Communication, For Women, Love

4 Things Every Husband Needs to Hear Daily

Men don’t often receive credit for their complexity. One of my biggest annoyances is how husbands are often portrayed in commercials and TV shows: emotionally unaware, irresponsible, wide-eyed, and well… a little dumb. Those portrayals provide for a half-hearted chuckle, but they’re caricatures.

I’d like to clear the air a bit. I may not speak for every man, but I have a feeling I speak for most.

Most men aren’t simple.

Most men aren’t just physical or sexually driven.

Most men need verbal affirmation. 

Nuanced Man

Real-life men are complex. We’re not as simple as sitcoms portray.

Integrity: the man who fights for his integrity also fights for his wife.

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I can only speak for myself, maybe others share my feelings: I want to conquer mountains, but not without Selena. I want to lead my family boldly, but not without agreement from my bride. I want to fight for sexual purity and integrity, but not without my wife fighting with me.

What good is slaying the dragon and climbing the tower if there’s no princess inside? Men need their bride’s agreement, adoration, and affirmation.

If you’re a wife, I hope you read this and get a new idea of how to love your husband a little differently, a little better. If you’re a husband, I’m curious to hear if I missed something (please speak up in the comments).

Here are four things I believe every husband needs to hear from his wife daily.

4 Things Every Husband Needs to Hear Daily

1: “I trust you”

Selena and I have struggled with this one. We’re in a new season of life with lots of uncertainty. We made a conscious decision to put off some aspects of life to run the course God has outlined for us. We’re unsettled. As I write this, most of our stuff is in an old moving truck, where it’s been for two months now. We don’t have a real “home” as we are renting in a temporary location.

Marriage: Spend less time in conflict and more time in collaboration.

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Most of the time we’re in a agreement. On difficult days, she starts to feel frustrated. I don’t blame her, our life is in flux. That can sometimes cause us to fight over particulars as we pursue God’s big plan. It’s in those times when she doesn’t feel it that I need her trust me most.

When I can tell she’s flustered and wanting to abandon the course, I need her to trust me. Then, when she sighs and simply says “I trust you“, it has an inexplicable effect on my confidence and resolve.

2: “I believe in you”

I doubt myself enough for the both of us. Most times I feel like I’m holding on by a thread – trying to figure out how to provide, love my family well, and be a godly man/husband. When she expresses her belief in me as a man she is affirming her decision to marry me–that she didn’t make a mistake when she said “I do”.

The converse can be devastating to a man’s confidence. Think about it: “I doubt you can do it”… I can’t think of a more deflating blow to a man’s morale. You may not realize that by not telling him you believe in him, you may be sending signals that you don’t.

By expressing belief in your husband you’re explicitly locking arms with him and assuring him that together, you can make it through anything.

3: “I want you”

Sex is great, as most men will agree. But the act of sex is vastly different from the intimacy of sex. The pleasure of sex is magnified by desire. We’ve talked about the spectrum of sex; some sex is functional, some is intensely involved.

No matter what, we're in this until the end.

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This phrase is not really about physical desire, however.

By saying “I want you“, you’re letting your husband know that you love him for his intrinsic qualities. You want him for who he is, no matter what he accomplishes or what he looks like. The intimacy of want says “I desire you”, “I want to be married to you”, “I enjoy you”. It doesn’t always translate into physical intimacy, but it will certainly always encourage your husband.

With that said, desiring your husband sexually and expressing it in your sex lives will go a long way to affirm him as a man. I know it’s true for me.

4: “I love you”

This phrase is last intentionally. Hearing “I love you” begins to lose meaning if it’s not evidenced non-verbally and backed by the other statements. Wives probably agree the same goes for them.

Husbands still need to hear it, however. If you don’t say “I love you” at least a few times daily to your husband, start now. If you do say it, try this: stop him, square off, stare into his eyes, and stay it as purposefully as you can: “I love you”. Maybe seal the deal with a good kiss for effect.

Your husband will feel like superman.

Paul, Christ, and You

Paul knew what he was talking about in Ephesians 5 when he compares the husband/wife dynamic with the Christ/church relationship. The phrases discussed here are how we also express our trust, belief, desire, and love for Christ.

Wives, as you express these phrases (and others) to your husband, you’re not only affirming him as your husband, you’re also profoundly living out Paul’s instruction to honor him as the church honors Christ.

Perhaps share an image with your husband to encourage them:

Simply click an image to expand, then select where you want to share it.

Questions:
Wives, what encouragements have you found to speak to your husband?
Husbands, did I miss any phrases you need to hear?

