Connecting With Your Wife

Understanding and Meeting your Wife's Emotional Needs

One of the biggest struggles for married couples is understanding where each other is coming from. Men and women having different emotional needs. They also approach the relationship from different angles. This can make it difficult when trying to make a marriage thrive. In this article I want to help men with understanding where their wife is coming from, understanding her emotional needs, and taking steps to meet those needs.

Rewards/ Consequences

Here, I want you to understand what rewards there are when you meet your wife's emotional needs and what consequences there are for failing to meet her needs. I want to make it clear before we begin that it isn't all on the man. Sometimes, men can give it a great effort to connect with their wife, and the wife not respond in kind. However, more often than not the problem arises when the man fails to relate to his wife.


There are definite rewards when you meet your wife's needs. Here are a few.

1. Peace

Men long to have peace in the home. We hate it when there is tension on any level. Men will do whatever it takes to have peace. They will admit wrong doing, even if they don't believe it. Often, they will say, 'I'm sorry', just to smooth things over. However, there is a better and more permanent way to peace in the home, and that is meeting your wife's emotional needs. She has an emotional tank that must be filled. Many women are running on empty, and are desperate to be satisfied. Husbands, it is our job to fill that tank and bring fulfillment to our wives.

2. Happy wife

It is so frustrating to a man when his wife is cranky. We want our wife to be happy. The problem is that we often don't know why she is so unhappy, or what it takes to turn her attitude around. I think that if you'll do some digging that you will discover that the source of her discontentment might very well be that her emotional needs are going unmet.

3. Great sex

Yes, as men we want a great sexual relationship with our wife. It often alludes us, though. We just don't understand why she won't be involved in the relationship sexually. There are many factors that play into it, but I have discovered that the source of the problem is often that her emotional tank is empty. As men, we can enjoy sex without every other part of our life being just right. But for women, the sexual relationship is directly tied to the rest of the relationship. If you are connecting with her, and really meeting her needs, then the sexual relationship tends to go well. If her needs are going unmet, the reception in the bedroom can seem quite cold.

4. Encouragement from her

It can often anger a man when his wife is negative toward him. It can seem that she is a nag. Again, if her emotional needs are not being met, then she will tend to have a negative outlook on the relationship. If you begin to encourage her, spend time listening to her, and meeting her needs, don't be surprised when she begins to be very positive and encouraging to you as a man.


1. Distance

When a man fails to meet his wife's emotional needs, then a distance between the two develops. There is surface conversation, rather than deep intimate converstations. There is lack of joy in the home. There can also be resentment from the wife. To close the gap, you as the man will need to begin understanding what she needs, then take action to meet those needs.

2. Problems

I could not think of a creative way to say it, but when your wife's needs are going unment, then marriage problems develop. The longer the needs go unmet the more the problems grow. If you are experiencing a crisis in your marriage you might want to consider if you are failing to meet your wife's needs.

3. Bitterness

If problems go unsolved, then bitterness can take root, and a deep separation begins to occur between the couple. The longer the problems are allowed to grow the deeper the separation. Problems must be dealt with, and forgiveness sought and granted.

4. Death to the marriage

I could have titled this consequence as 'divorce', but there are many marriages that have died where the couple still lives under the same roof. If your wife's needs go unmet, problems develop from that, and bitterness takes root, then the next step is that the marriage dies, often through divorce. If your marriage is at this point, there is hope. It isn't too late to turn things around. There are many happy, thriving marriages where the marriage was on the brink of divorce at one time. That couple took the necessary steps to turn it around.

Understanding and meeting your Wife's Emotional Needs

In this section I will help you identify common needs that women have. However, every woman is different in her emotional makeup. You will need to become a student of your wife, and learn what meets her needs and what makes no difference to her.

Here are some of the common emotional needs that women have. Keep in mind that this is a general list to help get you started. Some of the things listed may apply to your wife, while other needs may not. Too, the way you meet that need will vary depending on your wife's unique makeup.

1. Time

Women want to be with their man. They enjoy it when we spend time with them. They don't necessarily care about how the time is spent, or how much quality is in the time. They just want to spend as much time as possible with us. So, make an effort to be with your wife. You don't have to do something elaborate. Just be together. In the process of being together a lot, many surprises come along to make the time enjoyable as well.

2. Deep conversation

As men we prefer to keep things on the surface. Nobody gets hurt that way. Nobody, except our wife. Your wife wants to learn who you are. She wants to know your inner thoughts, your struggles, your pain. So, quick, easy answers won't cut it. If she asks about your day, she wants to know all the details. Spending time together allows for these conversations. Since it takes awhile for many men to open up, you might consider spending enough time with your wife to allow time to open up. If you are a woman reading this, I encourage you to make it as safe as possible for your husband to open up, as this will be a struggle for him.

3. Protection

Women feel secure if they know that their husband is watching out for them. Whether it is checking to see if all the doors are locked at night, or taking steps to protect her in another situation, she wants to know that you are going to protect her. By the way, this doesn't just involve physical protection. She needs emotional protection, and protection from people who may be harrassing her or in some way making life difficult for her. You can protect her by standing up to that person and letting them know that your wife is to be treated with respect.

4. Connection

While this could be understood in the point on deep conversation, I listed it separately so that you will understand that your wife wants to know that you are connected with her. When she talks, listen with interest. Be emotionally connected. Men can often be phyically near their wife, but emotionally far away. One way to help you to connect with your wife emotionally is to ensure that you are not connected with another woman emotionally. You can have an affair with another woman without ever having sex with her by being emotionally connected to her. Keep your connections physically, emotionally and in all other areas of your life for your wife only.

