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7 of the Greatest Needs of a Wife

By April 30, 2014July 31st, 2020Family, Marriage

In my years of counseling and ministering to married couples, mostly in distress, I have learned some principles that run fairly consistent within each marriage. Couples really are not that different from each other.
There are common needs most men and women bring to a marriage in order to make the marriage the best it can be. We may use different terms, but the needs remain relatively similar from marriage to marriage. While this is based on my observations they seem to resonate with many couples.

I’ve also learned that understanding the needs is the first step in addressing them. We only know what we know. Here’s to a better understanding of each other’s needs. Be sure to read the husband’s greatest list HERE.

Here are 7 of the greatest needs of a wife:

Love – Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” How did Christ love the church? 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.”

Men, do you love your wife above everything else in your life (apart from your Christ relationship) including your work, your hobbies, your friends, family, and even the children? And, more importantly, do your actions prove your words?

Attention – Wives want to be listened to (even when the television is on) and know that we believe what they have to say is important. Our wives would prefer to talk with us over other women, even though another woman might better understand.

Men, are you truly listening to what your wife is saying? Again, do your actions prove this?

Protection – Wives want their husbands to be the defender of the family; not just against the strange sounds in the night, but against all the threats in society. They want us to take the ownership in leading our family spiritually and in teaching our kids how to defend themselves and stay strong in an evil world.

Men, are you working to protect your family — from all threats?

Security/Commitment – The wife wants to know you are going to be there forever. Wives often see their visually stimulated husbands looking at other women. Does she know you won’t cheat on her? Are you going to be faithful always?

Men, can she trust you? Do your actions build that confidence?

Appreciation/Value – Wives want to be valued for who they are as much as for what they do. Wives want to know we see them with value beyond just what she does to keep the household running. Is she more important than the stuff she does? Is she still beautiful?

Men, do you regular tell her what you admire about her? Do you genuinely compliment her — not just what she does?

Compassion – The Bible refers to women as the “weaker vessels”. Of course this doesn’t mean they are less than men, but that men and women are different. Women are going to respond differently to situations. They may cry easier, take longer to resolve things emotionally, feel tired quicker. Also, wives want a little romance in the marriage. (For most of us, if we’ve been married over a week they already know that’s not going to happen with you.) We can all, however, be kind, loving, and occasionally romantic. We usually get good credit here just for honestly trying.

Men, do you understand that your wife is not wired like you? Are you patient with her, allowing her to process things differently than you? Are you still attempting to be romantic at times — pursuing your wife — like you did before you were married?

Partnership – Wives don’t want to do life alone. They want their husband’s participation in raising the kids, making decisions around the house and yes, sometimes even picking out paint colors. They want someone to do life with them, not live two separate lives in the same household.

Men, would your wife say you are truly her partner? Are the two of you becoming one more everyday?

Ladies, that’s my list. Again, it’s from personal observation. What would you add to the list?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 40 Comments

  • Renee Wilson says:

    I just want to right my wrong by cheating with married man with a family. We both lied to her right to her face, I want to call her to apologize. This has been going on for years and I would not anyone doing this to my husband.

  • Elissa Douglass says:

    I would add financial security as the top need of a woman. Even if we can support ourselves alone, it feels safe to know a man is the primary breadwinner and his number one goal is to provide for his wife and children. A man’s ability to provide the basic needs is at the heart of what women respect and value the most in a man. The truth.

  • Ia says:

    Something to note is that there are many women who don’t “need” anything from their husbands and I’m sure there are many men out there who don’t “need” anything from their wives. I think it’s safe to say that we can’t generalize what all men or women will need. If there are individual needs in a marriage that aren’t being met I’d recommend these steps:
    1) The Holy Spirit is capable and intent and desirous of fulfilling all of our needs. Period.
    2) Communication- respectively and considerately have a discussion with your partner about what you can do differently in the relationship for their benefit and what you would like for them to do differently for your benefit. Obviously try to be certain you aren’t asking anything that is unfair, unbalanced or hindering to your spouse as an individual.

  • Jane says:

    After 40 years of marriage, the two most important pillars of a strong marriage to me are honesty and respect. First comes honesty, then respect. If those are missing, nothing else matters.

  • nkuly says:

    I agree with every point that is mentioned here thank you and may God bless U

  • Adams says:

    What would I add to this list? Commitment to something other than the couch and the TV. Keeping your word, even on the little stuff — if you say you're going to help with a chore, don't make her wait 6 months to get it done. Protection — against the inlaws for whom she will apparently never be good enough, or the 'friends' who rip her apart, seemingly with your encouragement. Protection against the pain that sets in when she faces unemployment while still trying to be your wife.
    Maybe I'm just being unrealistic.

  • Brenda says:

    How about respecting your wife by not watching pornographic material everyday.

  • chuxjazz says:

    Great truth… Am learning better

  • Elain says:

    Sex. We want sex with passion!

