10 Things Husbands Want to Hear from their Wives

things husbands want to hear

Mark Twain once commented, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” I agree. There is nothing like specific and detailed praise and validation to energize a marriage. After some research here at Family First, we found the 10 things husbands want to hear most from their wives. And if we missed one, please post your idea in the comments section below.

1. “I love being your wife.”

As simple as it sounds, husbands want to know that their wives are content in their marriage and truly enjoy just being with them. When is the last time you thanked your husband for marrying you? Don’t just assume he knows. Tell him!

2. “You’re an outstanding father.”

Deep in the heart of every man is the desire to be seen as a hero—especially to his children. Specifically, tell your husband why he is your kids’ hero. And tonight, at dinner, tell your children why he is so special.

3. “I’m really attracted to you. You are the man!”

It’s a myth that women are always more looks-conscious than men. As guys’ hairlines begin to recede and stomachs start protruding, they can become quite sensitive about their appearance. Never joke about how your husband looks.  Tell him he’s “hot” and how attracted you are to him.

4. “I really respect the decision you made.”

When a man makes a decision, especially a tough one, he doesn’t want his wife being critical of it or questioning him about it. He wants to know that his wife is behind him and admires his ability to make good decisions.

5. “I know how important it is to live within our means. I’m with you on this.”

Your husband is concerned about the future of your family. So that means he is concerned about taking care of his family financially. Having a wife he can rely on to spend and save wisely is a tremendous comfort to him.

6. “I’m so grateful for your spiritual leadership.”

All of us are hardwired for a relationship with God, and many men want to be seen as the spiritual caretakers of their families. Encourage your husband in his faith and for taking his role as a spiritual leader seriously.

7. “You are so wise.”

Many men are born problem solvers and relish the process of thinking through something and arriving at a solution. This, incidentally, is why your husband is always trying to “fix” your problems when all you want him to do is listen.  Recognizing your husband’s mental prowess and complimenting him on his intelligence will pay massive dividends to you. Emphasize to him that you trust his wise judgment.

8. “I appreciate how hard you work to provide for our family.”

There are many things in life that your husband cannot control, but one he can control is effort. It brings him great pleasure to work hard and see the results.  To directly control and be the man responsible for creating something from nothing thrills him. Encourage his great work ethic.

9. “Thank you very much for helping me with that.”

When a man serves his wife, he wants her to recognize it. A simple thank you is all he needs.

10. I’m impressed with how you handled that situation.”

Sometimes a wife will point out when her husband does not handle something well. So when he handles a particularly difficult situation well, let him know.

For the 10 things wives want to hear from their husbands, read this blog.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • jr

    1 out of 10 ??? But, at least she did say that I was an outstanding Father….. before walking out on 23 years… Maybe the other 9 are important as well?

  • Great

  • Irene

    I have used a number of them and did not know that they are that powerful. Will try the rest. Thanks Mark.

  • Gregg Huestis

    Very good article. Not sure if all of it is true but the majority is VERY true. It all boils down to RESPECT. That’s what we as guys, husbands want.


  • Guest

    I find it very hard to take a point seriously, when the person making it resorts to name-calling. My paternal grandfather fought the Nazis in WWII, and both my materlan grandparents helped save the lives of the Jews in Denmark. Not one Danish Jew was harmed because of brave people like them who knew what NAZIS were capable of.

    In my marriage, love and respect are mutual. Nobody leads, nobody follows, and nobody’s ego needs to be constantly stroked. There are some areas in which my husband is stronger than I am, and he leads, and there are areas where I am stronger than he is, and I lead. These areas are not based on tradition, but on individual talent. We are ALWAYS telling each other that we respect the decisions that the other one makes, and the other always plays a big part in the final decision.

    In our marriage, we work as two oxen pulling a cart. For us being evenly yolked means that we walk side by side, and hand in hand. We worked a beautiful quote by Albert Camus, into our wedding vows.

    “Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.”

    We also kept our own names.

    Now tell me. Do we sound like NAZIS, or two equals in a loving, committed, blissful marriage?

  • SM Smith

    Serving your spouse is not a sub-servant quality. Service is just finding a way to show love, respect and lighten each other’s loads. The Lord was the perfect example of service and he was a servant but not a sub-servant. The world is altering the meaning of these words to be as a servant serving a master he is owned of… This is not true service.

