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7 of the Greatest Needs of a Husband

By May 1, 2014Family, Marriage

I  previously shared 7 of the greatest needs of a wife, based on personal observation and experience working with married couples.

Today I continue with the man’s side of the needs.

Here are 7 of the greatest needs of a man.

Respect – This is number one! I would even be emphatic and say every time. In my experience, men are using a different word that means this if they say it isn’t! Ephesians 5:33 says, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” God knew what He was talking about. Men want to know that they are respected by their wives above every other person. Every man feels this internal pressure to excel. We need to be successful at least one place in our life. If we can’t feel that respect in our home, we will find that it somewhere else.

Ladies, you want your husband to love you unconditionally. Are you willing to respect him unconditionally? You probably aren’t always extremely “lovable”. (I can say that through my blog where I’d be afraid to say it in person — but you know it’s true.) He’s probably not always respectable. Do you want to be loved any less when you aren’t at your “best”? Neither does he in the are of respect.

Admiration – Men want to be desirable to their wives. That’s physically, but in other ways too. Are we strong enough — masculine enough for you? Do we meet all your expectations in a man? If our wife is always commenting on the sexier man in the movies or the more successful man in the world we certainly will not feel admired. As an example, if a family struggles financially and the wife complains about it all the time the man hears that as “I’m not good enough.” The greatest assurance of the fact that we have “what it takes” comes from our wives. Men who don’t sense this will often quit trying.

Ladies, if your husband’s success was proportional to your admiration of him — and the communication of that admiration — how successful will he be?

Peace and Tranquility — I get in trouble with this one, but men want their home to be a place to prepare for the world — they want to be able to relax. Men, that is never an excuse for laziness! (Laziness is a sin by the way.) I know this can be an ouch statement, but men want their wives to be their wife, and not their mother! Plus, and this is so important to understand, nagging never accomplishes what the wife hopes it will. It may get done what you wanted done, but not with the heart or attitude you hoped to go with the action. (If you are raising boys, remember this!)

Ladies, is your home a place of peace and tranquility? Someone said the wife/mother is the thermostat of the home? If that’s true, how comfortable are we living?

Commitment – Yes, men want this too! They want to know they are number one with you. Men don’t want to see their wife looking at other men or hear them commenting on how wonderful another man may be. They want to know you are faithful only to them. (Can you women tell we have shallow and fragile egos?)

Ladies, does your husband know he’s number one to you — that no man could ever take his place?

Acceptance/Participation – Husbands aren’t really looking for a wife who will try to change them. Granted many men need changing, but the Biblical way to do this is through prayer and modeling change for us.  Men also want our wives to appreciate our hobbies and interests, since it is so much a part of who we are as men.  You don’t have to love golf, but to know that the lower score is the better is a great plus when we come home after a good game. He’ll need to brag to someone. He’s hoping that someone is you.

Ladies, would your husband say you’re his biggest fan?

Be able to lead – Most men want to lead in their home, but don’t really know how. The wife should allow her husband to make some mistakes and not criticize us when we can’t do something as well as you can, (which we know is many things!) If we take the effort to fix the bed, don’t go behind us and straighten the comforter (or at least don’t let us see you doing it.)  If we find we can’t compete in an area, we just quit trying.  Applaud what we do right and we’ll try harder to please. We really do want to succeed!

Ladies, are you allowing your husband to sense your satisfaction in his abilities to lead? If you want him to lead, ask yourself, are you willing to follow if he does?

An emotional release – I saved the hardest for last. Most men do not know how to function in a highly emotional context. So, when our wives are upset, we panic. We move into a “fixing” mode, which is usually counter-productive. When you are emotionally upset, for whatever reason, and you know it isn’t his fault, it’s helpful if you can just let him know the two of you are okay, he didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, it’s not his fault and there is nothing he needs to do to fix it.

Ladies, does your husband ever feel responsible for your emotions that are completely out of his control?

