The needs of a husband.
To start, ask him if he feels you’re looking out for him; can he tell how much you’re there for him? Then, ask him what are the best ways you can show him your support. Listen to his answer. Make an effort that very moment to respond to what he says.
Here’s what emotional support can look like:
He wants more physical affection and touch from you—and not just sex. Men tell me all the time how they want their significant other to show more affection. So cuddle up to him while you watch a show, give him a big hug and kiss hello, or give him a 5-minute should rub while you’re laying in bed together, getting ready to go to sleep. Make an effort to show some physical affection towards him consistently.
Every once in a while, he wants you to join him in his hobby. Maybe it’s going with him for that round of golf, or sitting with him in the basement while he plays guitar. What’s important is that you’re doing some things that he cares about so you can be with him.
He wants you to be on his side. Find a way to let your partner know that you’re in his corner. You might show your loyalty by standing up for your guy when he feels the world is against him. Let him know you support what he’s passionate about. Show him that you value what he values. This adds a sense of teamwork, security, and intimacy to your relationship.
He might even like a love note or two. Men respond to these gestures, even if they don’t tell you how much they love getting them; trust me, they do. Whether it’s a cute note in his wallet saying you miss him or a quick email telling him you’re thinking about him, your guy will feel loved when he knows you took the extra effort to tell him he’s on your mind.
He wants to share the burden. If he’s stressed about a work project or an upcoming presentation, ask him what you can do to make his life a little easier. Small gestures that will make his responsibilities feel a little lighter that day will make a world of difference.
In fairness, the attitudes towards the needs of women we came out of the 1950’s with were appalling. They clearly mandated the level of aggressive push for attention to the needs of women in marriage that now almost completely dominates discussion of marriage in the public square. And, those needs still matter — and matter even MORE then they are currently publicized.
On the other hand, Archie Bunker really didn’t have a very good life either — he just got his way more often — or at least thought he did…
If we step back for a wide angle view, education about meeting the needs of women has now far outpaced its counterpart regarding the needs of men. In my experience, it’s far more common for women to be surprised about specific needs of men then men about their spouse’s needs. The very fact that the starkly-obvious above linked list was written in such a tone of revelation almost speaks for itself.
Something is out of balance here.
While we can’t back off for a second on fixing marriage for women, we’re not helping much if we don’t match it with an equal push to also fix marriage for men.