  • crazyconfuse

    my husband keep saying that i dont know how to separate being a mom and a wife, what does he meant by that?

  • leahchristensen

    He means that you’re so fucused on the chcildren, that he feels you are neglecting him. You are not your children’s wife, you are not your husband’s mother, so the two roles are different. However, if you want to know exactly what is in his head, ASK HIM! (not shouting, just emphasizing those last two words). Get the lines of ccommunication going, and talk about this.

  • June Sechowski

    The husband’s list makes sense to me, but the wife’s list not as much. It assumes children. I think many of the husband comments would still apply, who doesn’t want to be told they handled a situation well, or that they are wise or kind or appreciated? I remember my husband telling me once how generous I was, and it was such a nice unexpected compliment, I’ve never forgotten it. Points for making me think! Have a wonderful day. Proverbs 31 talks about the wise wife 🙂

  • Was this list written in the Victorian era? I don’t need my husband as my spiritual ‘leader’ any more than I need him as my provider. I simply want a partner. And luckily my husband is not so insecure as to need his wife to be weak or dependent on him in order to feel cherished and adored for being a good partner. It saddens me that this kind of advice is still perpetuated as what God intends for a male-female dynamic. It reeks of old world misogyny.

  • Guest

    Leah- It sounds like you have a strong marriage yet the fact that you have replied in argument to each of the comments on this board hints to a lack of satisfaction within your relationship…either with your husband or with God. If whatever you do works for you than great… no need to put so much effort into putting down those women who choose to submit to GOD as He commanded.

    There are many many women who find beauty and success within marriage by submitting to their husbands. My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We are equals yet I let him lead, where he leaves off I pick up. We are a team… and he is our team captain.

  • leahchristensen

    No one has the right to assume a level of satisfaction in my marriage, or with God. If i was not satisfied in my marriage, I’d get a divorce. My husband had not had a “perfect” past, and has a few failed marriages behind him. You know something? All those women expected him to be a traditional man, and eventually he cracked under the burdon of having total responsbility foisted upon him. His words? “I’m not Jesus, I’m just a man.” Not a day goes by when he doesn’t tell me how happy he is that I’m willing to share the “driving” with him, and not just expect him to stay in the drivers seat the whole time. Not a day goes by when I don’t tell him how glad I am that he is not looking for a submissive woman. Just because submission works for some, doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. I’m satisfied with God and Jesus, because it was them who created the strong-willed woman that I am. If they wanted me to be otherwise, I wouldn’t be me.

    Have you read the rest of this thread? I’m not the only one who agrees that to EXPECT submission in this day and age is archaic. It may work for some couples, but not for everyone.

  • KanchD39

    My husband works long hours. Quite ironically he works from home, but we hardly get to communicate all week. He’ll sit in his office from morning till after midnight & some days way after midnight. I really don’t know how to deal with this. He is helpless regarding carving out more time as he is just about keeping his head above water most days. So, how do you deal with this situation?

  • ddkays

    Thanks for this post…I love it. I have been married 28 years and I am still my husband’s biggest fan! I think this list is excellent. Thank you again!

  • Guest

    8/4/2013 Don’t let these people twist the word of God for the favor of the man only. I am glad that I read the word of God and I know that he would not tell the wives to do all the marriage work while husban waits on his throne. God does not want a grown man, a grown husband, to act like a baby, act like a child and let his wife spoil himwhen he does not spoil her!!!
    God does not work like that. I keep reading all this dialogue back and forth, telling us wives that we should do this and we should do that. THIS IS NOT GODLY! Listen women folk, don’t you all let these people lie for Satan right before your eyes. DO NOT BE DECEIVED!! You will know a Godly person by their fruit and part of that means, that they are not bearing Godly fruit, when they tell wives to serve their husbands, but never tell the husbands to serve their wives.
    For the husbands who get mad and jealous because their wives spend a lot of time with the children, you husbands ought to be ashamed of yourselves. You are acting like spoiled babies when you demand she drop the children for you. If you all acted like the servant leaders you are supposed to be and do those same things on that list for your wives, then they would be able to give you some attention. What are you trying to do wear her mind and body down?
    We need more, strong women. like myself, to be bold enough to step up and speak up and reassure women who are hurting and who are tired of lists thrown in their faces.
    Don’t be confused. Satan is busy and he throws some man made doctrines and lists at wives all the time. I can, but I won’t give you the names of these anti wife sites. They are boldly going against the word of God and many women believe them. Wake up women. Do not allow yourselves to be brainwashed by these man exalting doctrines.

