10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew about Men

Written by Jim Burns

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It is likely no surprise to you that God has wired women and men differently. We all recognize some of these differences, but others often hide in plain sight. Shaunti Feldhahn, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker recently wrote a fantastic book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. In it, she recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than one thousand of them.

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to interview Shaunti for our radio broadcast, HomeWord with Jim Burns. In our discussion, we spoke about ten things guys wish women knew about men. I think you’ll find these ten things fascinating! Even more, I believe that in understanding these issues, you’ll be equipped to lead your marriage to a better place!

  1. Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn’s research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.
  2. A man’s anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, “You’re disrespecting me!” But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.
  3. Men are insecure. Men are afraid that they aren’t cutting it in life — not just at work, but at home, in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly, they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don’t receive this affirmation from their wives, they’ll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.
  4. Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family. Intellectually, it doesn’t matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It’s not a burden they’ve chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support.
  5. Men want more sex. Everyone’s natural response to this is probably, “Duh!” But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their “needs”). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn’s research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man’s sense of feeling loved and desired.
  6. Sex means more than sex. When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!
  7. Men struggle with visual temptation. This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn’t just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of “visual rolodex” that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can’t control when these images appear.
  8. Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic. True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands’ confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it’s likely that he’s asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What’s not romantic about that?
  9. Men care about their wife’s appearance. This isn’t saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.
  10. Men want their wives to know how much they love them. This was the number one response of men. Men aren’t confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.

Take your relationship even further:
Learn to speak his language (and no, it’s not football)
Want him to open up? He has to know he can trust you
How to have better sex tonight

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154 Responses to “10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew about Men”

  • Alfred says:

    Now, why would a man agree with what you 3 ladies have just said? Well, I do! But I have a few words to add: I think men are slightly more visually stimulated by what they see in a woman. Yet even that I need to qualify, for it depends on how “sex conscious” a man is. When we consider the whole person with all their abilities, hopes, dreams, talents and ambitions, then sexuality is only a small part of each person. So it depends on what that person (male or female) chooses to focus on. I think the road of life is a challenge all the way. We need to be on the growing edge, and this is so difficult that we need the Holy Spirit to guide, admonish and protect us! There is a delicate balance here in that, in spite of many struggles, we find joy and have much to thank God for. We need to have a balance of hard work, prayer and adequate rest and quiet time. This is something I must depend on God to provide for me! Does that bring reality into focus for you?

  • Me says:

    While I agree some of this is true, I hate number 7. The visualrolodex that pops up anytime. Makes me feel like utter [expletive removed] even when trying to look my best.
    No matter how hard I try this will always bother me. Why God couldn’t have created men to love & want ONLY their wife once married is beyond me.

  • Dee says:


    Yep. Exactly right. And there have been studies that prove that. I believe the main difference boils down to self-control. Women have better self-control and/or lack the ‘entitlement’ attitude that a lot men seem to have. Funny how men want to whine about respect and wanting to be ‘uplifted’ and encouraged – but yet at the same time also want to tell women to ‘just get over it’ or ‘you’re being too sensitive’. Marriage would be so much better if both spouses/partners would just simply treat the other as an equal, as a partner, a comrade, a companion, a best friend. Men need to realize that when they disrespect their wives, that attitude will come back to bite them.

  • myownvisualrolodex says:

    Whoever wrote this article is a complete moron who has lost touch with reality. Guess what? Women are visual too. And guess what else? Women also want to be respected and valued. Oh and you won’t believe this, but women also want sex! Shhhhh….don’t let that get out or all hell will break loose and husbands might actually have to put away their visual rolodex and pay attention to their wives! I think you need to change the name of this article to, “10 Things Egotistical Guys Wish Women Would Be Stupid Enough To Fall For.”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Julie S, I am so sorry to hear about your struggles in marriage. I can understand your anger towards your husband for the ways that you have been hurt. Let me invite you to connect with one of our mentors who volunteer to walk alongside people who are hurting and need a place to talk through it all. There is no charge and you will have a private conversation. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ and one of our mentors will be in touch with you soon by email.

  • Barbara Alpert Barbara Alpert says:

    Hi Bustet, thanks for leaving a comment. You said “#9” Men care about their wife’s appearance. This isn’t saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness. “Really hit home with you.” However, it more or less backfired when you talked to your wife about it. I wonder if maybe it was the way that you spoke to her about the situation that offended her. Perhaps trying to approach her in a more gentle way about taking care of herself and her appearance may help. If it is a weight concern you might approach it more about living a healthy lifestyle instead of focusing on the appearance part of it. What do you think?

  • Bustet says:

    #9 really hits home with me. Taking care of one’s self is so important (it goes for both men and women). The problem is, if you tell a man to straighten up (get in better shape, don’t be such a slob), generally they acknowledge it and either do or don’t comply. Ask a woman to do this and your name is Mudd for eternity. I know because I’m living it.

  • Shelley says:

    Thank you for your comment, as man and woman was made equal in the sight of God and when we go to heaven we will be like the angels and not man or woman.

