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Your Husband’s Top 4 Romantic Needs

When you embrace your femininity and affirm your husband’s sexuality, you are an agent of blessing in your husband’s life.

By Dennis and Barbara Rainey

Did you know that your husband—and most men—view romance through different lenses than most women? To confirm this, the next time you are in Bible study or Sunday school class, divide the men and women into separate groups and ask them to answer the same question: “What is something romantic that you would like your spouse to do for you?”

We will guarantee you that, if they are honest, many of the men will focus on physical intimacy: “Dress up in a sexy negligee” … “Meet me at the front door without any clothes.” The women, however, will say things like, “Take me to a romantic, candlelit restaurant” … “Spend time talking with me” … “Sit in front of a fire together and cuddle.” Men are generally motivated by sight and touch, while women usually want to develop a relationship.

Meeting your husband’s romantic needs involves seeking to understand that they are likely different than yours. It also means being willing to sacrifice your own needs at times to meet those of your husband. We have learned the hard way that selfishness and romance do not mix well.

We’d like to help you become an even greater student of your husband. This article can’t teach you everything you need to know; you’ve got to carefully investigate the real thing. But here are four areas to start with as you pursue a deeper understanding of your husband.

Need #1: He needs your sincere respect.

One of the deepest needs a man has is to be respected by his wife. Notice we said it’s one of the deepest needs. There are others, but your respect—or lack thereof—impacts his view.

Respecting your husband includes listening to him—not simply hearing the words that come out of his mouth, but taking what he is saying seriously. If Barbara listens to me (Dennis) when I express a desire that I think is important for the family or the children, but never acts on what I have said, she has not shown me respect. It does not matter what the reason might be for her to ignore what I told her; it still hits me in the stomach. If she were to do this frequently, it would have definite consequences in our relationship and in the bedroom.

Another way to respect your husband is to honor him for what he is doing to meet the needs of the family. Showing gratefulness to a man is like feeding him his favorite meal. It is a feast to his heart and soul. Even if he is doing a poor job in some areas, there must be something he does well—like providing for the family through his job, keeping the house clean, or perhaps leading the family in devotions.

Need #2: He needs to feel desired by you sexually.

I will never forget an encounter with the young wife of a seminary student. She came up to me after I had spoken in a class for wives about how they could communicate love to their husbands, and she began to giggle.

“We were driving home the other night from youth group,” she said (her husband was a youth pastor). “I turned to him and I said, ‘Sweetheart, what would really encourage you to be a man of God?’ There was a moment of silence, and finally he said, ‘Well, it would really encourage me if I came home from class one afternoon and found you at home with no clothes on, welcoming me home.’”

The wife giggled again and asked, “Do you think he really meant it?”

I said, “I don’t know. Maybe you ought to try it!”

Now, isn’t it interesting that this man who has immersed himself in the study of the Scriptures answered his wife this way? You would think he might want a set of theology books or some time with a great man of God. No, he wants time with his wife, alone, just to be affirmed sexually.

This is a powerful picture. Your husband’s sexuality is so much a part of who he is that it affects virtually every part of his life. The wise woman understands that her man longs to be needed sexually by her. If you really want to get to the bottom line for men, and you really want to express love to your husband in a powerful way, just express to your husband that you need him sexually.

Need #3: He needs your adventurous companionship.

When we began dating in the summer of 1972, you would have to say it was an intense relationship from the start. We spent 52 out of 55 days together, and we missed those three days only because of sickness! Although there was no sexual involvement of any kind, we enjoyed plenty of romance. We did all sorts of things together—picnics, hikes, long drives, late night talks sitting outside her apartment … no two dates were the same.

We’ve had some great highlights in our years together since our wedding on September 2, 1972—a trip for our tenth anniversary to New England in the fall to view the foliage, a getaway at a cozy bed-and-breakfast inn, a trip to the hill country of Texas, trips to Europe.

For us romance has always been spelled a-d-v-e-n-t-u-r-e. On one of our dates I asked Barbara, “Out of all the adventures and romantic times we’ve had together, what has been your favorite?”

I wasn’t surprised by her answer: “Our honeymoon.”