Men, that is my list. What would you add?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 46 Comments

  • Debo says:

    I read both lists and I agree with them. I did notice that nothing was said about sex on either side. I was wondering where sex plays a role in the relationship. Thanks for answering.

    • ronedmondson says:

      It's certainly a need on both lists. If I was writing it again I would probably include it. I didn't at the time because I was trying to help people identify needs they may not be as aware of, and, I probably wrongly assumed everyone would already list sex on the list.

  • Jane Apter says:

    All these you listed I know are extremely important to men! And when I respond properly to these needs it is Miracle-working! RESPECT IS #1! You didn’t include TRUST, though, and I know that it is also extremely important! When we were building our custom home, I HAD to force myself to trust his decisions. It would be disastrous to his ego if I failed to trust him. He would listen to my input, but I REALLY needed to submit to the final decision he made, and then put the results of those decisions in God’s Hands. I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t a contest to see who could be more selfish!

  • Christina S. says:

    After reading both articles and a lot of the comments I see a common thread. Everyone seems to be focused on doing something to get something in return or not giving b/c they are not getting, and in my opinion, that's the problem. I believe (although this is easier said than done) that we need to take the focus off what our spouse is or is not doing and what we "deserve" (or how we "deserve" to be treated in return). We were made & designed for God's purpose & until we TRULY put GOD first, be the person GOD designed us to be & quit looking to others to meet our needs (yes, even our spouses), we will never be happy, nothing will ever be good enough. So I encourage each of you to focus on GOD and being the person GOD designed you to be, REGARDLESS of what your spouse says & or does. Find peace & happiness in knowing you are doing God's will & everything else will fall into place (Galatians 6:9). If you really think about it, as much as Christ loves us, and the way we treat him in return, if he gave us what we "deserved" none of us would be here.

  • sdc says:

    Really good, I read down through the comments and gained even more insight as to why you omitted certain things and left each list as really a focal point for men or women. I am going to pray and read this article each morning for 7 days and see what God does!! I believe I am pretty good at meeting his needs after 16 1/2 years but I think I can do better!! I have two sons that will no doubt benefit from any change God makes in me as well. Thank you for writing this!

  • justme says:

    I've read the lists for the wife and for the husband. I believe both husband's and wives need the same things but on a different level. We all need to feel loved and respected. We need time together and time apart to do things we enjoy. But what can be done when one person gives and gives and gives while the other takes never or rarely ever giving in return of that love, respect, support etc…? I have found that I could only do that so long till I am left like a well that's run dry with nothing left to give. It's hard to give respect when your not given respect, and respect effects love and everything else in a relationship I feel.

    • sdc says:

      The answer is prayer, and it works.

    • CPBM says:

      It really is prayer. I have been in a terrible marriage for 3 1/2 yrs. My husband was destroying us like a disease with his anger, bitterness, I forgiveness and selfish attitude. I tried to change him (in Biblical ways I thought) until finally I started doing a Bible study called Armor of God. I decided for one month I would not do or say anything to try to change him and pray instead. Every single time I wanted to do or say something I just stopped in my tracks and prayed. Not even a month in to it, we attended a marriage conference that helped to change everything. I had been praying (like in the movie War Room) fervently for God to reveal what was really going on. I knew the anger and bitterness came from somewhere deeper than our problems. It turns out he had cheated on me twice. Once I knew in my heart about but had no proof. The other was a complete shock. He had finally admitted it to me after two years. It’s been a month and a half since he confessed it to me and our life and marriage has done a 180. Because he was hanging onto lies he didn’t have love or respect to give me because he did not have it for himself. I urge you to pray without ceasing for God to reveal to you and your spouse where the problems are deeply rooted. They could come from somewhere in your spouse’s childhood or upbringing. Then begin to attack the enemy from there and attack him TOGETHER! Your spouse is not your enemy, Satan and his lies are!!!

