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

  • Elkay says:

    Tina, I am very sorry for the situation you are in and I am led to say the same thing I told Alice earlier, that something is not aright either within your husband or within your marriage. Clearly your husband does not realize that he is called to place your needs and desires above his own . . . the standard God has called every husband to observe in the same way that Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (see Eph 5:25).

    From a practical point, both married people are advised to “Carry each other’s burdens and so live out the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2, Phillips) Would it be possible to calmly sit with your husband and each person list what duties each one does and also list what each person expects the other to do? From what you have said, it will be obvious that you are carrying most all of the household-parenting tasks and so it would be reasonable to ask him to change so that you are both working more equally. When both wife and husband understand each other’s needs and their own responsibilities, the marriage will be greatly blessed.

    Another thought would be to tell him that Gary & Barbara Rosberg, well-known marriage counselors, have conducted research and found that a woman’s top 5 Love Needs are (1) Unconditional Love, (2) Intimacy (=Talking), (3) Spiritual Intimacy, (4) Encouragement and (5) Friendship. Or get the book, “The Five Love Languages” and read it aloud or together. Paul tells us at Rom 12:10, to “Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other.” Tina, no matter what you do, your husband, for his own well-being, needs to know all of these things to carry out his part of your marriage vows.

  • Carole says:

    In the Bible we are told for a man to love his wife as he loves himself. That means to me that he helps out and also appreciates what all his wife does. I had a man who would come home from work, open a beer, turn on the TV, and read till dinner time. Then he did it all over again after dinner till bedtime while I cooked and cleaned, etc. I worked the same amount of hours he did outside the house. Believe it or not he once told me he wanted his house so clean he could invite anybody over and not be ashamed. BAH! I quit doing all that stuff and sat down when he did. He also said he never said that. Truth be told he never noticed anything wrong with the situation. My prayers are with you all.

  • tina says:

    If I see or hear ONE MORE POST about poor poor men’s needs, I will puke… Lets inform MEN of the women’s needs after all we are the weaker vessel… 1. Your desire is to be for YOUR WIFE ALONE… even to look …. Its scripture.. 2. Women are supposed to STAY HOME NOT HAVE TO WORK A 40, 60 80 HOUR JOB… its scripture, 3. Women who WORK ALSO COME HOME TAKE CARE OF KIDS, COOK CLEAN, SCHOOL WORK W KIDS, DR APTS. ETC AND IM SORRY, I can’t run to the door BC I’m NON STOP from 4:30 am cooking his breakfast BC I love him. If he loves me so little he needs to see other women then GO GET HER, I DO NOT NEED AND UNTHANKFUL UNGRATEFUL BOY, A WOMAN NEEDS A MAN… GODS DEFINITION NOT SOCIETIES… so please I’m not about to stroke his ego while I work circles around him and he comes home from work and sits on the couch w filthy tv programs with half naked whores yes I said it, again GODS DEFINITION OF WOMEN SCANTILY CLAD, I.e. Cheerleader, movies, victories secrets filth, really??? WHILE I GET OFF WORK GET KIDS, COOK HOMEWORK BATHS CLEAN KITCHEN….ALL THE WHILE HE RESTS AND A WOMAN IS WORE SLAP OUT, AND HE IS ALL VIBRANT AT BEDTIME!!! ARE YOU STUPID??? THE WOMAN IS THE WEAKER VESSEL… LOVE HONOR CHERISH… u do that your wife will be everything u need…. God never ordered woman to love her husband he ordered man to love LOVE HER, fyi, love honor respect is not seeing titties and other trash on a tv screen… Should not be in front of your face…

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    You’re right Renee it is a lot of work, but that is what relationships are all about. To suggest that other relationships are less difficult ignores that great benefits of being married. When the level of commitment to a relationship remains shallow so that as soon as difficulties arise the relationship is discarded, that means that you are only touching the surface of knowing and being known by someone. We are built for relationship: our mind and body chemistry support that claim, and our experience affirms that completely. When we are in a place where we are committed to serving someone else and being served by them there is a transformation that comes over us. There is safety in being real and honest. There is the opportunity to become more than we ever could as two individuals through the synergistic union of our mind, body, and heart. It is in that setting where children best thrive and grow into healthy adults who themselves can contribute to a loving, committed relationship.

    Please don’t give up on discovering that relationship for yourself. Our world needs people like you who can invest all that they are in the hard work of a committed relationship. It is hard work, but the blessing that is produced from that hard work more than justifies the effort.

  • Renee says:

    I’m glad I never got married. This sounds like too much work.
    Much respect to the women out there brave enough to try and make marriage work.

  • Elkay says:

    Alice, I hope you will see this as A Male is correct . . . something is not aright either within your husband or within your marriage. Regardless, clearly your husband does not realize that he is called to place your needs and desires above his own . . . the standard God has called every husband to observe in the same way that Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her (see Eph 5: 25).

    There are various ways married couples can celebrate sexual activity and so I would like to invite you to click the “Talk to a Mentor” button at the top of this page, describe your situation briefly, and a trained mentor will contact you in confidence by email and try to help.

  • A male says:

    It would be pretty unusual for a male to act that way towards his wife. From my perspective he would probably be feeling pretty inadequate or disrespected in some way. It could be related to sex, or maybe something else. He just is not confident and comfortable and for some reason the act would hurt his ego more than be physically pleasing to him. It’s like a defense mechanism.

  • Sharon says:

    to Alice my sympathy that your husband gets angry when you are wanting sex. prayer father God I pray open the eyes of this husband and I pray a healing over this anger of his. I pray a healing over this marriage I am sorry you are way pissed of at him I don’t blame you. for a marriage its a give and take situation it sounds he doesn’t want to help in the marriage that way I pray all of this in JESUS name amen. I am praying for you– sharon

  • Alice says:

    All of these issues represent a two-way street. My husband refuses to have sex with me, and when I explain that it is a fundamental need and that I cannot touch him happily knowing we will never have sex, he turns on me and gets angry. I need sex. I don’t just want it. But he is angry that I don’t understand that he doesn’t. I’m way pissed off at him after more than three years of this insanity.

  • Elkay says:

    Wilson, you are “right on” and I appreciate your comment and totally agree with you. In the Marriage 101 (pre-marital) Counseling book, men’s top 5 Love needs are listed as (1) Unconditional Love, (2) Sexual intimacy, (3) Companionship, (4) Encouragement, and (5) Spiritual Connection. Put all this together and it spells ATTENTION! When men come home from work or from anywhere and enter the house, ladies, please stop what you are doing and hug-greet them to show how much you enjoy them. This goes for men also!!

  • Wilson says:

    Men need attention from their wife, it is hard the wife doesn’t understand them at all. Women need to realize that in a way, they need to support their men in a way. Without that the relationship isn’t going anywhere there is no outcome. People just need to understand this is very important as a marry couple. Either one need to stand up to speak when there’s a problem occurred, if no one is talking then it will be destroy completely. Whenever there is an argument going on either one got to step up and talk about resolving the problems not doing anything will not help . So just as a reminder when a problem started talk about it closely or compromise to settle the real problem what is bothering them.

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