5. Support

Women want to know that no matter what that their husband supports them. When your wife has a bad day, be there for her. Listen to her without judgment or frustration. Support her in any way you can, whether that is verbal, emotional, or other ways of supporting her. Encourage her, rather than yelling at her or blowing her off. Take her struggles seriously.

6. Praise

How often do you praise your wife? Do you speak well of her in front of the children? Are you her biggest fan? If you find it difficult to praise her, start taking notice of all the little things she does well and make a big deal out of it. She will feel emotionally charged from this simple action.

7. Romance

Women thrive on romance. If you aren't very good at romance, there are good books on the market that will give you ideas to romance your wife. I am not talking about sex here. Romance is the action of spend loving time with your wife. It is the action of winning her heart all over again. Though you are married, you still need to win her heart. There are many ways to do this. A simple way to find out is to ask your wife what she likes, then do it. You may not be the romantic type, but your wife wants to be romanced, so become the romantic type.

Again, these are brief, general ideas to get you going in the right direction. There are many ways to meet your wife's needs. It may be giving her gifts, spending time with her, talking, going on an adventure together. Whatever it is, begin now to learn what her emotional needs are, then take the steps to meet those needs. What will happen is that your marriage will thrive and it will be a joy to married to your best friend.

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Comments 90 comments

Joel McDonald profile image

Joel McDonald 8 years ago from Denver, Colorado

Thanks for the great tips! We husbands often forget how important such seemingly basic things are.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 8 years ago Author

Thanks for the input. I find myself getting so busy that I overlook my wife's needs as well. But as you said, her needs are important.

\Brenda Scully 7 years ago

Hey how did you get inside my head......... And how did you know all that, most of it is very true, as you said just spending time together makes a woman, well certainly this woman feel happy..... Nice Hub x

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 7 years ago Author

Brenda- Thanks for the comment. I gained this knowledge through tough times. My marriage has not always been great. Through stupid mistakes on my part, through research, and through listening to my wife I learned what I know. Too, I am a counselor, and after listening to the complaints of women, I started noticing certain themes in what they said.

rastrother profile image

rastrother 7 years ago from Lake Jackson, Texas

thanks i think this info will really help me better understand my wife

Andromeda10 profile image

Andromeda10 7 years ago from Chicago

Great article Michael. I believe in all of the points you have made here. I would like to add a wife's point of view to the sex part. Some women are in pain when they have sex but 'put up with it' to make their husband happy. For some women, some parts of sex are above uncomfortable but not excrutiating to the point where they would resent their husbands...they just want to do it much less often. The guilt these wives feel for not putting out consistantly is more of a burden to her than the infrequent sex the man is dealing with. Even if the wife is honest about the pain, she will probably still go through with it if she loves her husband and wants to make him happy. There are many other reasons, like you listed, and I hope the husbands take heed. Thank you for this article.

Kimberly Bunch profile image

Kimberly Bunch 7 years ago from EAST WENATCHEE

kim goodlavage 7 years ago

Thanks for this article, I think that a woman is a man's

best asset, and if he places her where she belongs, your

return will be more than you can even imagine! Sadly, my husband always puts the emotional and sometimes monetary

physical needs of the females around him, in place of mine and thinks that because he is coming home to me at night all is fine - it's not. I am going to experience the first year of marriage to him with many regrets. Jan. 24, 2010

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 7 years ago Author

Kim- sorry to hear of your struggles. Things can change. I have seen many men who change after 10 years of marriage. While that may seem depressing to you right now I hope it gives you some hope that it may take awhile for him to come around, but it can happen. Change may be just around the corner, we hope. Keep your head up. We men can sometimes be missing a few bricks upstairs when it comes to our marriage, but with the right help and sometimes difficult circumstances he will see your value above all others. I highly recommend the movie "Fireproof", starring Kirk Cameron. It is an eye opener.

suzanne salvino 6 years ago

i love the fireproof movie!!! the book is so awesome too.... i think that sometimes a man's strongest asset is his greatest weakness. maybe my man will read this and hopefully change... i have been trying to tell him all these things but he refuses to listen to me.....

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

Suzanne- you are not alone. So many women feel desperate for their husband to show compassion and to pay attention to them. As I commented above, things can change. I have seen many men make a complete turn around. Don't nag him, but just love him and give him gentle reminders of your needs. Finally, don't drop hints, you have to spell it out.

Sean 6 years ago

I was not meeting my wife's emotional needs. After 7 years she emotionally shut down. That is a painful experience for me. I have changed greatly and she agrees, but she is still emotionally closed. Whatelse could I do in order for her to connect with me?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

Sean, sorry to take so long to respond. There are two resources that could help. One is a book called "The Five Love Languages" by Gary Chapman. Your wife speaks a specific language of love, and if you aren't communicating in a way she understands you will have trouble getting through.

Too, consider watching the movie "Fireproof" and going through the workbook that goes with it.

