What Men Want
What Men Want
Valentines Day, just around the corner, is not just a chance for a romantic dinner, it’s a reminder to married couples to celebrate and deepen their sacred bond.
That’s why Julie and I have dusted off two of our favourite marriage books by the authors Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn.
Today (“What men want”) and this Friday (“What women want”) we will share the highlight reels of these books with you.
In the first of their two marriage books, “For women only,” authors Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn surveyed hundreds of different men around the topic of what men really want from their spouses.
Here are some surprising insights for women to hear about men and what they really want…
In Shaunti’s own words,
“The findings blew my female mind. It turned out that these men shared some surprising common inner wiring. At their secret inner core, many had similar fears and concerns, feelings and needs. There were so many things I thought I understood, but I really had no clue. As the lightbulbs began to go on in my head, I discovered some things that my own husband had always wished I understood but didn’t know how to explain. Now that I’m finally beginning to understand how men think, I’m learning how to love him in ways that truly help him. My hope is that these discoveries will help you, too.”
Without further ado, here are just three of her insights to help you understand the man in your life a little better…
1. Men Want Respect
As difficult as this might be for most women to believe, it turns out most men would rather be unloved than disrespected. Most women, on the other hand, feel the opposite; that being loved is more critical than being respected. According to Shaunti’s findings, “If a man feels disrespected, he’s going to feel unloved.”
Just as we want the man in our life to love us unconditionally, even when we’re not particularly loveable, so men need their partners to demonstrate a kind of consistent respect for them, regardless of whether he may be meeting her expectations at that moment or not.
Now before you balk, keep in mind that respect isn’t the same thing as blind submission – we’re talking about bestowing our chosen partner with a basic level of honour, dignity, and value – something that we should ideally try to give to every person we meet, but which sadly, we can at times withhold from those closest to us.
2. Men Want Sex
Surprised? Probably not, but before you scroll on by, according to the Feldhahn’s research, the men interviewed felt that women had no idea how critical this issue is for them. “For your partner, sex is more than just a physical need. Lack of sex is as emotionally serious to him as, say, his sudden silence would be to you, were he simply to stop communicating with you.”
Often, the media portrays men as sex-obsessed with no emotions involved, but that’s just not true, or fair. In the deepest part of his being, most men interviewed expressed feeling alone, burdened by fears and anxious about his own worthiness. When his life partner makes love to him, these men expressed feeling a sense of assurance and well-being that nothing else could match.
For these men, it isn’t about getting enough sex; it’s about being wanted. According to the book, “In making love, there is one other person in this world that you can be completely vulnerable with and be totally accepted and non-judged by.”
3. Men Want Romance
Now this might really come as a surprise to many women! Contrary to popular opinion, men are not unromantic clods. The Feldhahn study revealed that most men really do want romance, but are often hesitant to step out in case they fail. The flip side of their success drive is their hidden fear of failure. So instead of risking not getting it right, they often choose to do nothing. Or if they have pulled off a huge romantic gesture, they might feel paralyzed by their inability to top it. And while some men enjoy the traditional candlelit dinner type of romance, many men want to “do” things with their wives, to “play” together – maybe fish, or go bowling, or hike together. Remember this the next time your man wants to do something with you – it’s possibly his way of inviting you to join him on an adventure!
So there you have it: three insights into what most men really want. To end, the most surprising and endearing thing that the Feldhahn’s research revealed was hidden in the final, open-ended question on their survey.
The question: “What is the one thing that you wish your wife/significant other knew, but you feel you can’t explain to her or tell her?”
And the top answer, by an overwhelming majority:
“How much I love her.”
In Shaunti’s own words, “I thought they might vent or complain, but a huge majority wanted to express their love. What we as women need most, is to feel their love, and I discovered that that is what they most want to say.”
Happy Valentine’s Day everybody!
(By the way, Julie wrote this blog for the fantastic website www.mumspiration.com. See more of her writing by clicking the ‘grow’ tab on that site.)