A Secret Your Husband Keeps…But Needs You to Know

Ladies, here’s a secret your husband probably won’t share…

He needs your unconditional respect…in fact…he needs you to be his biggest fan…

Your support feeds his God-given ego…

Sure, that ego can be abused…

But just as you need his unconditional love, he needs your unconditional respect…

I realize you nor he is capable of perfectly fulfilling those individual needs…

But at least you know the secret now…

You see…

Doing well for the woman he loves is perhaps one of the greatest goals in a man’s life…

That inner desire starts at a very early age…

The little league ball player who turns around to see if mom watches him bat…

The same little boy who brings a flower (weed :) ) home to mom…it’s the respect he’s seeking…

The truth is sometimes a guy feels as if he doesn’t measure up…actually a lot of times…

(Please don’t tell him I told you this…)

He feels the weight of being wonderful in so many areas…his home, his family, his work…even in his hobby…

It’s a pressure men carry internally…mostly never sharing it with anyone…

Chances are that fear of failure is his greatest fear…

He sees you doing so well with all your responsibilities…the home, the kids, relationships…

Even your walk with God shines brighter than his sometimes…okay…most times…

You handle things so well, in fact…at times, he’s tempted not to even try…

(Please don’t tell him I told you this :) )

One time after preaching…Cheryl said nothing…

Usually she says “Great job today”…or…”That was a good one”

That day…nothing…

3 days later…I asked, “Was I that bad?”…

I needed her positive feedback and encouragement….it’s what fuels me…

Your husband does too…

I know that sounds shallow of us…perhaps it is…

But…

Here’s the best part of the secret….

If your husband feels respected in his home…he will do anything to keep it…

Maybe even start doing the dishes….brag on him when he does that too…

Maybe next will be the dusting…nah…don’t push it!

Next time your little boy…I mean big boy…is up to bat…make sure he can turn around and see you smiling…

(This is a revised version of a post I did a couple years ago, and a light-hearted way to address a serious issue I see in many marriages.)

For more of my marriage advice, go HERE.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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25 thoughts on “A Secret Your Husband Keeps…But Needs You to Know

  1. of course like your web-site however you have to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
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  2. Great post. We are holding a Home Manager's day event next April at the camp and conference center I run. I'll be speaking to all the hard working stay at home moms about this topic, "From the husbands point of view". I've printed this off and plan to add it to the packet of take home resources. Thank you for the resource.

  3. To conclude – Just a side note – I cannot imagine a husband being satisfied and pleased with hearing a wife say to him, "I don't love you but I sure do respect you, honey." ????? To finish – love is the foundation of all relationships – trust and respect are the walls that keep that love safe and thriving. Even God puts conditions on our relationship with Him. He unconditionally loves us but we are also called to trust, respect and obey him. Without trusting, respecting, revereing and obeying him, we can lose our way and our connection to Him. He will unconditionally love us even when we stray and disobey him but He will also chastise us – ie. allow us to suffer the consequences when we sin. It is the same with husbands and wives and in all other relationships as well with regards to one person breaking another's trust or committing a disrespectful act such as infidelity, lying, cheating, verbal abuse, spiritual and emotional abuse, etc…..Unconditional respect and trust would mean a boundary-less marriage where anything goes.

  4. Furthermore, the concept of unconditional respect suggests that there are no boundaries in a relationship. For instance, if a husband has an affair, is the wife called to "unconditionally respect" that man? How would that work? She may still love him, but she will lose respect for him in this instance, and rightly so. The man should suffer the natural consequences of losing his wife's respect by committing an immoral act. Without such consequences, anything goes! In this same circumstance, the wife would lose trust for her husband and the husband would (and should) suffer the consequences of that loss of trust, which would need to be re-earned over time. This is an extreme example, given, but an example of how the concept of unconditional respect is simply unfounded and ridiculous. This would be the same in the business world. If a man cheats or embezzles money at his work, he will lose the respect of his partners. Plain and simple.

    • You're missing part of the point. Both unconditionals (love and respect) are impossible apart from Christ. But a man loses love the way a woman loses respect. It's as natural for a man to fall out of love when a wife does something such as has an affair (and yet he may still be able to respect things about her) as it is for the wife to lose respect for the husband.Consider it this way. If a pro quarterback cheats on his wife, could you still respect him as a quarterback? You may not as a husband, but as a football player… That's kind of the point here. There's almost always some respectable quality in everyone and it's being respected that fuels a man. There is never an excuse for abuse, but in tense marriage situations finding a way to respect the man again will fuel his part in making the marriage work.Thanks for your comment

      • Well, but we ARE talking about husbands here! Also, I think women are as capable of "falling out of love" if their husbands have an affair (yet still respecting him as a provider, let's say) as men are also capable of loving, yet losing respect for their wives in the same situation. I think there are a lot of assumptions in believing that "women want love, men want respect" and trying to make that "fit" for everyone. I think we all would like BOTH!. As for the quarterback example, I think a lot of people would indeed lose respect for him as a quarterback. I believe you are saying, "Respect the office the man holds, if not the man". However, think about certain presidents who were impeached for immoral acts. The "office" doesn't guarantee respect if the man in that office is not respectable.

