The bible tells our husbands to live with us in an understanding way:
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7
As much as I think my husband should automatically understand me and know what my needs are, I’ve had to learn to communicate with him and accept that he is not a mind-reader.
I’d like to invite you to think about your emotional and sexual needs in your marriage. What do you want your husband to understand about you? How have you communicated these needs to your husband?
I’ve written quite a bit to encourage you to better understand your husband and his emotional and sexual needs. Loving our husbands requires us to know what helps them most feel loved.
There are things I wish I’d truly understood about Big Guy:
- His need for a good sexual relationship with me was truly about all levels of intimacy and not just about a physical release.
- Sex was the pathway to emotional connection between the two of us.
- Disagreeing with him in front of the kids affected him much more deeply than I will ever truly understand.
- He felt that my sexual rejection of him was a rejection of his whole self and made him feel very unloved.
Had I truly understood these things, it would have been easier for me to understand that his complaints about our sex life were an expression of his desire to deeply know me and to be deeply known and accepted by me—in the bedroom and beyond.
As much as I wish I’d understood my husband better, I also know that there are some things it would have been good for him to understand about me. These things reflect what I wanted my husband to desire about me and say nothing about what other women want. (Not all women feel the same way–so husbands, if you’re reading this, don’t assume any of it applies to your wife. Instead, let it guide you in knowing what questions to ask your wife about what she wants you to understand about her.)
- When I get affection and emotional connection only during sex, it makes me feel that sex is the only value I have to you.
- When you accept my “no” to your request for sex, I feel like I’m not even worth the effort to pursue me. I need to know that I’m worth your effort. I want you to make me want it—and when you don’t try, I feel like I don’t matter. Added: I want to clarify this since I worded it poorly. I do not mean that I wanted my husband to have sex with me despite my no. That would not have been okay and it would have damaged our relationship. It’s more that I wanted him to question and challenge my no–to ask me again, to woo me, and to help me develop the desire. I wanted him to help me push through my resistance and work through my feelings. I didn’t want him to ignore my no as much as help me change it into a yes.
- When I ask you to tell you what you love about me, what I really mean is to tell me how I make your life better and make your heart feel whole. I want you to tell me what you see that is special about me. I don’t want to know which body parts you like best.
- Telling me that you want me to fully participate but then falling asleep without making sure I’m satisfied tells me that you want me to participate only because it makes sex hotter for you. It tells me that it’s only your own pleasure that matters.
- It’s hard enough for me to say what I want sexually. When you disregard what I say, it tells me that there’s little point in saying anything the next time. A request to spend more time above my neck isn’t a delaying tactic; it’s an invitation to help my mind and body be able to engage with you sexually.
- On a related note, when I say slow, I mean way slower than what you’re doing, no matter how much you want to move on to the next thing.
- Being held and caressed with no sexual touch makes me feel cherished in ways I didn’t even know I needed. Please do more of that. For the rest of our lives. Please.
My journey of sexual growth has included becoming more aware of my own needs, communicating them to my husband, and learning how to let him know when one of these areas isn’t working so well. Although we’ve addressed most of the things on this list, some of them are still works in progress.
I’d love you to use the comment section to share what you wish your husband understood about your emotional and sexual needs.
What would you have liked your husband to understand about your needs in the past? What would you still like him to understand?
What you have done successfully to communicate these needs to him? What struggles do you still face? How can other readers and I encourage you? How can we pray for you?
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