10 Things Guys Wish Women Knew about Men

as heard on

It is likely no surprise to you that God has wired women and men differently. We all recognize some of these differences, but others often hide in plain sight. Shaunti Feldhahn, a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, author and speaker recently wrote a fantastic book, For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. In it, she recounts the surprising truths she learned about men after interviewing more than one thousand of them. Not long ago, I had the opportunity to interview Shaunti for our radio broadcast, HomeWord with Jim Burns. In our discussion, we spoke about ten things guys wish women knew about men. I think you’ll find these ten things fascinating! Even more, I believe that in understanding these issues, you’ll be equipped to lead your marriage to a better place!

1) Men would rather feel unloved than inadequate and disrespected. Husbands need to know that their wives respect them both privately and publicly. Men thrive when they know that their wives trust them, admire them and believe in them. Shaunti Feldhahn’s research indicated that men would rather sense the loss of loving feelings from their wives than to be disrespected by them.

2) A man’s anger is often a response to feeling disrespected by his wife. When a husband becomes angry with his wife, he may not come out and say, “You’re disrespecting me!” But, there is a good likelihood that he is feeling stung by something his wife has done which he considers disrespectful and humiliating.

3) Men are insecure. Men are afraid that they aren’t cutting it in life — not just at work, but at home, in their role as a husband. They may never vocalize this, but inwardly, they are secretly vulnerable. The antidote? Affirmation. To men, affirmation from their wives is everything! If they don’t receive this affirmation from their wives, they’ll seek it elsewhere. When they receive regular and genuine affirmation from their wives (not flattery, by the way), they become much more secure and confident in all areas of their lives.

4) Men feel the burden of being the provider for their family. Intellectually, it doesn’t matter how much or little a man makes, or whether or not his wife makes more or less money in her career. Men simply bear the emotional burden of providing for their family. It’s not a burden they’ve chosen to bear. Men are simply wired with this burden. As such, it is never far from their minds and can result in the feeling of being trapped. While wives cannot release their husbands from this burden, they can relieve it through a healthy dose of appreciation, encouragement and support.

5) Men want more sex. Everyone’s natural response to this is probably, “Duh!” But, that response is probably for the wrong reason. We primarily assume that men want more sex with their wives due to their physical wiring (their “needs”). But, surprisingly, Shaunti Feldhahn’s research showed that the reason men want more sex is because of their strong need to be desired by their wives. Men simply need to be wanted. Regular, fulfilling sex is critical to a man’s sense of feeling loved and desired.
6) Sex means more than sex. When men feel their wives desire them sexually, it has a profound effect on the rest of their lives. It gives them an increasing sense of confidence and well-being that carries over into every other area of his life. The flipside of this coin also carries a profoundly negative affect. When a husband feels rejected sexually, he not only feels his wife is rejecting him physically, but that she is somehow rejecting his life as a husband, provider and man. This is why making sex a priority in marriage is so incredibly important!

7) Men struggle with visual temptation. This means the vast majority of men respond to visual images when it comes to women. And, this doesn’t just mean the guys with wandering eyes. Even the most godly husband cannot avoid noticing a woman who dresses in a way that draws attention to her body. Even if it is just a glance, these visual images are stored away in the male brain as a sort of “visual rolodex” that will reappear without any warning. Men can choose whether to dwell on these images and memories or dismiss them, but they can’t control when these images appear.

Get more — Free! e-book — Les & Leslie Parrott's, The Good Fight

8) Men enjoy romance, but doubt their skills to be romantic. True, many men appear to be unromantic clods, but it doesn’t mean that they want to be that way! Men want to be romantic, but they just doubt their ability to pull it off. They are plagued by internal hesitations, perceiving the risk of humiliation and failure as too high. Wives can do a great deal to increase their husbands’ confidence in their romantic skills through encouragement and redefining what romance looks like. For example, a wife may balk when her husband asks her to go along to the hardware store, but it’s likely that he’s asking because he sees it as a time they can get away as a couple and hang out together. What’s not romantic about that?

9) Men care about their wife’s appearance. This isn’t saying that all men want their wives to look like the latest supermodel. What men really want is to know that their wives are making an effort to take care of themselves (and not letting themselves go) because it matters to them (the husbands!). Husbands appreciate the efforts their wives make to maintain their attractiveness.