  • Kitten says:

    I agree that women need respect just as men do. Men don’t have the rights to respect.

  • Elkay says:

    Tre, there is an important aspect to Biblical submission we cannot overlook.

    First Corinthians 11:3 says “Christ is the head of man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.” In other words, the Father is the final authority in the Trinity. To understand this authority, we must understand the biblical idea of authority and submission. The word “submitting,” is translated “and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.” The submitting is a mutual submission, each person submitting to one another. It is the same “heart motive” as is found in Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”

    That is the spirit of mutual submission. However, while that is the spirit every Christian is to have toward others, there are, nevertheless, roles that Christians are to play toward others, even while having that spirit. For example, the instruction to “be subject to one another” in Ephesians 5 is followed by a description of three sets of relationships: husband/wife, parent/child, and master/slave. Paul describes how a husband is to submit to his wife and how his wife is to submit to her husband; how the parents are to submit to their children and how their children are to submit to their parents; how a master is to submit to his slave, and how the slave is to submit to his master.

    The principle is laid down very clearly: in each relationship, the one in authority is to be submissive to the needs of the one under him, and the one under authority is to be submissive to the authority of the one over him. If this relationship exists, it results in peace, love, and harmony.

    Throughout the Bible, whenever authority is given to anyone, that authority is to be used for the good of the one under authority, whether it is government to citizens, elders to congregations, husbands to wives, parents to children or masters to slaves. God gives no one authority to do mischief.

  • Tre Anthony says:

    I guess telling the truth is foreign. We can’t even submit to God’s word so how can we ever submit to people. We are equal but in marriage in order for it to work A man must have headship over a woman. A woman must submit to her husband. When I wasn’t a christian women use to run over me. When I got saved God showed me I am a man and I am called to be a leader. People just want the scripture to say what they want. A wife should never have authority over her husband. My mom is a Christian and she submits to her husband and she does not go over his head about anything. Unless it’s wrong but usually it’s not.

  • Michael Jantzen Michael Jantzen says:

    Lemme Tell You, your very lengthy comment was deleted because its fowl and accusatory language goes against our terms of use. We want to maintain a respectful environment. Your language and tone took away from that.

  • Rachel says:

    Really, I hear you and feel your frustration about our men! It just pains me when people keep saying “men are visual”, I mean , are women blind??? I get to the point of complete frustration with churches, Bible studies and pastors always toting the “men are visual ” sound byte. It never seems to stop either, on You Tube, there are one video after another about this, and mostly coming from Christian pastors. It makes me really wonder about my faith, is God hearing me or just ignoring my frustrations with Christian men.

    Also the whole thing about respect, well women need the same equal respect, but the churches ignore this, thinking women are love junkies aching for love, not me! in fact I have gotten a lot of flack from church Bible study groups about women’s “needs”, they really believe women are love sick puppies, always in need of a father like husband lording over them.

    They also think women don’t need sex, and women are just there to ‘ please their husband’. It’s so annoying, I never want to marry, I don’t need some man telling le what to so 24/7. Unless a man can see me as a full adult, I mean a Christian man, I will look elsewhere.

    My self made friend, found a nice foreign man. He is proud of her, respects her as a full human adult, and he’s from Kuwait. He doesn’t lord over her, they have an equal relationship, they are happy, which I don’t see coming from the Christian community. I have met her husband, and he’s the nicest man ever, it’s a blessing to know him. I don’t see real respect of women, coming from our churches, I don’t see the men respecting us as adults, they view us as having minds of children.

  • Rachel says:

    I wrote privately about a subject, but anyway, as a woman I find it annoying about men being the more visual gender. There are countless sites online that have debunked this notion. It’s certainly not in the Bible. I have looked and to no avail have found anything about it.

    I’m not even married yet, and certainty not to a Christian man, because I find many of them to be unable to view women as a full adult. They also hold on to these myths and stereotypes, more than secular men do, they are controlling and overly protective.

    I don’t need anyone hovering over me, protecting me, guiding me like I’m a child and telling me he has such a fragile ego, that he feels hurt that I work. My female cousin went to Iraq some years ago, and the Christian man I was seeing at the time, was constantly telling me women don’t belong in the army. He said very disparaging things about women, anything to make a woman feel like a nothing.

    This thing about men needing respect more, well what about women? We would like the same respect, not just the old fashioned inane nonsense about men ‘ respecting women as the ‘ weaker sex’. not just physically , but our men seem to think we are different and inferior in every way possible.

    Christianity has been plagued by gender stereotypes for years. It’s really time for our churches to view all people as individuals , because God does.

  • Elkay says:

    Amarie, I hear what you are saying about your marriage and sadly it is true in many instances. Ephesians 5 teaches us that in order to develop successful marriages or friendships, both must love sacrificially. A marriage that grows out of selfishness or dependency will die as soon as the other person tires of the lopsided arrangement. But two individuals committed to giving without expecting anything in return will develop a mutually beneficial marriage. They serve one another gladly, valuing the other’s desires and needs above personal wants.