  • Acevoice says:

    To generalise is far worse than to hate and kill and destroy. Every relationship is exhaustively unique and extremely dynamic to draw a meaningful conclusion from. Coupled with today's self-centred gospels and celebrity worship, there is little that faith can aspire to teach. Best leave everythining to God who has mapped every life from beginning to the end for HIS OWN PURPOSE. We are nothing but His clay to mould as He wishes- forget the nonsence of prosperity. Just accept God's love however it comes to you.

  • moi says:

    You deleted my comments? Shows you don't have answers to your own articles. Such a shame . If you can't stand the heat then stay faaaaar away from the kitchen.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Honestly your comments seemed like spam. And, your attitude seems like one I'm not sure I have time to deal with. I asked you what your question was and you asked me if I needed glasses. I honestly couldn't find the post you were talking about. Ain't no one got time for that. Seriously, happy to answer a question if I know what it is. I get hundreds of comments a week and if they are on older blog posts I miss some of them. And, sorry to be so blunt, but it's my blog — my kitchen. 

  • ronedmondson says:

    Help me understand the meaning of your comment. I get an average of 100 spam comments a day on old posts. Is this one of those or is there a legitimate question?

  • Sincerely says:

    I would add, he wants to feel listened to. Whenever I am a bit busy he shows frustration that I didn’t acknowledge his presence. I know this can’t happen 24/7 but I definitely want him to feel that I consider his presence important and him as valuable. Otherwise when he notices others being more accepting he’s likely to tend to lean toward them more then he should sometimes.

  • Catherine Lezhat says:

    Very helpful insights, Thanks.

  • G. Cook says:

    Your article said we are not their mothers. Well, they need to realize they are not our fathers and quit acting like it. Respect? My husband thinks it's ok to put me down in front of others and does so at times. It leaves me feeling embarrassed and unloved. What's good for the goose is good for the gander as the saying goes. He wonders why I don't talk to him much when he comes home from work. I don't want to talk when I know that he doesn't respect my views and beliefs and thinks it's ok to constantly tell me I'm wrong and even get hateful with me. One time I told him something the Bible says and he told me I didn't know what I was talking about. Just a few days later he heard a preacher that he respects say the same thing and told me that I was right. What a rare compliment! Oh btw you were right because that preacher said it too. I guess to him I'm too stupid to know anything he doesn't know because he knows everything? Get real. If he wants it, he has to give it too.

    • justme says:

      I have the same issues you mentioned. I think everything he mentioned works both ways. Both husband and wives need all the same things, just some more than others. You can only do so much when you don’t get any thing in return. Your well runs dry and you have nothing left to give.

  • Nena says:

    I read both articles and I am disturbed by how much emphasis was put on the man vs the woman and their needs. Let’s dig deeper into this. Woman are overwhelmed into today society, they have not only stepped up to the plate to be a provider, but also take care of most everything within the family structure. Men have fallen short on their responsibility and women are now the glue that holds families together. They are forced to take the leadership roles because men can’t even handle financially supporting them. How can you respect anyone when they can’t provide for their family? Intimacy is lacking in a marriage for one because women are exhausted. They work all day to come home to the endless chores of taking care of everyone and everything in their home. Also, men don’t get a free card on looking and commenting on other woman because they are a man and visually stimulated. When this happens the woman begins to become insecure and her confidence is lowered. She will feel less desirable and it will reflect in the bedroom. Men rarely compliment their wives because “we already know what they think”, but we must build their ego by not doing anything that they themselves are doing. Women need their space and need to feel that they are above all others as well. We don’t get the chance to take a break when we feel like it, nor after we had “our time” and then decide how and when everything gets done for today. The number one reason for divorce in America today is because of financial problems, and secondly because of infidelity. But why are so many cheating? Because the women are not giving the man everything he desires? Maybe men should look a lot closer at ALL their actions and start fixing themselves. Really, how are women suppose to respect men when we are expected to do it all? Couldn’t we do this alone then and have one less responsibility by not having a man at all? The bias in these two articles shows the problem with the world today. Men need to step up!!