  • Shadia Gray says:

    I would say to be inclusive. Yes inclusive. We want to know you enjoy spending time with us around family and friends. We are not the well kept secret.

  • Michele says:

    Men need to give their wives NON SEXUAL Physical Contact!! You didn't attract her attention when you were dating by touching her sexually so why does every touch when your married have to be that way?
    Give her an announced hug, hold her hand, rub her shoulders or back, lay your hand on her leg, arm or hand while sitting close to each other. Many women are not turned on to their husbands after several years of marriage because often the husband only wants to touch their wives in a sexual way; butt grasp, breast grabs, etc.
    Try to show your wife how much you love her by touching her in NON-SEXUAL ways and I think you will be amazed how much you will begin to feel loved again and respond to you better. I WOULD!!!

    • Kay says:

      I so agree. Now that I am older I realize the loss of an important action. Nobody hugs me anymore.
      Nobody gives a single arm squeeze around my shoulders.
      Its just a simple gesture of acceptance, or thanks, or love all depending on the words used with it.
      With out it I am feeling rejection, less than acceptance, unimportant, overlooked / forgotten.

  • melisssa says:

    Is it right for a husband to disclose personal business about himself and his problems with there ex partners?

  • glendabridges says:

    A wife needs to be able to express her own individuality in a relationship as with the husband.. Also have imput in decision making, and not the sole control of the husband. They should both agree on major spending decisions, lack of trust and respect can go downhill fast when these two things happen as well as security in a relationship especially if you find that large amounts of $spending is being hidden from you or lied to you about…and then you learn about.

  • RK in Denver says:

    One more thing; we wives need to know that our husbands are still physically attracted to us. Middle age happens to us all (men too, not just women), and when we are no longer the "cute young thing" you dated or fell in love with, we need to know that we are still wanted and desired as women. Physical affection–that is, hugs, touches, kisses, not necessarily sex– is a HUGE thing for most of us… kiss us like you mean it, not a routine habit like brushing your teeth or something.

    • VLM says:

      I have read through this list and actually find the comment about women being the weaker vessel and more emotional quite stereotypical.
      There are many who are not more emotional or prone to crying.
      I am disappointed that this is so out of context. There is also no reference for the need for the wife’s voice or opinion or input to be considered. Her viewpoint on issues should not be discounted. Sometimes a women’s viewpoint brings another benefit to how something might be handled.

      Women also need to feel that their achievements, accomplishments and endeavors are applauded by their husbands. They also need to feel confident that their husbands do not resent their successes.

      Women need their husband’s to pray with them.

      Women also need their husband’s to be clear that their wives come first. That husband’s ought to be able to correct any disrespect directed toward the wife – from his mother, sisters etc.
      Providing spiritual direction to women- I hear often how too many husbands allow for their mother’s sisters and female relatives to be mean and catty and a source of confusion. They need to adhere to Scripture to cleave to their wife.

      Most of your input on the needs of the husband are accurate, in depth well thought out and edifying. I think the discussion on the needs of the wife are sparse and do not take into consideration various needs of the wife. Particualry the need to be spoken to with respect and consideration. The harsh tone of some husband’s voice is often as if they are speaking to and reprimanding wayward children as opposed to speaking to the spouse who is an adult and equal. She who is created as a help mate not a door mat. IJS

  • Christina says:

    Thank you for supporting marriage. I enjoy reading your thoughts on this subject. As you know no man or woman will ever be the perfect 100% of the time. Both genders can hurt each other. I have learned to try to focus on my own personal growth and not expect my husband to make me happy. I have to be happy with myself before anyone outside myself can. I want a happy marriage so I work toward that. I try not to expect the world from my husband and am forgiving. One word that I can see that you have, but many men may not is Empathy. Can a husband put themselves in their wives place mentally and understand how they might be feeling. As long as my husband is making an effort toward self and relationship improvement I feel secure. When he stops trying and showing love, that’s when the deep hurt starts.

  • paulina says:

    I think if we only had the need of financial and phisical , we woman would be okay. Some of us can provide financialy, and man are good at providing phisicaly; what about those of us yearn for spiritual support, leadership, not just worldly pleasure. Where are this man now?

    • Bev says:

      Amen. I need my husband to step up financially, emotionally but above all spiritually. Someone gets me.

  • Sandy says:

    what types of things causes communication problems in a marriage — causes one or the other to shut down?

