Needs of Husbands & Wives

by Dr. D. W. Ekstrand
(A collection of studies from various writers)

Printable pdf Version of These StudiesPrintable pdf Version of These StudiesEmotional Differences Between Men and Women – Dr. James Dobson

How do men and women differ emotionally, and are those differences caused by cultural influences or genetic factors? No doubt, some of the differences in masculine and feminine characteristics are culturally induced. It is foolish, however, to discount the impact of genetics, physiology, and inborn temperaments in understanding the sexes. Radical feminists in the sixties and seventies tried to sell the notion that males and females are identical except for the ability to bear children. That is nonsense. Let me describe some of the differences between the sexes that appear to be determined, at least in part, by genetics.

The reproductive capacity of women results in greater needs for security and stability. In other words, because of their sense of responsibility for children, females are less likely to take risks and gamble with the future. Though it varies in individual situations, there is typically a healthy tension between a man and woman that interests me. He likes excitement, change, challenge, uncertainty, and the potential for huge returns on a risky investment. She likes predictability, continuity, safety, roots, relationships, and a smaller return on a more secure investment. These contrasting inclinations work to a couple's best advantage. She tempers his impulsive, foolish tendencies, and he nudges her out of apathy and excessive caution. These genetic tendencies have far-reaching implications. Medical science has not begun to identify all the ramifications of sexual uniqueness. We see the wisdom of the Creator in the way the sexes interrelate at this point.

Related to this is a woman's emotional investment in her home, which usually exceeds that of her husband. She typically cares more than he about the details of the house, family functioning, and the emotional intensity relating to the home. 

The sexes also typically differ in competitive drive. Anyone who doubts that fact should observe how males and females approach a game of Ping-Pong, Monopoly, dominoes, horseshoes, volleyball, or tennis. Women may use the event as a backdrop for fellowship and pleasant conversation. For men, the name of the game is conquest. Even if the setting is a friendly social gathering in the host's backyard, the beads of sweat on each man's forehead reveal his passion to win. This aggressive competitiveness has been attributed exclusively to cultural influences. I don't believe it. It is a function of testosterone and the working of the masculine brain. As Dr. Richard Restak said in his book The Brain: The Last Frontier, "At a birthday party for five-year-olds, it's not usually the girls who pull hair, throw punches, or smear each other with food."

As I've indicated, there has been an effort in the past thirty years to homogenize the personality traits of boys and girls. The behavior of which Restak wrote was perceived to have resulted from unfortunate cultural biases that could be overcome. Therefore, boys were encouraged to play with dolls and tea sets, and girls were given trucks and tools. It didn't work. To the irritation of mothers with strong feminist beliefs, boys turned out to be depressingly masculine, and no amount of "cross training" would change that fact.

Finally, a maternal inclination apparently operates in most women, although its force is stronger in some than others. The desire to procreate is certainly evident in those who are unable to conceive. I receive a steady influx of sad letters from women who express great frustration from their inability to become mothers. Although culture plays a major role in these longings, I believe they are rooted in female anatomy and physiology.

These items are illustrative and are not intended to be exhaustive or to represent a scientific delineation of male and female differences. It is clear from even this cursory examination, however, that God made two sexes, not one, and he designed them to fit together hand in glove. Neither is superior to the other, but each is certainly unique.

Top 10 Things Wives Want From Their Husbands – Sheri & Bob Stritof

In no particular order, here are ten things that many wives often want from their husbands. Note that these are "wants" – not emotional needs. As individuals, we are each responsible for filling our own emotional needs. We believe that the four basic emotional needs are the need to love and be loved; the need to belong; the need for a good self-image; and the need for autonomy.

1. Telling Her Daily That She is Loved – Everyone wants to be affirmed. Everyone wants to know they are loved. The best ways to say "I love you" are usually in simple, everyday, seemingly unimportant ways like an unexpected hug or holding hands when you walk together.

2. Understanding and Forgiveness -- There will be days when your wife will make mistakes or when she will be difficult to be around. No one is perfect. She both wants and deserves your willingness to understand and forgive her. Remember that no relationship can be sustained without forgiveness.

3. Conversation – Don't let your conversations with your wife dwindle to nothing but talk about your kids, your jobs, and the weather. If that happens, your marriage relationship could be in real trouble.

4. Willingness to Make Time for Her and Your Children – Having quality time with your wife and kids isn't something that just happens. You have to make it happen by not only making the plans but by following through. Time with those you love has to be a high priority for you.

5. Saying "Yes" More Than Saying "No"  – Habitual negative responses to your wife and kids can push them away from you. Think twice before saying "no" and you will be surprised at how saying "yes" can improve your relationships.

6. Listening Well – It's really disheartening for a wife to share her thoughts and feelings with her mate and then realize that he didn't actually listen to her. Your wife wants you to not only listen with your ears, but to listen with your heart.