    • kat says:

      This is MY question!!! When the woman is the primary bread earner, and the primary homemaker… how does all of this really work? The woman list is off quite frankly for me. I KNOW I am failing at my end of respect and admiration for my husband. I have it in some "areas" but not enough. So he feels it is not enough from me, and then I feel I am not enough:( When I ask him to do things they truly don't get fixed. And that does not mean "my way" He now states that I just remember everything negatively. I do see his strengths, but I am vulnerable, no dates, and "protect" myself from any even healthy expectations. Now we are so sad… The bible is God's word and I wish it spoke to situations that had disabled husbands, or when wives really are the "stronger " partner BUT the husband still has all the male needs of a normal husband. HELP!

    • CPBM says:

      I completely agree with everything here. I feel women are expected to do it all these days and are the backbone and glue of the family unit. It’s exhausting and leaves little energy for any husband’s physical needs. Men go to work, earn a paycheck, come home and want to rest. As a stay at home mom, I never get to rest. And I’m rarely, if ever, “in the mood.”

    • Angela says:

      While I understand the importance of men working and being the provider, our society has made it so women have to work outside the home. The cost of living is astronomical-food, housing costs, educating children, taxes, vehicle expenses–you name it all keep rising. Not to mention a dictatorial government that forces us to have health insurance (which costs an arm and a leg in premiums yet still covers nothing essential). It's no wonder that husbands and wives suffer in their relationships under such circumstances. There used to be a time when a man could work and support his family, but unfortunately those days no longer exist except for the very wealthy.

  • Larry says:

    Our relationship is two pararell life’s under one roof. No connection at all. No touching at all. She gets ready for bed (while I’m still awake) goes without speaking and looks on her tablet or reads. If I try to talk to her it’s never as important as what she’s doing. I have talked to her about what the bible says about marriage. She says you first. She feels she married me in rebound 2 yr after divorce. 19 yrs now 4 kids. Our marriage is worth saving , but I’m to tired of rejection and disrespect. Love the articles. Thank you.

  • Larry says:

    I’m living this kinda marriage. Married a preachers daughter. She was Divorced , bad marriage. I feel now it wasn’t just him. I’m well respected in every aspect of my life , work, friends, children and church. Not by her at all. I work hard at home and she follows me around redoing what I’ve done or correcting me in front of my kids. We have 4 children 3 boys. They do not know what it’s like to have peace or be complimented. Just growled at. Help

    • ronedmondson says:

      Pick up the book love and respect.  I don't know how to teach someone who doesn't want to learn. Maybe if the book is lying around the house.  Just a suggestion. Praying for you

  • XNXX says:

    Such an incredible and must read one story for the one's who are less in motivation after reading that John Wilcock based article it makes me more excite and professional towards my work and especially while working how can i handle difficult situation. Jerry you have wrote something that's really precious and special for me for that i am much obliged to you from my heart.

  • Jim Hilton says:


    As a married Christian male (although admittedly, one falling short of the mark) I have greatly enjoyed reading most of your posts. However, I think you left something very important out of your 7 greatest needs of a husband.

    Even the comments on this post mention it, but you did not: SEX.

    You mentioned " emotional release" on your top 7 list, but I would submit that for the vast majority of men "sexual release" is a far more pressing issue.

    And although I am not a qualified marriage councilor I would venture a guess sex is frequently used inappropriately as a weapon or bargaining chip in lots of dysfunctional marriages. Am I mistaken here?

    Why did you omit this?

    • ronedmondson says:

      Because I think it's a greatest need on both lists, but if this list is met, sex is never a problem.

