By Keren Kanyago, Crosswalk.com
Men, what kind of wife did you envision when you tied the knot? Perhaps you hoped for a pleasant, jovial, and happy-go-lucky life partner. A whip-smart woman who effortlessly radiates warmth and cheer. A sassy homemaker who draws people in like a magnet. The cherry on top? Your mates would consider you the luckiest dude on earth for bagging such an enchanting woman.
But. Are things a tad different with your wife? Does she often seem grumpy and disoriented? Is it easier to catch the wind than to see her smile and let loose? Does she wear a sour mood like a cloak? Granted, there are many reasons why wives walk around feeling dejected. Chief among them is when their emotional needs are not met. This takes the wind out of their sails faster than you can say, "I am sorry."
What Are Emotional Needs?
Both husbands and wives have deep-seated emotional needs, which are often very different. According to the Marriage Builders Website, an emotional need is a heartfelt craving that sparks off joy and contentment when satisfied. When this craving is not satiated, it leaves one unhappy and frustrated.
Are you eager to restore the cheer and zest in your wife? Do you long to see more of her smile and hear her ringing laughter across your home? Could you use more of her goofy jokes? The ones that gave you helpless belly laughs? How about rolling up your sleeves and tending to her emotional needs? Here are three things your wife needs from you emotionally.
3 Things Your Wife Needs From You Emotionally:
1. Your Affection
Showing affection means expressing care and concern towards your spouse. Now, guys, we know that affection doesn't necessarily float your boat. Perhaps the mere mention of it makes you squirm and furrow your brow. Affection doesn't rank high in most men's emotional needs, and it's little wonder that they struggle to show it to their wives.
To many wives, however, affection is what fish is to water. They yearn for it. They need it to come alive in their marriages. In his book His Needs, Her Needs Willard F. Harley, Jr. states that affection symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval to a woman. Being affectionate towards your wife makes her feel valued by you.
She feels content in the relationship and is in turn eager to fulfill your needs. But here's the rub, many husbands are fiddling in the dark where showing affection to their wives is concerned. They are not sure what counts as affection and what doesn't. One way of cracking the code is by seeking to know from your wife what she likes and appreciates most. Besides that, you could try the below affectionate gestures that have stood the test of time.
- Hug her
- Hold her hand while walking
- Speak loving words to her
- Open doors for her
- Date her
- Call or text during the day to check in on her
- Help her around the house
- Surprise her
P.S. For most women, sex doesn't count as affection. However, showing affection to your wife is a way of getting her into the mood. Everybody wins.
2. Spending Time Talking with You
Here's the truth – you could buy your wife the most luxurious car on God's green earth and still have her cry herself to sleep on that phenomenal night. Why? Because your wife desperately yearns to spend time with you. This is a void that material gifts cannot fill. Wives love to spend time in intimate conversations with their husbands. They want to share their innermost feelings with the man they love. When this happens, they feel loved and cared for. On the flip side, when the husband is unwilling or unavailable to indulge them, they feel sad and dejected. Doubts start trickling in. "Does he love me? Am I even important to him? If I were, he would be available for me!" The sense of intimacy they once felt so strongly goes out the window.
Willard F. Harley, Jr., author of His Needs, Her Needs, urges that spouses need to squeeze in fifteen hours each week in intimate conversation. Now guys, before you go up in arms against that tally, please hear me out for a minute. How did you woo your lady while courting her? We are sure you spent inordinate amounts of time engrossed in intimate talks with her. You wanted to know her, so you asked her questions, listening intently and giving her undivided attention.
You squeezed in time each day to check in on her, seeking to know what was on her mind and how she was feeling. You met her need for intimate conversation. Sooner or later, she couldn't help herself. She fell for you and married you with the hope that you would always be there to talk with and listen to her.
Enter marriage. The sad reality is that many husbands tend to gloss over their wives' need for intimate conversations after marriage. That's because men do not have a dire need for intimate discussions. They are okay mumbling and grunting unintelligible statements to their wives. This leaves their wives in utter shock. The rug has been pulled ruthlessly from under their feet—disillusionment and bitterness kick in.
So men, even if chit-chat is not your cup of tea, consider taking one for the team. You have done it before (during courtship), so we are certain that you can do it again. Remember, Christ calls husbands to a sacrificial kind of love toward their wives.
"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her." (Ephesians 5:25)
3. Honesty and Openness
For your wife to feel secure in the marriage, she needs to know what's going on in your life. Remember that you are no longer two individuals but one flesh (Mathew 19:5). Your communication should be a testament to your oneness. Both of you need to uphold honesty and complete transparency with each other. Gray areas and secrets are unacceptable.
Honest communication doubles up as a critical emotional need for your wife. If she stumbles upon some unsightly gray areas you had not divulged, she senses danger. If she digs up secrets you have been stashing away, you best believe she will fly off the handle. She can no longer trust you, and she feels disconnected.
To strengthen your marriage (and enthuse your wife), give her accurate information on your dealings and daily activities. Of course, she should do the same. Share your thoughts and plans for the future. Be predictable to earn her trust. Be honest to a fault. To the best of your ability, be available to communicate with your wife any time of the day or night. This keeps her feeling closely connected to you. Willard F. Harley, Jr. encourages couples to share calendars of their daily activities. Be considerate enough to let your spouse know when significant detours come up.
The only surprises that wives appreciate are surprise birthdays, anniversaries, dinners; you get the drift. Just don't let her get "surprised" after digging up stuff you have been withholding from her. That will break her heart.
Photo credit: ©Unsplash/Toa Heftiba