7. Affection and Kindness – How often do you say "please" or "thank you" or give your spouse an unexpected kiss? Unfortunately, some married couples forget that being kind and affectionate to one another are keys to a successful marriage.

8. Sharing Household and Child Rearing Responsibilities – One of the main reasons couples fight is conflict over who is doing what around the house. Chores and child care are not the sole responsibility of your wife. She shouldn't have to ask you to do your share around the house.

9. A Day Off Now and Then – Don't fuss about your wife taking a day off several times a month. This means that she will be free from worrying about what is happening with the kids, the house, the pets, and you. She deserves this break in her schedule and she needs to provide it for herself to be emotionally and physically healthy.

10. Commitment to Take Care of Yourself Both Physically and Emotionally – Many men are notorious for not taking care of themselves when it comes to health issues. This isn't fair to your wife. She is your lover not your mother. Take responsibility for your own health concerns.

Top 10 Things Husbands Want From Their Wives – Sheri & Bob Stritof

In no particular order, here are ten things that many husbands often want from their wives. Note that these are "wants" – not emotional needs. As individuals, we are each responsible for filling our own emotional needs. We believe that the four basic emotional needs are the need to love and be loved; the need to belong; the need for a good self-image; and the need for autonomy.

1. Believe in His Capabilities – Many men believe it is important for them to protect and provide for those they love. Let him know that you believe in his talents and skills and are supportive of him.

2. Understanding – One of the ways you can both tell and show your husband that you want to understand him is by making a commitment to daily dialogue with him.

3. Affirmation of His Accomplishments – Men need acknowledgement and affirmation, and need to be [verbally] patted on the back. Genuinely compliment your husband often; but don't over do it with insincere sicky sweet oozes of how great he is – that phony garbage will backfire.

4. Acceptance – Many husbands are hurt and angered when their wives try to change them (the message you’re sending is, “you’re not good enough”). Realize that the only person that you can change is yourself.

5. Less Chatter – If your husband is tired, or involved with a project, and you really want to talk to him about something, get to the point. If he wants the details of the topic, he will ask for them.

6. Affection – Hold your husband's hand in public, leave a message of love on his voice mail, massage his shoulders, give him an unexpected kiss. Men also like to be romanced.

7. Respect – Show respect for your husband by not making negative comments about his thoughts and opinions – you’re asking for trouble when you demean and belittle his thinking). Be considerate of his plans, and avoid the "eye roll" when listening to him.

8. Free Time – Most everyone has a desire for some quiet time alone, and time to re-energize, regroup, and reconnect. When your husband first gets home from work, allow him some free time to unwind. Don't over-schedule his days off with projects around the house.

9. Trust – Trust is vital in the success of a marriage. If you are having doubts about your husband and find it difficult to trust him, seek counseling and not spying.

10. To Be a Companion – Hopefully, you can say that your husband is not only your lover, but also your friend. Staying friends and companions through the years requires that you find ways to make time together and to do things together – this is critical.

                                                                                          THE NEEDS OF A HUSBAND

When we treat someone as a valued gift and invest ourselves in caring for them, we build up their sense of self-worth and draw closer to them as well; conversely, when we neglect someone and don’t regard them as valuable, it not only negatively impacts them, our feelings for them also begin to wane. Interestingly enough, at the top of any man’s list of needs is respect from his mate – that’s the way God created men. Men need respect from their wives as much as they need air to breathe. So when a wife respects, nurtures, and affirms her husband, it not only builds him up and makes him a better man, it also deepens her love for him.

A man who doesn’t receive respect from his wife is a man who begins to wither on the inside. He’s all right as long as no one is standing on the air hose running to the tank labeled Respect. That is exactly why God calls wives to respect their husbands (Eph 5:33). Some believe that respect is something we all must earn, but that is not what Scripture teaches; just like love, respect from one spouse to another spouse must be unconditional. This is what Scripture teaches: “Show proper respect to everyone… not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh” (1 Pet 2:17-18).

There are countless stories of wives who when they started believing in their husbands and showing them respect, their husbands, in turn, began to change — both in their own thinking and beliefs and in how they treated and responded to their wives. How can a wife show respect for her husband? Here are just a few examples:

• Express faith in his decision and ability.
• Leave him notes (men respond better to the written word) that tell him how much you value who he is as a person (and sometimes for his work).
• If he botches a task at home, don’t sigh, roll your eyes, and mutter at him; instead, thank him for trying.
• Make positive suggestions without demanding an immediate answer. Ask him to reflect on it for a while.
• Listen to his upsets and don’t take his anger personally.
• Let him vent when he needs to.
• Encourage him in areas where he doesn’t feel secure and let him know you stand behind him.
• When he makes a decision you’re not in favor of, listen.
• Talk about his positive strengths in front of the children.
• Praise him at least once a day.
• Discover the uniqueness of his personality and learn to understand him and communicate better with him.
• Accept his maleness and celebrate the differences that come from this.