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  • KDUB

    I get that it’s great to show appreciation to people, but I do not agree that you continue to do so for the love of God but for the love of your man. We are human beings, and as a human being I prefer real love over just a commitment made to GOD that you no longer wish to pursue because the relationship is not mutual, does not give you life, does not inspire you, does not make you happy ever, etc. etc. etc…perhaps you got married for lust and not love.

  • name

    …If my husband would say #5 to me, I would be ecstatic…there are definitely some on here that women would like to hear as well…pretty much all of them, aside from #6.

  • leahchristensen

    I think couples need to work as a pair on #6 and lead the family spiritually. Children need leaders, adults should be partners.

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  • MTy5

    I think almost everything in this article is spot on. I am a very emotionally intuitive person and I usually know what a person needs to hear and what they are feeling. I am unattached myself, but most of my friends are either married or in long term relationships( I am reaching that age). I often observe an ignorance people have to the emotional needs of their partner. I think you did a great job at pointing out some of the most common ones.

    I did have a couple of issues. “Many men are born problem solvers and relish the process of thinking through something and arriving at a solution…Recognizing your husband’s mental prowess and complimenting him on his intelligence will pay massive dividends to you. Emphasize to him that you trust his wise judgment.” I think this statement is conditional. Not all, but some women are also born problem solvers. Many women also have mental prowess. I often feel it is my duty as a person who pursues education to challenge people on what they think and believe because it causes them to grow as a person. You don’t grow by only talking to people who believe exactly as you do. You should praise any person when they have shown wisdom or done a great job solving a problem, but that should not be the default. Spouses should expand each other minds and intellect. Obviously, you should trust your husband. If you don’t, you have bigger issues at hand. If your husband comes to you with his thoughts( or anyone for that matter), I find it is always best to discuss and challenge things from all sides. I would do a disservice to any relationship I was in by just blindly agreeing to trust whatever judgment call my husband has made. I always hope to trust his intentions, but I feel any person I would marry would prefer I voice my opinion honestly about what they have decided. If I have reached a conclusion through careful thought and study, and my husband reaches a different one, I can not just change what I think is best. I am not saying I would not support him, but I do not have to let him know I trust his decision. It would be a lie.

    I also have a problem with the use of the word wise. Very few people are wise. Most people lack the capacity to be wise because they can not entertain a thought they disagree with without harshly rejecting it. Some people have moments of wisdom, but the title of wise can be bestowed upon very few. i would not use that term lightly or to stroke the ego of my husband.

    I understand that you most likely did not mean that a husband should not listen to the council of his wife. I just feel to trust someones else’s judgment, every women would have to marry a man who was considerably smarter than her. Though, I guess many men prefer to be smarter than their wives. I guess it would solve the problem. I just personally can’t see being attracted to someone who wants blind faith and trust. I would want someone who would want to earn my trust by debating and persuading me, or even I him if he is wrong.

    Those are just my thoughts. Overall I thought you brought up many great points. That was just the one issue I had.

  • Desperate Husband

    With different love languages, words are more important to some than others. My wife is hard as a rock. Sometimes, NOT often enough, she comes to me and hugs me or does something nice because she CANNOT say the words “I’m sorry, I was wrong … Please forgive me.” It is her way of trying to make peace, I guess. It is rare though, (because in some ridiculous way she is competing with me, with men, or getting even with men from her past … and I just happen to be the husband blind-sided by all this). BUT it sure would be nice to hear her say “I am sorry” for once, especially about the malice and poison that comes out of her mouth, and especially when her sarcasm and disrespect and name calling happen in front of the kids. Other men have told me too, that “women hate to admit they are wrong. My wife rarely says ‘sorry’ too.” And I apologize when I think I have offended her, and even when I don’t think she should be offended, but is! And it would be nice to hear her say “I forgive you.” I NEVER get the “benefit of the doubt.” God help her, help me, and help us. We need you Jesus. If I told all of you ladies the crap I endure from my wife you would fall out of your chair. Thank God for this blog. Signed, Desperate Husband