        • But again, love is the foundation of all relationships – without it there IS NO relationship/marriage, even if things like respect and trust ARE present. How many men (or women) would want to stay in a marriage where they are respected but not loved? It simply doesn't work. How would this work for husband and wife in moments physical intimacy – if there is respect but not love? It just wouldn't work in the long run. Additionally, what good is it if a man loves his wife but disrespects here with put-downs or anger? Respect IS an important ingredient love as are many other things. They all need to be present. But to separate those things out for different people, men and women, is just a concept someone came up with.
          This whole debate here is just a matter of semantics and trying to make a new catch-phrase work and trying to have every situation fit into that concept.

  5. While I think both husband and wife need to work and strive to respect each other, whether in good times or conflict (i.e. fighting "fair", no name calling or character "asassinations", etc….), I remain unconvinced that there is such a thing as "unconditional respect". This catch-phrase has become the new Christian "hype" – started indeed by Emerson Eggerichs. I don't believe there is any such thing as "unconditional respect" – whether in the business world or in relationships. Respect, like trust, is earned. Unconditional love is a bit easier to entertain as a concept, as we all know that we can love people who have abused us, cheated on us, lied to us, etc…However, there are times when we still love abusers but cannot stay in relationship WITH them. So, it is possible to unconditionally love someone but there still need to be boundaries and limits to how much abuse one "endures" in the name of love – for example, the case of a battered wife.

  6. I wonder how many problems in marriage would be solved if husbands loved their wives unconditionally, wives respected their husbands unconditionally and we both forgave each other unconditionally?

    I know for years I yearned so much for that unconditional respect from my wife; although I probably was not loving her unconditionally. Now I am loving her that way, but I still don't get that respect that I so long for. And you know… those concepts are in the Bible… Read Eph 5:22-33.

    I heard a Christian radio program the other day about forgiving and two people had emailed in about how the husbands in the marriage had failed in some big way, but how the wives had stood by the husbands and were practicing unconditional forgiveness and how the marriages were being healed and were better than ever and how that was positively affecting the husbands. I almost cried, thinking about how things might have been different if my wife had done that with me… or would do that with me now. Not that I should get a pass for the mistakes that I made, but I give her unconditional love and unconditional forgiveness and if she would do the same to me…WOW what a marriage we could have.

  7. AMEN! I read this post when you first did it two years ago and it's still as true now as it was then. I used to complain that my wife never told me thank you for things that I did. Not that I needed to be patted on the back for each and every little thing that I do, but it's like I never ever heard those words. Now that we are in difficulty, she does make it a point of saying thank you quite a bit and now I realize that's not really what I needed; I needed to feel and experience her respect for who I am in her life and the marriage; as the man and the husband and the father. And I do not get that for the most part and I so hunger and thirst for it.

    I found a card that she gave me some years ago. It says simply, "Thanks for all that you do, I don't know what I'd do without you". Most days those words ring hollow as she seems to get along just fine without me in her heart. But there are two things in that simple note. The first is a "thank you" for what you do. The second, and more important is, "you are so very important to me". The first is about the tasks I perform, the second is about who I am as a man and husband.

  8. One caution – women need the sane kind of respect from their husband. Love and respect are not gender specific. As a woman, I’m in as much need of his affirmations of my achievements as he is.

    • Thanks Maria. You can speak for women better than I can. :) There are no absolutes when it comes to people and personalities. Everyone is different.

      I do know, however, after many years doing marriage counseling with hundreds of couples, that the majority of women I've worked with would choose love as their greatest need, where it's opposite for the men. Of course, both men and women need love AND respect. And, yes, my wife needs affirmations of achievements also.

    • I agree with you and with what Ron is saying. I need both love and respect as does my wife. But typically woman crave love more than respect and men crave respect more than love.

  9. Ladies – do this! You will not believe the changes in your man. He will become the man God intended him to be! One word of caution – make it sincere. Be honest. Lovingly.

    Also, let him hear you brag about him when with those he respects!