It’s no surprise that men and women are different. And we’re not just talking physical differences. Men and women think differently and find different things important in their lives. According to marriage therapists, they even look at love differently.
To women, they need love to survive. But then, so do men. How they view what love is and how they wish to receive it are very different from each other. One big key to a happy marriage is understanding that and putting it into practice.
In short, women value love in the emotional sense. Men, however, crave respect. What does that mean? Here are 10 tips to bring more love and respect in your marriage, with each person taking note what the other person values and needs the most.
How to show love to a woman:
1. Show affection
Women need to be shown affection regularly. This is separate from sex. She needs hugs, kisses, cuddles, and loving touches. She needs to know that you love her in this way without it having to lead to intimacy every time. It makes her feel valued.
2. Give her lots of attention
Women need to be given a lot of attention. This can be shown in many ways, and it’s important to pay attention to what your wife truly needs. Most women view attention as talking. Husbands need to talk to their wives to show them that they love them. The subject of the talking is less important than the sincerity behind it. So ask how her day went, show an interest in what she did that day, ask questions about what she thinks about certain issues.
3. Listen without giving advice
Women need your listening ear. Women are smart, capable people. They can figure out their problems pretty well. But they need your encouragement in order to do so. Instead of trying to solve their problems, simply listen. Encourage her in what she feels is right. Validate that what she is feeling is perfectly normal.
4. Plan alone time, just the two of you
Husbands, your wives crave time with just the two of you together. During a regular day, she is working, finishing projects, coordinating with co-workers or friends; she is cleaning and organizing and taking care of dinner. Most of her day is spent doing things for other people. After a while she gets depleted and she feels completely disconnected with you. What she really wants is to relax and recharge with just you by her side. When she has that regularly—sometimes it needs to be scheduled, perhaps as a weekly date together—then she feels like you two are in this together, even though you spend a lot of your days doing separate things.
5. Give her service
Nothing is more powerful in showing love than service. When you put energy into noticing what your wife needs help with, and then actually doing it—even something as simple as putting away the dishes or folding the laundry—it shows that you are thinking of her. That equals love to a woman. Especially if it’s something you don’t have to do, or something you aren’t expect to do, a husband giving service shows that they are giving of their time and energy to make her load easier.
How to show respect to a man:
1. Ask his opinion
A man feels valued and respected when his own thoughts are valuable to you. Wives, don’t make all the decisions with kids and the house on your own. Ask his opinion. Even if he agrees with your own thoughts, the fact that you asked him shows you respect and value his input. He feels like an integral part of your life as well.
2. Tell him what you appreciate about him
He goes to work every day and deals with long hours and a lot of issues. He is really good at helping things run smoothly there. At home he helps the kids get to bed, and then he takes care of maintaining the lawn. One thing that shows a man you respect him is to tell him all of these things that you appreciate about him. Tell him you appreciate how hard he works. Tell him that you are inspired by his skills. That you love how good he keeps the house looking. That it makes your evening so much easier with the kids because he helps.
3. Use a loving tone
A big part of respect to a man isn’t just the content of the words, but how they are said. A man can spot insincerity or unloving tone from a mile away. When a wife speaks in a kind and loving manner to her husband, there is no better sound to a man. Don’t criticize—build him up.
4. Tell others about him
What you say about your husband to others has a way of getting back to him. If it’s good, he’ll feel absolutely respected by you. Because when he’s not near, and you are speaking well of him to others, he feels safe and good that you went to that effort.
5. Believe in him
Your husband needs your encouragement. Sometimes he feels vulnerable or unsure; if his wife is right there and believes he can do it, then that’s all he needs. He will feel respected and will have the courage he needs to forge ahead. A man with a woman behind him who believes in him can do just about anything.