What Husbands Want Most From Their Wives


#1

A great article from a Christian website.

What Husbands Want Most From Their Wives
by Karol Ladd

Ever since Paramount released the Mel Gibson movie What Women Want a few years ago, interest seems to have skyrocketed in finding out the “inside scoop” on what the opposite sex truly wants and desires. Perhaps you have seen some of the surveys on this topic that have been circulating in books, magazines, and e-mails. What would you guess is at the top of most husbands’ lists of things they want from their wives? Sex, right? That was my first guess too. In our current cultural climate, it’s easy to assume that sex dominates every man’s thoughts, hopes, and dreams. And it’s true that sex does rank high on most husbands’ want lists. But ask men what they want first and foremost from their wives, and the majority will not say, “Sex.” They’ll answer, “Respect.”

crosswalk.com/family/marriage/1256303.html

If any catholic answers women know of any good articles discussing what men can do to be better husbands/partners, I encourage you to start a thread on it. :slight_smile:

Blessings.
%between%


#2

Thanks for the link, Jay!

I e-mailed the article to a friend, and will add the book to my wishlist. It sounds like it is in the same vein as Dr. Laura Schlessinger’s book, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.” Her listeners conclude that the top 3 things men want is:

  1. Respect
  2. Good lovin’
  3. Good food

I like the Christian basis for this book. I even cut & pasted the author’s list of synonyms for how a wife respects her husband:

She notices him.
She regards him.
She honors him.
She prefers him.
She venerates him.
She esteems him.
She defers to him.
She praises him.
She loves him.
She admires him exceedingly.

My husband once told me (the topic of convo was another couple’s marriage dynamics) that he thought he would rather live with a wife who didn’t love him than one who didn’t respect him. Wow!


#3

To understand this we must understand Gabriel’s message to St Joseph, “Do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife”.

This set up the new economy of marriage or should we say reinstates the old economy.

Why should St Joseph be afraid?

Is St Joseph a priest? Why or why not, explain.

This changes everything.

If I were St Joseph I would remain silent.


#4

How is one to respect her husband when she has lost respect for him?


#5

[quote=Lexee15]How is one to respect her husband when she has lost respect for him?
[/quote]

Oh, man, Lexee! What a big, fat, whopper of a question!! I have actually already been pondering this for a few hours, since I am trying to prayerfully discern the best way to respond to a female married friend who could very possibly ask me that question tomorrow.

How did the woman’s husband lose his wife’s respect? (with the word “lose” being used in both the active and passive sense, depending)

If he has done something reprehensible & she loses respect for him, then I think that she regains respect for him as he earns it back by behaving in a respect-worthy manner. (Notice I said “behaving”, not “talking.”) A wife losing respect for her husband in this scenario would seem to be the expected consequence of his behavior.

If she has lost respect for her husband because she has forgotten that he is a human with frailties & weaknesses, and she demands more of him than she does of herself, then I’d say she’s got a little bit of work to do.

Off the top of my head, (at the end of a loooonng day for me :yawn: ) my first thought is the phrase, “Fake it 'til ya make it”, i.e., if it’s the second scenario & the wife needs to do the work to learn to respect her husband, she can start by behaving as if she respected him. So, that list in my previous post with the ways a wife shows respect? She could print it out, write it on the back of her hand or tattoo it to her forearm :stuck_out_tongue: and look for any chance she could to do any or all of the 10 each day. I think it would be next to impossible for a husband not to behave even more worthy of respect, thereby giving his wife even more for which she may respect him. Kind of a vicious cycle in a good way, kwim?

Anyway, I’ll give it some more thought & see what other folks have to contribute as well.


#6

I agree with Stephanie, what a tough question! I suppose it depends on in what way you don’t respect him. I think little things help, like soliciting his opinion on things, always greeting him when he comes home, admire his shoulders (or however you do that sort of thing), seem attracted to him, do small things to make his life easier, schedule time with friends so as to make clear time for him, talk about him correctly with your friends, tell him how glad you are that he is handling that horrid __________ matter [fill in with insurance, tax, bank, plumbing, car, school, etc]. I assume every marriage will be different this way. Appreciate him, somehow, like you want to be with him, and prefer him over your friends, in an appropriate sense.

