Family Talk: What wives wish their husbands knew about them
A few weeks ago I wrote a column about what husbands wish their wives knew about men. I've had some requests for copies of the article, and I think it may have hit a chord with some folks. So, here's the other bookend: What wives wish their husbands knew about them.
As I did in my earlier column, I have consulted two trusty journalistic sources: Google and Facebook. Here's what I've learned women (supposedly) want their husbands to know.
Women want to spend “real time,” not just “in the same room” time, with their spouse. They actually want their men to interact and listen and not keep their face turned to the TV or Xbox while nodding and saying, “Uh huh,” pretending to listen.
Help around the house
One Saturday when I was cleaning the garage, my wife announced to me that I was sexy when I did work around the house. “What?! We've been married 15 years, and I'm just now finding that out! Get me another broom!” was my response. Truth is, women want, need and crave for their husbands to pitch in around the house. It's the No. 1 complaint I hear from women.
We men say thank you more to the restaurant waitress during a meal than we do to our wives for all they do for us and our family. Speak it. Write it on little Post-it Notes. Leave hidden thank you/love notes. Let them know they are appreciated, and don't take them for granted.
Another touchpoint that often falls to the wayside after a few years of marriage is nonsexual physical affection. Women reportedly need 8 to 10 “meaningful touches” each day. Most of us men fall short of that. A spontaneous neck rub. A pat on the shoulder. Holding her hand. For many of us, this does not come naturally, and we have to think and be intentional about it. But don't write yourself a note and tape it to your bathroom mirror as a reminder.
This is related to focused listening. Have you ever watched two women talk to each other? They nod vigorously. They ask questions like, “How did that make you feel?” They reach out and touch other in affirming ways. We men think we're listening when we sit quietly and don't interrupt. We have to communicate that we understand, and I think the best way to do that is to take a lesson from how women listen to other women.
And my informal survey of female Facebook friends affirmed these five needs:
Kendra: It's not the grand/expensive/big gestures that win our hearts ... it's the little things (like an unexpected note left where we can find it) that let us know they are thinking of us.
Lisa: Sometimes, we just want you to listen to our concerns or problems and tell us you understand, even when you don't. And, you don't always need to fix the situation, just listen. Also, be your wife's biggest fan!
Christina: Just a little bear hug can mean so much!
Connie: Wives need your romantic attention like a fish needs water. Wives need to know they are appreciated and that their opinions are important.
There you have it, men. Relationship wisdom you can use today. Apply liberally.
Jim Priest is CEO of Sunbeam Family Services and can be reached at email@example.com.