    Only by modeling Christ in our life can we truly commit to a mate’s spiritual growth. As we practice Biblical principles, we will be able to encourage our mate to pray and meditate on the Word of God. The commitment to love, forgive, and motivate him results in a wise and joyous marriage. That honors God and satisfies your innermost needs and desires.

  • Viera says:

    Amarie. .Jesus put all men as equal. Men and women are equal in God’s eyes. But even then God made men different than women. While women are more sensitive and focus on family, relationships, love and security
    , men are more focus on job, and respect. It’s true that men are more selfish and think about themselves more but God made men and women for purpose. We can learn from each other and make unity in one in marriage.

  • amarie says:

    Adding that I wrote this from my phone. It is nearly impossible to type on the tiny keys. Sorry for spelling errors.

  • amarie says:

    While there is some good advice in this article, I don’t care for how it’s implied that everything is up to the woman so thean doesn’t act out. This article should be addressed to men, not women. I personally doubt at this point in my life (I’m 35, married, 2 children) that men are truly capable of real love. They are too selfish. Yes, I’ve been cheated on and he dated while I was pregnant and worse. Unfortunately it has colored how I think of all men, and I really don’t like men at all
    Of course men will read this comment and think the worst of me
    But no. I take care of how I look. I’m Lind and patient. If ever I wasn’t married, I would never want anything to Dowith men again. In fact, I’m quite sure I would sadly get great pleasure in rejecting them.

  • Sharon says:

    some good comments here and a good post too

  • Me says:

    I have read the book and can see it all makes sense, it’s pretty much a guide to what men want and feel generally.
    BUT I can’t move past this visual ogling nature thing men have. I feel in competition with other females now and my marriage happiness level for me has gone from 10/10 to 2/10.

    I am utterly miserable now that I notice who my husband is drawn to and I don’t look like them. My confidence especially sexually has bottomed out and he misses the wife he had. Sadly the truth doesn’t always help and this part could have been left out. In fact the author in the first book cried about this a lot and one finally accepted the horrible truth about her husband THEN removed her experience from the later edition as I can imagine it’s caused some problems. What to do? I’ve prayed about it, tried to be reasonable and objective but romantic and erotic love can be diminished easily and when it’s gone it’s so missed.

  • Kathryn Kathryn says:

    Hi Really, (Not your real name I know) I can sort of understand where you are coming from as it appears that you have recently been let down in your own relationship. You know, I do believe that there is a definite satanic attack on marriage in general and Christian marriage in particular. It is obviously not what our creator God intended when He instituted marriage and said it was “good”. I believe that the media, new, very liberal laws and the whole idea of everything being relative and that there are no longer norms which have been accepted for generations as good for stabilising society, are the main ways that this rapid fall in so many standards has come about and right under our noses. My sincere wish and prayer is that we all come to our senses and realise what is going on and change. It begins with learning how to communicate and with the famous words so often used at weddings from 1 Corinthians 13.v 4 ” Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    8 Love never fails. This is valuable counsel and wise advice for all men and women.

  • Really says:

    Well guess what? Women look at men too and think thoughts like you men do. How do you men like that? If we feel love and appreciated our eyes wouldn’t wander but you men are so selfish and only care about your desires that you go out and cheat on a loving wife. Well guess what else? Women upgrade after leaving a cheating spouse and men downgrade and become slobs/alcoholics, etc. Women need respect and love and sex. Men just use it as an excuse to cheat.

  • Doris Beck Doris Beck says:

    Sounds like you are not only a wise woman but also very observant about the needs of others. Unfortunately, not everyone is wired that way so we need all the help we can get in articles such as this.

    You make a great point when you said that ‘Being married and having kids together is not a free license to start ignoring your relationship, that’s how you end up alone.’ Relationships take work, and when we get lazy they don’t grow but fall apart instead. The key to any long, rewarding marriage is work, hard work and lots of it. Learning, listening, loving through the hard times….and it’s all worth it!(I can say that because we have been married 39 years and still going strong)

  • Leigha says:

    It’s sad that an article actually has to be written to tell women what they should be able to figure out on their own if they were paying attention. Of course men want the woman they care most about to respect them and not emasculate them, and of course they need emotional support from their partner and intimacy. Basically they want to be looked up to the same way most women desire their partner to put them on a pedestal and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    There’s also nothing wrong with wanting your partner to take the time to look good (this goes for both men and women), it means they actually care about what you think. It’s only a problem if they criticize when you don’t look perfect and/or can’t accept that sometimes you have your period and a stomach virus at the same time and look like death.

    Men don’t express this stuff usually because society trains them not to, but common sense should tell women they want those things.

    My partner after many months of having been together expressed gratitude for the fact that while I will give advice in areas where he seems conflicted especially when he asks, I will ultimately support whatever life decisions he makes. I take care to never say things that could be perceived as emasculating and I absolutely respect him because he deserves it, why would I stay with someone who I can’t trust or respect? And when you give these things, surprise surprise, it tends to be reciprocated as well.

