I look at him and he looks at me. I so badly want to tell him these things so that he can hear – really hear my heart. I am so afraid though. I am afraid that I will botch it up; I am afraid my words won’t come out right. I am afraid that everything will be misunderstood.
Normally, either one of two things happens. Either I hold everything inside and blow up at the worst possible moment, sending out a barrage of words that make no sense, or, I act passive aggressively to indicate every need I have.
But, you know what I find? These attempts to get attention – to get my way – end up infuriating my husband even more. They straight up are the worst approach possible. I can see how he might feel confused and unsure of what to do next.
In the moment, I think my messages are clear, but to him they are unclear.
The more I feel unable to be understood, the more frustrated I get. Then, he gets frustrated because he has no idea what I want. The cycle continues – and I am even more afraid to share.
And, so many women, like me, sit in these shoes. We posture and position in just the right way. We try to indicate exactly what we need and want. We give you signs, expressions and signals. We give you looks, crossed arms and dirty eyes. We do it all, to get your attention, but when we really lose it is when you can’t decipher our female Morse code.
We think we our signals are clear as day, but to you, they are lost in the night.
But, there is good news.
Today, rather than making you study our secret language, we are going to break it down and outright tell you what it is that we need – so there is not an ounce of confusion. Take notes, because this is exactly what we, women, want you to know, but are afraid to say. This is what exactly what we have been saying to you, but you could never decipher. This exactly what we need, underneath it all.
Are you ready? This is going to be a defining moment.
So, dear husbands, here is what so many wives wants you to know (but are completely afraid to say):
1. We can be fragile. We may seem like we put up a good fight, we may seem like we have things together, but often we really don’t. We can be easily broken. We may be hurting inside. Your words count. They count in our mind and they count in our heart. They count so much that we recount them often.
We need encouragement, support and affirmation from you. When you do this, we cannot tell you how special it is.
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” (Prov. 31:10)
2. We so often want to know that you SEE us. Look, we know that work gets busy. We know that dealing with the family, phone calls, sour business deals, dirty diapers, travel logistics and family portraits are wearing. We know this. We get this. In the midst of this juggling act, we just want to know that we are your all-in-all. We want to know that you would drop it all just to take a look at us – the one you married 5, 10, 20 years ago. We want to know that you see our daily struggles, that you see our work issues, that you see our passions and that you see our heart for you.
‘In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:28)
3. We want to know that you love us above all else. Many of us have grown up admiring our knights in shining armor. While times have changed – this desire to be loved and swept off our feet hasn’t – we still want to know that you would give it all up for our love. We want to know that you desperately, adoringly and passionately love us.
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25).
Let’s break this down some more. How do you do this?
You love us in the most meaningless moments of the day by doing little things that are special. Bring gifts, speak words of affection, admire us, serve us, help us around the house, hug us, listen to us and spend time with us. When you do these things, we feel loved. The more you do this, the more loved we feel. And – bottom line – the more love we feel, the more love we want to give.
4. We want you to know: We see how you work hard for us. We don’t always say it. We don’t always convey it. Why? Because life gets busy. It gets hectic. It gets crazy. But, wow, do we see what you do. It is not lost on us. We see your hard work, we see your passion for our family, we see your ability to multi-task and we see your self-sacrifice. We see it all. Because you do so much and you give so much – we often gain even greater respect for you.
We married you for a reason. We know your best qualities. Even though sometimes, we are afraid to affirm you for these things (mostly because we are feeling bad about ourselves), we still see them in you.
“The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” (Prov. 14:1)
5. We want you to know: We want to trust you more. Many of us haven’t trusted a lot of men in our lives. Why? Because so many of them let us down. But, you know what? You are different. We can feel afraid to tell you how much we trust you because we don’t know if you will believe us. Sometimes we think you just know we trust you because we don’t question you in situations. But, underneath it all, want to grow to trust you more. We especially want to go the extra mile with you when you do items #1-3 above.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Eph. 5:22)
P.S. We desire to be heard. If you can listen and understand all that our heart conveys, we feel so valued and, in return, often want to respect you that much more.
“Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way…” (1 Pet. 3:7)