“She just doesn’t understand my needs. I don’t get it. After all these years, she still doesn’t know what I care about. She just doesn’t get me. We’ve been together for _____ years, so she has to know. That’s even worse, because it means that she just doesn’t care.”
In moments of reflection and frustration, every man has said these words or something similar. We’ve probably not said them out loud, but we’ve said them to ourselves. And let’s just be honest, most of the time this mental dialogue is related to sex. For whatever reason, our wives are not meeting our sexual needs, desires, or expectations. But the “she doesn’t get me” phenomenon is not limited to sex; it can be much broader.
Our wives don’t understand our need to spend time with our friends. We want to go out for dinner or drinks, we want to go on golf/hunting/fishing/Vegas trips, we want to hang out and watch ballgames. She doesn’t understand why we can’t be content to be at home with her and the kids all the time.
They don’t understand our need to work later or more often. We have a project that we really need to finish or really want to pursue, a promotion that we want, or a business that we want to start, but they just want us at home to help with the kids or the housework.
They don’t understand our need to work out. We can’t wait to hit the gym and put up some heavy weight. It relieves stress. It gives a sense of accomplishment. It builds strength and muscle. It gives confidence. They don’t get it. “You want to work all day, then go work out, while I’m watching the kids?”
They don’t understand our need to achieve. They don’t understand our need to compete. To be the best. To keep pushing. To get better and better and better. To be respected. “The kids and I love you, honey, isn’t that enough?”
We all go through it. Men are from Mars, women are from Venus. They don’t get us. Even if she had a great father, your wife isn’t going to understand your needs. Great wives will acknowledge this fact, then put in the mental work to grow in their understanding of their husband’s needs. Which brings me to my main point:
You don’t understand her needs either, brother. Those frustrations you feel when she’s not in tune with your sexual desires? She feels them too, but it’s because you’re not making her feel loved, cared for, or sexy. You haven’t made her feel like the hottest woman on the planet. The result: she’s not comfortable enough to be free in her sexual expression.
You know those flowers that she keeps buying for the kitchen table? She wants you to get them. For her. You don’t get that the thoughtfulness involved in buying her something beautiful touches a deep place in her heart and makes her feel cared for.
You know how she always feels like you think the other girls in your life are prettier than her? She wants you to show her that it’s not true. Don’t just tell her. Show her.
You know how she just lays all her problems out on the table for you, then won’t take a single bit of advice you give her? Maybe she even fights with you when you give the advice. She doesn’t want advice. She doesn’t want problem solving. She doesn’t want your psychoanalysis. She wants to be heard. To know that you’re with her. To know that she’s not facing the world alone.
And here’s the deal: you might be doing the right things, logically speaking. You’re providing. You’re setting direction for the family. You’re taking care of the family’s needs. Hundreds of thousands of women would be thrilled with what you’re doing. But your wife is not feeling loved. That’s a problem. The goal of a marriage is not to be right, but to lift each other while building something special, meaningful, and lasting. So it’s not enough to do things that would please other women; you have to figure out and do the things that will make your woman thrive.
So that’s where we start: what does my wife need from me? Not what do women need, generally: what does my wife need?
- Does she need compliments?
- Does she need gifts?
- Does she need a listening ear?
- Does she need a hug?
- Does she need a nap?
- Does she need to get out of the house?
- Does she need a girls’ night?
- Does she need a vacation with her sister?
- Does she need a job?
- Does she need a new job?
- Does she need more foreplay?
- Does she need less?
- Does she need me to give the kids a bath?
- Does she need me to take care of dinner tonight?
Certainly, your wife may be out of balance. She may not be meeting your needs because she has unreasonable hang-ups about sex, or perhaps she gets mad when you go out with the guys because she has trust issues. Those things are real and should be addressed. But you probably won’t know if those issues exist until you do the hard work of understanding your wife and then diligently meeting her needs.
So here’s our point today: we know what it’s like for our wives to not understand us. Every man wants a wife who understands what he really wants and needs in life, and then give herself to making it happen. But what we forget is that women want the same thing. Make it your goal for your wife to regularly have moments where she says, with a smile on her face: “he gets me.”
Here’s a useful exercise to get you started. Ask yourself how your wife would finish this sentence: “I really wish my husband would ___________.” There are likely multiple answers for each aspect of life. Most men can quickly finish that sentence when it pertains to what they wish their wives would do for them. If you want your wife to thrive, figure out what she really wants you to do for her.
Look, I totally get that sometimes what our wives need differs from what they want. But we need to recognize that sometimes they need what they want. Just like sometimes you need what you want. So figure it out, then go make it happen for them. Just know that, when your wife presents a problem to you, sometimes solving it means just listening to her tell you about it. This is the man’s life.
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