Both men and women desire respect, but many men say they need it like they need oxygen. The problem is this: women don’t know what respect looks like to a man. They think they are being respectful.
So, in this episode, I’m going to lay it out for you and show you exactly what it is that makes our husbands feel disrespected. And, I will show you how to make some subtle changes that will create more connection and less conflict in your marriage.
For more inspiration, join me in my private A Life Designed community on Facebook.
Also, I have created a free Marriage Communication Masterclass for you! This class is for you if you want to stop fighting with your husband and feel like you are on the same team.
Welcome to A Life Designed.
My name is Tina Haisman. I teach busy moms how to get everything done and still have time and energy for themselves. My passion is for helping women create more heart-to-heart connection with their husband and children so they can feel deeply fulfilled in those most important relationships.
The topic of today’s podcast is What Husbands Need Most from the Woman They Love
But before we get started I want to let you know I have created a free video on Communication in Marriage for you. This video is for you if you have ever felt like you can’t get through to your husband. If you feel like your husband never listens to you. If you lose your cool during difficult conversations. If you’re tired of fighting with your husband.
In just 30 minutes, this video will help you lay the foundation for healthy communication in marriage and teach you how to handle difficult conversations so you can feel more connected and like you’re on the same team as your husband. Visit the link in the show notes to access it.
Also I have a FREE private group on Facebook where you can come to get inspiration for your life. It’s called A Life Designed. I hope you’ll join us!
Now let’s Dive IN and talk about What Husbands Need Most from the Woman They Love
If you ask most women what they need most from their husband, they will tell you: love.
But if you ask most husbands what they need most from their wives, they will tell you: respect.
I have found that this is a tricky topic, because most wives think they are being respectful.
So today, since we are working on cracking the guy-code, I want to share with you what your husband means by respect so you can have more connection and fewer conflicts in your marriage.
So. I’m going to give the deets to you directly and quickly. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it. Then I’ll illustrate for you with a couple of stories. Get ready to take notes. Are you ready? Here we go.
Men feel disrespected when we criticize them. Interrupt them. Contradict them. Try to teach them something. Point out a mistake they made. Or try to help them.
Also, all of this is magnified if it is done in front of other people. Ouch.
How you know your husband feels disrespected is that he gets defensive.
Why do these things feel disrespectful to him? This is the gold right here girls. This is the key to his heart. Are you ready?
Because to a man, what is most important to him is this one question: “Am I good enough?” “Am I good enough?”
This question keeps him up at night … and is the culprit of his defensiveness when you criticize, interrupt, contradict, teach, help or point out mistakes.
Your husband deeply, in the innermost fibers of his being, wants to be respected for who he is and what he does. He wants you and the entire world to see him as fully capable.
Author Shaunti Feldhahn did a research on this subject and found that 75% of men said they would rather feel unloved than disrespected. Did you catch that? Most men would rather feel unloved than disrespected.
Whaat? As women we can’t fathom that. Because for us, it is LOVE we are after. Women want to be loved for who they are on the inside. But Men are different. Your husband is after your RESPECT. Which means he wants to be respected for who he is on the outside. For what he accomplishes.
This type of respect comes to men a bit more easily in the workplace than it does at home, and in Shaunti’s research, men told her they felt respected everywhere but at home. Ugh.
So if we truly want our husbands to feel loved …
They need us to respect their knowledge, opinions and decisions. This means no criticizing, interrupting, contradicting, teaching, helping or pointing out mistakes.
You know the old joke about men not wanting to stop and ask for directions. That’s because they think it would make them look stupid. They have to figure it out for themselves, so they can be respected.
So, here is one of the times I learned this brutal respect lesson. Back many moons ago, my husband was in the MBA program, which meant he had A LOT of studying to do.
It was a challenging time. Our kids were little. I was taking care of them by myself from first thing in the morning until the last thing when they went to bed. Even on the weekends, so my husband could work and study.
So, one Saturday afternoon, I said to my husband, "Hey. I am going to take the kids out for a while this afternoon so you can study.” I was so proud of me. Taking one for the team. I thought I was being helpful.
But I got a defensive, negative reaction from him. I did not understand that. I thought I was being nice by trying to give him time to study when he didn't have to worry about us or feel guilty for not being with us.
Wow! Was I wrong! Why?
Because my “helpful” gesture looked like disrespect to him. What I later learned, is that he felt like I didn’t think he was competent to figure out when he would study on his own. And, he also thought I was telling him when he could study. Double-whammy.
So, how could I have handled that respectfully in my husband’s eyes?
I could have just told him what I wanted to do that weekend. And share what was on the calendar. Then ask him what his plans were. OR first ask him what his plans were and then tell him mine. Do you see, this gives him the space share with me what he wanted to accomplish. This would have RESPECTED his independence as a man.
And his ability to make decision for himself on what he will or will not participate in.
A client of mine recently shared with me how she wanted her husband to go downtown for the day with her and another family. Her husband said he had too much work, so he didn’t think he had time for that. Her response was something like, “Are you sure you can’t come and get your work done another time?” And it was a little desperate. And perhaps snarky. So, guess what. Surprise! Surprise! She got a defensive response.
All she was trying to do was ask for him to reconsider. To tell him how much she wanted him to come along. Because she wanted to have fun with him! Her intentions were good and loving! But he didn’t see it that way. He felt like she was questioning his judgment about this work. And that hurt his feelings.
So, what could this client have done? Respected his judgment by saying something like, “OK. I understand. We will miss you. Thank you for working so hard for our family.”
Can you see the difference? In the second response, she affirms him and appreciates him on top of that. Good stuff!
I know this seems hard for us women, but I think we can understand how criticism, interruptions and contradictions could upset our husbands, because it might upset us, too. But it definitely bothers them more than it bothers us. So we don’t realize the magnitude of the hurt we are delivering to our guy. And we can’t understand why he is so upset.
Also, as women, we think we are being kind when we try to teach, help or point out a mistake our husband made. But this is the ultimate in hurtful behavior toward a man. It tells them that we don’t think they are smart enough to figure it out.
So, here is why I am sharing all of this with you. So you can have more connection and less conflict in your marriage. And to empower you to be the one to put what you are learning into action!
Because here’s what happens. You accidentally say or do something to make your husband feel disrespected. Your husband reacts defensively. Now you think HE is the being DISRESPECTFUL to you. And so you say or do something else that makes him feel disrespected again. And around this cycle goes.
Make sense? I am teaching all of us today about what respect looks like to a man and suggesting that we empower ourselves to put this knowledge to use to stop the negative disrespect cycle. If you can do this, girls, I promise you, things will improve in your marriage!
I know this is all easier said than done, and it really helps to have someone help you. I’d love to be that gal for you.
If you would like to work on this with a coach, reach out to me for a complimentary consultation where you will get to experience what it’s like to have the full attention of an experienced life coach listening to you in a non-judgmental, compassionate setting.
We will take a look at where you are, where you want to be and come up with a plan to get you there. Just this conversation alone will give you relief from the challenges you are currently facing.
Remember to download my free marriage communication masterclass and don’t forget to join the Life Designed Community on Facebook!
Thank you! See you next week!