describe the women who read my blog (oh no, I’m not trying flattery or anything, really!) A few Wednesdays a month I’ll be writing specifically to wives, with a similar goal of calling them forth into their biblical role in the marriages.

This inaugural WoW post is the corresponding post to the Man-up Monday (I guess that acronym would be MuM - sorry guys) from a few days ago.

So ladies, my challenge for you today is to print off the poll results from my recent marital needs poll and ask your husband to identify the things that he needs most from you. Then I want you to steel your nerve and ask him if there are any of these needs that he feels aren’t being sufficiently met. Ask him if there are things you could do that would show him how much you love him in ways that are meaningful to him, realizing that these may or may not be things that are at all meaningful to you.

Granted, it’s a risky question. Your natural inclination is going to be to defend yourself and the way you already love your husband. You are going to want to explain to him how you are already doing things to meet those needs. But for now I’m encouraging you mostly listen and ask questions. Try to realize that you are simply asking him to help you love him well, so listen intently to what he says.

If he blows it off and claims “everything is fine,” which he might do in order not to risk hurting your feelings or to not sound ungrateful, press him a bit. Tell him you know you aren’t batting 1000 (yeah, sport analogies sometimes work best with husbands) and that you really do want to be better able to express the love you feel in ways to he most appreciates.

Make a Plan

Now comes the hard part – putting together a specific action plan of what you are going to do about what you learned through your conversation with your husband.

Here are just a few suggestions of things to consider doing in response to various expressed needs. Realize that you have to figure out what things will work for your husband and your marriage. I’m using these as typical examples - a starting place for your thinking.

  • If his need is to feel more respected, challenge yourself to really watch your words in the next few weeks. Avoid belittling him or using a critical tone. Is there something specific he has asked you to do or not do but that you have just ignored? Do it or stop doing it consistently, for the next few weeks at least. I can't overemphasize how important this area is for most husbands.  It would be hard for you to overdo it.
  • If his need is to feel admired, get his input or opinion on something that you normally just decide for yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but it should be something you are willing to go with his opinion on. Thank him for something every day. Tell him how attracted you are to him. Tell him how much you appreciate the way he loves you when he does X. He wants to be your hero.
  • If his need relates to sex, don’t simply shrug it off and exclaim, “Men!” If he wants the two of you to step it up a notch in the bedroom, be willing to forgo a little sleep, to wear something sexy or even to initiate sex with him out of the blue. Just as you appreciate an emotional connection during the day before entertaining the notion of a sexual connection, your husband wants to know during the day that sex with him is on your radar. Yes, you may have to put it there on purpose. A playful gesture, a suggestive note or the simple suggestion of what you might do to him (or what you want him to do to you) that night will work wonders! Step outside your comfort zone!

Again, these ideas are just to get you thinking in specific, concrete terms about what you are going to do to express your love for your husband in ways he appreciates.

I'm encouraging you wives to jump in and be a part of Wives only Wednesday!  If you have some other suggestions on how you would go about meeting these kinds of needs in your husband please share it with the other ladies reading this post! And if you are bold enough to actually have this talk with your husband, please stop back by and share what you can of your experience.

Whatever area of need your husband tells you is most important to him, make a specific plan to do something about it. Do it today!

Suggested Link:

Brad of One Flesh Marriage has a great corresponding post entitled "Love in Husband Language." Definitely worth reading!


Colleen said...

I love this! When I saw you post the results, I showed them to Steve and asked him what was his most important need and he agreed with the majority that it was respect. We will continue to dialogue over the rest of the items. Thanks so much for giving all of us a tool to open communication with our spouses so that we can grow in our marraiges.

Scott said...

Colleen, thanks for you comment. I'm sure this poll has prompted a lot of interesting (and hopefully helpful) dialogue among readers. I wonder how many times in these discussions either a wife or a husband asked incredulously, "Do you really think that way?"

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