    They basically just want the same things that most women do and while the blame ultimately Always lies with the cheater, when men and women do not regularly tend to their partners emotional and physical needs then they have helped create an environment in which cheating is more likely to occur. Being married and having kids together is not a free license to start ignoring your relationship, that’s how you end up alone.

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up anyone who is struggling with this area in there lives and that you will heal them. In Jesus Mighty name Amen

  • Isis says:

    The intimacy thing Im not sure I will be comfortable with. Im 22 and no man has touch my cookies but the idea of a guy touching me intimately or even kissing me creeps me out. Now Im not a lesbian , i like guys and i know the birds and the bees but the idea just makes me feel highly uncomfortable.

  • Sharon says:

    definetly an interesting article to think about

  • Victoria says:

    Interesting article, but what is more interesting to me is how men “act out” when their “needs” aren’t getting met, instead of dealing with them head-on with their wives. Perhaps if they did, there would be no need for this article. It is sad that men don’t adequately communicate with their wives, but all seem to be saying the same things to an interviewer. Men regularly turn to porn when (a) they aren’t getting enough sex, (b) when they feel inadequate or insecure, (c) they feel disrespected, (d) they can’t control their urges, and so on and so on. In other words, there really is nothing wives can do about being disrespected in this way. I sometimes question whether men are really capable of real love, and what love really means to them. I highly doubt men would be so accepting of their wives if they behaved the way men often do.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Dana, I am saddened to read your response. You must have had some very bad experiences in relationships to paint the whole gender in such a negative light. I know there are guys who do not handle relationships well and there is a lot of aspects of our society that nurture selfish attitudes in both men and women rather than challenging us to set aside our own needs to serve the needs of those we love. I love the way that the Bible encourages husbands to love their wives in the same self-sacrificing way that Jesus loved us and gave up His life for us. I would invite you to talk to one of our online mentors and explore how Jesus can make a greater difference in relationships. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor and one of our mentors will get in touch with you be email.

  • dana says:

    All this men described sound like wimps. I am so sick and tired of articles about what men want and need to feed their wimpishly fragile egos.

    A real man stays faithful to his wife out of respect for himself. If he’s worried about how his wife feels about him, he opens a dialog about it or seeks counseling.

    There are no real men out there anymore. They are all selfish mama’s boy’s who need their fragile egos stroked.

    No wonder women are cheating on their husbands and higher and higher rates.

  • Justin says:

    As a man I’ve read this article and it is absolutely correct and hits the nail on the head. I was surprised to read the responses by women who essentially read it as a critique about them??? It was not. In fact it wasn’t about wives, it was about what effects husbands. The statements about the value of respect to husbands are so important. I want to say thank you to the writer.
    In fact all 10 points hit the nail on the head. These things will never go out of date because they are not based on cultural values with change. They are almost biological.

    As the writer said, a woman doesn’t have to be a super model, but everyone likes it when someone makes an effort for them, it makes people feel valued.

    Its not a competition – “Well man want this, but look at all the things women go through!”. You can never know what someone else goes through unless you are in their shoes, saying things like that is childish and spoilt.

    If you read these points from the point of view of a normal average Joe, you will walk away with something that will help you be a blessing to your marriage.

    If you read these points as though they were a critique, you have disqualified yourself from learning anything from them.

    If you read these points as though they were some sort of an excuse for male misbehavior, you have missed the value of them as well because they are not those either, its telling wives HOW they can bless their husbands in a way their husbands can appreciate.

    Have you ever wondered why in the Bible it says “women respect your husbands” and “husbands love your wives”? And not the other way round? There is a reason. Women find it often easier to love than respect (they are not the same thing). Men find it easier to respect than love. Women need respect of course, but its love they need to feel. Whereas – just as this article points out, and NOT ITS CERTAINLY NOT OUTDATED! Men want love absolutely! But they need to feel the respect in a normal marriage.

    These things do not apply with abnormal personalities. It would be unfair to compare them to such.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Mia, you are right about the distorted concept of beauty that often pervades our society. It can be very detrimental to young women’s self-image and health as they try to fit that unrealistic mold. It is good to hear that you have a man whose love goes much farther than skin deep. I think the author here was not suggesting that women try to match that air-brushed perfection that finds its way into commercials and things but that she takes time to fix her hair, wear nice clothes and things like that. I don’t think that is an outdated idea but is true no matter what the time, place or culture.

  • Mia says:

    I found the article rather sexist and outdated. Women have enough pressure being pregnant, going through child birth, dealing with major anatomical changes to their bodies, playing super mum, being super wife and then the stress of returning to work, without the added pressure of vanity. Our bodies never return to what they were before motherhood, even with all the fad diets and exercise. Yet having curves and a bit of extra weight means we’ve ‘let ourselves go’! No wonder so many women are dealing with depression and eating disorders if the concept of beauty as discussed in this article is being supported. Personally, I found becoming a mother was the most feminine, most beautiful time of my womanhood thus far-so does my otherhalf. He loves me more now and accepts that my body has changed. Thankfully he is an educated, contemporary Christian and not living in 1930.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Actually Lilith, God did design us to be more compatible but we have chosen to go our own way and ignore His plans and purposes for our lives. It would be nice if we could blame someone for the mess we are in but the blame all falls to us. The wonderful thing is that God loves us so much that He has paid the ultimate price so that we could be healed of the brokenness and receive from Him the guidance we need to have healthy relationships.