It is massively easier to do these things if he hasn’t done anything reprehensible in recent memory. I mean, if he just had an affair, the best you might be able to do is have a nice plate of food just for him when he comes home from work (and not snarl at him as you hand it over.:D)


#7

[quote=Lexee15]How is one to respect her husband when she has lost respect for him?
[/quote]

As someone said before, that is a loaded question, and we can’t give an answer without knowing why respect was lost. Has respect been lost because he is a bum, an alcholic, an adulterer, etc.? Or was respect lost because his wife dismisses his opinions, needs and feelings; finds fault in everything he does; nags, demands and complains constantly; buys into the “husbands are stupid” motiffs so popular in our culture, especially in the world of television; etc.?

I’m not blaming you or him either one, I’m merely pointing out that only you can determine that at this point. I’m hoping that you’ve lost respect because of your attitude and not his actions–not to blame the wife instead of the man, but simply because that is much easier to fix. If he did something crazy like an affair, then its tough.

If you are like many a women I know of, you may treat him disrespectfully, and say it is because he is cold and unloving. Perhaps if you treated him more respectfully, he would be more loving. I remember a caller to Dr. Laura, where the wife wanted more flowers and romance, and the response was basically “you’d probably have a better shot at romance if you wouldn’t have just told hubby he’s stupid.” This should be easy for both men and women to understand. Let’s say, hypothetically, a husband was upset because his wife rejected him in bed, and the wife’s response was “I may have more interest if you wouldn’t have just told me I’m unattractive.”

Men and women think differently–men want respect, and women want love. When one need is cut off, the other tends to follow. Disrespect a husband, and he’ll have trouble showing love. Treat a wife in an unloving manner, and she’ll have trouble showing respect.

I ramble. lol. But another thing I think is troubling marriage is that somewhere we have got the silly notion in our heads that “love should be unconditional” but “respect should be earned.” Imagine walking down the street and you say “how are you?” to someone as they pass by, and they respond by saying “that’s none of your business, shut your mouth and go away.” You say “why are you so disrespectful” and their response is “respect is earned, and you haven’t earned my respect.” See my point? We must treat each other respectfully, even if we dont’ feel like it. And in marriage, that is a divine commandment by God. Just as loving each other is, even if we don’t feel like it.

I jumped around a bit, but I hope you understand. If he hasn’t done something horrible, then you must treat him with respect, even if you dont’ feel like it. If you don’t, you’re not only damaging your marriage and home, you’d cutting off a chance to be treated in a loving manner.

Blessings.


#8

[quote=Jay74]As someone said before, that is a loaded question, and we can’t give an answer without knowing why respect was lost. Has respect been lost because he is a bum, an alcholic, an adulterer, etc.? Or was respect lost because his wife dismisses his opinions, needs and feelings; finds fault in everything he does; nags, demands and complains constantly; buys into the “husbands are stupid” motiffs so popular in our culture, especially in the world of television; etc.?

I’m not blaming you or him either one, I’m merely pointing out that only you can determine that at this point. I’m hoping that you’ve lost respect because of your attitude and not his actions–not to blame the wife instead of the man, but simply because that is much easier to fix. If he did something crazy like an affair, then its tough.

If you are like many a women I know of, you may treat him disrespectfully, and say it is because he is cold and unloving. Perhaps if you treated him more respectfully, he would be more loving. I remember a caller to Dr. Laura, where the wife wanted more flowers and romance, and the response was basically “you’d probably have a better shot at romance if you wouldn’t have just told hubby he’s stupid.” This should be easy for both men and women to understand. Let’s say, hypothetically, a husband was upset because his wife rejected him in bed, and the wife’s response was “I may have more interest if you wouldn’t have just told me I’m unattractive.”

Men and women think differently–men want respect, and women want love. When one need is cut off, the other tends to follow. Disrespect a husband, and he’ll have trouble showing love. Treat a wife in an unloving manner, and she’ll have trouble showing respect.

I ramble. lol. But another thing I think is troubling marriage is that somewhere we have got the silly notion in our heads that “love should be unconditional” but “respect should be earned.” Imagine walking down the street and you say “how are you?” to someone as they pass by, and they respond by saying “that’s none of your business, shut your mouth and go away.” You say “why are you so disrespectful” and their response is “respect is earned, and you haven’t earned my respect.” See my point? We must treat each other respectfully, even if we dont’ feel like it. And in marriage, that is a divine commandment by God. Just as loving each other is, even if we don’t feel like it.