Give your wife time to come around. I don't know how long you have been working on this, but she needs time to heal and trust again. Be determined to love her without conditions and let her know that she matters more than anything.

sameerk profile image

sameerk 6 years ago from India

Awesome and good knowledge given to us.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

sameerk- thanks for the positive feedback

ExpressionsForLif profile image

ExpressionsForLif 6 years ago

Good information. I am lucky enough to have husband who takes care of me emotionally and physically. For those men who may think that is weak or not macho, try it. When a man meets the needs of his woman, the love and respect a wife gives back will make him feel very confident, strong, and very manly.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

ExpressionsForLif- I am so glad that you have a husband like that, and thanks for the input for those men who may read this. You are so right.

kenn taylor 6 years ago

I cuoldn't understand why i wasn't connecting with my wife , ilove her very much and want to meet her needs , this has given me some insite as to what direction i should be going. Thankyou !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

Kenn- Great! Keep up the good work now that you have a direction. Your wife is worth it.

Dave 6 years ago

Thanks for this Mike - this has reminded me to always keep my relationship with my wife in the foreground of my thoughts.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

Dave- this can be difficult to do with so much screaming for our attention. Keep up the good work.

madie 6 years ago

Hi, i am really frustrated with my husband not spending time with me. i would have loved if he read your article but he thinks its tooo girly. he is not romantic and busy with his work and sports. i have told him many times to spend time with me but he doest and i dont want to nag him . what do i do to get his attention, time and romance.keep in mind that i have a 6 months old daughter who takes most of my!! really sad and frustrated.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 6 years ago Author

madie- this is tough. Men tend to want the benefit of the single life and marriage at the same time. You definitely are not alone. I suggest watching the movie 'Fireproof'. Consider how you could creatively put the things you see in the movie into practice. In short, you need to patiently win him to you day after day. We often forget that after we are married we still need to win our spouse over. A wedding ring does not guarentee automatic fulfillment in marriage. Don't get frustrated if he doesn't pay attention to you at first when you begin to daily win him over. Just keep going and wait for that breakthrough. You can email me if you need to for further conversation.

Silas9779 5 years ago

My wife needs me to be emotionally supportive but I always choose the wrong words. I wasn't to be there for her, but struggle to come up with the words that will actually help. What can I do?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

Silas9779- Yes, this can be a struggle. I don't know how well you know your wife, but maybe you need to study her and really figure out she hears things. I have had people get mad at me when I meant something to be a compliment. They weren't the problem. I failed to understand how they hear what I am saying. I needed to learn more about them to be able to effectively communicate with them. Study her and even ask her what you can do to come across as supportive. Be honest with her about your desire to encourage and support her. Be humble and acknowledge that you don't always get it right, but that you do want to get it right and that you need her help to understand how to say the right words. Let me know how it goes.

ryry-36910 5 years ago

I gotta say, this is GREAT info, cause lord knows i can really use it right about now! it's not feeling to good

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

ryry-36910- There can be tough times in marriage when you both feel disconnected. The problem comes when neither one wants to take the first step. Too, it's hard to work through the pain enough to know that if you step up and make the connection that you won't get trampled. Your marriage is worth the effort. Remember why you fell in love in the first place and work to get back to that.

Dorothy Jo 5 years ago

What if you've had countless conversations with your husband about all of this. I noticed that you've mentioned the movie "Fireproof" and the book "The Love Dare", but we've done both. We've read 4 books, I've sent him articles on how to be more emotionally connected and supportive and what it could do to our marriage. He's still the "sports and bar scene guy". I feel like we just keep growing apart and now, no matter what he does or how hard he "TRIES" it's never enough. He's always "TRYING" and it's just exhausting now to watch.

He says the words and goes through the motions, but it doesn't feel like he means it. It seems like he's just doing everything I tell him to, because he has to. Any advice? I just still don't think he gets it... and after 5 years of me learning all about him, enjoying what he enjoys, listening to what he has to say, I'm just not sure that I can come back from this... If he ever does finally "Get it", how do I accept it, leave the past behind and allow us to move forward? His "puppy-dogging" makes me a little ill. Whenever I try and explain it to him, he acts like a puppy that just got in big trouble, with his head down and tail between his legs... he writes notes to me and wants to be affectionate and cute, but still doesn't give me what I need... he just doesn't understand. The notes and affection are nice, but I reject them because I know they won't last and I will still be left disconnected.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

Dorothy Jo- In many marriages, couples do grow apart. THat doesn't mean they can't grow back together. It sounds like your husband is struggling to give you more than the minimum requirement to keep you around. Not knowing him I'm not sure what his hang up is in giving you what you need. On your end, you should ask yourself if your expecting too much. Are your expectations unrealistic or unfair? If not, then the best you can do is keep communicating your needs to him and maybe talk to his friends if that is possible and maybe they can try to get it across to him. Ultimately it is up to him to decide if he is going to give you all his heart or not.

nicole 5 years ago

The article was lovely if only my husband thought I was more important than Facebook and all his other so called friends. I am at a place were I don't want to make it work anymore I just want peace and want to feel like he is happy and that he has found the best gift which is me. I just want out

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

nicole- I understand your frustration. I have had those moments in my marriage. It can turn around, but there will have to be a wake up call. Don't lose hope. I'm glad you still realize that you are worth his attention and that you are a gift.

Johnjones 5 years ago

This is great info. My wife and I have had 7 great years of marriage but the last 6 months have been really difficult. I know I am not the best at supporting her emotionally and your article has given me some great advice so thanks. We are both very busy with work, setting up our own business and 3 great kids that it can sometimes be hard to get quality time together. Any spare time we have is spent tidying,cleaning etc. My wife wants to clean constantly as she admits it helps her feel in control. I'd like us to sod the cleaning and sit and chat, but she's not so keen. We spend a lot of time

together at weekends as a family, but we seem to rub each

other up the wrong way.