    Now as you pointed out, being a Christian doesn’t guarantee a perfect marriage but again, the issue is not that God has let us down but that we have not followed His leading and guiding but instead have followed our own desires and priorities. But when a husband and wife follow Jesus leading in their relationship amazing things happen that can only be explained by the work of God in their lives.

    You can have that for your life and your marriage. God wants to create a beautiful love between you and your husband. It is what you were made for and what your children need. Let me encourage you to look to Him for help and healing.

  • Lilith says:

    Marriage is sacrifice and laborous…mostly for women. Humans aren’t wired for monogamy at all. If we were, the divorce rate wouldn’t be as high. In addition to that both men & women have unrealistic expectations for the opposite sex. The only reason to ever marry is if you want children. If you do, then stay in the marriage until the kids are raised and out on their own. My parents are divorcing after 43 years of marriage. It was initiated by my mother who was tired of being married. She was tired of waiting on, cleaning up after and babying a grown man. I wanted to avoid this so I married much later in life to a man nothing like my father. After 3 years of marriage, he became just like my father. Now, I’m stuck in a marriage in my forties with two young children. I’ll be 60 before the youngest is old enough to fend for himself before I can leave. My girlfriends my age whose children are out of the house have filed for divorce all citing that their too tired to take care of anyone anymore other than themselves, they want to make their own decisions and do what they want and when they want it without the incessant griping. I think men & women want control over their own lives and destinies. Being a christian does not exempt you from divorce. Christian divorce rates are as high as anyone else’s. People live longer. They no longer live on farms where families labored together or died. Women have control over their lives instead of every aspect being controlled. People don’t want to live the rest of their lives in misery and I don’t blame them. Marriage is great for the people it works for and not so great for the people it doesn’t. Divorce has leveled off. I think that people are reevaluating what they want out of life and many are chosing to go it single. Nothing wrong with that. Love doesn’t last. Desire doesn’t last. If marriage was god’s design, then god should have designed us to be a lot more compatible. Women will never want sex as much as men – most of us get very little out of it and it is an obligation & a chore. Major design flaw if you ask me. So again, unless you just feel the urge to reproduce, you’re better off going it alone.

  • ish says:

    hello dear,
    reading all these post shows how much there are so many troubles in relationships. some are really painfull i can understand that but our faith n prayers will be answered in a beautiful way. im my self in a relation for the last 7 months, i use to live in uk n left everything for mr right n fly back home after a mutual decision of settling down between me n him, since im back i can feel the tension in the air he does care in the beginning then star blaming me for not being the same while i was just giving hm bit space as he said he got busy schedule for december,he is short tempered n on n off out oof nothing he just angry n stop talking to me, i use all i could to stop that but its not working, i talk to him clmly, in anger, i do try to convince him when he gets angry but all he does is ignoring my text msg my calls n then he says im hurting him, i dont really know what to do sometime i do give him his space too but i cant cope with his silent treatement, it really hurts when i think i sacrifice my carrer in uk to be treated like this. its been 14 days now since we argue 1st 10 days i hve been trying to contact him but nothing the last 4 days i give him his space hoping he will call me tomorrow as its valentine day. im very stressed with his life all i want is a peaceful relation with him..HELP.

  • Steve says:

    Hi, Kate!

    I do see what you are saying, and I definitely agree, it would be easy to find excuses to give up and not keep working if one is looking for them. One of the absolute tragedies of our modern age is that people enter into marriages without true commitment, prepared to bail out as soon as things get tough.

    That being said, I’ve worked a lot of years with domestic abuse survivors, many of whom are very dedicated to trying their best to make things work, even when their partner is clearly not even concerned with keeping up his end of the bargain. The covenant is between two people, and one person can’t make it work alone. What is a woman to do when she discovers that her husband represented his belief in maintaining a commitment he had no intention of honoring in the first place? Where does one draw the line and say, “This is no longer a marriage, this is a prison?” I assure you, the most Christian and loving of partners have found themselves in this exact position, and no amount of counseling or turning the other cheek or finding the good in their partner would counteract the evil they were confronting. What are they to do in such a situation?

    I suppose my real point here is that a loving partner still has both a right and an obligation to hold her partner to the covenant they have committed to. I am far from suggesting jumping ship at the first difficulty – marriage is a challenge for the reasons you mentioned – we are all flawed and can fall from the highest ethical standards of behavior. Forgiveness and understanding is critical to all successful relationships. But I do think it is absolutely necessary for both partners to work together, and much in this article seems to encourage the female to be subservient and to tolerate unreasonable expectations which can easily escalate into abusive behavior. The best antidote to this, I believe, is for both partners to be clear about their needs, feelings, and hopes, and create a space where such discussions are safe and where nobody gets to dominate or to expect behavior from a partner that the partner hasn’t agreed is to be expected. If a man, for instance, wants to be “respected,” he needs to have the courage to be honest about what “respected” means to him and to negotiate with his partner to an acceptable agreement about how that can be accomplished. For him to be able to demand “respect” as whatever he decides that means (i.e. he is “angry” because he “feels disrespected”, even if he doesn’t say so), without communicating explicitly about it, is to invite abuse, and also stops the process of evolution in a relationship that leads to a deepening commitment over time.

