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Connecting With Your Husband

Updated on June 14, 2008

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.

3. Embarrassment

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.

4. Pain

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.

Rewards/ Consequences

There are rewards for meeting your husband's emotional needs and consequences to not meeting your husband's emotional needs. Here are a few.


1. Intimacy

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.

2. Joy

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.

3. Confidence

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.


1. Frustration

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.

2. Distance

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.

3. Resentment

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.

1. Encouragement

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.

2. Affirmation

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.

3. Intimacy

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.

4. Manliness

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.

5. Communication

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.

6. Greatness

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.

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    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 

      7 years ago from Singapore

      Great work. I need to read it many times and apply it in my life. I think that the ideas presented here are very useful.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      J- Good insight. Sorry you had to learn the hard way. Yes, both men and women have much to learn about each other. We are surrounded by so many false ideas of love and marriage in our world.

    • profile image

      7 years ago

      Michael, your article here, and another one I've just read is a good one with much insight. Women should try reading this stuff when things are good in their marriage or even before they get married to their guy.

      They should note how they react when their man opens up trying to communicate and appreciate the struggle he undergoes when he tries to do this for her and their relationship.

      My own marriage went down the drain when things started to get tough because of her own past scars and problems, and how perfectly they drew out my own personal weaknesses.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Bill- First, you can't say that women hate sex. Your wife does not represent all women. My wife loves sex. Now, your wife may not like sex for a number of reasons that you may not realize. She may have a medical condition that even she is not aware of that kills her sexual desire. Maybe she way abused in the past, and maybe she has never shared that with you. People who are sexually abused tend to be either overly sexual or not want sex at all. Maybe you are not showing her the right kind of love and respect. Women need the whole relationship to be right in order to enjoy sex. Ask her if there are things that you do or ways that you act that causes her to be distant with you. There are a number of reasons why this may be going on.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My wife HATES sex. One thing I have learned thoroughly through this is that women simply hate sex.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      7 years ago from Portland, Oregon I have a lot of hope for you. Soon, I will be writing a hub on how women contribute to problems in the home too. It's not always the man's fault. I think you see that now. I believe that we should always compete for our spouse. Why do we think that marriage means that we can put it in neutral and stop winning our spouse's heart? One piece of advice is to give him unconditional respect no matter what choice he makes. Respect him more than the other woman and love him more than the other woman does. Keep me posted and feel free to email me

    • profile image 

      7 years ago

      Yes! God's timing is impeccable! I've been doing some research on how I can pursue my husband to fall back in love with me all over again. I'm afraid that I so neglected my husbands needs that I've driven him to the arms of other women for two years. He now is saying that he is serious about a particular one. Saying that she "gets him" and wants to leave me but the timing is not right. Thankfully, time seems to be on my side. I've had a revelation that I need to stop playing the victim and set my attention on doing all I can to meet my husbands needs. This article makes it clear what I must do and I am encouraged and eager to put it to work. I'm am feeling positive about all of it. However, I feel I have some serious competition. Therefore, do you have any extra advice for me? Please please keep writing these hub articles. They seem to be helping many. Keep it up, God has great plans for you!

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thankful- i am the one who is thankful. I have been having some tough times lately and really feeling down. I even felt that my writings were of no value. God's timing of your comment is perfect. I am very encouraged and happy to hear that your marriage is on the mend.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I wanted to share a little of my story. Awhile back my husband and I were having huge problems within our marriage. I kept expressing my needs. He kept expressing his needs. Neither of us were hearing each other. I started doing research online and came across your hubpages. I shared them with my husband and we began putting these things into practice. We read each one of them. We are Christians and were dedicated to keeping our marriage, but we both felt at a loss and just about called it quits. We saw your book recommendations and started reading some of them also. What an answer to prayer. We are now on the mends. I have realized his needs and trying to fill them and he is doing the same for me. We are so thankful to you. We are still growing and changing, but we are doing it together. Thank you. Keep writing. You do have a gift.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      wantinglove- I'm glad to hear that things are improving for you. Yes, look in the near future for a hub on the topic of conversations with your husband.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you again for your help. I can begin to see a difference in our relationship since putting these things in action that you wrote about. I have another thing to ask you about which may even be another hub for you to write on. What would be some conversations that we could talk about? It has been so long since we have had conversation and he is so quiet and I'm having to come up with everything. I want to know what kind of things a guy would want to talk about and feel relaxed but show him I am trustworthy. They say not to talk about your kids and generic things like "if you could do your life over, what would it be? or what three countries would you like to visit?" For one thing, if I asked the first question, I would be afraid right now that his answer would be that he wouldn't have married me. Could you help me come up with things to talk about that has something to them, shows him slowly that he can talk and trust me and that would be enjoyable for both of us? Thanks again for your help. I can already see a glimpse of change taking place in our marriage and I have you to thank.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      wantinglove- over time a man can feel defeated if he is repeatedly ignored or pushed away. You can push your husband away by making him feel stupid for what he likes and for his thoughts and feelings. After a long time of this, he will give up hope of ever being able to share who he really is. Some men will go to another women to share who they are, but most often men just build walls and shut others out. So, for you to get where you want to be, you will need to let him know in a big way that you accept him for who he is and will not judge him. But, it will take time for him to trust you again. Give him time and space and he will come around. While you wait just love on him and let him know that he's the best.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thank you for writing this article. I just read it today because I have been doing research to see how I can make changes to let my husband know I really love him and he will respond to. I'm so afraid he will leave me and that it is too late. After several years of marriage, I am still growing and changing. I'm afraid he is about to give up on me and I feel nervous about that. I hope these things you have written will help us. He is a great guy and I hope to be able to show him that. What would be your suggestion to be able to win his trust in being able to communicate with me? He really doesn't talk much about anything anymore. I don't want to be pushy and make him talk, but I miss our conversations and want him to know he can trust me now.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Ann- send me an email and we can talk about this more.

      I'm so sorry you are going through this. There are so many people who feel trapped in their marriages. The only hope for real change is a big wake up call for the one who is not giving to the relationship.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      My husband doesn't have any emotional needs except to leave him alone don't bother him. We do nothing together let alone be intimate. He's been this way fo 30 years. no intimacy no sex no nothing. He has ruined my whole life, he is so uncaring that it drives me crazy. He thinks of himself only and I get nothing. I have no idea why we got married or why I stayed with him.

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      8 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Ardie- Glad to hear you two are figuring it out

    • Ardie profile image


      8 years ago from Neverland

      I was forever trying to figure out what makes my husband tick. After being married for so long I finally realized his thoughts and actions all go back to how he was raised emotionally - like a "man's man". Over the years I've gotten him to understand that its ok to actually feel something and show it :)

    • Heremia profile image


      8 years ago from New Zealand

      Very informative... thank you...

    • Michael Davis profile imageAUTHOR

      Michael Davis 

      9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Thanks. I am glad that you found valuable help. As you begin to put these principles into practice I encourage you to keep at it over the long haul.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      am in awe of these great insights u have just shared with us, i really appreciate n am putting them into practise.


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Absolutely fabulous... there couldn't be better words of wisdom!


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