Ask yourself which of these you did this past month in an effort to show your husband respect. Then ask yourself how you will find ways to do these things in the coming month and beyond.

One of the pastors I respected greatly as a young man was the famous black pastor E.V. Hill, who served for many years as pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in LA. When E.V. first began in the ministry, he was a hard worker who wanted to provide for his wife, but he was also a young preacher who struggled to make enough money just to pay for the necessities.

Pastor Hill’s wife appreciated his efforts to protect and provide for her, even though some months there wasn’t enough money to pay all the bills. One night, he came home and noticed immediately that the house was dark. When he opened the door, he saw that his wife, Jane, had prepared a candlelight dinner. He loved the idea, but when he went to the bathroom to wash up, he flipped the light switch and nothing happened. Then he went to the bedroom and tried the lights. Again… there was nothing. The entire house was dark.

He went back and asked his wife why the lights didn’t work. Jane began to cry and said, “You work so hard, but it’s rough. I didn’t have enough money to pay the electric bill. I didn’t want you to know about it, so I thought we would just eat by candlelight!” Dr. Hill described this experience with deep emotion: “My wife could have said, “I never had this happen in the home I was raised in.” But she didn’t berate or blame him. Instead she said, “Somehow we’ll get these lights back on, but tonight let’s eat by candlelight.”

Our calling to love and respect is a calling regardless of what the other person does. It’s sacrificial! It’s in the scriptures! And it works!
The above article comes from the book, One Marriage Under God: Building an Everlasting Love, written by H. Norman Wright, published by Multnomah Press.  This is a book that helps us see things from God’s perspective, clarifying the institution of marriage as God originally created it—a beautiful committed, eternal bond.  Dr Wright was one of my professors in seminary – in this book he gives insights on the following subjects:

• Whether you married the “right” or “wrong” person is entirely up to you
• God has a good plan for every marriage
• Your marriage needs to be re-created daily
• The culture’s alternatives to marriage are destructive; God’s plan is flawless
• The benefits of marriage are a carefully guarded secret
• And “Me” or “We?”

Naturally much of the foregoing material is not found in “secular literature” or propagated by “secular psychologists” as to marital problem solving – secularists refuse to accept the fact that the sexes are indeed “created” (there’s the million dollar word secularists vomit on!) differently; furthermore, they will not tolerate the idea that husbands and wives actually have “different roles” in marriage. So here is where the “tension” comes into play – either one is going to embrace the “cultural secular viewpoint,” or the “divine godly viewpoint.” 

                                                                                               MARRIAGE RESPONSIBILITIES
                                                                                                                    (Authority & Submission)

The fact that all believers are “one in Christ Jesus” does not mean that earthly relationships are abolished. We must still respect the various forms of authority and government which God has instituted. Every well-ordered society rests on two supporting pillars – authority & submission. There must be some who exercise authority and some who submit to that rule. This principle is so basic that it is found even in the Godhead – “the head of Christ is God” (1 Cor 11:3). Conversely, “the head of the wife is the husband” (Eph 5:23); “the head of the church is Christ” (Eph 5:23); “the head of the child is the parent” (Eph 6:1); and “the head of the slave is the master” (Eph 6:5). God ordained human government, and we are to obey and submit to our leaders in so far as we don’t disobey or deny the Lord (Heb 13:17). The absence of government is anarchy, and no society can survive under anarchy. Throughout society one will find authority and submission reflected in every institution – be it in the governing of citizens (the president has authority over the people in his sphere of influence); the police (they have authority over the citizen as far as the law permits); the teacher over the student; the parents over the children; the coach over the players; the employer over the employee; etc., etc. Can you imagine a society without authority and submission? Chaos and the survival of the fittest.

The same is true in the “home.” There must be a head, and there must be obedience to that head. God ordained that the place of headship be given to the man. He indicated this by creating man first, then creating woman for the man. Thus, both in the order and purpose of creation,   He put man in the place of authority and woman in the place of submission.

Submission never implies inferiority. The Lord Jesus is submissive to God the Father, but in no way is He inferior to Him. The president of a country is not superior to his subjects; the teacher is not superior to his students; the employer is not superior to his employees; and the parent  is not superior to his child. In the same way, neither is the man superior to the woman. Because one individual may have a “superior role,” does not mean the other individual is “inferior” to them. As far as human essence is concerned, all people are “equal” – though their roles may not be equal, their essence is equal. Each of us in life occupies roles of authorityand roles of submission at the same time – we are all subject to our elected officials (as far as their sphere of influence is concerned); the same can be said with regard to police officers, to our employers, to our teachers, and to the leaders in the church, etc. In many ways we may actually be smarter or superior to those to whom we are called to submit – that is not the issue; we are still called to submit to those in positions of authority. A woman may be superior to her husband in devotedness, in sympathy, in diligence, in intelligence, and in heroic endurance; nevertheless, wives are commanded tosubmit to their own husbands as to   the Lord” (Eph 5:22). In submitting to the authority of her husband, a wife is submitting to the Lord’s authority. This in itself should remove any attitude of reluctance or rebellion.