    I hope that’s clear. I know commitment is commitment, and not to be set aside lightly, but commitment needs to proceed in both directions. I think the article encourages more of a one-sided commitment, where the woman has to accommodate while the man gets to have things the way he wants them. To suggest that men are too “insecure” to have the courage to talk about these difficult issues diminishes both the man and the potential of the relationship to grow. Women are insecure, too. It needs to flow both ways.

    Thanks for your interesting and insightful comments! I always look forward to hearing what you have to say.

    —- Steve

  • Kate says:

    Hi Steve,

    Well said. I see your point.

    I guess what comes to mind is that this article is about husbands and wives, a covenant relationship that is never meant to be broken. Marriage is, of course, the most intimate and intense relationship any human experiences, and given our fallen nature, it is therefore extremely challenging. This is by God’s design. His desire is not to make us comfortable, but to make us holy, in the image of His Son.

    If we are not careful, then it seems to me that by saying these suggestions support abusive behaviour, then we might easily provide an excuse for a woman who wants to leave her marriage. Do you see what I mean? She might say, “See, my husband’s actions are abusive! I have a reason to divorce him!” So, then we flip from seeing these suggestions as excuses for husbands to behave as they desire, to providing excuses for wives to behave as they desire.

    I don’t mean to confuse the issue, but the article repeatedly mentions husbands and wives. If a wife thinks to herself “My husband is not looking at my inner beauty, etc., etc.” and then comes to the conclusion “I don’t think a really healthy relationship is possible” – she will have an excuse to leave the marriage, and that is not God’s desire.

    We are creatures, God has given us bodies and declared our bodies are good. Issues of sex, attraction, appearance, insecurity and so on are related to our bodies, and it is not within Hebrew thought to spiritualize these issues as though they were separate from our bodies. So I go back to what I said earlier, “We don’t see into the hearts of our partners, and we are all very prone to self-justification and rationalization” — women are very prone to think, “My husband should look inside for the beauty that is in me” and thereby make excuses, rather than make changes. This article calls us to question ourselves in front of the Lord, and be willing to CHANGE as He leads, admitting we aren’t wisest of all.

    I admit I am finding it difficult to articulate what I want to say, so as a last attempt: We all are what we are by the grace of God. If I can look beyond my husband’s blemishes and flaws, to see the man that God has called him to be, it is only by the grace of God. I am not wise apart from the insight the Lord grants me; I am not able to see into my husband’s heart.

    In Christ,


  • steve says:

    And yet Jesus was not all-accepting, even as he is all-forgiving. He was very hard on the moneylenders, and assured the rich they would have a hard time getting into heaven, and critiqued the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. I agree we must give freely and love even our enemies, but it doesn’t mean we have to tolerate bad behavior out of a sense of sacrifice. Sometimes the most loving thing to do is caringly confront bad behavior and insist that the person involved look at the impact they are having on others. And sometimes the most loving thing to do is to walk away from a bad situation. If we model on Jesus’s behavior, we can see that “tough love” was a part of his approach and we should not hesitate to use it. There is a difference between being loving and giving and allowing oneself to be controlled or owned by another.

    A couple of these suggestions definitely support abusive behavior. For instance, “men want their wives to look good.” This encourages women to believe that their appearance is of paramount importance, and if they don’t look good enough, they are letting their man down. But what would Jesus say about that? I am sure he would suggest that we look inside for the beauty that is in us all. God loves us all, not just the good looking ones.

    It is important not to judge our partners, but we have a right to set some reasonable expectations of respectful treatment. For me, this includes no double standards. We’re all God’s children and none of us is better than another. Without this shared belief, I don’t think a really healthy relationship is possible.

    — Steve

  • Kate says:

    Hi Nic,

    You mentioned you’d like to know where the author got his resources, and that was in the first paragraph. The information came from Shaunti Feldhahn, who wrote a book and did an interview on his radio broadcast, HomeWord with Jim Burns.

    I didn’t see this list as characteristics, nor as excuses for men, but as a perspective meant to encourage couples. We don’t see into the hearts of our partners, and we are all very prone to self-justification and rationalization, so perhaps there is something here for each of us to learn, just as we can now learn from what you’ve experienced. So, thank you very much for posting!

    One thing that caught my eye about your post was the last sentence: “There is a mutual commitment to see the other’s needs as greater than one’s own, and until we can get over this thought that one partner needs to give more into the relationship than the other, there will continue to be an imbalance.” I find myself reflecting on our relationship with Jesus. We are nowhere near as committed to Him as He is to us and we in no way approach giving Him as much as He gives us – there is an utter imbalance!!! It is His character to give first, give freely, give grace, give His very life – what do you think this means for us?