  • dgillett

    Great list! I would like to hear my wife say too … “let’s put the kids down early so we can be alone together and cuddle.” Of course I am dreaming though … by the way, because in 17 years of marriage, this husband has never heard one of the 10 on this list .. and I am a fine provider, caring father and husband. Similar to some situations wives endure, SHE stays home on Sunday while I run off to church with two kids in tow! Before I was married I used to think marriage problems were mainly because of men. It is a two way street. I cannot always assume “the man does not get it.” Both have to work hard, of course. I know now, just like men, some women can be real jerks! Ladies, this list is right on the money! A kind word for your man will cost you nothing, but will go a long way …

  • John

    So excessively praise the husband and don’t ever question him period. Sounds like the bible is used constantly to turn women into subservient servants to their husbands. Doesn’t sound like something God would come up with but a control freak.

  • Lawrence Of Arabia

    Mark, you are a real gem in this world of lumps of coal! I would LOVE ANY of these complements from my wife.

    You are a real 4 to 1’er – I love your spirit of positivity!

  • eve

    txs for advise i wish u could come in rwanda to trainning women and men

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  • Guest

    You sound level headed and reasonable. So, I hope you will try to see my point, as it relates to what you wrote.
    First of all, there are many websites with, women men writers who are biased in favor of men/husbands, and IT AIN’T FAIR!! The writers are always coming up with huge lists for wives but not for husbands. Do you really think that women will accept this? Women hate these lists and hate that you all think that we should just stupidly go along with this..Honestly, it makes us roar and scream. It is too much and we are sick of it.
    Men and these women writers who support men, expect for us to grin and accept lists thrown in our faces all the time. Well, you all would rebel too if a bunch of your own gender members kept brainlessly writing a bunch of lists for you all to do for wives. Women are not jerks like men are.. In fact, the woman usually shows compassion for her man, but she turns on him after a while, when he does not show her that he cares or shows consideration for her feelings.
    Also, when men are complaining because your wives won’t initiate sex. Well, you all need to ask yourselves do you initiate “shopping” and “sharing your feelings” time with your wife? Of course not, because that is not the way men are wired. So, stop trying to make women be like men and initiate sex. We do not have the same desires and arousals that you all do. Stop trying to change women and stop criticizing our different sexual needs.

  • Zaylee

    Help me understand it when men tell women to “compliment their husbands” on their intelligience” and it will pay off with dividends. What dividends? Will the husbands in turn compliment the wives. ?This is good and right. God is watching husbands and wives. Should not a man treat his wife in a well way without her having to brag on him? Why does a wife have to work so hard to get crumbs from her husbands? He should have the desire to treat her right anyway, even if she does not brag on him all the time. Who thought of this ridiculous doctrine anyway?
    Can someone list all verses that tell women to compliment and brag on their husbands. We need to stop creating these man made doctrines that scold, blame, lecture, wives and expect them to do all of the relationship work. The man is the servant leader anyway. God is on the throne, not husbands. We magnify and glorify God. We are to praise God.
    . What in the world started men believing that they deserve all these compliments without giving compliments back to their wives? What if he is not intelligent, do we still brag on him for being intelligent, because that would be lying and it is deceitful.
    Do men really expect for their wives to compliment them without complimenting the wife in return. Answers please.

  • mytwocents

    Also… take a look at Gary Chapman’s book “The five love languages”. Praise may not be your husbands love language. In fact, it sounds like it’s not. Which means you can praise him and praise him and it will have little effect. However, if you pin point his true love language you may see 180 degree change in his reaction. Just my two cents.

  • Beryl

    Sorry to inform you, but we wives need a kind word too. and we need to know that our husbands also appreciates us for all that we do. Why do you all think that only the husbands need a show of appreciation? What in the world is wrong with you all?
    Husbands work outside of the home and in this 2014, year, wives work outside of the home too, plus we, care for the children, do the cooking cleaning, give you all sex, do the laundry, ironing, grocery shopping, being nice to your rude mother, father, and many other things. Where is our appreciation? Are we animals? Even the dog gets a pat on the head. Doesn’t the wife deserve a pat on the head too. 🙂

  • Beryl

    You cannot blame the rest of the women for something that goes on in your marriage. Stop criticizing us, and making blanket statements about women.