  • sarah says:

    security – not just from an affiar, but financially feel safe, handles money financially saavy – teamship on spending, to be admired for beauty, but not an sexual object, and teamwork around the house, like as mentioned. Those are some big ones for me

  • mandyraye says:

    Very good article except for your statement, "Wives often see their visually stimulated husbands looking at other women. Does she know you won’t cheat on her? Are you going to be faithful always?" This gives the impression that men are visually stimulated so therefore can't control themselves. It gives men an excuse to look as long as their wives know they will remain faithful as there is no comment about not looking. I trust my husband and after ten years it still hurts when he looks. Men are unfaithful as soon as they see a woman they are attractived to and either don't look away or look again. Job brought his faithfulness up to the Lord in this area. We live in a society that has lead us to believe this is natural and ok. But its not. If a man can look and be faithful with his eyes, mind, and heart what's the point of his looking? This is not possible. And its not ok for a man to admire another woman's beauty. The Bible is clear about that, too. Now look at what you wrote for the women concerning looking at other men….

    • ronedmondson says:

      I agree with your statement, “And its not ok for a man to admire another woman's beauty.” We are to train our eyes. I have written that elsewhere. Probably could be reworded. Thanks for your input. 

    • Anon. says:

      I agree completely mandyraye. This seems to be okaying the 'boys will be boys' excuse. Security, commitment, loyalty and complete respect in this area (eyes and thoughts only for her) are huge to most women and the pain deep when dishonored and betrayed in this way—-the way this was stated does not emphasize the point at all and pretty much let's a husband off the hook for the pain he causes. If you are husband reading this know that you completely honor your wife by your efforts at not looking. We understand noticing but lingering and second looks will cause insecurity in your relationship, loss of faith in your commitment and erode trust. It would be like your wife pointing out things in men you know but you know you lack –income and ability to provide, financial wisdom, promotions, intellect, integrity, physique, abilities in romance, conversation, sexual prowess, leadership etc –and asking why you can't be more like them/him. Often.

    • SkyguyTN says:

      STOP this balderdash!
      "Men are unfaithful as soon as they see a woman they are attractived to and either don't look away or look again." [sic] "If a man can look and be faithful with his eyes, mind, and heart what's the point of his looking? This is not possible. And its not ok for a man to admire another woman's beauty. The Bible is clear about that, too." Wrong, wrong, WRONG! Why does everyone want to make it seem like men are lust laden souls just going about the day? This is absolute garbage. And I'll call baloney on "the Bible is clear about that…" Chapter and verse! I was born in Missouri; show me.

      You know what? I look at a sunrise and think, "It's beautiful." I don't want to own the sunrise. I don't want the neighbors not to be able to enjoy it. There's nothing possessive or lustful or sinful about enjoying the beauty of God's creation. Do you see where I'm going here?

      We recently moved to the foothills of a mountainous area. Sometimes when the sun is right, the air is clear, and the clouds are just gathering around the peaks, my drive to work has a fantastic view. But guess what? I don't lust for the mountains. I don't want them all for myself. In fact, I'm apt to call the observation of God's created beauty out to a coworker or a customer. See how this is working?

      A family comes to church with a cute kid. I think, "Hey, they've got a cute kid." I don't want their kid to be mine. I don't want to take their kid home and teach them to mow the lawn or wash the dishes or clean a room or play a game. In other words, I don't desire to have the kid; I simply — like women do without question — notice that God made a cute kid. It's not lust.

      So why is it that some men and many women think that I, as a man, can't see a pretty woman and think, "Hey, she's pretty."? Or, "That's a beautiful dress."? I'm a happily married man by the way. Just because an attractive woman walks into the room — restaurant, church, work, etc. — and I mentally acknowledge that they are a beautiful part of God's creation does not mean that I, or any other man, are lusting for them. It doesn't mean that I want to undress them. It does not mean that I wish to do any of that carnal stuff that you guilt slaves keep trying to saddle men with. You are pushing a lie from the pit of hell that is making otherwise great, godly Christian men live in some sort of constant defeat! Just because God created half of the people on the earth to be women of which some are attractive does not mean that it is lust to notice this.

      There is obviously a problem if a man is ogling, is looking with lust — as Jesus describes — imagining somthing something adulterous. I'm sure women can be guilty of the same. But there is no more lust in noticing a beautiful woman as there is in noticing a beautiful sunrise. Get that guys? Don't live in this false sense of guilt trying to be foisted on us by the likes of Mandyraye. It's OK to see beauty around us in all of God's creation. It is possible to acknowledge the beauty exists without lusting for it. Without wanting it personally. Without sinning.

      • Merrill says:

        I couldn't agree more. Among straight men, when an attractive woman walks into the room there are two types:
        1) those who will admit they notice
        2) liers.

      • sQuinn says:

        It’s not the noticing an attractive woman that’s a problem…it’s the noticing her again. And perhaps again, and again.
        You’re right, there’s nothing wrong with an objective assessment. But that assessment only takes the first look. Looking back is because you want to, and THAT’S the problem.

  • Mary says:

    Real women don’t want money, but they do want security. Emotionally, physically, and financially.

  • @marcbuxton says:

    Ron thank you for always posting good marriage advice regularly. Always good thoughts!

  • junabee says:

    Leadership. Drive.