History abounds with illustrations of the chaos resulting from disobedience to God’s pattern. By usurping the place of leadership, and acting for her husband, Eve introduced sin into the human race, with all its catastrophic results. In more recent times many of the false cults were started by women who usurped a place of authority which God never intended them to have. Women who leave their God-appointed sphere can wreck  a local church, break up a marriage, and destroy a home. On the other hand, there is nothing more attractive than a woman fulfilling the role which god has assigned to her. A full-length portrait of such a woman is given in Proverbs 31 – an enduring memorial to the wife and mother who pleases the Lord. In all likelihood, what you discover in Proverbs 31 will probably surprise you – it’s not what most people think.

The husband is the head of the wife, and he is her preserver as well. As “head” he loves, leads, and guides; as “preserver” he provides, protects, and cares for her. We all know there is great revulsion against this teaching in our day, simply because men that are “not in Christ” are in a state of rebellion against God and His plan for the human family.

                                                                                         THE NEEDS OF THE HUSBAND

No one plays as significant a role in meeting a man’s unique needs as his wife. Researchers have identified his needs, but only his wife can truly satisfy them. Some of your husband’s most basic needs in marriage are: (1) to be admired, (2) to have autonomy, and (3) to enjoy shared activity. Following is the need to “be admired.”

He Needs to be Admired. Being appreciated is a man’s primary need. He measures his worth through his achievements, big and small, and needs them to be recognized. A woman’s need for admiration and appreciation, while certainly important, is rarely as strong as a man’s need for it. When a woman seeks appreciation she is more accurately wanting to be understood, to be validated. There is a significant difference between men and women when it comes to being admired. Men derive their worth more from what they do, while women derive their worth more from who they are.

Look at it this way. When women do not receive admiration from their spouse, they tend to be more motivated than ever to earn it. But when a man does not receive admiration from his spouse, he begins to lose motivation to try. Without a feeling of being admired, a man’s energy is drained. He soon feels inadequate and incapable of giving support. Without being admired, men lose their will to give. You have no idea how damaging a critical statement is to your man’s personal power. He responds to not being admired the same way you do when he invalidates your feelings. It is demoralizing.

I counseled a woman who became confused when, after criticizing her husband, he did not try harder to earn appreciation from her. She mistakenly assumed that she could manipulate him to give more by withdrawing her appreciation. But that never works with a man. Admiration is the fuel a man needs to get going. It gives him power.

Now, before you begin heaping words of praise on your spouse, I need to give you a word of caution. Never fake your admiration. By simply saying flattering words to your husband, you can do more harm than good. To have any value, praise must genuinely reflect your feelings.

                                            Wives Need Love; Husbands Need Respect (Part 1) – Donald J. Ibbitson, PhD

In a marriage, husbands need respect and wives need love just like fish need water – to survive! In our marriage counseling practice, we incorporate principles from a wonderful book by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs called “Love & Respect”. I strongly encourage every married couple to pick up a copy of this book even if you perceive your marriage to be healthy and strong. In this first of a three part series, I want to highlight the needs in this area and then address the specific needs for husbands and wives in parts two and three.

During our counseling sessions with couples, there is a common theme that we typically hear from each partner. Wives, almost invariably, will question whether or not their husbands really love them. The husbands, on the other hand, will circle their wagons about the issue of not feeling respected. There are some specific directions in scripture about how wives and husbands should treat each other. As a counselor, and as a husband of thirty-plus years myself, I have come to realize that men and women are different and have different needs in so many areas (you are probably saying, “wow, really?!”) and that we can try to meet each other’s needs out of our own perceived need.

Husbands want to be loved and respected and so do wives so let’s be clear about that. However, one of the fundamental differences between the “must have” needs of the two. Look at Ephesians 5:33. Paul writes, “Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” There is a connection between love and respect that is easily missed: wives need love and husband needs respect. That is why Paul commands his readers (and us) in this regard.

As couples work to meet each other’s needs in this area, the marriage is strengthened and invigorated (Eggerichs calls it the “Energizing Cycle”). The key aspect of a cycle is that each need is met in a healthy way; the marriage is strengthened as each partner is fed. On the other hand, there can be a “Crazy Cycle” in which the disrespected husband decides to withhold love from his wife and thus brings on more disrespect (at least in his mind) upon himself and so it goes. The crazy cycle continues.

The key for rebuilding marriages is to quit the crazy cycle and embark upon the energizing cycle. Easier said than done, you say? Of course; but it can done if both are willing. Also, even one willing partner can begin to meet the other spouse’s needs and see turnaround begin to happen. Impossible you say? Not at all. We’ve seen it many times in our counseling practice. Hard? Absolutely! How important is your marriage? Are you willing to more than your share to make it work and trust the promises and power of God to do a work in restoration and renewal even to a better place than when you were first married? Could you unconditionally love (agape) your spouse enough to focus on meeting his or her needs? In the next two parts, we’re going to look at the specific needs for wives and husbands so you can learn what your spouse needs.

