Being a husband isn’t easy. Learning what my wife needs from me is a process that I have defined, redefined and refined over the years. She and I may have a lot in common, but I have come to realize that her needs are very different from my own.
(If you’re reading this thinking “I’ve already read this before”, you might be thinking about the post Be the Wife He Needs – Answer His Questions. The introductions to the topics are almost identical, but the questions to answer are completely different so please read on.)
If you have ever studied the five love languages, then you know that you and your spouse have certain “ways” that you express your love, naturally, to each other and to others. When you and your spouse speak different love languages, though, you must learn the other’s language so that you can speak it directly to her.
Taryn and I have completely different love languages. She’s “quality time”, and I’m “physical touch”. If I speak to her in mine, it’s like me speaking French to a German. I have learned to speak to her in her own love language, though not as natural to me. It increases our communication and is effective beyond what I ever thought it would be. She feels loved when I stop and spend quality time with her. When she feels loved, she is more willing to speak my language.
Like love languages, men and women have their own unique set of prevailing questions that they ask their spouses, though not always aloud. These questions are independent of age, race, ethnicity and religion. Women ask these questions early on – beginning in their younger years and continue to ask them throughout their lives.
The two prevailing questions that women ask are:
- Do you see me?
- Do you delight in me?
Men have their own set of questions that you can read about here.
A woman absolutely positively needs to know that you see her and you delight in her. Just take a look around, aren’t they all (at least most) screaming those two questions?
Some go to more extremes than others, but all women are asking those two questions. They’ve been asking them since they were young girls. They are asking them today. And they will be asking them as far into the future as I can see.
Please don’t mistake these questions as being just about outward beauty. Women often try to get the answers to these questions by highlighting their outward beauty. But, eventually the facts of life take over and they can no longer get the answers to the questions met with outward beauty.
Some try. They undergo surgeries trying to keep hold of the outward beauty that has always helped get those questions answered. But in the end, age takes over and beauty can’t do it’s job any longer.
But the questions are still there. I would guess that the questions become even more critical. I can hear them asking, “Now that I’m not young and beautiful do you STILL see me and do you STILL delight in me?”
Even though in her eyes she thinks she has, Taryn hasn’t entered that phase yet. Outwardly, I think she is more beautiful than ever. But “that” day will come. Gravity will take it’s toll. The wrinkles will overwhelm, but I have no doubt in my mind that my answer to both questions will still be a resounding YES! As beautiful as Taryn is, her inward beauty has always been more than her outward beauty and it always will be.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that I always do a good job of answering the questions for Taryn. I think the biggest reason I struggle with this is the answers are blatantly obvious to me.
Do I see her? Yes. I see her. I can’t explain what happens the second that Taryn walks into a room. I can be standing in a room of over 100 people and I’ll know the second she walks in.
The first time I ever saw Taryn there was a glow about her. It’s hard to explain, but she looked almost angelic. Maybe you’ve experienced the same thing with your wife. Well that glow still happens today. When Taryn walks into a room, it’s like the room goes from pitch black to having the lights turned on.
Do I see her? Every. Single. Time. She’s around. Do I delight in her? OH! YEAH! I definitely delight in her, but the challenge is letting her know the answers to those two questions.
The answers are so obvious and so set in stone in my mind, that I often forget to answer them for her. The other challenge that I have is that sometimes I’m so focused on me that I forget that she has needs too.
One of the positive characteristics of Taryn’s personality is her concern for other people. And thankfully I’m at the top of her list. Sometimes she does such a good job at taking care of me I forget that just because I’m feeling great doesn’t mean I’m answering her questions.
We men MUST make sure we answer these questions for our wives, and we have to answer them consistently. Just because we answered them on our wedding day doesn’t mean they stopped asking them. They ask them all day everyday.
Here are a four tips to help you answer those two questions for your wife:
1. Remember that her questions are different from your questions. And the way you answer them will be different than the way you want your questions answered. I want Taryn to answer my questions by touching me and by telling me. She wants her questions answered by me stopping what I’m doing and making her a bigger priority than work or my to-do list.
2. Figure out her love language and speak it. Answer her questions in her love language and a few other languages too. If your wife’s love language is gifts, you need to be buying flowers, etc… often. I feel fortunate that Taryn’s love language isn’t gifts, but as I mentioned above, I have to force myself to stop and focus on her. Even though the reason I make all of the effort and take on all of the stress that I do is because I want to give her the best life possible, she doesn’t feel love by my effort. She feels love when I stop everything else and focus on her. Go buy this book, find your spouse’s love language, and speak it.
3. Setup a reminder for yourself. One of the big reasons I don’t answer these questions for Taryn often enough is because they’re not on my mind. I don’t ask these questions myself so I’m not thinking about them. Sure, when I fail her and I see the evidence that I’m not doing my job, I remember. But the better scenario is to remember before the failure. Set a reminder on your calendar. Whatever works for you. Every day, every other day, once a week. Whatever you think will work. Set a reminder and get it to the front of your mind.
4. Finally, take some time to stop and think. Take 10 minutes and think about these two questions and how they relate to your wife. She needs to know that you see her. She needs to know that you delight in her. Be the husband she needs by answering her questions.
Question: How often do you intentionally answer these questions for your wife? How often do you think you should? Even if you’re not doing it at all yet, let us know in the comments section below.