I guess I have a poor record that i need to address... just feels like I have a long way to go.....

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

Johnjones- I believe most married couples, including myself, would admit we have a long way to go. Keep up the good work. Realizing the struggles you have puts you way ahead of the game.

Headfullof bricks 5 years ago

Great info Michael, so many things said here make so much sense, i have felt like i have been banging my head against a brickwall trying to understand where things have gone wrong for so long. Why dont they teach this stuff!! Same issues apply very busy working, then the kids to deal with leaves no time for time with my partner. Johnjones comment bout cleaning sounds just like my partner.

I married my wife for life not just for a few years of happiness, hopefully your article has shown me the path to repairing what's been broken. Ive been stumbling around in the darkness for too long.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

Headfullof bricks- Wow! Glad to hear how this has helped. Your wife is so worth your attention and love.

hoping for help 5 years ago


I am not married but I have been with my boyfriend for 4 1/2 years, I am struggling with our lack of communication and I no longer know what to do. I try to initiate conversations and be understanding of his needs but it seems like he doesn't want to put in the effort. Do I give up on the relationship and move on or do I keep pushing on and trying to further our communication? Any insight would be helpful

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

hoping for help- I have a close friend who is going through the same thing. They finally gave up and moved on. If he is not giving effort to the relationship now, it will only get worse if you get married. Especially if you have tried for a long time to change things, and it's like your talking to a dead man, you may want to seriously think of moving on. There are plenty of good men who will give you everything they have.

BJ 5 years ago

Thanks for the article. It's alot of things for me to think about.

My wife and I have been married for 13+ years and the other day she found out I was looking at some web sites I really shouldn't have been. She has caught me doing things like that in the past and we have eventualy worked through it.

When she caught me she felt hurt, understandably, and said she felt that was like I was cheating on her, although I wasn't physically involved with anyone else, just watching some videos.

5 years ago she had an affair with someone she worked with for about 6 weeks, admited it to me, and I forgave her. Last year she hooked up with an old friend of hers after a night out at the bar, again she admited it and I forgave her again.

Her biggest complaint is that I don't "open up to her". I just never have been one to open up about stuff about myself, even with close friends or family. I keep stuff tomyself and if I have a problem I tend to work through it myself, I always have.

I do love my wife but sometimes I just feel that anything I say or would do to tell her she is wrong, or perhaps unfair, would end up in a fight or argument that I really don't want, so I keep it to myself.

My questions to others is that

1. How can I tell my wife about her shortcomings, in a way that won't damage her self esteem, of which she doesn't have alot.

2. How can I teach myself to "open up to her" as I should be able to do? Alot of times when she asks me why I don't open up to her I say "I don't know" because I really don't, I am not sure why I can't open up. Is it because I am afraid if I do it might hurt her more, and I don't want that.

3. Is she "blowing everything out of proportion"? I understand she is hurt right now. Does watching a video on the computer or even talking to someone on the comp, which is one of the things I was doing in the past, compares to the 2 times in our marriage where she has had a physical affair with another guy.

Sorry this is so long but I am looking forward to any help or others insight to the situation.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

BJ- Thanks for the comment. When your wife has such low self esteem it is going to require great patience when you show her the faults she has. You will need to use 10 words of praise for every 1 word of correction.

As far as opening up goes, that usually stems from distrust. You need to figure out why you don't trust her enough to open up. If she attacks you when you open up, and not everything is allowed top be talked about, then you two need to have an honest talk about how to fix the situation.

question 3- it sounds like both of you could be suffering from hypocrisy. Neither one of you can judge the other. You both need to stop the cheating, even if it is with the eyes and be true to each other. I hope this helps.

Ata Loss 5 years ago

What an article. Thanks for your thoughts. My wife and I have had such struggles over the years and I just don't know how to get over it. We love each other so much, but we have destroyed one another. I am trying to get things right and she is too but we have been fighting like cats and dogs for the last year. She wants me to be open, but I just can't seem to. We only talk about surface things now. If she tries to talk about relationship things, I admit I get very upset and it just starts another fight. She doesn't know it, but I just don't want to be around her much. She thinks everything is going great now, but I don't say much just act happy. We still have sex together but I have to make myself do it. As a man, I end up enjoying it, but it isn't anything special to me. I am at a loss of how to get over this. She is a great woman and I love her. I know she loves me, but how do we get rid of our past and make things right? How do I start opening up? How do I protect myself from giving up or even having an affair? I have been tempted so many times to go out on her because I feel we will never get things right. Is there hope for us? Am I a bad person? It is okay to pretend things are okay for her sake, but they really aren't? I want this to work.

Anonymous 5 years ago

I hope she's reading a similar article about the effects of her husband having a low emotional tank too. Women may think that a husband is easily eased and fulfilled by food or sex or fun, but many men want to connect and engage just as deeply as women.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

Ata loss- First, you are not a bad person. The fact that you are pretending shows that you love her enough to keep the relationship going, even if you don't have the feelings. You need to remember your commitment you made to her when you got married to love her until death alone parts you. Your wife is an amazing woman, or you wouldn't have married her. Remember the things that makes her that wonderful person you fell in love with. Remember, she isn't perfect and neither are you. She deserves your love. You may need to sit down with her and gently be honest with her. Let her know that your emotional tank is empty. Then, open up with her and let her know your deep needs.

