Being a wife isn’t easy. Learning what my husband needs from me is a process that I have defined, redefined and refined over the years. He and I may have a lot in common, but I have come to realize that his needs are very different from my own. (To read about her needs click here.)
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 him. Troy and I have completely different love languages. He’s “physical touch”, and I’m “quality time”. If I speak to him in mine, it’s like me speaking French to a German. I have learned to speak to him in his own love language, though not as natural to me. It increases our communication and is effective beyond what I ever thought it would be. He feels loved when I touch him. When he feels loved, he is more willing to speak my language and spend more time with me.
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. Men ask these questions early on – beginning in their younger years and continuing throughout their lives.
The two prevailing questions that men ask are:
- Am I good enough?
- Do I have what it takes?
Women have their own set of questions, which I’ll save for another time.
A man needs affirmation from his wife. Affirmation is an essential building block to a healthy marriage and relationship. A man needs to know that his wife believes in him, believes he is good enough, and believes that he has what it takes to get the job done. And he needs to hear this from her often.
I learned the hard way recently that I wasn’t affirming Troy enough. I could see it on his face as the stress of work and family took its toll. I had failed him – albeit temporarily- by not communicating how he was doing. Troy had been working days, nights and weekends straight for 3 months. As the owner of a small business, this is not uncommon. But this is the time when I should have been stepping in affirming him even more than I do on any other given day. More than ever, he needed to know that I thought he was good enough. He needed to know that I thought he has what it takes.
As his wife, there is no person more important to him. There is no one else who he wants to answer those questions for him. I’ll admit that I have my moments where I fall into the role of a “victim” because I may not be getting what I need, and consequently I don’t tell him enough that he is doing a good job, that he can slay that dragon easily. Something snapped inside of me when I saw him broken in front of me. A conscious effort on my part along with a lot of love, humility and patience, and I was able to communicate to him that he is the most important person in my life. He is good enough and he has everything it takes to make it in this world of pressure, stress, deadlines, appointments, etc.
Take some time to think about these two questions and how they relate to your husband. He needs to hear that you believe in him, that you believe he is good enough and has what it takes. Be the wife he needs by answering his questions.
Share your thoughts on these two prevailing questions. How have you responded in the past when your spouse needs to hear these things from you?