Since my husband and I started going to pre-marriage sessions with my pastor, he recommended we read the book, His Needs, Her Needs by Willard F. Harley, Jr. Although we have, admittedly, been slackers on finishing this book, along with the ten other books on our list, we are really enjoying this one. It has opened my eyes to what my husband needs and desires as a man and how I can fulfill those needs. It has also helped my husband to realize what my needs are. I’m trying to keep this book in mind when I’m ready to snap at my husband because we are wired so differently and a lot of times when I am angry or frustrated with him, it is because my needs are not being met. Likewise, when he isn’t too fond of me, it is usually because his needs are not being met. Kind of simple if you really think about it, right? A baby throws a fit if it’s hungry, I throw a fit if my husband isn’t paying attention to me, he gets grumpy if we aren’t having sex (yep, I’m going there) as often as he would like.
Over the last few weeks, my husband started going back to work at his second job due to the holiday season. His typical 9-5ish hours over the last few months have really spoiled me, and I hate that he works until 11 at night. Since he went back to work at his second job, I started feeling really neglected. When he came home from work, it felt like he didn’t want anything to do with me. I went out on a limb and bought really nice lingerie, which is something I NEVER do, and he didn’t seem all that excited to see it.
Girl, let me tell you, my spirit broke. I was crushed that the man that always has a smile on his face when he walks in the door after work grunted a brief “hello” on his way in. I was saddened by the fact that he didn’t show an interest in talking to me and got a little short with me when I tried to start a conversation. I was completely deflated when he wasn’t ready to hop into bed with me as soon as he saw the lingerie. I was ready to lash out at him, but I’m trying not to do that. Instead, I let him know (via text, so embarrassed in hindsight) that I felt neglected and I was feeling upset with him.
This is typically when a man sends back the “lol what do you mean?” message that enrages all of us ladies that just poured out our hearts via phone keyboard. Instead, my husband sent back a heartfelt apology about how sorry he was that I felt that way, it wasn’t intentional, and that he is just exhausted from work.
Oh, boy, did I feel that rage monster in my belly. Exhausted from work? Guess what pal, I’m working full time AND going to grad school and I’m still balancing all of the laundry and the dishes and the cleaning and trying to get everything ready for our new house and trying to exercise so I don’t get much chubbier and working on cooking more and trying to have sex with you once a week and
That’s when it hit me. While I was so wrapped up in all of the crap going on in my life, I had been neglecting my husband’s needs. According to the book His Needs, Her Needs, a man’s number one Thing He Can’t Live Without is sexual fulfillment. This girl has been falling short. When my husband is ready to make love, I always pull some lame excuse about how tired I am from work or “maybe tomorrow night, babe”. He gets upset with me, but he never gets angry or uses it against me when we fight. And of course, he never tries to push the issue or make me feel forced. He is the better person that I hope to someday be.
This whole situation made me realize what a double standard there is for married couples. I expect my husband to come home and show me affection (her need #1), have intimate conversations with me (her need #2), openness and honesty (her need #3), and financial support (her need #4). All of this while working 2 jobs, keeping up with housework, and helping me with our new house. And in return? I’m too tired to have sex (his need #1), too tired to go out for the night (recreational companionship, his need #2), and too tired to dress myself up nice for a date or go to the gym for that matter (physical attractiveness, his need #3). If I am not meeting his needs because I work too hard, how can I be expecting him to meet my needs when he is working just as hard?
Ladies, if your husband isn’t giving you the attention or affection you desire, take a good hard look at what you are doing to meet his needs. I am not saying you need to jump on the D everytime he blinks, no matter what you want or feel. That’s called sexual assault/coercion, which is not okay. What I’m saying is think about his needs. Men need to have sex with their significant others. Period. My husband and I split and stacked wood yesterday (in the literal sense, you perverts). I was physically exhausted and I felt like my back was going to snap in half. While we were heading home, my husband lovingly grabbed my butt and said, “I’m really horny.” Dude, you’re sweaty, you smell kind of funky, and you just moved about 1 ton of wood. This just proves my point. He wants sex just as badly as you want him to come home and talk to you about your day, to pay attention to you, and to show you affection.
I am not a perfect wife. I fall short in many ways and it is by the grace of God that my husband still puts up with me. But I’m trying every day to make myself better for him, whether that is trying to increase the number of times we have sex in a week, trying to do my hair and make up a little more appealing for him, watching his action movies that I would never watch by myself, or trying to plan a weekend of doing things we both like to do. I want these things to be natural, and I don’t want them to be perceived as me meeting his needs so he is more likely to try to meet mine. I just want him to be happy and I want to meet all of his needs. He deserves everything good in this universe and more.