    • Tammy says:

      Ron and Jim,
      I hope the marriages are going better as this was several weeks ago but if marriages are as mine was, sex was a big thing, not just for the man but also for the woman. However, women and men think about it in different manners. Women are more involved with the mind prior to sex. We don't want anything to do with the man if he is inconsiderate or rude to us or our children or the discussions previously going on throughout the day were disheartening, disruptive, or just plain rude. It takes us a while to process comments and to get over or around them we have felt offended in any manner. Ideas and ways for you to "approach" us are asking us how our day went. If you see us trying to get the kids ready for bed, jump in, don't wait to be asked. If you recognize the daily routines playing out in front of you and you know you can do something while she is doing other things jump in and do them. We are tired. We put smiles on for everyone else in the community and for the kids most of the time, keeping one ready for you is very difficult and you'd likely see through it if it was a false smile anyway. Respecting that just because she is not giving you praise and/or attempting to help might feel weird but just the attempts are recognized by most wives. It could be as simple as you know she is going to have to do laundry in the morning and she is getting the kids ready for bed, she will gather and sort the laundry later or as soon as she gets up in the it and say something like "I'm not sure if I did it the way you do but the laundry is in the baskets… most of it is separated..(or whatever you might have done) "I hope this helps a little"…if she gets up and fixes coffee and breakfast in the morning for everyone, packs lunches etc. do it before her or gather things for the kids and yourself etc…is the little time consuming things that you will need to do…easily done but will allow her additional time if you take care of it…don't expect huge praises at first…its not going to come as she is going to wait to see if this is just a phase to "get something" or if you are really trying to help her. My husband had a pattern of helping for approximately 3 months before he would return to the negative behaviors. It is taking me years to overcome this programing (what I call it now) of believing the person I'm with is not going to turn into that person who reverts back to his known patterns. Most men I have dated have given up on me. I tend to scare them off. When a woman has been mistreated, knowing the amount and type of mistreatment is very important because we don't forget…when a word or deed is done we tend to remember and an automatic pattern of behavior kicks in so we don't get hurt again…Even after years…Don't give up…Compliments out of the blue, foot rubs, painting toenails, asking her to wear a really pretty dress because you like the way she looks in it…courting and wooing doesn't stop just because you caught your prize….you have to continue to make her think you don't regret your decision…I could go on forever with ideas. I hope you get the gist. Good luck.

      • Anonymous says:

        It kills me that some people always criticize what their husband's are or aren't doing. You can't control your husband. You have to realize that when you tear your husband down, he doesn't feel the need to be nice and go out of his way to help you or around the house. When you point your finger at your husband, you have to realize that you have 4 fingers pointing back at you. You can ony control your own actions. If you are upbeat about things, it will help your husband want to step in and help. If you're dragging ass and bitching constantly he will try to avoid you. That's just common sense. Love yourself, take care of yourself, have an upbeat attitude and you'd be surprised as to how your husband will respond to you.

  • Sam says:

    What happens when the husband constantly looks at porn instead of being intimate with his wife.

    Has time to Take photos of strippers with his phone, but hasn’t taken a single photo of me in 6months.

    How do you pay him compliments when he would rather look at other women.

    • Jane says:

      need to pray even more for him. only God can allow him to see himself. Ive experienced that myself in my marriage. When i was ready to give up the marriage, God stepped in and revealed to him the spirit of lust. It was not a good revelation for him. but that revelation delivered him from his sins. God bless!

    • Paola Anaya says:

      Pray about it… a wonderful book that can help you is "The Power of a Praying Wife." _

  • Gene Stands says:


  • Davis says:

    Can you give some examples of a wife respecting her husband?

    • ronedmondson says:

      Not putting him down in front of others. Not cracking jokes against him. Valuing his opinion. Appreciating his efforts. 

      • Hadassah says:

        Not talking negatively about him to her friends, valuing his opinion, asking advice, listening when he is talking (don't be distracted) admiring him,

    • Kristen says:

      Thank you for asking this question.