People joke that men are not difficult to make or keep happy. But the skills needed are not just those you can learn in a manual. Sure, men have physical needs (and so do women), but if you want your husband to adore you, you have to broaden your horizons. So, here’s what we think you need to know (for starters, anyway).
1. He needs to make you happy. Ask any truthful man what the attractive part of a woman is. And no, it’s not gross anatomy. It’s her smile. Men are attracted by women who smile. Not because they have bought the Madison Avenue propaganda about tooth whitening but because men need to make their wives happy. When a wife is happy, her husband feels like a man, strong and powerful. The joke around here is that when a man gives his wife a book or takes his wife to a movie and she loves it, he feels: I wrote the book. I edited the book. I directed the movie. I starred in the movie. Yes, Brachie thinks this is a little silly, but I, Mat, and every other man I know, feels it. Conversely, when a husband feels he can’t make his wife happy, even if it’s not his fault, the relationship is in trouble. He feels he failed. A real man wants, needs, has to have a happy wife and he will do almost anything to achieve it. So, let him know he makes you happy and let him make you happy.
2. He needs to feel respected. We know women can be critical. We understand that husbands grow from the criticisms of their wives. The Torah tells us that woman was created to be a helpmate against man. By rubbing against the man morally, emotionally, the woman, in effect, polishes him. But temper that criticism, please. Make him feel he is the boss on some things. Make him feel he does some things right. If all you say are negative things, nothing will be taken seriously. Criticize with love and from love.
3. He needs to feel loved. Much is said and written about making a woman feel loved. But that guy you are married to is not an insensitive, unfeeling brute (even if he seems like one at times). We have found that men need affection at least as much as women. When we first started counseling we found that one major desire expressed by men, strong successful men, was a desire to just be hugged. So, when you see that big, strong, tough guy for the first time each day, hug him. When you come home, hug him again. Watch him melt.
4. He is afraid of failure. A man may seem like he has everything. The mortgage is paid for. The colleges and weddings are saved for. There is a lot of money in the bank. And yet, the husband still is afraid that somehow he will fail and that his family will end up on the street, starving. Okay, we know this fear may be irrational but it is pervasive. Marriages have been saved by the wife simply understanding how scared the husband can be. His tension, his aggressiveness, his impatience can all have their origin in this deep fear of failure. Pity the poor dear. Make him feel like he can’t fail and reassure him when he is scared he will. He will love you for it.