    Many blessings,


  • Kate says:

    Dear Susan,

    As I read what you posted, I felt pain, and I can only imagine how you must feel, especially deep down, and after what you went through with your ex.

    I wonder, why did you say: “I know he won’t stop looking at women, or looking at porn and I kind of get that…”? Do you feel you should accept it (that it is the right thing to do) or that you must accept it (because your husband is not interested in changing)?

    To tell you the truth, after reading your report a couple times through, I do get the sense that actually you both would like to change. Your husband would like to have eyes only for you, and you only for him. I think, (for myself I know), that is the intimacy we all crave. It’s intimacy we can never, never get from porn, naked women, or being attractive to random men – and so all those things will ultimately only frustrate, never satisfy. But, when we keep trying to mix them, a little marriage, a little porn, everything ends up poisoned. What do you think the remedy could be?

    If you’d like to connect with a mentor, who would communicate with you privately and walk with you on this tough journey, just click on the “Talk to a Mentor” link at the top left of this page.

    Many blessings to you, in Jesus’ name,


  • Nic says:

    I would be very interested to know where this man got his resources. I dated a man such as was described in this article, and it was the most wretched experience. He was controlling (I couldn’t go to a chick flick with a girl friend without his anger), physically harmful if I ever stood up for myself, and I did not feel safe around him. He exemplified all of the above characteristics. He couldn’t stand it when I acted like an independent, capable human being; he couldn’t tolerate my ability to live without him at my side every minute of every day; he interpreted my need for personal space (I’m an introvert, not an extrovert) as a threat to his manhood; he couldn’t understand why after months I still did not want the relationship to be as physical as he wanted it to be. He was upset that I wouldn’t cake makeup on my face ever, and often went without makeup entirely. I got out of that relationship.

    Two years later, I started a relationship with the man I am with now. He respects me; he respects my identity as a human first and a woman second; he thinks a woman’s natural appearance – the way God made her – is far more beautiful than any amount of changing this can be (including the shaving of legs). He cares about me, and has promised me he will never try to move the relationship faster than I am comfortable with. I respect him as a human being, but that in no way, shape, or form means that I will support every decision he makes. And if he’s acting stupidly in public or showing more PDA than I am comfortable with, I will tell him, and he appreciates that. He wants rather have me know how much he cares about me and know that I care about him. He would rather that I tell him honestly how I feel about something than try to massage his pride. He may feel the same urges as are described above, but he has realized that there are more important things in his life.

    In conclusion, it has been my experience that guys who take the above descriptions as excuses for their behavior are not worth the time or energy they require. They do not treat their wives/girlfriends well, and they are not Godly men. Guys who, on the other hand, recognize those tendencies and do not make their needs the central focus of the relationship are much more pleasant, humble, and kind. I recognize that I, as the female partner, have responsibilities as well, and that my needs are not first and foremost, as well as that this article was not written with the intent of males reading it. However, I feel that this article goes too far in excusing male behavior. Luke thought women were pretty cool, and very capable. Paul also chose to honor women with significant leadership roles (Priscila), trusted them with some of the most dangerous work (Phoebe delivering and reading his letter to the Romans – a letter that would have to travel through very unfriendly crowds), and honored one (Junia) as an apostle (read the Greek on that one: it is clearly a female name, not the male that is too often translated into English). Most of Jesus’ followers were female; in fact, Mary Magdalene is often referred to as the “apostle to the apostles”. Paul even goes so far in 1 Corinthians 7:4 to say “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; likewise, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” There is a mutual commitment to see the other’s needs as greater than one’s own, and until we can get over this thought that one partner needs to give more into the relationship than the other, there will continue to be an imbalance.

  • steve says:


    I don’t think an interest in porn means you “are not enough.” A lot of happily married men view porn from time to time, and it has little or nothing to do with their partner. That doesn’t mean it has to be OK with you – how you feel about it is important. But I would not view it as meaning you are somehow not meeting his needs. It meets a different kind of need.

    That being said, he sounds like he uses it a lot, and is being secretive about it, which does suggest a possible addictive problem. He needs to come clean about it and to listen to your feelings, and look at his own behavior and see if it is a problem.

    I am more concerned about his attitde toward other men looking at you. If he’s allowed scope out other women, why can’t you appreciate other men’s looks and attention? It seems like a double standard, and double standards are not a healthy sign.

    You might be interested in visiting my website, Jerkradar.org, and taking the Jerk Radar Quiz. He definitely is showing some signs of jerkiness, and you might want to take a look at his motivations. But by no means should you blame yourself if he has issues. It’s not about whether you’re good enough for him – the question is, is HE good enough for you?

    Hope that helps.

    —- Steve

  • Susan says:

    I have been married for 3 months, with my husband for 2+ years. He is a great man, and he treats me like a queen. However, he is always looking at porn and naked women…he tells me once in awhile he does it but history on every electronic he owns shows its a daily occurance. We have fought about this because my ex was addicted to porn in a bad way, our relationship suffered and I lost all of my self esteem and self worth due to it. He tells me it’s not fair to lump him in to the same category but I am trying to get him to see how much it hurts me when he’s staring at photo’s of what I am not or ever will be (3 kids later, I don’t have that perfect body). He said that he just looks, doesn’t get off over it. I don’t understand it.