  • Beryl

    Wow, critical and scornful to wives much?

  • Ladyjames123

    Do we lie to him to tell him these?

  • Chaplain D

    In 43 years of marriage and most of that in ministry l have only heard #9. I feel that if you have to tell your wife to say these things it really isn’t in their heart…they’re just saying it because you want them to say it.

  • ArmyWifeKK

    My husband says you missed one of the most important sayings… “Dinner is ready!” ????

  • leahchristensen

    Didn’t miss it at all. Cooking is one of my man’s favourite pass times, and he’s so talented he ought to be a pro!

  • Guest

    I read this with wonder! While I appreciate all the stuff above in a relationship where a woman is taken care of, it would not work well in a situation where a you have the woman of virtue described by Solomon in Proverbs 31. Somehow, unlike the husband in the story who was happy and respected at the city gates, my experience is that my former spouse felt that he had nothing to offer inspite of constant assurances that he did bring very essential contributions to the relationship. Eventually he tried to get me dismissed at work although I was and still is the primary breadwinner. That is besides multiple affairs and physical abuse for 18 years, when I prayed, fasted, and praised the Lord! I wonder if men really want strong Christian woman like me? I deeply mistrust men!

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  • nisha

    If social drinker.how to control that with patient and love.

  • Good question nisha. Only the drinker can truly control his/her drinking. Knowing the difference between social drinking and problem drinking is critical. Please see this article about the warning signs: http://www.allprodad.com/top10/miscellaneous/10-signs-of-alcoholism/

  • Roberto

    You are right Cheryl Barba,the issue of EGO and PRIDE in marriage is the very deep root for any broken marriage or divorce.None in any kind of marriage and ages can tolerate that, for it brings up all kind of vulnerabilities.
    It is worse even for christian families, when it comes to march up together into one vision to serve God in a humble, missionary and move out ways.All kind of incompatibilities are coming in until when the couple burst out.
    How can you advise for a couple with too much negatives of all kinds from one of the spouse for slowing the other one?How can you deal with that if it is something that has last longer without any tame or correction?How to reconcile with hypocrits?Tell me please?How can believe he/she has changed?

  • confused girl

    soooo its about stroking the ego? good grief! and they say women complicated!

  • Mary

    Taking it too literally..everyone needs positive affirmation sometimes. Random rewards are most effective to reinforce good behavior. Even you could be trained to be nice with random positive reinforcement 🙂

  • leahchristensen

    Positive affirmation is one thing, but never questioning him is another. My hubby and I give each other positive affirmation all the time, and subservience doesn’t ever enter into it! The problem with a lot of advice like this is that it suggests wife’s need to act like Stepford Wives.

  • Enuf

    I’m just curious who these husbands are that need to hear this in order to keep doing what is right. Grow up. Be a man. You were created to serve and protect your family. If you’re not doing this then you’ve failed. The only affirmation you need is to look at your wife and children. If their thriving then you’re doing your job. And there’s no greater affirmation than seeing your family happy. If not, no words of affirmation are going to change this and you need to repriortize your life. I have two brothers and two sisters in my family with eleven divorces between them all. The collateral damage (the children) is devasting and these kids are still lost in life. I’ve been married to my first and only wife for 20 years. Just like everyone else we’ve struggled at times, but no matter what was going on I always put my my wife and children first. Until you are ready to put aside childish things and committ to placing your family first, you really shouldn’tget married or start a family.

  • m.s.k.

    as a huspand this is wonderfull tips to attract men but how many wives doing this.wives are thinking men are only for earn money to live saffisticataly,even they do not know to admire a single word.we do everything for family welfare.

  • dg101

    Yeah, most of these I don’t care about. If my wife tells me she’s proud of me, that I look good, and “Yeah, go out with your friends” without there being an ulterior motive or a threat buried in there, then that’s all I really WANT to hear.

  • Midwest

    Troll much John?