Marriage 101 - Loving Your Husband - Emotional Needs

We have discussed in Part 1 - Sexual Needs and in Part 2 - Psychological Needs.  We will now move to the last of the three biggest needs men have - Emotional Needs.

Emotional Needs

Believe it or not, men have emotions!  Now, they may not be as evident as women because we truly received more of God's nature in the emotional department, while men received more of the stability.  However, men still need their emotional needs met and it is crucial that they be met.

Let's list a few of the major emotional needs:

  • Affection
  • Encouragement
  • Companionship
  • Respect
  • Intimacy

Men need affection and touch.  Some grew up in homes where affection was not given and they may not even know they need it but they will soon realize how much they needed it, once they start receiving it.  Wives be affectionate towards your husband!  Don't push him away when he comes to you for affection.  Rejection hurts but it really hurts when it comes from someone that should love you more than anyone.  There are many ways you can be affectionate to your husband besides the obvious touching, of which can be found by simply Googling.

Men need encouragement.  Life is hard and working on a job can be even harder and one that wives forget about when they have been homemakers.  When your husband comes home from work, offer him encouragement.  He will, more than likely, need it, as he has been around the ungodly all day in most cases.  My husband has remarked many times in the past of how he loves to come home to a Godly household, one that is a refuge from the world.  If you are constantly discouraging your husband, you could be destroying his spirit and emotions even further than what he already faces.

Men need companionship.  He married you, not just for sex, but also for companionship.  It isn't fun to be alone and it is better when you have two!  Be that companion for him.  Join in activities with him.  Go out with him and enjoy things together.  Stay home and be his companion just enjoying time together hanging out on the couch.

Men need respect.  This is probably the one he feels he needs the most.  A lot of feminists will not respect men at all and if they ever do, they will demand that he "earn" the respect.  God has quite a different take on this:

Ephesians 5:33
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Barnes commentary on reverencing the husband:

The word rendered “reverence,” is that which usually denotes “fear” - φοβῆται  phobētai. She is to fear; i. e., to honor, respect, obey the will of her husband. It is, of course, not implied that it is not also her duty to love her husband, but that there should be no usurping of authority; no disregard of the arrangement which God has made; and that order and peace should be secured in a family by regarding the husband as the source of law.

A woman that disrespects her husband on a normal basis will wound her husband.  With respect, he can do so much that he was made by God to do, without it, he will find it difficult.

Men need intimacy.  Most people just think intimacy is sex but it isn't, it is a feeling of being connected to one another.  Men want their wives to know them, who they are and be in to them.  Think of being very close to one another in an emotional sense.  You can feel his very soul and you know who he really is deep, down inside.

A quote from Focus on the Family:

Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we've been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Until then, until we experience true intimacy, we will feel passed over and ignored, like someone is looking right through us.

I think you can get a good picture of what a man needs emotionally based upon the above description of some of his needs.  This isn't all the needs of men of course but I chose the ones I thought most important for wives to make sure they meet.

I think Barnes' commentary sums it all up nicely:

A wife may easily alienate the affections of her partner in life. If she is irritable and fault-finding; if none of his ways please her; if she takes no interest in his plans, and in what he does; if she forsakes her home when she should he there, and seeks happiness abroad; or if, at home, she never greets him with a smile; if she is wasteful of his earnings, and extravagant in her habits, it will be impossible to prevent the effects of such a course of life on his mind.