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Connecting With Your Husband
Understanding and Meeting your Husbands Emotional Needs
Men have emotional needs. In our society that can be difficult to understand. Men often put up a front to act as if they don't have emotional needs. However, men have needs that only their wife can meet. In this article I want to help women understand what their husband's emotional needs are and how to meet those needs.
Why a Man's Needs Go Unmet
Here I want men and women to understand why a man's needs go unmet. The key to meeting your husband's needs is unlocking the mystery of what those needs are. A step toward unlocking that mystery is understanding why the needs go unmet in the first place.
1. Lack of communication from the man
Let's face it men, we like to think that we are tough. We like to put on like nothing gets to us. But inside we are scared, hurt, angry, and confused. Often, women don't meet their husband's emotional needs because the man won't open up and let her know what is going on inside.
2. Superiority Complex
Again, as men we want to be tough. Being tough and untouchable gives us a sense of superiority. It helps our confidence. However, if you are going to have a thriving relationship with your wife, you must open up and be vulnerable. She is already impressed by you. Her marriage to you is evidence of that. So, be honest and open, and let her know what your needs are.
Often, men don't allow their needs to be discovered due to the fear of being embarrassed. They fear that their wife will laugh at them or think that they are stupid. The fact is, your wife desperately wants you to be genuine. She knows you have weaknesses. Besides, your needs are not a weakness, they are simply needs that she wants to meet.
Past painful experiences can cause a man to close up. Pain hurts. For your husband to open up may mean he has to walk through pain, which he is hesitant to do. It is important for the wife to be patient and caring through this process.
5. Judging attitude from the wife
Women unwittingly can come across as judgmental to their husbands. This causes the man to be cautious with what information he gives his wife. He fears being judged or criticized. Ask your husband if you come across as judgmental or critical and take the necessary steps to change your approach.
There are rewards for meeting your husband's emotional needs and consequences to not meeting your husband's emotional needs. Here are a few.
Since men tend to have difficulty opening up, then meeting your husband's emotional needs will encourage him to open up further. Intimacy with your husband will develop as you learn what his needs are and meet those needs. If your husband feels comfortable opening up to you, then he will begin to make a habit of opening up.
When a man feels that his needs are not being met, then he feels frustrated and begins to distance himself. He will begin to yell and argue with his wife. However, as you meet his needs, then there is joy between the two of you. If there is consistent arguing or fighting between you and your husband, then check to see if you are failing to meet his needs.
Many men struggle with feeling confident with who they are. This affects the relationship in the marriage. As you meet his needs, he gains confidence, not only in himself but also in the relationship.
4. Responding in kind
As you meet your husbands needs, he will be in a better position to meet your needs. When a man's or woman's needs go unmet, then they begin to focus inward on how empty they are. As you meet your husband's needs, he will be better focused on meeting your needs as well.
When men feel emotionally empty they become frustrated. That translates into anger with the wife. The longer the frustration develops, the more anger is shown. At that point a rift forms between the couple. If your husband is showing signs of frustration or anger, he may be telling you that he is emotionally empty.
As a man's needs go unmet he begins to distance himself from his wife. He seeks fulfillment elsewhere, whether with another woman, extra hours at work, drinking, or in other ways. This distance can be closed as both of you talk openly and honestly, get to the root of the problem, and take steps to healing and meeting each other's needs again.
The longer the problem goes unresolved, the better the chance that resentment towards the wife sets in. This can create further problems that will eventually lead to permanent damage to the relationship.
4. Death to the marriage
If the man's needs continue to go unmet, and the resulting problems go unresolved, then the marriage can come to an end. This can happen either through divorce or through two people living under the same roof, but having no relationship. If you are at this point, you can turn things around. You will need to be honest and open about the problem.
Understanding and Meeting your Husband's Emotional Needs
Now that we understand that men do have emotional needs, let's look at what those needs are and how to meet them. This is not an exhaustive list. You will need to study your husband, and learn what his specific needs are. This is a general list that may or may not apply to your husband. Your husband is a unique individual. You will need to learn what his unique needs are and how to meet them in a way that he can accept.
Men need encouragement. They need to be affirmed for a job well done. This instills confidence. When men feel confident they feel secure in who they are as a man. This causes him to also feel secure in the relationship. As a wife you need to take note of what he does for the family and let him know how much he is appreciated. This also lets him know that you are on his side.
This goes with encouragment, but goes one step further. Affirmation is the act of letting him know that what he does is meaningful and that he is necessary. Men want to be needed. They need a sense that their life means something. By affirming him, you are giving him that sense of meaning. Again, this translates into positive results in his relationship with you. As he is affirmed by you, he then works harder to meet your needs, and do what you ask of him.
Another important aspect of affirmation is affirming his feelings. Men are scared of their emotions. By letting him know that it is okay for him to hurt, or be sad about something, you are giving him the freedom to open up and be intimate with you.
While woman have the need for emotional intimacy, men have the need for physical intimacy. Men have a definite need for a thriving sexual relationship with their wife. Make sure that you are regularly meeting his sexual needs as that is directly linked to his emotional needs. While women see sex as a result of emotional fulfillment, men see emotional fulfillment as a result of sex. It isn't that men are necessarily sexual addicts, it is that they are wired in such a way that they see sex as a sign that all is well with their wife.
This is a weird title for an emotional need for men, but men need time to be manly. This can happen in a number of ways. It may be time with his guy friends to golf, watch football, fish, or enjoy some other activity. Another way to help your husband feel manly is allowing him to have a man room in the house, if that is possible. This will be a room where he can keep his collections, his deer heads, etc. Too, he can decorate it without a feminine touch. This wll be a room where he can relax and collect his thoughts. This room is not off limits to his wife, and should have input from his wife so that both are comfortable with what is in the room. There are other ways to help your husband feel masculine. Be creative. Ask him what makes him feel more like a man, and encourage him in that.
While men communicate on a different level than their wife, they still have a need to connect with their wife through intimate conversations. It may be more of a challenge for men to communicate on a deep level, but it is amazing how men communicate when they are given the space to do so. As a wife, you will need to give your husband safe space and time to open up with his thoughts. One thing that helps is to show interest in what he is talking about, even if you could care less. He may know that you could care less, but he shares it with you because it is something that matters to him. For example, I like to study highway systems. Too, part of our income comes from delivery jobs that I do. When I see the city or state making an improvement on a problem spot on a highway, I tell my wife about it. She could care less, but it matters to me. As she shows interest and is willing to listen it gives me confidence to continue to share my heart on deeper things.
Men have a need to be great. There is such competition among men. At the work place men compete to be better. Men tend to love sports because of the competition involved. They admire athletes who achieve greatness in their sport. The way men achieve greatness in the home is by being the hero to the family. This may come in the form of fixing his wife's problems, or coming to the rescue of the kids in some way. It may not change the world, but if the man feels that he is great in his wife's world, then an emotional need is being met. The way to help meet this need in your man is to recognize his achievements. He may act embarrassed when you do recognize him, but inside he is feeling appreciated. Too, you can allow him to be great by not playing off his attempts to step in and save the day. You may not need him to save the day, and you may need to tell him that you don't need him to fix anything, but show your appreciation for his motive to be your protector and provider.
This list is short, but it gives you a starting point in recognizing and meeting your husband's emotional needs. In another article I wrote on how men can meet their wife's emotional needs. As you both strive to understand and meet each other's needs, your marriage will rise to a new level of intimacy, peace and joy.