Content by: Dr. Agnes Ip
Transcribed by: Monica Chan-Yip
We often ask men, “Do you understand your wife?” But what about ladies? Do you understand your husband? We sometimes hear wives complaining to their husbands, “Why don’t you understand me?” Husbands often do not respond, so deep down what are their true thoughts and feelings? Many wives may think they know their husbands, but do you really know their four most desired emotional needs?
In general, men usually want to appear very competent and capable. They want to act as gentlemen, but once in a while, men are also skeptical of their own abilities. They may worry if they are a good father or a good husband. Once, a lady conducted a survey asking all the husbands around, and they all agreed that they sometimes did have a sense of inferiority and insecurity. They all needed praise and affirmation from their better half. If the wife repeatedly says, “Why did you do that? Why didn’t you know how to do such things?” The husband will be particularly discouraged. If husbands keep feeling as if they are not good enough, they will give up and feel devastated.
Many men know that their wives love them. However, when they do something wrong, if the wives only shame them and even make a big fuss out of nothing, the husbands will only suppress their emotions. Their inner hurt feelings will cause them to keep distance from their wives. To them, being respected is definitely more important than being loved.
Sometimes husbands desire to do something, but wives may discourage them by telling them, “You can’t do it” or “You’ll get hurt by doing such.” Husbands will get frustrated and angry. If wives can change their tone and tell them gently about the consequences, it will be easier for husbands to listen and accept. If husbands still insist on doing it, it would be the best for wives to encourage them to try. If he succeeds, you can cheer for him; even if he fails, he can still learn from his mistakes. Building trust and allowing him enough space to learn will make the relationship more intimate.
Everyone needs encouragement. No one wants to be humiliated after doing something wrong. Of course, if your better half repeatedly makes mistakes, it is quite frustrating. However, it’s oftentimes easy for wives to blame, but they seldom tell their husbands what to do. For instance, you want to express your feelings and only want your husband to listen to you, but he keeps on giving you advice which makes you frustrated. At that moment, try not to blame but tell him, “Can you give me five or ten minutes? Let me finish what I want to say, then you can give me advice. Is that ok?” After he really listens to you, you can tell him, “Thank you for letting me express everything! I feel so relieved! Ok, now you can tell me your thoughts.” Men will feel respected and encouraged, and will definitely pay more attention to your conversation next time.
“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)
If you can grasp these four fundamental needs of your husband, you will have a more intimate marital relationship and a happier life!
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