I jumped around a bit, but I hope you understand. If he hasn’t done something horrible, then you must treat him with respect, even if you dont’ feel like it. If you don’t, you’re not only damaging your marriage and home, you’d cutting off a chance to be treated in a loving manner.

Blessings.
[/quote]

Thanks for that Jay74, and I totally agree with you. I never thought in a million years that I would not be able to repect my husband…but I don’t anymore…I even find it difficult to be nice. My husband has had multiple affairs since we’ve been married, while I’ve been pregnant, etc. I strongly believe he was having them before we married, while having these affairs he’s treated my cruely and coldly. The only way he contributes to this family is financially, my son gets very little attention from his dad and I know the one on the way will get even less. He spends our money on his girlfriends, drinking and casinos; he also expects me to open the doors of my home to his friends that support and help him in his adultry! To be honest it’s been only by the grace of God that I haven’t gone ballistic on him!!! I pray everyday that He make me a better person so that I can at least be civil to my husband. I may not have been the perfect wife, but there was no doubt that I respected him and my marriage…after being married only two years I was learning to be a wife since I was a career woman before I married, I just felt something was going on from the very beginning but no way to prove it…now I have. I don’t respect him, he’s a liar, a drunk, an adulterer and a gambler, he has no concience and doesn’t care how his actions affect others as long as he’s doing and getting what he wants.


#9

[quote=Lexee15]Thanks for that Jay74, and I totally agree with you. I never thought in a million years that I would not be able to repect my husband…but I don’t anymore…I even find it difficult to be nice. My husband has had multiple affairs since we’ve been married, while I’ve been pregnant, etc. I strongly believe he was having them before we married, while having these affairs he’s treated my cruely and coldly. The only way he contributes to this family is financially, my son gets very little attention from his dad and I know the one on the way will get even less. He spends our money on his girlfriends, drinking and casinos; he also expects me to open the doors of my home to his friends that support and help him in his adultry! To be honest it’s been only by the grace of God that I haven’t gone ballistic on him!!! I pray everyday that He make me a better person so that I can at least be civil to my husband. I may not have been the perfect wife, but there was no doubt that I respected him and my marriage…after being married only two years I was learning to be a wife since I was a career woman before I married, I just felt something was going on from the very beginning but no way to prove it…now I have. I don’t respect him, he’s a liar, a drunk, an adulterer and a gambler, he has no concience and doesn’t care how his actions affect others as long as he’s doing and getting what he wants.
[/quote]

Thank you for your reply. It is certainly understandable that you don’t respect him, and it is his own doing. Since you shared, i’ll share–my wife was divorced when we met, her husband had several affairs and actually had 3 women pregnant at the same time (my wife miscarried). She divorced him, and rightly so. She shudders to think if they had kids.

I’m sure you understand why I was hoping it was your attitude and not his actions, because this is very tough to fix. I still recommend, though, if you are staying because of the kids, that you be respectful and nice when the kids are watching.
They need to learn the appropriate behavior from at least one parent. As far as real respect and intimacy, unless he has a true conversion, I don’t think you have an obligation in private.

You’ll be in many prayers. God bless.


#10

[quote=Jay74]But another thing I think is troubling marriage is that somewhere we have got the silly notion in our heads that “love should be unconditional” but “respect should be earned.”
[/quote]

As for the latter, it is true in some contexts, not true in others. And this causes confusion. We are all obliged to respect each other’s dignity as persons. And this type of respect extends to the home. Husbands and fathers are owed the respect due to their status as husbands and fathers. Likewise, for wives and mothers. They don’t earn it. Their status makes it obligatory. Our sin makes it more difficult for others to cheerfully fulfill their obligations toward us. But the obligations remain because the status remains. I don’t stop being a father when I sin. The commandment isn’t honor your father and mother unless they sin. It’s simply honor your father and mother. The last thing I want to hear my wife tell me, especially in front of the kids, is that respect is earned. Not in this context, it isn’t. It’s owed. PERIOD. Kids hear this message as a giant loophole…if dad sins I don’t owe him respect. Baloney. What dad doesn’t sin?

Another type of respect is built up over time due to a person’s increasing competence in the workplace. In this context, it is correct to say respect is earned. No one owes respect for my competence unless I demonstrate competence.


