Based on the latest research and basic biological wiring, let’s explore what a husband needs from his wife. Here are four things that drive him, and four needs based on those desires.
Michelle and I often joke about the differences between men and women.
If men and women were televisions, men would be a basic black & white with rabbit ears; women would be the latest smart TV on the market.
If men and women were light switches, men would be a basic switch. On and off. Women would be a remote controlled mood light with multiple variations and controls.
Is this overstated? Of course. But it does ring with some truth.
Disclaimer: The content of this article could be considered stereotypes of men and women. While I’m sure some content is overstated to make a point, most recent studies in psychology validate the general principles in this article.
The reality is, men and women are different. And men are not as complex emotionally as women. Doesn’t make either better or worse. It just is. It’s a matter of wiring for the most part.
We are wired differently because we have unique functions. Men can’t give birth because we do not have wombs (and many other necessary components to do so). This is only part of what makes us unique and different. A study by Bruce Goldman at Stanford explains the cognitive differences in men and women.
We also have a very different emotional makeup. It’s not that women have emotions and men don’t. We are all emotional creatures. We just express those emotions in different ways.
I like to refer to this as wiring. Much like each house is wired differently based on the builder’s specifications and needs, men and women are wired in certain ways because our creator gave us unique gifts, callings, and assignments.
These differences should be celebrated. And acknowledged.
The Four (4) Drives Of A Man
A drive is different than a motivation. Motivation is emotional fuel to accomplish a task, project, or purpose. Drive is what makes us move in that direction in the first place.
Drive is base on our wiring. We do what we do because we have an inner drive to do so.
While this is grossly overstated (men have many other needs and drives), these four drives underpin almost everything motivation in a man.
Men are driven to:
On the other hand, women are have the drive to:
- And be Needed (my wife contributed these, not me)
We will discuss these needs in another article.
Back to men:
Are these drives over simplified? Again, yes. But they do make a point.
Let me explain each of these so you get a lay-of-the-land before we discuss what a husband needs from his wife.
Now that we’ve stated that, let’s look at the four fundamental drivers in a man’s life.
The evolutionist would say, this is because historically men are stronger and our forefathers were hunters and women were keepers of the cave.
The Biblicist would say, this is because God wired man this way.
As a Christian, I believe that we are created in the image of God. The picture of Eve being taken from Adam’s side demonstrates the fact that we are part of each other and need each other. In a sense, we complete each other.
Biologically this makes sense. I can’t have a family by myself. It takes man and woman to create new life and a family.
I don’t believe these differences and our need for one another stops with biology. We can make a case that this is true in almost every area of life.
This is why scripture stresses the fact that we become one flesh. There’s a great sense in which we need one another.
I bring all of this up to make the point that a husband and wife bring different things to the table, so to speak. One of the things men bring to the relationship is protection. We have an innate desire to protect.
This by no means mean that women don’t have a desire to protect. Hence the statement, don’t get between a mama bear and her cubs. And in one sense we all have this.
Yet men are wired to protect.
I jokingly say, ‘This is why women want their husbands to get out of bed in the middle of the night when they hear a noise. And not the other way around.’
Men tend to find a lot of their value in how well they provide for their family. This is certainly true in my life.
I realize my value is based on my relationship with God. But on a very basic, practical level (since I was designed to provide), my value is affirmed when I provide for my family.
Again, the evolutionist chalk this up to learn behavior over generations of time. I prefer to see it simply as wiring. We’re created this way.
Another disclaimer: This in no way implies women can’t provide or protect themselves, or need a man to take care of them. There are plenty of examples of female business leaders who are successful. I am simply pointing out the fact that men feel better about themselves when they provide well.
In one sense, we are all (male and female) wired to produce and accomplish things. We all have a creative element in our makeup.
Speaking as a man, the need to produce is a major driving force in everything we do.
This is why my recently retired neighbor has the best looking lawn in the neighborhood. He is not wired to sit and do nothing. He is compelled to produce something.
Since he retired, he puts his energy and creativity in his lawn. He has planted about ten trees, upgraded his landscaping, and reseeded his grass. He is extending his back patio, and adding on to his garage.
Does he need to do this? No. Not in the sense that his property was falling apart and needed the attention. He already had a very nice house.
But yes, in the sense that he (as a man) needs to produce something. He is not content being idle.
This is one of the reasons, according to some research, men tend to die shortly after retirement if they lose their sense of purpose.
We are wired to create, produce, and work.
