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Man and woman
Husbands and wives, do you know the major needs of your spouses? (Stock Free Images)

We are all selfish; therefore, we all have needs. Whether single or married, men and women have different needs.

Above all, I think the need we hear most about is love. The thing about love, though, is that it is more of a woman’s need than a man’s need.

Are we together still?

Go up to any man and ask him what he needs the most from either a man or woman. I would bet to say that 95 percent of the time, a man is going to say respect. So what does respect look like to a man? How does a man gain or maintain respect, especially in his marriage?

Overall, respect is pretty cut and dried, just like your average man. The problem for most men is that as bad as they need it, they don’t tell their wives what it looks like or how she can show it to him. In the meantime, since she understands love, she will continue to drive love into him, and in most cases the man will shut down.

So here’s what I have listed below: the five big needs of a husband. Respect is still at the top of the list, but I have added a few aspects of it, along with some thoughts on desire at the end.

Feel free to add your own in the comments.

1. Show respect. What is the actual definition of respect? The actual term means "to hold in esteem or honor." When was the last time you felt like you were held in honor or esteem, and wives, have you ever thought about your husband’s position in this way?

It has taken a few years for my wife to understand what it means to respect me and for me to love her, but with more honest and open lines of communication, we are figuring it out.

A quick example of a time I felt disrespected was when we were in a large group of people and I answered a question incorrectly. She immediately told everyone I was wrong and corrected me in front of everyone. Although this seems like a mild case, my anger rose to the roof, and I completely shut down. My honor and respect had been destroyed by my own wife along with everyone else in the room. Fortunately, we were able to talk about it on the way home and resolve it. The interesting part was that she had no idea this situation spoke disrespect. And because she is a wonderful wife, she makes every effort to not do this again.

Men, does your wife understand what respect means to you? Do you know what it looks like? If you’re struggling in your marriage, sit down with your wife and let her know what respect looks like to you in a very loving way. Do it today!

2. Show appreciation. I don’t know how else to say it, but men love to be appreciated. Even if we just took out the trash, we love to know that you noticed and are grateful. Call us shallow if you please, but it is just the way we were built.

Here are a few other examples of appreciation: “Thank you for working hard each day for our family,” “Thank you for being a present and supportive father,” “Thank you for being a faithful husband.” Just as your wife needs to hear the words “I love you” often, we need to hear the words “I appreciate you.”

Let’s take this thought a step further, though. A couple of years ago, my beautiful wife and I decided to be grateful for all of the little things we do for each other as often as possible. What does this look like? “Thank you for making a great dinner.” “Thank you for mowing the lawn. It looks great.” “Thank you for doing the laundry.”

There are no limits to showing appreciation for your spouse. The real trick is learning to be consistent. And be careful to never get into the habit of assuming your spouse knows you’re grateful or knows they love you. Say the words, and say them often! 

Men, are you leading a marriage that is appreciative and thankful? Dig deep this week and show appreciation to your wife for the many things she does for you. Before long, you will hear the words coming back to you. Do it today!

3. Show support. Showing support is a big part of respect. Wives, sometimes you may have to be supporting something crazy, but a husband needs to know you support him and will root for him. What are some examples of support? “You did a great job on completing that project for work.” “You played a really great game tonight.”

One of the great ways my wife shows support for me is in my writing of my blog. I love the fact that she has the site saved on her favorites. She will engage with me about posts I have written, and on occasion she will tell me how proud she is of me that I continue to write. All of that is a huge encouragement to me, and I love the support.

Men, are you struggling with this in your marriage? Again, this might be an area that your wife does not understand. In a loving way, let her know that you need and appreciate her support. Do it today!

4. Be encouraging. It can be a bold and brutal world sometimes, and sometimes the only encouragement we can depend on is from our wife. This is another critical aspect of respect and the needs of a man. What are some examples of encouragement? “Don’t give up; you’re doing a great job,” “Keep up the great work on the housework,” "Don’t worry; keep up the great work; the finances will pick up soon.”

There have been many times in my own marriage where I have been down or depressed and my wife has been there to encourage me and lift me back up. Wives, we need to know you are our biggest fan!

Men, if you feel like you don’t get any appreciation from your wife, let her know in a loving way this week. In the meantime, continue to encourage her in all of her endeavors. Do it today!

5. Be his desire. In most cases, men and women see desire in a much different way. One of the main reasons is that men are much more visual than women. How does a man deal with desire in marriage? First of all, you keep your eyes on your wife. As they say, “The grass is always greener where you water it.”

Men, we must stay focused on our wives' inner and outer beauty and not get trapped into the false desires the world tries to offer us. Wives, when we comment on your beauty in any way, embrace it! No matter how you feel about yourself or what other people say, indulge in the love and affection your husband is showing you. Your simple embracing of it will give him the encouragement he needs to continue doing it.

I struggled with telling my wonderful wife how beautiful she was when we were first married. I went with the “assumption” route as I mentioned above and figured she knew what I thought about her. This is the wrong path. Just as men need to hear encouragement, wives need to hear their husbands love them.

“I will keep my wife as my desire." "I will keep my husband as my desire." If you are having issues in this area, put your line above somewhere where you can see it everyday and be reminded. Do it today!

Questions, concerns, thoughts? If so, mention them in the comments section below and in the meantime ... get to work!

Manturity is a blog built on establishing spiritual maturity in today’s man. The goal is to assist men in building better marriages and help them in grow in maturity and explore different aspects of manhood. features new weekly blog posts, daily social media updates and a powerful resources page. Stay up to date with the Manturity blog communities on Facebook and Twitter.

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