#11

[quote=miguel]As for the latter, it is true in some contexts, not true in others. And this causes confusion. We are all obliged to respect each other’s dignity as persons. And this type of respect extends to the home. Husbands and fathers are owed the respect due to their status as husbands and fathers. Likewise, for wives and mothers. They don’t earn it. Their status makes it obligatory. Our sin makes it more difficult for others to cheerfully fulfill their obligations toward us. But the obligations remain because the status remains. I don’t stop being a father when I sin. The commandment isn’t honor your father and mother unless they sin. It’s simply honor your father and mother. The last thing I want to hear my wife tell me, especially in front of the kids, is that respect is earned. Not in this context, it isn’t. It’s owed. PERIOD. Kids hear this message as a giant loophole…if dad sins I don’t owe him respect. Baloney. What dad doesn’t sin?

Another type of respect is built up over time due to a person’s increasing competence in the workplace. In this context, it is correct to say respect is earned. No one owes respect for my competence unless I demonstrate competence.
[/quote]

That’s a very insightful, and true, perspective.

It is also worth mentioning, as far as respect in marriage is concerned (and love too, for that matter), is that if you have decided to marry this person, the issue of whether or not they have earned respect (or whether you love them) should have been settled before the marriage. Wait–back up–settled before one agreed to marry them.

Blessings to you, and thank you.


#12

[quote=Jay74]Thank you for your reply. It is certainly understandable that you don’t respect him, and it is his own doing. Since you shared, i’ll share–my wife was divorced when we met, her husband had several affairs and actually had 3 women pregnant at the same time (my wife miscarried). She divorced him, and rightly so. She shudders to think if they had kids.

I’m sure you understand why I was hoping it was your attitude and not his actions, because this is very tough to fix. I still recommend, though, if you are staying because of the kids, that you be respectful and nice when the kids are watching.
They need to learn the appropriate behavior from at least one parent. As far as real respect and intimacy, unless he has a true conversion, I don’t think you have an obligation in private.

You’ll be in many prayers. God bless.
[/quote]

Thank you Jay74, I don"t think there will be any conversions…at least not while we’re together. I’m only staying at the moment because I need to get all my affairs in order and with this other baby on the way I also need his health insurance otherwise I would have been gone. We don’t have a real marriage, feels more like roomates that sleep in the same bed…less than that actually, roomates talk and usually have a connection of some sort, at least I did with all my roomates we got along really well, not with my husband. We really have nothing to say to each other and I prefer life when he’s not around.

I responded to this post because I was getting worried that I was feeling less and less charitable towards him. Any respect I had for him is gone and it makes it easy to be mean and rude, I never said bad words when I spoke to him before but they seem to come so easily now and I don’t care if I offend him, I don’t think it hurts his feelings it’s more of a macho thing, a women does not talk to him like that…she doesn’t dare. I don’t care anymore if it hurts him or just ticks him off, I suppose it’s wrong and that’s why I posted, what’s a person in my position to do, I’m certainly not a saint or a martyr, I don’t take these slaps to the face so acceptingly, it’s hard for me. Thanks for your story.


#13

[quote=Jay74]That’s a very insightful, and true, perspective.

It is also worth mentioning, as far as respect in marriage is concerned (and love too, for that matter), is that if you have decided to marry this person, the issue of whether or not they have earned respect (or whether you love them) should have been settled before the marriage. Wait–back up–settled before one agreed to marry them.

Blessings to you, and thank you.
[/quote]

Thank you for bringing it up. I can tell you my wife and I wrestled over that one. It’s one of those slogans with a ring of truth.

As for respect and love being settled matters before marriage, they should be. But things can become unsettled…when we uncritically accept certain slogans for instance.


#14

[quote=miguel]But things can become unsettled…when we uncritically accept certain slogans for instance.
[/quote]

Very true. I’m not certain how many spouses justify their disrespect by saying “respect is earned,” but I’ll bet the ones who have would likely become the most hostile if someone justified treating them unlovingly by saying “love is earned.”


#15

Lexee,

I just wanted to tell you how deeply your posts have touched me. I have prayed, and will continue to pray for you, your husband, your babies, and for God’s will to be done in your lives.

I know you posted to talk about the respect thing, but if you’d like to PM me, I’d be glad to help by listening (reading) and continued praying. Your husband is still to be respected as a child of God & His unique creation, but it seems appropriate that your respect for him as a husband has diminished due to his actions.