    He gets up in arms when we are out and guys are staring at me, or rubber neck (I am an attractive woman and look great (with clothes on lol). I have told him that for every woman he is busy checking out (he’s not overly stealthy) that I am getting attention too. He just says “believe me I know this, I see it happening more often than you do”. Is he happy with what he has? It sucks that it makes me feel like I am not good enough. I know he won’t stop looking at women, or looking at porn and I kind of get that…I just don’t understand the need.

  • Andrew says:

    @Sonia I understand it is very difficult to live in a relationship with someone who wants nothing to do with you. I have myself been in very difficult situations and if I try to fix the problem myself it was impossible however when I asked Christ to give me wisdom he does. I understand that you must feel alone on an island with no one to support you however if you reach out by contacting a church and asking for help they would direct you to a support group which would give you insights into how to deal with the problem.

    The longer you suffer in silence the more deeper the poison of deep hurts will fester which will result in an extreme sadness which seems to be endless. There is hope not through the relationship with another woman but with reaching out to others to pray for you to give you wisdom as it is impossible to deal with the situation you are in without outside help. God Bless

  • steve says:

    Hi, Sonia!

    I deal with domestic abuse victims professionally, and I can assure you, this man fits the profile of a domestic abuser to a tee. He is initially charming and makes a lot of promises, but once he has you under his control, it becomes clear that he will make all the rules and you will simply be expected to put up with whatever crap he deals out. I’m so sorry you have to experience this, but you’re smart to see it for what it is right now. He feels entitled to screw around and spend all night out and lie to you, just because he makes some money?

    It’s hard to acknowledge you’ve been had, but that’s what happened. I don’t think any kind of counseling or “tips” will help you out with this one. I think you will either have to live with him as he is or look for a way to get out. I know how much that hurts, but the hurt will heal that way, but staying with him will mean hurt upon hurt for as long as you’re together.

    You may want to look for some domestic abuse sites to post on. I strongly suggest Rhiannon3.net – it’s a healthy community. Meanwhile, I’ll pray for you and I suggest you get yourself centered and seek some guidance from the Higher Power. This is a very hard situation and it will take time to sort it out, but be assured, you do not need or deserve to put up with this!

    And for Pat, I can’t agree with your percentages, but I do agree, there are a lot of Jerky guys out there. I even wrote a book about how to tell them apart from the decent ones. It’s called Jerk Radar. You should pick up a copy – it might help.

    —- Steve

  • Sonia says:

    Hi everyone, I neva thought i would be on this forum. i married in january 2012. first few weeks it was fine,then one day he came home with lipstick on his face which he had not realised was there, he apologised and assured me it was nothing to worry; time passed….now he is secretive on his phone, he keeps it locked and makes sure i am neva around his phone; also switches it off as soon as i am near him when he is using it. i has found out of his lock code and saw messages of a womne which implied that they were seeing each other. i texted this women who denied that she had slept with him…this was a lie, his messages clearly said things which suggested they were **** buddies. he is constantly on his mobile with her. this women is in care field also dealing with women who have undergone domestic violence. she is a shame to all us females out there. i dont know what to do, as i write this he sleeps next to me and i am not allowed to touch him unless he feels he wants to. i want him to be trueful to me, be intimate to me but its been a while that i have even heard him say he loves me. i am in a very bad wat emotionally, i feel low, dont have a clue how to deal with this.
    according to him he is a provider and my only concern should be that and not petty isues like other women and his text msgs. we had an arguemnet today and he says he feels bad that i check on him and that he cannot spend nights out, i told him he could go to his friends but come back at night..it had reached to a point where he has told me next week on is day off, he will not come home. at the age of 40yrs, i feel i havent strenghth left to deal with unfaithful men so i think my next may b lesbiasim too.

  • Pat says:

    Thanks, Steve, for your kind comment. I have yet to meet a truly decent man. I’m at a point where I’d be more likely to find a unicorn. It’s funny that you mention it, but I have seriously been considering lesbianism – the problem is that I have yet to meet a single one! If I could find myself a good lesbian – I would never bother with a member of the male sex again. Maybe not all men are pigs – just 99%. Take care.

  • steve says:

    Come now, Pat. We aren’t ALL pigs! I admit, there are a lot of jerky guys out there, but there are nice ones who care about their wives and families, too. Sounds like you’ve had some awful ones, though, and I’m sorry to hear that. Men are definitely allowed to be jerks by our culture and get away with it in ways that women are not. I’ve often wondered why there weren’t more lesbians out there…

    Take care, and I hope you encounter some decent men. We really DO exist!

    — Steve

  • shiru says:

    Hi Karen

    I actually read your scenario n just cried. This is exactly what I’m going through. 5 nonths married today. We have to take encouragement from all the posts here. Stay strong. You are in my prayers. You are not alone.

    May God surround you right now with his love

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