You need to realize that she will feel hurt as you tell her the truth, but she will get over it. Being open and honest is the only way to have a real relationship.

Frustrated 5 years ago

Wow! I just had this similar conversation with our marriage counselor last night. I have been married 22 years. We have been seeing a counselor for almost a year now. I have not been happy for atleast 3 or 4 years now. We took the top 10 emotional needs last night and listed our top 5. I was very surprised and hurt to see that is top 2 were physical attractiveness and sexual fulfillment. Which was followed up with a statement of "be glad I didn't list sex as number 1." I'm not sure how to move beyond this. This has been one of our bigger issues. Because unless he is having sex with me, he does not appear to be happy. I don't know that I want to live the next 22 years this way.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 5 years ago Author

frustrated- Sex in marriage is a good thing. In the the book, 'The Five Love Languages', the author states that one way some people receive love is through physical touch. Maybe that is one of his love languages. Maybe that is what fills his emotional tank. He too needs to learn your love language and seek to fill your emotional tank.

empty 4 years ago

how do i fill my husbands emotional need of physical intimacy when i feel so emotionally disconnected from him and dont want to open up sexually to him? I have not felt close to him in years.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

empty- I understand where you are coming from. One of you has to take the first step to filling the other's emotional tank. If you step up, maybe he will too. I wonder what his response is when you challenge him with your needs being unmet.

empty 4 years ago

Thank you for your reply, I will try my hardest to step up to that plate. It's not a easy thing. I wish it was. My husbands response is that he doesn't see how the two are connected :(

Michael's wife 4 years ago

empty- you are in a tough situation right now. I know how you feel. My husband and I had issues in the past dealing with this very thing. Here are some tips for you that might help. Really look at your man in a positive light. Write down all the good qualities that you love about him. Fall in love with him again. I found myself feeling so blessed and so excited about our marriage when I did this, that my love just overflowed in a sexual way no matter if I was filled emotionally or not. I'm not saying the same thing will happen to you, but it might help. We get so caught up in the day to day life and worrying about ourselves, that we forget about all the good things in our guy. The other tip I would suggest is to ask him if he would be willing to sit down with no phone, no tv, no kids, etc and just you both talk. Talk about what you both want in the relationship, talk about fun things, talk about what went on with each of your days, etc. If you just did that for half hour to an hour a night, you would get that emotional fulfillment that we as women need so desperately.

Couple books I would recommend for both to read:

~Love Dare

~5 Love Languages

~Love and Respect

I hope this helps a little. If you want to email me and talk more, please email Michael and let him know and he can give me your address. I don't want to post it for the public.

empty 4 years ago

Michael's wife, thank you for your words of wisdom and advice. I am going to do what you suggest and look into the books as well! I just might take you up on your offer and email you. I really do want my marriage to be a happy one and like your husband mention, one of us are going to have to take the first step. Thank you again!

talulah 4 years ago

I feel extremely emotionally disconnected from my husband...We have been married for 5 years and i feel like this has been the worst 5 years of my life. He cheated on me for the first 2 years of our marriage and had both relationships on the go. I found out by reading his text messages and then he finally admitted to me about it. His phone was always off limits to me. He has changed and i did give him a second chance but i still think he is selfish. Now we have a child and i was having problems with his mom and he turned it into my problem. She was taking over with the baby from the beginning and he said I was the crazy one for having a problem with it. All i wanted was some space and some boundaries and a resolution to the problem but he never spoke to his mom. I even said I was going to be the one to speak to her and he didn't support me. His sister is also very manipulative and he lets her get her way with the baby as well. She has never been nice to me and would come into our house without saying hello even. He has never spoken to her about this and she is nice to him so he thinks everything is great about her and that there is no problem there. I'm tired of feeling emotionally disconnected. Feeling as though everything i say doesn't get respected and also feeling as though his family and friends are always right and no matter what i say and what i have an issue with, it's never important.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

talulah- One lesson her for others is to realize that we tend to carry on our parents issues to our marriage. So, before getting married we should look at our partners families and ask if we are ready to deal with their issues. Now, for you talulah, you are in a very difficult situation. You should seek professional help. If you have friends who support you, you should lean on them to get through this. Ask him if he is willing to sit down and get all the issues out on the table. Ask him if he is willing to make a detailed plan to get your marriage on the right track. If he is, it will be a lot of hard work, but will be worth it in the end. If he is not willing to do this, then you will only have more trouble.

ASH 4 years ago

Mr Michael

Have been married (Arranged)for just 2 months. I am not happy with the way the things r moving. Anything if i do her she will think as favour not love like i told her that i gave full freedom and alll...but she thinks in negative way. Whatever I tell her she always think in negative way be it good words aboout her, praising her etc etc..In my life I never hated never humiliated to anybody. But why my wife has guilt feeling, I dont understand.

Please clarify

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

ASH- Marriages often take time to develop. I have been married for 18 years and feel that we are just now getting it right. Realize that she has been shaped by her family and by her culture. Too, she is a woman, which is different than being a man. So, with that in mind, be patient with her and keep loving her. It will take time for you both to understand how to live life together. Your love for her can overcome any negative that she feels. Leave notes around the house for her. Buy flowers, take walks with her. Just the little things will let her know that she is special. Eventually she will come around.

Have you talked to her and asked her why she has these feelings? When you ask her make sure she knows that her feelings and what she says is safe with you.

ncyberian profile image

ncyberian 4 years ago from london

All men thinking is not like that some are very hard they don't want to know what their wives want they just give orders do this do that they want their needs to be fulfilled not wife needs or you can say they are selfish,cruel, your whole article is good.

