I’ve found that if I ask a husband to tell me what activities make deposits into his wife’s love bank, he generally responds with a blank expression. When asked to list his wife’s basic needs, again he is stumped by the question. He has simply never considered it.
James Dobson found that women with unmet needs suffer from what he calls “the Ds” of despair, discouragement, disinterest, distress, despondency, and depression.5 He found that low self-esteem was the most troubling problem expressed by the women he surveyed. This lack of esteem has been multiplied and increased as society has increasingly devalued the role of a stay-at-home wife and mother and has elevated physical beauty over character or intelligence.
The wives surveyed by Dobson also stated that they were depressed because of fatigue, especially after the children came along. Between working a job, raising children, buying groceries, and keeping the home clean and running effectively, they have several full-time jobs. This was exhausting and ultimately depressing.
Dobson’s survey revealed that another primary problem area for wives was “loneliness, isolation, and boredom.” Yet another depression-inducing frustration was “the lack of romantic love in their marriage.” In summary, wives were saying: “I’m depressed because I don’t like myself; I’m exhausted by trying to keep up; I have no meaningful relationships; and I’m not close to my husband.”
Harley observed that a wife’s primary needs were fivefold as well: (1) affection, (2) conversation, (3) trust induced through openness and honesty, (4) stable financial support, and (5) family commitment through being a good father.6In other words, a wife needs clear expressions of love from her husband.
Seven Significant Expressions of Love from a Husband to His Wife
The following expressions, if consistently given to a wife, will create a much happier and more fulfilling marriage.
Your wife needs to know that she is highly valued and is number one on your priority list, second only to God in your life.
As a body needs food, a woman’s emotions need touch. Your wife needs to feel close and connected to you. Affection from her husband symbolizes security, protection, comfort, and approval for a wife. You need to tenderly listen to her, talk to her, touch her, hug her, and hold her apart fromtimes of sexual intimacy.
She needs you to open up to her and give her consistent and unobstructed communication. Share your life, thoughts, feelings, hopes, fears, and dreams with her.
One of the most devastating emotions a wife can feel is lack of approval from her mate. She needs to know that you like her as she is. She needs to feel that you will take her side and support her in her role. Your wife needs to feel understood. Do not try to fix her when she is upset. Don’t give answers or solutions right away. Just comfort her and listen.
Your wife needs reassurance that you love her, that you are loyal to her, and that you are committed to her “no matter what.” She needs to know that you will protect and provide for her and the family.
Your wife spells love a-t-t-e-n-t-i-o-n. The opposite of love isn’t so much hate as it is apathy. Often the worst form of rejection is to be ignored. Most men know very little about their wives because they don’t pay attention. Someone has observed that if a husband does not pay attention, he will pay alimony. Your wife needs you to pay attention to her. You need to wake up and notice some of the vast array of things she does to love and serve you and the children. She needs you to listen when she talks.
Your wife needs to feel appreciated by you. Practice saying words of thanks, praise, and appreciation at least once a day. Make her birthday and your wedding anniversary very special occasions.
From the book Biblical Marriage. Order Here.