Dear Modern Married Readers,
If you have ever wondered what makes men happy in marriage, we have the answers for you here today!
What an honor and delight to have Marriage & Family Counselor and Superstar Blogger, Aaron Anderson sharing his insights with us. As a site run by a woman and written for women, I am endlessly curious about the male side of things.
I have recruited the hubby to share his views from time to time to bring the masculine energy and wisdom to our soulful conversations. I am so thrilled to add to our male voices with this heartfelt guest post where Aaron tells us the truth about what men really want out of marriage.
As a man, I have to say I feel kind of slighted when it comes to relationships. If it weren’t for Cupid and Saint Valentine, romance would be entirely credited to women. Let’s face it. People just don’t think of men when it comes to romance.
All the love songs, movies and books out there are about a man wooing a woman trying to win over her affections. When people think of romance they think of women.
But as a man I feel kind of slighted. Thanks to our hunter-gatherer ancestors, somehow men got stuck with a bad reputation when it comes to romance. Somehow, men became expected to be strong, calloused and not show their emotions.
We’re almost expected not to have emotions. But times have changed and men don’t need to protect against wild predators who are trying to eat their families anymore. So underneath their calloused ‘nothing bothers me’ exterior, what do men really want in a relationship?
Believe it or not, men want to feel loved and cared for – just as much as women do.
But even though men may want to be loved and cared for, they want to be shown it differently than women. Men don’t want to be taken to a good chick flick or watch a movie that makes them cry to feel close to their spouse.
And despite what the Superbowl ads would lead you to believe, most men don’t feel close to women while drinking beer and watching them dance in bikinis, either.
So how do men want to feel loved and what can wives do to show their husbands that they care?
What Men Want In Marriage
1) Men want to feel wanted – not needed. Men like that their wives need them but not to the point that their wife relies on them for every small thing – this feels smothering.
Men want a woman who is fiercely independent, who has her own desires, goals, drives and plans how to achieve them. They like a wife who can accomplish her goals on her own (and will) but invites her husband to do things with her because it means more when he’s there. Men want a woman who doesn’t need them but she asks for him to be in her life because she wants him.
2) Men want to be taken care of. I’ll probably take some heat from men and women for this one but I’ll say it anyway. Men really do want to be taken care of.
Men absolutely love it when their wives are in tune with them enough to know when they’ve had a bad day and need to be left alone and when they’ve had a bad day and need someone to talk to about it.
They also like it when their wife takes care of them when they’re sick. They may not ask for help when they’re working around the house, but they like to feel like their wife takes care of them everywhere else.
3) Men want a wife who is in tune with them – not just the kids. It’s understood that women have a special bond with their children. And that’s okay. But a lot of times after children come along, men often feel a lot like extra baggage.
All of a sudden husbands get cast aside as a second priority.
Wives often fill their day with so many things with the kids, that when night time comes and it is just the two of them together, the wife has spent all her energy on the children and has none left for her husband.
She forgets what’s going on at his work, what his friends are doing or how his latest hobby is going – but she can probably say exactly what score their oldest got on their spelling test or what boy their daughter likes. Men want a wife who is in tune and cares about him – not just their kids.
4) Men like to be taken out on dates. Just like women like to be taken out on dates by their husband to be romanced and wooed, men also like to be taken out on dates.
Men love it when their wives plan a date for the weekend to go a comedy club or a restaurant and then out for drinks afterwards. The fact that their wife took the time to plan something they thought their husband would like is a good enough feeling that men often don’t care what they do as long as their wife planned it and thought of their husband in the mean time.
5) Men like to feel safe. But not in the physical sense. Marriage brings out the best and worst in people. It challenges people in ways they never thought possible.
Instead of their spouse criticizing them and pointing out flaws (which makes men feel their relationship is on dangerous ground), men want a wife who will be patient with him when he feels challenged by his shortcomings.
A man likes to know that his wife won’t take advantage of his shortcomings and will keep his insecurities safe while he’s working on them. And a man especially wants to feel like his wife is supportive of him in his challenges and isn’t using his challenges as reasons to walk away.
Even though men get a bad reputation for being the least romantic of the two sexes, they still like romance. Men still like to feel loved, wanted and cared for just as much as women do.
They also want to feel like they’re safe in their relationship with a partner who loves them and is invested in them. But even though they’re not as expressive in their requests for it, they still want it.
So don’t dismiss your man just because he doesn’t want to snuggle all the time. Underneath is a person who wants to be cared for, loved and take care of just as much as you do.
Aaron Anderson a Licensed Marriage Counselor and owner of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. In addition to counseling, he is also a writer for various blogs and websites all related to marriage and families. He is on the Board of Directors of The Colorado Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and is the editor for the Marriage Section of the Good Men Project. You can get his great information about marriage on his Facebook page, by following him on twitter or on his blog the Relationship Rx.
Reaching across the magical ethers from Miami to Colorado to give Aaron a big hug and thanks for this thoughtful and generous view of what makes men happy in marriage.
This weeks’ LoveWork is to ask your hubby – What do you want out of our marriage?
And if that seems like a big question listen to this free podcast where we go deep into how to connect with your spouse when you are not on the same page and create a “communication highway” for the free flow of both easy and delicate topics.
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