ASH 4 years ago

Thanks Michael

I will try to keep your words and will discuss with my wife. One more thing I want to clarify do the distance relationship really matters or it develops misinterpretation about anything. Because I am working abroad and she is also working in hometown....Does this anything to do with negative impact?

Please clarify and hoping that your reply really matters to me.

dizzy 4 years ago

2012 marks our 47th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately I have been ignorant of the fact that for many of those years I have been an "emotionally abusive" husband to the point that 9 months ago my wife was on the brink of moving out. What a wake-up call. I have done some reading, attended a workshop, and am trying to get to know myself better as well as implement strategies to assist in renewing some emotional connection, at least from my side. I am struggling because very often the efforts I make to be compassionate and connecting are interpreted as me either trying to manipulate or just being condescending. I am being told by my wife that I should not try to do what she wants but "be myself" and do what I want. However when that backfires I am mystified and tempted to not try again. I know I cannot undo the years of hurt that I have caused, but I want to hope that healthy connection can again be established! Any further clues as to how I can go about that would be appreciated.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

ncyberian-Many men honestly want to get it right, but are clueless what to do. However, there are some men that I have met who are what you described. It's sad, and if this is what you are going through, I am so sorry.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

ASH- I believe that if you're married you should work close to home to be with your spouse. Healthy relationships take a lot of time and energy. There are rare occasions where someone may need to work away from home. I encourage you to be close to your wife. Even if you have to make less money, your wife is worth far more than anything you lose.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

dizzy- Remember the pain your wife feels right now. It will take time to heal. Your patient love will help her heal. Three books I would recommend are 'Every Man's Battle' by Stephen Arterburn, 'The Five Love Languages' by Gary Chapman, and 'Love and Respect' by DR. Emerson Eggerichs. The main ingredients you need is patient love, time and being gentle with her. Too, if she is willing, spend an hour a day with her just listening to her and gently reminding her of your love.

Hurt 4 years ago


Thank you so much for writing this article. I'm writing here because my girlfriend and I (5 years +) have been running into a re-occurring issue. I love this girl and want to spend the rest of my life with her, but we've both been broken probably the past two years. I'm not sure if it's us adjusting to the adult life or what it is, but it's depressing. She doesn't feel emotionally connected to me anymore as do I. I'll admit it's been both of our faults with the way we've let this go on for so long and swept it under the rug. My issue is trying a way to fix this problem. Kisses don't feel right, everything just seems forced. I feel like when we do take the time to sit down and talk, we tend to be productive. Our sex life has suffered though and she told me the two biggest things that bug her is my lack of confidence and she sometimes see's me as not being a grown-up, which I can admit to both. Do you still think there is hope when she's mentioning that she doesn't feel connected to me, sexually uninterested, unhappy, etc. with our lives currently? It's almost like we are stuck in the routine of life, working, etc. Any help is appreciated!

Hurt 4 years ago

I was planning to propose to her too, but with all of these doubts going on and our issues I have to push this time-frame back now.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Hurt- There is hope. There is always hope. Good, long-lasting relationships take work. You don't always feel connected. Feelings come and go, but if the love is there, then the feelings will come back. Love is not an emotion. It is a conscious act of the will. The "love feelings" come and go depending on the circumstances. What you need to do is love her well the way she receives love. As you do she should respond well and things will turn around. But, it is so easy to let the craziness of life drown out the time needed to develop the relationship.

Read the book, "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. I think it will be a big help.

aarong_09 4 years ago

always shut down and cant say anything and it pisses her off an just makes things worse. im not one to open up to people and share my feelings but with her i want to and i really want to know what to do and how to do that cause i cant lose her and if i do i dont know how i will get through it all she is the only one i want to be with i dont care about anyone like i care about her so please help me.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

aarong_09- It sounds like you guys are stuck in the crazy cycle. She gets mad, you shut down, which makes her more angry, then you shut down more. You two need to break the cycle. She needs to be patient and talk calmly to you and not pressure you to open up. As far as your part, you need to spend quiet time with her where you both are not distracted, and just sit and talk. As you do this, over time you will begin to open up. Many times we guys don't open up because we are afraid to . We are afraid of being judged. So, these quiet times just sitting and talking slowly breaks down the walls and we begin to feel more comfortable with sharing what's inside us.

shattered trust 4 years ago

I have been with my husband for 14 years. He was 17 and me 19.

4 kids 14, 6, 4, 2.

Alcoholic family.

3 brothers and him raped and abused by a trusted friend and school teacher from the age of 5 for a few years.

Smoked drugs up until 5 years ago to get a job in the mines.

I have moved to the mines now to be closer and have him home every night and he has dropped a bombshell and said he was drinking the whole 4 years he was working away and hiding it from me so he replaced the pot with alcohol.

So he struggles to know how to look after my emotional needs and goes silent. I call him a silent abuser. He tells me his news and does not back it up with any emotional support with me and I don't know which way we should turn. I wake up crying in the middle of the night and am a shattered mess. He takes no responsibility to make sure I am ok.