Remember that you are a beloved daughter of a King. A Princess! Carrying life within your body, you are a living reminder to the world of the One who became man for us. May Our Lady of Guadalupe shield you from all worry, and may St. Joseph intercede by turning your husband back to his family.

God bless.


#16

Thank you for linking to such a wonderful article.

Even before reading the rest of the posts, a quote from the article stood out to me (emphasis mine): “…suffice it to say that just as your mother highly esteemed your school art project – not because the artwork deserved it, but because you made it – so, too, you should esteem and respect your husband, not because he deserves it, but because he was created by God.”

Lexee, It sounds like you’ve been through many difficulties in your marriage and your husband has fallen significantly short of the dignity God intended for him. I’m sure it must be hard to respect him after what he’s done. The article pointed out that wives should respect their husbands because of Who made them.


#17

There is a story in the book “Under the Mercy” by Sheldon Vanauken (p. 195 in my Ignatius Press edition), about what happened in a womens’ Bible study group when they came face to face with Ephesians 5 and similar Scriptures.They yielded to their husbands authority, and experienced an unexpected miracle. Their obedience was experienced by their husbands as a gift, and these womens’ respect and admiration for their husbands increased dramatically and much to their surprise.


#18

I listenned to a wonderful Catholic Psychologist speak to the Holy Scriptures’ passages that are often overlooked by many men and women. Everyone sees the parts that say “wives defer to your husbands”…I think the phrase he then used in his speech was "and the guys read this and say, ‘see that, honey? ok, now make me a sandwhich’. But they miss the parts of the Holy Scripture that direct a husband to love their wives as Jesus loved His Bride, the Church…and what, ultimately, did Jesus DO for His Bride?

He died for her.

Jesus provides for her, he protects her, he defers to her, he obeys her, he lives for her and ultimately he DIES for her.

That’s a lot for a good Catholic Christian man to do.

And I have been taught, in my 12 Step program, that the way to earn back the respect I (rightfully) lost due to my behavior when I was treating my alcoholism by drinking alcohol rather than the way I am treating it today is by doing things which EARN the respect of society, my family, my co-workers and my friends. I have been sober for 13 years…and it took at least six or SEVEN of those years before some people who had been through hell for and with me actually believed that I was SERIOUS about this ‘not drinking thing’.

I would hope, in my heart, that what husbands would want most from their wives would be respect, love and honor and a wife that would make Christ the center of their home.


#19

[quote=LSK]I listenned to a wonderful Catholic Psychologist speak to the Holy Scriptures’ passages that are often overlooked by many men and women. Everyone sees the parts that say “wives defer to your husbands”…I think the phrase he then used in his speech was "and the guys read this and say, ‘see that, honey? ok, now make me a sandwhich’. But they miss the parts of the Holy Scripture that direct a husband to love their wives as Jesus loved His Bride, the Church…and what, ultimately, did Jesus DO for His Bride?

He died for her.

.
[/quote]

Also in 1 Peter chapter 2:7, the husband has to **honors **his wife. if he doesn’t his prayers **won’**t be heard in heaven:eek: . I don’t know if Peter literally meant that the husband’s prayers would not be heard(some translations say hindered) , but if I was a married man this would worry me.


#20

An issue of concern about husbands who are a serious threat to the health of the wife or their children and for whatever reason , unaware of this / not choosing to be aware , the respectful thing to do would seem to be help him to know how serious his actions are by even a stepwise program of removing yourself physically etc;
In these days of AIDS etc; sexual immorality is a serious risk .

The scripture gives us plenty of examples of how The Father respects our freedom - an alcoholic or abusive husband is asking like the prodigal son to be let go , I would think.
And even if it causes pain , it might be the respectful thing to do - and hope and pray that he would come to his senses !
Hope they /he/she would have first tried the best -through fasting , almsgiving ,prayer esp. Eucharistic adoartion, Rosary, confession ( the full armor to fight the enemy - esp.the power of praise )counseling etc (www.exceptionalmarriages.com gives telethone counseling )

Have heard how Mo. Teresa used to tell the nuns about some really difficult persons - ‘here comes Jesus , in a very clever disguise’ Often joining with the person,in our heart , in prayer , reciting the Chaplet of mercy ( 'have mercy on us and the whole world ’ - www.thedivinemercy.org) would also help us to hold the peace- trusting that we would receieve the wisdom to deal with it all !
God Bless!


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