What do we really need from our spouse? The answer may surprise us all!

We don’t need our spouse to make us happy, to make lots of money, or even take us on lavish vacations. Every husband needs respect from his wife and every wife needs love from her husband.

While this idea may seem simple, practicing it may not always be easy.

For husbands to feel loved, they must first feel respected. A common complaint from husbands is they feel their wife constantly nags them. Similarly, they also feel criticized by their wife when they make a mistake.

Men feel validated by what they do and who they are. They tend to be more performance based than women.

At work, men feel valued when their boss or clients tell them they did a good job. At home, husbands feel valued and respected when their wife says, “Thank you for working to provide for our family. I appreciate your desire to provide for us.”

She may also say, “Thank you for playing baseball with the children. I love seeing your heart for our children.”

Or perhaps, “Thank you for changing the oil in the car. I appreciate that you always take care of our vehicles.”

What a wife says and her opinion is more important to a husband than anyone else’s.

If he feels she approves of him, he will feel respected by her. Men receive love when you touch their mind through respect.

Wives, on the other hand, need to feel loved by their husbands.

Most husbands will say, “Of course I love my wife!”

However, the love I am speaking of is not the word love as in a verb. I am talking about love as an action. In other words, showing love.

For example, I feel love when my husband sits outside and talks to me, giving me his quality time.

Sitting outside without any other distractions is an action he is taking to show love.

For some wives, a husband bringing home a bouquet of flowers is an action to show love.

For other wives, the love action may be cuddling or helping with dishes. There is not one action I can give you that all wives feel love through.

Husbands, you must know your wife to know how she perceives and feels love.

My primary love language is quality time. If my husband never spent much time with me yet brought home flowers or did the dishes every day, I would not feel very loved.

He could argue that he shows his love for me every day by bringing flowers and washing dishes, but he is showing love how he wants to show me love and not how I receive love.

I honestly believe this is how we get off track in our marriages — by simple misunderstandings.

If you don’t know how your spouse feels respect or love, I highly recommend, “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.

He also has a free online quiz you can take to help decode how you feel love. Friends, marriage can be complicated but it is also the closest thing we can have to heaven on Earth.

Until next time, love and respect each other.

Kindra Warner is a marriage group facilitator at Grace Christian Center in Killeen and a Herald correspondent.

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