We love each other and he is actually a nice decent man who has destroyed my trust behind my back.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

shattered trust- The fact that he hid this shows he know he was wrong. He may be struggling to support you because he is dealing with guilt. I think the first thing that needs to happen is that you need to forgive him, he needs to forgive himself, then you two need to put the past in the past. Then he will be in a position to support you as you heal from this. Too, he needs to understand your need for emotional support. Men are not inclined to see the need for support, so you need to gently, but clearly communicate to him that you need his help so that your marriage can be all that it needs to be. The trust will come back over time. Let him know that you love him and respect him. Maybe you don't respect him for this, but you can tell him that you respect him for other good things he has done. The fact that he works hard to provide for you is a good thing. Think of other good things he does, then you can deal with this one negative thing in his life.

Robert 4 years ago

Hi Michael, I want to thank you for posting this. After 17 years of Marriage my wife told me she can't have a real conversation with me and was pretty much seeking emotional support outside of our marriage from both Men and Women. This hit me hard and was devistating. Luckily, I realized that this was a major problem that had to be addressed immediately. After reading this article I realized that I was not connecting with her emotionally even though I thought I was doing a good job taking kids to and from school, taking kids to programs, cooking for the family, tiddying up, etc. I am now working on connecting with her emotionally through sharing my feelings, spending more time with her, deeper conversations, etc. Thank you so much and we are doing better. I think you saved my marriage!

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Robert- Wow! I don't know what to say, except that I'm glad that I got to be part of it. Many blessings to you and your wife in the years ahead.

Dil 4 years ago

Wonderful article! It reminds me that there are a lot of things to do to be connected with my wife emotionally. I’ll let my wife read it!

Evyfine 4 years ago

I really luv my man and we ll get married in few months time.however, i have few things against me.i refused him spending money on me now because i know his financialcapacity and i want him to prepare fully for that.since then, all effort to get an accommodation for us & some other plan failed but he keeps spending on his younger ones.this is someone i ll like to marry bt he doesn't do great on bed.i have talked this over with him but no changes yet.what can i do?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Evyfine- As far as the financial, it sounds like you are controlling him. Since you aren't married yet, you should not be telling him what to do with his money. He may feel like you are controlling, so he will just spend money on someone else. Men like to spend money on those they love. It's one way they show love. That may have a direct connection to what's going on in bed.

sf 4 years ago

Hey Mike

I am really sick of the Church taking a one-sided view of the command in I Peter for "Men to love their wives and Women to SUBMIT to their husbands"

In the movie Fireproof, and apparently from your own perspective, the entire onus of the marriage is on the man

I don't know how you can support that view Biblically

The movie portrays the woman as nearly a perfect wife with some occasional nagging. The man however is nearly reprobate, addicted to pornography and oblivious to his home life. He just needs to "cowboy up" right?

Problem is that this reinforces the view of many women, who've also embraced a very feminist view of marriage based on popular culture, that men are the ONE AND ONLY problem. They should have everything just the way they want because men make all the sacrifices...after all THEY need to lay down THEIR lives.

Sorry, buddy, but it works both ways. And there is almost NO message in this movie or on the part of Christian counselors to counsel women on their role in marriage. It's completely one sided. Take a balanced view on things're ruining marriages

kelly 4 years ago

My spouse is an angry, abusive alcoholic. A few friends in our church have recommended that we watch this movie together. Do you think it will help at all?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

sf- I couldn't agree more. Soon, I will be writing on this topic. My wife and I just has the same conversation. I told her that I was sick of men always taking the fall, when many times it's the woman who is being the problem. Read the book, "love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs. He tries to balance the scales in the book.

kelly- You never know. Maybe it will help. I encourage you to get help fast. If he continues this pattern, then get out. You need to be safe and secure.

sf 4 years ago

I appreciate your honest reply Michael. We went through Eggerich's class and my wife seemed only to focus on the "love" part. Even Eggerich decided to use "respect" instead of "submit" to avoid controversy.

BTW- I added the post as "kelly" a gender-neutral name. It is MY WIFE who is an angry, abusive alcoholic. But notice how your mind immediately assumed a man was the perpetrator. Don't worry: you're not alone. I have asked a half dozen male Christian counselors the same question as a hypothetical and they all assumed the alcoholic was a man. That's the stereotype:

The woman is the helpless, emotionally-fragile victim.

The man is the angry, abusive, perpetrator.

If only the man would show the Love of Christ, the marriage would be saved. And who could blame the weaker partner if she responded to the emotional advances of another kind, Christian male?!

The real world, at least for some of us, is quite different. Despite the many sacrifices I have made in my marriage, trying desperately to show my wife the love of Christ, she has been nothing but hateful towards me and towards my children. She does have a free will, and sovereign though God is, even He will not over-ride that. Ultimately her rebellion is towards Him, not towards me. But a "love dare" doesn't guarantee a miraculous outcome.

Bottom line is...this movie, along with lots of Christian counseling like it, has done much to give Christian women license to ignore their own part in marriage. The movie propogates the myth that men are the (big) problem, and men have sole responsibility for resolution. Real life is often much more complicated.

Anyway, thanks for taking the time to reply. I really vented at you because our marriage counselor handed my wife the movie "Fireproof" to watch. I appreciate your thoughtful answer

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

sf- thanks for your rants. The "kelly" thing was a bit unfair. I have two women in my life, my sister and a friend, named Kelly. So, I only associate the name Kelly with female. I agree about the movies and books being about men are crap and women are perfect. Soon, I will be writing a hub on how women aren't perfect either. Stay tuned.

ak 4 years ago

everyone discuss needs and happiness of a women, but what about the man in return, if she failed to do so.anyway thanks to you and the articles.