                                              Wives Need Love; Husbands Need Respect (Part 2) – Donald J. Ibbitson, PhD 

In a marriage, husbands need respect and wives need love just like fish need water – to survive! In this second part, we look at the husband's need for respect. In part 1 of this series, we posited the view above based upon Dr. Emerson Eggerichs book “Love & Respect” and encourage you to get a copy to better understand the principles. We want to focus now on the husband’s need for respect and how a wise wife, with good intentions, can respond and embark upon a new path.

Respect is a man’s deepest value. As a counselor, the number one complaint I hear from husbands is that their wives do not respect them. Given the choice between living a solitary life unloved or living in a world where he is not respected, most men will choose the former. Men and women see life differently because of these different needs. Men will hear criticism as contempt and this will often cause him to become silent, withdraw from giving love which, as we will see in the final part of this series, further alienates their wives.

Emerich’s uses a C-H-A-I-R acronym to help wives understand this need in their husbands. It is important to understand that the wise wife will choose to respect her tangible ways not because he necessarily deserves it in her view but because she is commanded to (Eph 5:33), it is pleasing to the Lord and because she can unilaterally begin to take steps to see positive change in her marriage.

      C – Conquest – Appreciate his desire to work and achieve
      H – Hierarchy – Appreciate his desire to protect and provide
      A – Authority – Appreciate his desire to serve and lead
      I – Insight – Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel
     R – Relationship – Appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship

The word “appreciate” means to tangibly express and declare these affirmations to your husband in sincere and non-manipulative ways. These actions, when implemented sincerely, provide practical biblical ways to become more respectful women. I can almost hear the howls from some wives who would rightly declare that their husbands are not doing any or many of these things now, are not deserving of these expressions of appreciation.

My question is simple: has fighting, nagging, arguing or anything else been successful? Why not try these simple steps? I am not saying you will not experience some angst as you endeavor to walk this out. However, wives, if you can truly choose to believe that your husband needs your respect even more than he needs your love, wouldn’t you at least want to energetically try this approach? Choose to be a respectful wife even before you receive the love you need and deserve. Easy? Of course not. But let me ask you: isn’t the heart of a “successful” marriage based upon servanthood. Someone has to make the first move many times and usually it is the most spiritually mature one. If you are in the midst of another “crazy cycle” (see Part 1 of this series for an explanation), couldn’t the wife choose to break that cycle, enter into the “energizing cycle” by beginning to meet his needs in an unselfish way? In the next part, we will address the needs for the wife and how a wise husband, with good intentions, can choose to give his wife the love she truly needs.

                                              Wives Need Love; Husbands Need Respect (Part 3) – Donald J. Ibbitson, PhD

In a marriage, husbands need respect and wives need love just like fish need water – to survive! In part 1 of this series, we posited the view above based upon Dr. Emerson Eggerichs book “Love & Respect” and encourage you to get a copy. If spouses can gain wisdom and purpose to obey Eph 5:33 then great marriage turnarounds are possible! The road is not necessarily easy but it can be fruitful! In part 2, we addressed the needs of the husband. In this third and concluding part, we want to focus on the wife’s compelling need for love and how a wise husband can respond.

Love from their husbands is a wife’s deepest value. While men view silence from their spouse as contempt (lack of respect), women will view it as hostility. This behavior feeds the “crazy” cycle that brings destruction. Most times, what men perceive as their wives trying to control them is really them trying to connect. Women confront to connect; to receive the love they so desperately need. If men will use biblical principles, not a “get in tune with their feminine side” mentality espoused in the world, they will learn how to get through conflicts and begin to see a softening in their spouses.

Eggerich’s uses a clever “C-O-U-P-L-E” acronym to help husbands understand this need in their wives. It is important to understand that the wise husband will choose to respect her tangible ways not because he necessarily deserves it in her view but because she is commanded to (Ephesians 5:33), it is pleasing to the Lord and because she can unilaterally begin to take steps to see positive change in her marriage.

Closeness – Wives want their husbands to be close. Wives feel close when we hold their hand, hug her, are affectionate (without sexual motivation), make it a priority to spend time with them and so on.

Openness – Wives want their husbands to open up with them. Wives want to be kept up-to-date

Understand – Husbands should not try to “fix” their wives, just listen. Men tend to be natural fixers. Sometimes wives want a solution but most often they just want a sympathetic ear.

