In honor of Valentines Day, I thought I’d share my thoughts with you on how to make sure your husband is happily married and what he needs from you, his wife.
I love men. I’ve always loved guys. They are just different from women. They are straight forward and mostly predictable. They are methodical and usually focus on one thing at a time. And they try hard at making the woman in their life happy (at least the well-adjusted ones).
How can we make our husbands happy? What do men need? Is there a secret formula? The good news is that there is!
Just like women, men need to feel supported and loved by their wives… but what makes them feel loved and supported may not be what you think! Women need safety, security, emotional and financial support along with nurturing and a man that makes her feel sexy– this is just a short list of what women tend to need from their husbands. So it makes sense that we as women try to give our men these things that WE would want and need. But unfortunately with this approach, we’re really giving our man what a woman would need, not what a man really needs. Most women are not conscious of this and may be able make her husband happier by consciously giving him what a MAN really needs.
What does a man really need from his wife? Here are some basic things that men need. This is not to say that these are the only things your man in particular needs, but these are things that nearly every man requires to be happy in his marriage…
The Temptress, The Mother and The Queen– Men need to experience all three of these qualities in their wife in order to have a fulfilling marriage. I took a course called Understanding Men where I learned about the archetypes– the Temptress, the Mother and the Queen. The Temptress is sexy and flirtatious. She makes him feel sexy, playful and wanted. The Mother is loving and nurturing. She takes care of him and does things that soothe him. The Queen is his partner. She can hold down the fort and run the castle if he is away. She “has his back” on all matters and will make sure that no one takes down their castle. If you are missing one of these qualities, your man is probably feeling a loss in that area too. He may find something (alcohol, drugs or some distraction) or someone to replace that quality (a maid to clean, a cook, a massage therapist to nurture, a woman friend to flirt with, someone else in the family he feels he can rely on if he doesn’t have his queen) , but these relationships can sometimes lead to strife or an extra-marital affair since they are getting a crucial need met somewhere else. Or if a child is taking on the role, it can take its toll on the healthy balance of family dynamics. Being only the Temptress, your relationship will only be based on attraction and sex. Being only the Mother, your relationship will be only about taking care of him. Being only the Queen, your relationship may be a great partnership, but lacking warmth, feeling and intimacy. Our husbands need a particular balance of all three archetypes based on their individual needs.
If you are missing one of these qualities and you don’t know how to interact with your husband in that way, what should you do? Talk to your husband about it. If it is being the Temptress, talk to him about when you first met and what first attracted you to him and ask him what attracted him about you, then suggest you pretend that you’re on a first date to get that flirtiness back. If it is being the Mother, tell him that you would like to be more nurturing and offer him a foot rub, back rub or ask him what would make him feel taken care of and cared for. If it is being the Queen, besides taking care of the household (which is no small task I might add), take interest in what he is interested in and try to support him in his goals and aspirations. Any effort you make to be the Temptress, Mother and Queen may surprise him, and ultimately will be appreciated (if he understands that you are trying to be the best wife).
Another thing you may not know is that a man needs to feel admired. I tell my husband how much he impresses me all the time. It is important for them to know that they are “The Man!” Men have egos. They like to feel manly (for the most part). They like to know that they are in your eyes “cool” or “smart” or “sexy” or amazing in some way. Tell him how incredible he is.
Here’s something you probably don’t know– Men love to make us happy. They live for it. They want to know that they are doing something that makes us smile, gives us pleasure, takes away discomfort or makes us sigh in admiration. They want to be our hero. Even though you might be very capable of doing everything yourself… Let him be your hero. Let him help you, give you joy and then LET HIM KNOW how happy he made you or how good he made you feel.
Make sure he knows you’re on the same team. As I explained in detail in a previous post (called Husband Feeling Neglected After the Baby Is Born?), we need to be on the same side as our husbands. Many marriages are adversarial, where each person is fighting to get their needs met. If instead, both of your actions are motivated by “playing for the team”, no one has to feel at a loss, neglected or taken for granted. You and your husband will feel supported by the other’s actions.
Give 80/80 rather than 50/50. If you give eighty percent and he gives eighty percent (as opposed to 50/50), you both will feel so supported that you will want to do more for each other. It becomes a vicious cycle of love and support.
Another thing women fail to see that men value… Women are mysterious creatures to men. It’s not only that we think and act differently, but they sense this mystical power that we have (to create babies, to charm them, to inspire them). Men innately know that they need women. And once they have a woman with all three qualities of the Temptress, the Mother, and the Queen, they get the sense that they can accomplish more than they could on their own. They feel inspired by this partnership to do something greater than they thought they could do before (become a father, husband or fulfill a dream). Knowing this, a woman can actively inspire her husband to be the best he can be. She can be his backbone or his rock that he needs. In turn, he will be the most loyal, loving, supportive, appreciative, kind, generous man that you’ve ever seen.
Here’s to Your Happy Marriage,
Your Sensible Girlfriend
P.S. Much of this info comes from Understanding Men PAX Seminars originated by Alison Armstrong. Amazingly helpful information for single or married women.