AA 4 years ago

So true ak.. I agree with you.. sometimes women also needs to understand what men want... i wish there were articles for women too.. well thanks and all the best to everyone..

terri 4 years ago

my husband and I have been married 32 years. we have adopted 4 children. Before that, we had a pretty good marriage, now I feel like a fith wheel. He is so obsorbed in the kids, he has no time for anything else. including me. Now we have seperated and I am afraid to trust again..

Undecided 4 years ago

This really is the best advice and I so wish I could find a way of communicating this with my husband. I am in an unhappy marriage - I'm a woman - and long for the relationship I used to have. All the things you mentioned are missing and I recognise my growing bitterness. Among other things, my husband rolls his eyes when I speak for more than 5 minutes, gets frustrated when Im upset over a colleague that undermines me, call me a horrible names when I try to talk about thing with him, takes everything as a criticism of him personally and has recently said that he;s fed up with my down mood which is boring and annoying to him. Tonight he'll say he loves me. It's awful.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

terri- One thing he may be struggling with is balance. He is probably excited about having kids. So, he may naturally go overboard. As humans we go overboard with things until we come back onto balance. Being centered is sometimes difficult to achieve. Too, you are struggling because you are used to it just being the two of you. So, I encourage you to talk to him and see if he is willing to work through these struggles together.

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Undecided- being in an unhappy marriage can be frustrating, lonely and painful. We can get stuck in a cycle where one partner does something wrong, then the other reacts in the wrong way, which causes the first partner to react in a wrong way, then the cycle spins out of control. What it will take is for one of you to stop the cycle and begin to act right no matter what the other is doing. I encourage you to read the book, "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Unprotected 4 years ago

Thank you for this article you wrote. It is very good. I wanted to add under the protection part that a woman feels unsafe when her husband says negative things about her to others. My husband does this all the time. He talks about things I have done in the past that was between the two of us or outright puts me down. I feel so unsafe now. He does not see this as a way of not protecting me. He thinks as long as he locks the doors at night and pays the bills, he is protecting me. I feel like I am walking on dangerous ground right now, feel so hurt and emotionally unstable. I have even told him how this makes me feel and he still continues to do it. Do you think this is part of protecting the wife? Isn't this a way of not protecting her heart and even reputation when others are thinking bad thoughts of the wife?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Unprotected- You are right. He should be protecting you not only physically, but also emotionally, mentally, spiritually. He should be building you up and praising you in public. I hope he wakes up and understands how valuable a gift you are to him.

Unprotected 4 years ago

I am so heartbroken again. I talked to him about this again and he acted like he understood and promised he wasn't going to do it again. He needed me to get on his computer while he was at work to look something up and his email was opened on his front page. I couldn't help but see it and there was a letter he had written just that morning about me to this woman he doesn't even know personally but met on facebook. He told her about something from our past that really hurt, especially since it wasn't even the full truth about me. He exaggerated about the situation and made himself look really good to where she felt sorry for him. I just don't know how to get through to him. I feel so rejected and embarrassed because this woman thinks I am this horrible person. I want him to love me and appreciate me like I do him. Do you have any suggestions? Why would he do this to me if he really loves me? If you really love someone, doesn't it come natural to want to brag on that person and protect them instead of putting them down?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Unprotected- I am sorry to see you still going through this. Have you talked with him in a gentle way? Ask him what needs you are not meeting? Let him know that he can be totally honest with you without negative consequences. Ask his forgiveness for ways you have wronged him. This will put the ball in his court. Then, he will have to deal with his own issues. I don't know why he is doing this.

Anonymous 4 years ago

At what point do we talk about a woman's responsibility to control her own emotions and take care of her own problems?

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 4 years ago Author

Anonymous- It depends on if she can control her emotions. PMS, and premenopause can greatly effect a woman's emotions. I wish you were more specific. But, men and women both have responsibility to love and respect each other.

Disconnected 2 years ago

My husband believes that a women must support herself, clean the home and be the wife. His only duty is to work . It's like this , he was a young father at 16 worked hard had struggles even at a young age, didn't have a mother who cared. When we met I always had a job, I have 3 children 2 are now grown and I have my daughter who will be leaving to college . Somewhere 10 years ago I lost myself, I have my business but it doesn't bring in a stable income , been looking for a job to get back into the workforce. My husband is tired tired of working .mind you my husband makes a decent salary $110k, has his own account, and now because e is tired the joint account we had he closed. I try, home is clean, dinner cooked , clothes washed , and be intimate . Yet it is not enough he preassures me that I need to work and I am struggling with finding a job!!! When he is angry and says mean comments I stay away. Ugh! I don't understand there are so many jobs out there I just need one do my husband will be happy

Michael Davis profile image

Michael Davis 2 years ago Author

Disconnected- I am so sorry for your situation. First, I need to say something that you must understand. STOP TRYING TO MAKE YOUR HUSBAND HAPPY. You can't make anyone happy. That is out of your control. $110,000 dollars is more than enough money. Most people don't make near that kind of money. Happiness is a choice. It's up to him to choose to be happy with you. If all he does is complain about you and doesn't accept you for who you are, then he doesn't love you. True love accepts and enjoys the other person for who they are. True love doesn't control and manipulate. It sounds as if he is very controlling and manipulative. So, do yourself a favor and stop trying to please him. Instead, choose for yourself to be happy and at peace within yourself. This will either lead to a better marriage or a divorce. Those options are much better than being stuck in misery. Email me if you want to continue the conversation.

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