Peacemaking – Wives want their husbands to say, “I’m sorry.” It’s hard for most men to say they are sorry because they fear they will lose respect (there’s that compelling need again!). Words are very powerful to wives and a sincere word of apology brings healing and closeness for her

Loyalty – Wives need to know their husbands are committed. A good-hearted husband will speak highly of his wife in front of others and is involved in activities that are important to her. He does not embarrass her or look lustfully at other women

Esteem – Wives want their husbands to honor and cherish them. 1 Peter 3:7 says, “Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Men often wonder why God doesn’t seem to be hearing their prayers. 

                                                           WHAT HUSBANDS NEED FROM THE WIVES THEY LOVE
                                                     MORE THAN ANYTHING THEY NEED THEIR WIVES “RESPECT” – Dan Robinson

According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, in his book, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires/ The Respect He Desperately Needs, (Thomas Nelson, 2004), "Cracking the communication code between husband and wife involves understanding one thing: that unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.  It Is the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, and yet few couples ever find."

So, that said, what are wives supposed to do? How are they supposed to do it? What if their men don't deserve it? What if, what if, what if, won't get wives the love they need. It begins with taking the words: "I'm right", "my way or the highway", "you first", out of the marriage vocabulary. As Dr. Eggerichs explains: "When a husband feels disrespected, it is especially hard to love his wife. When a wife feels unloved, it is especially hard to respect her husband." Disrespect equals no love, equals a crazy, merry-go-round of conflicts and no resolutions. So, now what? Here are some tips:

Stop the Crazy Cycle

Spouses need to first realize they are in a crazy cycle. Next, they need to stop it, step back and begin to understand new ways to meet each others' basic needs for love and respect. Men need unconditional respect, not contempt. Wives need unconditional love. When wives show respect for their husbands it should not be based on any conditions, according to Dr. Eggerichs. By the wife showing unconditional respect, the husband can learn to show unconditional love.

No One's Perfect – Not Even Husbands

Yeah, he leaves wet towels on the floor, doesn't clean his dirty dishes, tosses his dental floss in the toilet, but, if wives can overlook their husbands' flaws, often they will see something worth noticing. Does he go to work everyday to take care of the family? Does he feed the dog, or take the kids to school?  Know that husbands forget sometimes, don't do things exactly as their wives would like them to do it. They don't do this to be mean. They just don't think the same way their wives do. Giving them the benefit-of-the-doubt can also mean giving them the respect they need. Don't allow the "little foxes" to eat away and erode the good things he does. In fact, wives who give husbands the respect they so crave in the form of compliments and affirmations, score big on feeling loved back.

Wives Need to be Giving and Understanding

Couples who have the happiest, healthiest of marriages tend to focus on the other person's needs, first. The words, "what have you done for me lately?" are not in their vocabulary. It is about pleasing the other person.   For wives, to "crack this code," it's a matter of having the "courting attitude." Remember, when the main thing ever was how to please him? Husbands need to be "built up" by their wives. Brag on him in front of his kids and friends. Wives should show their husbands kindness even when they think they don't seem to deserve it. If the husband is not a cold stone of a man, he will return the kindness with unconditional love. He will "want" to do it.  So, don't stand by and wait. Wives need to realize they can get that unconditional love they want, when they show unconditional respect to their husbands. Stop the "me first," crazy cycle, realize husbands are not perfect, overlook flaws, be a "good-finder," and that unconditional love will most likely follow.

Read more at Suite101: What Husbands Need From the Wives They Love: Most Husbands Have One Major Need – Their Wives' Respect |

                                                       – The following material is mainly scientific & secular in its orientation –                                         

                                              PSYCHOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MEN & WOMEN 

Recent researches, psychology and biology have pointed out many differences between men and women that can help us understand them both in a better way. Sometimes the main reason communication problems happen between men and women is that they don't quite understand the differences between themselves well. Had men and women understood their psychological and biological differences they would have understood each other better and less problems would have happened between them. In this article I will point out some of the major psychological and biological differences between men and women. Major differences between men & women:

1. Communication skills & body language: The communication center inside a woman's brain is much larger than the communication center inside a man's brain. Women are generally better able to process words and to use language than men provided that all other factors are constant. Women pay special attention to words, read in between lines and can notice the body language of people along with their facial expressions in a much better way than men. 

2. Sharing vs problem solving: Men in general are more independent than women. They even prefer to solve their problems alone without talking about them. Women on the other hand become distressed if they didn't share their problems with their friends even if their friends weren't able to provide solutions. This is a famous point of conflict where a woman tells her man about a problem with the intention of sharing   it with him then becomes surprised by the man's single line answer (which is intended to provide a solution to the problem). This is also the reason why women go to bathroom in groups, they just like to share the experience of the day together in a place where no man can watch them.

3. Attraction and sex: The area inside the brain responsible for sexual desire is much bigger inside the man's brain and as a result: 1) Men think about sex more often than women; 2) Men care about looks much more than women care about looks; 3) Men can easily get attached to a woman just because she looks hot. In my book “How to make someone fall in Love with You,” I said that women do care about looks as well as other important personality traits and resources while men idolize physical looks and can sacrifice many other traits for the sake of getting along with the most attractive woman.

