Several years ago I co-led a MOPS group, and I noticed a sad trend. All the wives complained about their husbands missing the mark on their expectations. I’m realizing that this theme plays out in a lot of marriages.
As wives, how can we avoid this pitfall that leads to hurt, anger, and resentment?
We can set our husbands up for success by communicating our specific needs. This will eliminate the guessing game and reduce disappointment from unmet needs.
Ladies, we are no longer playing the dating game of wishing, waiting, and wanting. This is marriage. This is real life, and it is forever. Carve a path for your spouse, so he can easily navigate the discovery of how to meet your innermost needs.
Expressing your specific needs to your spouse will set them up for success and can lead to a happier, more fulfilling marriage. This does not mean hinting around your needs. Women, you need to be deliberate and specific.
I’m not talking about dropping hints by leaving a Redbox DVD on his desk for much craved alone time or telling him how your friend’s husband always tells her how beautiful she is when you’re seeking kind words from his lips. I also don’t mean yelling at him to “just help with the kids”.
Be intentional and specific but flexible. For example, instead of asking him to watch a show with you because you need his time, you can tell him I really need some alone time with you, can we (fill in the blank). If you need help with the kids, don’t just ask “for help”.
Be specific. A lot of men are lost when you leave it open like that. When you ask him to step in and help, be specific. Think about what will bring the most lift? You might ask him to play with the kids for 10 minutes while you finish dinner or give the kids a bath. Again, specifics are key!
Of course, your husband might still miss the mark, but you have at least set him up for success by specifically making your needs known. For example, when my need to connect with my husband isn’t being met, I will flat out tell him: I need more time with you. I don’t expect him to drop everything at that moment, but I do expect that he will respect the fact that I’m not feeling connected to him at that time.
Often he is clueless to the fact that I need his time and is thankful for the reminder. He loves me enough that he wants to know and fulfill those innermost needs. This goes both ways though. My husband communicates his needs to me in return. Sometimes I don’t receive it well, but I always do my best to meet that specific need.
Whatever your need is, communicate it with your spouse. At least give them the chance. If they still aren’t meeting that need, then you can discuss hurt feelings.
Don’t expect that your spouse knows what you need at every juncture of life.
When I say share your innermost needs, I mean pure honesty, humbly go to your husband and communicate what’s inside. It may be time with him, telling you he loves you more, kissing you more, or any other need, even as little as giving the kids a bath tonight or him thanking you for making dinner.
This can be hard! Many times I’ve humbled myself and shared deep needs with my spouse. I’ve been amazed at the results. He showed his love by fulfilling that need and honoring me at that point in time.
If we don’t share our most specific needs with our husbands, they are just stumbling in the dark bound to miss the mark. Let’s set them up for success by giving them very specific ways to connect with us and meet our needs, but be prepared, this goes both ways. As we become humble, honest, and open with our spouse, they will in turn do the same.
*The word “specific” is used 11 times in this post, and the word “needs” is used 12 times. I want to be very clear: To get your NEEDS met, you must be very SPECIFIC!*