10 Things Husbands Want from Their Wives

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

I can’t speak for all men but below are my Top 10 List of things husbands want from their wives. It’s based on my counseling with couples, personal observations and my own experience.



1.  Sexual Fulfillment

Let’s just get this one out of the way right up front. Many women can go without sex for months, but for most men, it’s pure torture. In fact, they would probably do it all the time if they had their way.

One man said, “My favorite days for sex all start with a ‘T’: Tuesday, Thursday, Taturday and Tunday.” LOL. Many people are surprised that the Bible is actually pro sex within marriage. “The marriage bed must be a place of mutuality - the husband seeking to satisfy his wife, the wife seeking to satisfy her husband.” [1] The writer goes on to say, “Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent.” [2] However, receiving the sex a husband needs in marriage is as common a problem today as it was two thousand years ago.

Bleudog Fotography

Bleudog Fotography

At the time of marriage, most men consider frequent and fulfilling sex with their wives to be one of the God-given benefits of marriage and at that moment in time, most wives agree. But as time passes, men discover that their wives don't see things quite the same way. They find that frequent sex requires negotiation for which they apparently have no skill. What to do? When a husband meets his wife's needs for affection and intimate conversation, she finds it easier to meet his need for sexual fulfillment. And the more she meets his need for sexual fulfillment, the easier it is for him to meet her emotional needs for affection and intimate conversation.


2.  Recreational Companionship

In Willard Harley’s book, His Needs, Her Needs, he identifies a man’s need for a recreational companion. Harley ranked spending recreational time with his wife as the second greatest need that men have, second only to sex for the typical husband. We often put our best foot forward in the courtship which later can lead to disappointment after the “I do.” “Why don't you do this with me anymore?” is a common complaint. Harley cautions spouses that having fun together doing the things that you both like is essential to the marriage. Couples should make an effort to involve themselves in their spouses’ activities. I was thrilled when my wife (Carrie), who is not into bikes, hopped on the back of a BMW motorcycle as we rode to Hanauma Bay in Hawaii and went snorkeling together – for me, a perfect day.


3.  Respect

The Scriptures say, “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”[3] God knew what He was talking about. Men want to know that they are respected by their wives above every other person. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, “You're disrespecting me!” But, there’s a good chance he is feeling stung by something his wife has said or done which he considers disrespectful.

Every man feels an 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 somewhere else. Ladies, do you want to be loved unconditionally? Are you willing to respect your husband unconditionally? Chances are you probably aren’t always loveable right? Your husband probably isn’t always respectable. Do you want to be loved any less when you aren’t at your “best”? Neither does he in the area of respect. Love and respect go hand in hand.


4.  Admiration

Men want their wives to be proud of them. I know I do. When my wife tells me I’m wonderful it motivates me to achieve more. When she tells me she’s proud of me for working hard to provide for our family it makes me want to work even harder. Men want to be desirable to their wives, physically, but in other ways as well. Are we strong enough for you? Are we masculine enough for you? Do we meet your expectations as a man?


5.  A Peaceful Home

I realize this is difficult especially when you have small children but men want their home to be a quiet refuge, a place where they can relax and prepare for the world. Men also want their wives to be their wife, and not their mother! Remember, 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.


Bleudog Fotography

Bleudog Fotography

6.  Commitment

Yes, men and women both want commitment! Men 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. 

7.  Acceptance

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. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.”[4]


8.  An Attractive Spouse

A man needs a wife who looks good to him. Men struggle with visual temptation. Men care about their wives’ appearance. This is not a ploy to get women to conform to a Barbie-like appearance. I’m saying that when a man marries you, it is akin to trickery to let go of your appearance and become someone he wouldn’t have married in the first place. Yes, inner beauty is extremely important, but because men are visual, most of them like to see your outward beauty and it makes them value your inner beauty even more.


9.  Leadership + Feedback

Most men want to lead in their home, they just don’t know how. The wife should allow her husband to make some mistakes and not criticize him when we can’t do something as well as she can. Applaud what he does right, and he’ll try harder to please. He really does want to succeed!

Most men like to bounce ideas off their wife. They value their feedback – I know I do. Notice I didn’t say men want their wives to make decisions for them. I know I don’t. But I do value her opinion and do want to be aligned in our decision-making. For example, if I’m looking to start a new business I like to get her input. If we have a big decision to make as a family I like to do it together. I have found that my wife makes very wise decisions. I trust her. I’m a risk taker and she is not. We compliment each other.


10.  Emotional Equilibrium

Most men want emotional balance in marriage but do not know how to function in a highly emotional context. We, as men, don’t know how to express our emotions very well and we don’t know what to do when you express yours. So, when our wives get 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 and gentlemen, that is my list and I’m sticking to it. Did I leave out an important need that you have? If so, what would you add?

A special thanks to Willard F. Hartley Jr. and his book, His Needs, Her Needs and to Pastor Ron Edmondson and his blog post, “7 of the Greatest Needs of a Husband.”

[1] 1 Corinthians 7:4 (MSG)

[2] 1 Corinthians 7:5 (NIV)

[3] Ephesians 5:33 (NIV)

[4] Romans 15:7 (NIV)