This one can be easily misunderstood.
Let’s debunk to misconceptions.
Two things I am not saying:
First, I’m not implying that women don’t enjoy physical intimacy.
Obviously they do. But in general terms, there’s a difference in the sex drive of a male and that of a female. It’s even put in those terms. Sex drive. Most people acknowledge men and women differ in these drives.
Second, I’m not suggesting that men can’t control themselves and this is their primary drive. Neither of those is true.
I have mentioned before the approach to physical intimacy is different for men and women.
We will talk about this later but take note that these differences are important to understand.
There are many other differences between men and women. But these four drivers set the stage to answer the question, what does a husband need from his wife?
The Four (4) Basics Needs Of A Man
Because of these basic drives (protect, provide, produce, and procreate), there are four basic needs based on these drives.
- Physical Contact
Let’s look at these in relationship to man’s primary drivers.
Admiration is an important ingredient in healthy self-esteem. It’s that secret signal that tells us we’re doing things right.
Admiration is a form of validation.
Me and generally desire to be admired and approved of by others in their field. In fact, the more respect they have for the other person, the greater value they put on that person’s admiration of them. In other words, if a man respects you, it means a lot when he feels admired.
Because the husband and wife connection is so strong, a wife’s admiration means a lot to a man.
We all spell love in different ways. For some, love means spending time with them. For others. It’s words of affirmation. This has been well documented in the research by Gary Chapman in his book. The five Love languages.
One we often overlook, however, is admiration? It is that secret key that can unlock the heart of a man.
I call it a validation of excellence. It tells a man he is doing well.
So, how can a wife show her husband admiration?
It’s really not as difficult as it might first appear. Sometimes, just saying the words can make a huge impact on a man’s heart.
That is certainly not the only way to show admiration, but it’s the simplest way to start.
We all want to feel appreciated for what we do. Men are no different.
Because we’re wired to provide, appreciation is the best way to acknowledge and validate a man’s efforts.
According to a study published by Psychological Science:
Unequal and unfair division of household labor are key factors that predict relationship distress and demise, and household chores are a top cited source of conflict in couples.
In simple terms, when couples feel appreciated for their contribution to the family, it minimizes conflict and increases satisfaction in the relationship.
Allen W. Barton, Center for Family Research noted:
We found that feeling appreciated and believing that your spouse values you directly influences how you feel about your marriage, how committed you are to it, and your belief that it will last.(Source, Souce)
Admiration and appreciation go hand-in-hand. They both spell acceptance, approval, and validation.
The desire for respect is probably the biggest desire and need of a man.
It’s often how we measure our success. Am I respected in the workplace? Am I respected for what I accomplish?
Michelle and I often tell young, married couples, never underestimate your husband’s desire to feel respected. It is a powerful motivator in his life.
It is such a powerful desire, but it motivates most of his behavior. When that need is not met, he seeks for it.
Also Read: 7 Ways To Create Respect In Marriage
4) Physical Contact
I mentioned earlier how men and women approach physical intimacy in different ways. Here’s what I mean:
Women, generally speaking, desire physical intimacy because they feel connected to their husband.
By contrast, men desire physical intimacy to feel connected to their spouse.
There’s a subtle difference, but it is certainly something that needs to be considered. Does that mean this is true in every case? Of course not. But I have noticed this slight difference.
What does this look like in marriage?
To make a wife feel connected, the husband needs to start in the realm of emotions. Words are important. The culture of intimacy begins in the arena of the heart and mind.
It’s different with men. It begins with physical touch. Your hand in his hand. Running your fingers through his hair. This is the arena of intimacy for him.
This doesn’t mean the two arenas can’t converge. They should. And they do. It’s simply helpful to understand the process of how connection begins for men and women.
If you want to dig deeper into the different needs of men and women (husbands and wives), I recommend reading, ‘His Needs, Her Needs’ by Willard Harley (Buy On Amazon)
Final Thoughts on What a Husband Needs From His Wife
While men and women (husbands and wives) are similar, we are also very different.
At risk of putting either gender in a box, it is important to note those differences. It can result in success or failure in a marriage.
We began by discussing the four primary drivers that make men feel and behave the way they do. Then we used those concepts to answer the question, ‘hat does a husband need from his wife?’
- The Four (4) Drives Of A Man
- The Four (4) Basics Needs Of A Man
All images used by permission from Canva Pro license. Television images by ambassador806 and By ADMC(opens in a new tab or window) from Pixabay