Three Things Your Spouse Needs to Hear for Your Best Marriage

You may be thinking that your first year of marriage will be pure bliss. And for some people it truly is. For most of us though, year one can be a bit rocky as we learn to navigate the difference between expectations and reality. What your spouse needs to hear from you and what you may actually be saying might be standing in the way of your best marriage. Read on for three things your spouse needs to hear for your best marriage.

Today we will be discussing:

  1. Three things your spouse needs to hear for your best marriage
  2. How to have a better marriage
  3. What does a woman want in a husband?
  4. What does a husband need from his wife?
  5. What do most husbands want from their wives?
  6. What do most wives want from their husbands?
  7. How can I understand my spouse better?
  8. What does my wife need to hear?
  9. What does my husband need to hear?
  10. What does my spouse need to hear?

Your first year of marriage will be full of really good things, but it also will most likely include some conflict, no matter how much you love your spouse. Oftentimes this is because of unreal expectations from both male and female. Once you learn to communicate in a way that truly speaks to your spouse, you will be on your way to many happy years with a fulfilled spouse. Today we are talking about three things your spouse needs to hear for your best marriage.

How to have a better marriage

Honestly, if you are a woman haven’t you always had some version of your Cinderella story playing in your head? And if you are a man, haven’t you always had some version of swooping in and saving the young damsel in distress? Not that there is anything wrong with these scenarios at all. It is just that in real life we are all much more complex than fantasy. In reality we are all imperfect real human beings. And that is who we marry. A real live imperfect human being. For better of worse. You have the chance to help make it for the better by including these three things your spouse needs to hear for your best marriage.

We need to understand that our spouse is a real human with real needs.

Unrealistic expectations of your wife

The young and inexperienced husband may be thinking that his young and inexperienced wife will enter into marriage with an overwhelming and joyous desire to cook and clean for him. He might picture her dancing and singing as she goes. He may have visions of his beautiful bride always looking her best and feeling romantic. His version of romance probably looks a little different than hers. Or perhaps it is the other way around. Remember, we are all complex humans, and not a single one of us is perfect.

What does a woman want in a husband?

Once the children come along,  the young wife may be feeling that all she does is care for everyone and everything without anyone noticing. She may feel that she is no longer seen as beautiful and smart, but only seen as one who is busy every moment of the day with little time to care for herself. She may be staying at home with young children and working a job from home. She may be working full time outside of the home and still caring for everyone and everything when she is home.

She may be suffering guilt and thinking she is not measuring up as a wife or a mom. What can her husband say to her that lets her know that she is loved, seen and appreciated?

All she wants is to know that her husband sees her as amazing and will always want her.

What does a husband need from his wife?

What about the young husband who is trying to prove himself at work? He is trying to provide for his family but may be getting raked over the coals at the office. He may feel that he is giving everything he has to give, but no one is telling him that he is doing a good job. He might feel that he is failing his wife and children because he has to be away from them for many hours a day. 

All he wants to do is make his wife happy and for her to admire and believe in him.

What can his wife say to him when he walks in the door or they meet somewhere for dinner? How can she build him up instead of shooting him down? How can she become his place of peace and joy?

Josh Howerton speaks about his first year of marriage to his wife, Jana, and shares 3 things your spouse needs to hear for you best marriage.

Today I want to share a word of encouragement for our marriages. Let me set this up a little bit. My first year of marriage to Jana was really good. We loved each other so much. We were so excited to be together, but we were very young. Although our first year was good, it involved a lot of conflict as well as good things. Honestly we both experienced quite a bit of disappointment.

What do most husbands want from their wives?

My expectations of what what our marriage would be like were quickly brought to reality. I was expecting that Jana would be happy and excited about cooking and cleaning and making our home perfectly comfortable for me. Then my twenty year old male self thought she would be dancing me to the bedroom several times a day as well.

What do most wives want from their husbands?

Conversely, Jana came into our marriage thinking that I would come home from work and want to grill out steaks and fix things around the house. You know, be the husband you see in the movies who woos his bride through acts of service. He makes her feel like a princess. She had visions of us having deep emotional conversations. She envisioned watching Pride and Prejudice by candlelight every evening as we snuggled with blankets and popcorn.

Let me just say, both of us were very disappointed.

This verse in 1 Peter chapter 3 created a breakthrough moment for us.

“Likewise husbands, live in an understanding way”

Listen to the language. It says in an understanding way.

How can I understand my spouse better?

We realized that the problem in our marriage wasn’t that she was a bad wife or that I was a bad husband. Turns out that wasn’t the problem at all. We both desired to be the best we could be for one another in our relationship. We just didn’t understand some things about each other yet. We hadn’t yet discovered three things your spouse needs to hear for you best marriage.

Maybe the problem isn’t that you are a bad husband or that she is a bad wife. Maybe you just don’t understand some things about each other yet.

There is something that you can do that will change everything and that is to follow the advice in 1 Peter chapter 3. Maybe you can learn how to live with each other in an understanding way.

Here are some things that Jana and I learned that we did not yet understand. I come a family that says I love you all the time. It comes very easy to say and it means a whole lot when we say it to each other. So when Jana was discouraged, I would say I love you. I thought that was the thing to say to lift her up.

Let me share some words that might be more powerful to your wife’s heart than to say I love you. 

What does my wife need to hear?

  1. “Babe, you are such hard worker.”  She works so hard and makes endless sacrifices. For you to affirm her will be powerful in her heart.
  2. “Thank you so much for how well you take care of me and the kids.” Jana told me one time that it was so hard for her because everyone seems to notice the things I don’t get done but no one notices the hundred things I did get done. What I as her husband have learned is that thanking her for how well she takes care of us means so much more to her than the words I love you.
  3. “You are such an incredible mom!” I believe the devil is out to destroy moms by convincing them that they are a failure as a mom. So sometimes it may mean so much more to your wife if you tell her she is a great mom. Also tell her you love her, but sometimes affirming her as a mom may speak more to her heart. Be sensitive to what she needs to hear.

What does my husband need to hear?

Now let me help you understand your husband. 

  1. “Babe, you are so good at what you do.” I’ll bet your husband feels a lot more discouragement than encouragement in his work. Ever since Genesis 3 there have been thorns in the garden and it has been hard to earn a living. Sometimes your husband needs you to say, “babe, you are so good at what you do”.
  2. “You’re a really great dad!” It seems to me that just about every dad feels like he is a failure as a dad. He feels like he is not present enough and things like that. This is where it is important for his wife to step in and tell him that he is a great dad. Catch him doing something right and tell him how great he is. Affirm your husband with your words.
  3. “I believe in you. you have what it takes.”. Every man needs to hear these words from his wife. I know that those words definitely speak volumes to my heart. What I have learned is that encouragement in the mouth of the woman is strong in the heart of the man.

What does my spouse need to hear?

I pray you will take this information from this talk and ask the Holy Spirit to help you learn to live with your spouse in an understanding way. Ask Him to help you to understand how to speak three things your spouse needs to hear for your best marriage.


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