10) Men want their wives to know how much they love them. This was the number one response of men. Men aren’t confident in their ability to express this, but they love their wives dearly. Men want to show how much they love their wives and long for them to understand this fact.


Copyright © Jim Burns, Used with permission.
Read more from Jim at homeword.com

In response to the overwhelming needs of parents and families, Jim Burns founded HomeWord (formerly YouthBuilders) in 1985. HomeWord is a Christian organization designed to provide assistance to adults worldwide as they help young people make wise decisions and lead positive, vibrant, Christian lifestyles. Multiplication and Leverage: While absolutely committed to young people, HomeWord equips parents, grandparents and youth leaders; those who daily reach out to kids. By equipping adults, and leveraging those adults to reach kids, HomeWord reaches more young people more cost effectively.

Give to help build better marriages
About Jim Burns

bio-burnsJim Burns, Ph.D., is a renowned youth and family expert, an acclaimed author, and the founder of HomeWord, a radio program that reaches more than a million people across the country each day. In partnership with Azusa Pacific University, he established and now provides leadership for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family, a research and training institute offering biblically based resources for parents and youth. Under Burns, the center has become the largest provider of Christian parenting and youth seminars in the United States. His passion is communicating to adults and young people practical truths to help them live out their Christian lives. Burns is a three-time Gold Medallion Award-winning author and has written books for parents, youth workers, and students. He also speaks in person to thousands of people each year around the world. Burns and his wife, Cathy, and their daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi, live in Southern California. For more information about Burns, visit homeword.com.
See Jim's Books

  • Becca

    Men don’t really have a rolodex of women, do they? Am I not attractive or good enough for my husband if he does that? Also, I have trouble believing that men prefer respect and adequacy over love. Could some gentlemen confirm or negate this?

    • Beth Bronkema

      This has been exactly my question this week! When a woman wears a low neckline with a well-endowed view, men of any status look! But me, his wife, he doesn’t want me to dress like that, nor does he seem interested. I reiterate from the above writer, “am I not attractive or good enough for my husband?”! Relationships are exhausting to figure out!

      • Sprinter7

        I am a Christian married man of over 20 years. I also help to lead a men’s small group. Let me see if I can help you with these questions. I see two questions on this thread: 1) Does a man REALLY want respect and adequacy over love? 2) Why do men struggle with women with well-endowed figures, but don’t want their wives to dress like that?

        Question 1: I am not sure where I fall on this spectrum, I am probably in the middle somewhere, where I need both equally from my wife. But having talked to other men, respect is very important to them; seemingly even more so than love. The men I know with troubled marriages talk a lot of the disrespect they receive from their wives. Just some observations. Seeing as the author has seen many more troubled marriages than I have; I believe him.

        Question 2: As a Christian man, I work hard to avert my eyes from women who are dressed in revealing clothing; to the point where I close my eyes sometimes if it is totally unavoidable. Especially irritating are my Christian sisters who dress this way. Yes, it is my responsibility to avert my eyes. But it would certainly help if my Christian sisters would help by being less revealing. As such, I do not want my wife to stumble my Christian brothers. Nor do I want other men ogling her.

        And not all men look at a woman with a revealing neck line, etc.

        I can’t speak to his lack of interest. There may be issues that need to be addressed either between you two, or in counseling. But to me, not wanting you to dress revealing in public is not too hard to understand.

        The “visual rolodex” that the author is referring to is the ability of the brain to come up with images at the most random times. This happens sub-consciously. And certainly not on purpose for those men who are trying to live their lives in a righteous way by controlling their eyes.

        I hope this helps you ladies in your relationships with your husbands.

  • Rosalyn Space

    In response to statement 5, men do need sex!! They will do it and not tap in if wife is tired or need time to shift to the sexual time. I had to break it down to my husband to make me feel desirable. Learn to caress me, do things to lead up to ‘bedroom time’ together so it can be a beautiful experience for us each time. It continues to be struggle, he’s good and I’m left half empty (sometimes).

    • Beth Bronkema

      Exactly!!!!! Alllllllwwayyyys the case! Thank you for stating it!

  • Tim

    I’m a 23 year old man and I don’t desire more sex or ask my hypothetical wife to always be attractive. It’s her life, she has power of her appearance and what she does is okay with me. I want a woman for company, intellect and support when I make mistakes. It’s about living and conquering life together!



2:38pm, CST

10 Commandments to Help the Absent-Father Syndrome


2:38pm, CST

10 Good Ways to Work at Sex