4. Aggression vs diplomacy: Women are biologically wired to avoid conflict unless some other psychological factor comes into play and affects their original nature (such as hating their identity). Men on the other hand are much more aggressive in general. Researches have shown that men are better than women in recognizing angry faces and this enables them to quickly notice their opponents. A typical woman would try to avoid conflict and maintain peace while a typical man will hardly back off if someone threatened or challenged him.

5. Logical thinking vs emotional thinking: Men in general can take decisions without being emotionally affected that much, while women in general take into consideration other factors that are related to emotions that most men overlook. 

Over generalization and psychological differences between men and women

I know that at this point you might want to tell me that you know a woman who is aggressive or a man who takes emotional decisions instead of logical ones. The differences I discussed above are the factory settings or the initial programming that both men and women are created with. Because of the external influences that latter affect the development of their personalities some men and women override their initial programming and act against their nature.

How life experiences can override the psychological nature of men and women

For example a girl who was raised in a family that didn't make her feel that she was loved might grow to become an aggressive woman just because she thinks that everyone around her is her enemy. Here is another example, women are biologically wired to seek protection and to become attracted to the most resourceful man who can provide protection. Now if a woman had a severe self image problem then this instruction inside her mind might get overwritten and she might find herself attracted to the most hand-some man with disregard to his  status. In such a case winning the heart of the attractive man will prove to her that she is attractive and will help her feel good about her looks.   In summary, the factory default settings of men and women can sometimes be overridden by external influences.

                                                                                                THE MISMEASURE OF WOMAN 

Men and women think differently…but not that differently.

In the 1970s there was a fad for giving dolls to baby boys and fire-engines to baby girls. The idea was that differences in behavior between the sexes were solely the result of upbringing: culture turned women into ironers, knitters and chatterboxes, and men into hammerers, drillers and silent types. Switching toys would put an end to sexual sorting. Today, it is clear why it did not. When boys and girls are born, they are already different, and they naturally favor different toys from the beginning. 

That boys and girls—and men and women—are programmed by evolution (creation) to behave differently from one another is now widely accepted. Surely, no one today would think of doing what John Money, of Johns Hopkins University, did in 1967 – amputating the genitalia of a boy who had suffered a botched circumcision, and advising the parents to bring him up as a girl. The experiment didn't work, and the consequences were tragic. But which of the differences between the sexes are “biological”, in the sense that they have been honed by evolution (creation), and which are “cultural” or “environmental” and might more easily be altered by changed circumstances, is still fiercely debated.
The sensitivity of the question was shown last year by a furor at Harvard University. Larry Summers, then Harvard's president, caused a storm when he suggested that innate ability could be an important reason why there were so few women in the top positions in mathematics, engineering and the physical sciences. 

Related topics 

Even as a proposition for discussion, this is unacceptable to some. But biological explanations of human behavior are making a comeback as the generation of academics that feared them as a covert way of justifying eugenics, or of thwarting Marxist utopianism, is retiring. The success of neo-Darwinism has provided an intellectual underpinning for discussion about why some differences between the sexes might be innate. And new scanning techniques have enabled researchers to examine the brain's interior while it is working, showing that male and female brains do, at one level, operate differently. The results, however, do not always support past clichés about what the differences in question actually are.

Baby blues and pinks

In the past, it was assumed that a female was simply a male with hormones, says Tracey Shors, a professor of neuroscience at Rutgers University. The truth is the exact opposite. Female is the default brain setting. Until the eighth week of gestation every human fetal brain looks female. The brain, like the rest of the human body, becomes male as a result of surges of testosterone — one during gestation and one shortly after birth.

This wash of hormones creates an organ that generates typically boyish behavior, such as rough-and-tumble play. Behavioral differences appear early. For example, a one-day-old girl will look for longer at a face than at a mechanical mobile; a boy will prefer the mobile. That it is testosterone exposure which causes such preferences is suggested by two sorts of research. Several studies have shown that girls with a genetic disorder which exposes them to abnormally high prenatal levels of testosterone often develop boyish patterns of play. As regards boys, Simon Baron-Cohen and Svetlana Lutchmaya, two researchers at Cambridge University, found that boys exposed to relatively high levels of testosterone in the womb looked less often at their mothers' faces, made eye contact less frequently and had smaller vocabularies than those exposed to lower levels — though this study has yet to be replicated successfully by other researchers. 

Within a year of birth, boys and girls also prefer different toys. Boys prefer cars, trucks, balls and guns. Girls prefer dolls and tea sets. Although evolution (creation) has clearly not had the opportunity to mould a preference for tea sets, there is evidence from another species which suggests that human infants might be predisposed to prefer toys that have particular adaptive significance to their sex. Several years ago, Melissa Hines, of City University in London, and Gerianne Alexander, of Texas A&M University, gave some vervet monkeys a selection of toys, including rag dolls, pans, balls and trucks. Male monkeys spent more time with the trucks and balls. Females played for longer with the dolls. Obviously, cultural stereotyping is an improb-able explanation for this. Nor could male monkeys have evolved a preference for fire engines. The theory put forward to explain what happened—and the similar innate preferences of human children—is that the toys preferred by young females are objects that offer opportunities for expressing nurturing behavior, something that will be useful to them later in life. Young males, whether simian or human, prefer toys that can be used actively or propelled in space, and which afford greater opportunities for rough play.

Just behave

Differences in behavior between the sexes must, in some way, be reflections of systematic differences between the brains of males and females. Such differences certainly exist, but drawing inferences from them is not as easy as it may appear. For a start, men's brains are about 9% larger than those of women. That used to be cited as evidence of men's supposedly greater intelligence. Actually, the difference is largely (and probably completely) explained by the fact that men are bigger than women. In recent years, more detailed examination has refined the picture. Female brains have a higher percentage of grey matter (the manifestation, en bloc, of the central bodies of nerve cells), and thus a lower percentage of white matter (the manifestation of the long, thin filaments that connect nerve cells together), than male brains. That, plus the fact that in some regions of the female brain, nerve cells are packed more densely than in men, means that the number of nerve cells in male and female brains may be similar. Oddly, though, the main connection between the two hemispheres of the brain, which is known as the corpus callosum and is made of white matter, is proportionately smaller in men than women. This may explain why men use only one side of the brain to process some problems for which women employ both sides. 

These differences in structure and wiring do not appear to have any influence on intelligence as measured by IQ tests. It does, however, seem that the sexes carry out these tests in different ways. In one example, where men and women perform equally well in a test that asks them to work out whether nonsense words rhyme, brain scanning shows that women use areas on both the right and the left sides of the brain to accomplish the task. Men, by contrast, use only areas on the left side. There is also a correlation between mathematical reasoning and temporal-lobe activity in men—but none in women. More generally, men seem to rely more on their grey matter for their IQ, whereas women rely more on their white matter

Dr Baron-Cohen suggests that innate preferences can be carried into adulthood, too. He studies autism and Asperger's syndrome, conditions that are far more common in boys than girls. His theory is that, from birth, female brains are hardwired for understanding emotions (empathizing) and male brains for understanding and building systems (systemizing). Hence the diverse preferences for toys. The notion is that autistic children—and autistic adults—have extremely male brains. In other words, they are especially good at systemizing and especially bad at empathizing. Autism is, indeed, an extreme example. But there are thousands of studies on psychological differences between the sexes. For example, men are said to be more aggressive and better at mathematics, while women are more emotional and have better verbal skills.

                                                                Physical Differences Between Males & Females

Over the years there have been many arguments and studies relating to this subject and, although some gender differences are proven and some still controversial, they should not be confused with sexist stereotypes. No one can really tell whether these gender differences are caused by nature (creation?) or environment-learned, but the fact is that some amount of sex differentiation takes place immediately as the male or female begins to develop within the womb. Some differ-ences (such as reproductive organs) are congenital, while others obviously environmental (such as given names). Contrary to the beliefs of feminists or bisexuals, several studies have proven that there are expressed differences between males and females programmed within the DNA from the moment of conception.

Physical differences – The obvious differences between men & women include the following:

1. An average man is taller and heavier than an average woman.
2. Men have more body hair than women do, especially on the chest and extremities.
3. Women are more sensitive to sound than men.
4. Men are over 30% stronger than women, especially in the upper body. Although many feminists cannot face this fact, females simply do not have the strength or endurance necessary to be, for example, effective combat soldiers.
5. On average, girls begin puberty changing approximately two years before boys.
6. Men have larger hearts and lungs, and their higher levels of testosterone cause them to produce greater amounts of red blood cells
7. Differences in intake and delivery of oxygen translates into some aspects of performance: when a man is jogging at about 50% of his capacity, a woman will need to work at over 70% of her capacity to keep up with him.
8. Female fertility decreases after age 35, ending with menopause, but men are capable of making children even when very old.
9. Men’s skin has more collagen and sebum, which makes it thicker and oilier than women’s.
10. Women generally have a greater body fat percentage than men.
11. Men and women have different levels of certain hormones; for example, men have a higher concentration of androgens such as testosterone, while women have a higher concentration of estrogens.
12. An average male brain has approximately 4% more cells and 100 grams more brain tissue than an average female brain. This is not connected with intelligence – research points to no overall difference in intelligence between males and females. However, both sexes have similar brain weight to body weight ratios.
13. In men, the second digit is often shorter than the fourth digit, while in females the second tends to be longer than the fourth.
14. Men have better distance vision and depth perception, and usually better vision in lighted environments. Women have better night vision, see better at the red end of the light spectrum, and have better visual memory.