Please leave a comment below!

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  • Awwwww :) I say “I love you” a lot but I have to agree that I need to say “I trust you” more.

  • Claudia

    This is great!
    I have leared to always uplift my husband. It makes our relationship stronger and stronger. Every single day i let him know how much i love him before he goes to work, during the day by giving him a call or sending him a text or leaving sticky notes around the house or in his lunch. It’s so amazing when he smiles and thanks me for always encouraging him and believing in him. I thank God for our relationship and for leading me to be the best i can be to my husband.

  • Stephanie Moss Perrette

    I think my husband enjoys it when I tell him he’s handsome. Sometimes we women forget that men have insecurities about their looks just like we do (although they don’t focus on it as much we we ladies), and especially as they get older. His eyes light up in delighted surprise when I complement his looks. Also, telling him he’s my best friend and that I enjoy spending time with him more than anyone else really means a lot to him. In addition to all of the other things you’ve mentioned.

    • IknowGodIs .

      Absolutely! Handsome and the sexiest guy on earth! I make sure he knows how much I want his body! I remind him of how much I love and desire him even more today than yesterday! He says, “I wish. ” I say, “So true! ” And it is.

  • Darren McDonald

    I’d like to hear “I appreciate you” or “thank you” on occasion. I realize being the primary bread winner is my duty, but if it goes unappreciated for a long time, I forget why I’m doing it and who I’m doing it for.

    • Ah man, that would’ve made for a great #5! I may revise. So important. Thanks Darren!

    • Jeff

      Sometimes, if you want to remember what you are doing it for, remember that Christ did what He did because He loves us. Just the same, the man learns his entire life to work in complete love. Gratitude is definitely important to know that what we bring to the table is being received.

      • Darren McDonald

        I don’t really consider it “working in love” if it is unappreciated. That’s more a sacrifice, and after sacrificing for 20+ years, some appreciation would go a long way to make it more tolerable.

        • David W. Carr

          Remember as men our affirmation/validation, comes from the Lord. Look at Ephesians 5:25. Christ came and loved us even though we were unworthy and honestly have nothing to merit that love. If you are loving her as Christ loved the church she will respond to you laying down your life sacrificially. To seek comfort from her, rather the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.

    • Michael

      I take it then that you regularly say those things to your wife for the things she contributes to your household? If not, I say that’s a good place to start.

      • Darren McDonald

        Absolutely.
        I recognize when she’s had a hard day at work, listen to her vent and thank her for continuing to persevere. I thank her for the meals she prepares, for the laundry and the cleaning.
        When I cook, I sometimes hear appreciation. When I do the laundry, take out the trash or some other household chore, I don’t expect anything and I don’t receive anything.

        • Heidiv526

          Darren, I just prayed your wife will take a more active role in showing appreciation and that your continued patience and understanding of whatever her needs are will help. I was failing miserably and wound up with a room mate. We are way better now but it has taken effort on both our parts. God’s plan: Him first, spouse next, all else falls into place.
          Our remedy: transparency.
          Thank you SO much, RYAN FREDERICK, for sharing your journey and being so open throughout.

        • JustSayin’

          Whoa. If my husband did what you stated here, then I would be blown away and TOTALLY douse you with affirmations left and right. Sound like you are a good listener and that you actually notice her. Not too many men left like you. Keep up the good work.

  • Star

    Having been through a difficult (impossible, devastating,time apart) season in our marriage of 31 years I can say I 100% agree with you. We are strong in our broken places and together forever. Thank you for your encouragement and posts.
    May I also ask, could you post more images with older couples? I love to share them but we aren’t the bride and groom of 1983 anymore :)

    • Nena Amaral

      I agree with you about posting more images with us over 30 year couples in them. We have weathered many a storm and our marriages show us as we are…growing day by day, gray hair by gray hair (for some of us), pound by pound (for some of us), wrinkle by wrinkle (for some of us), an growing in the Lord year by Lord (hopefully for many of us).

    • LovelyLady

      It sounds like you have a warped idea of love and the work it takes to EARN someone’s trust. Unfortunately, people with your position have a defensive stance as it allows Christians to hurt someone without much introspection and forgiveness. It’s easy to say to the victim forgive, forget, and move on. This is a wonderful opportunity for the the offending party to find deep seeded issues that led to the betrays in the first place. This period of trial in a marriage can lead to wonderful growth. But it isn’t gor the faint of heart, one must be brave. I realize some are brave enough to do the deed but not to dig within and seek transformation.

  • Erin

    I do try to tell me husband “thank you” every day several times a day, whether it be for making dinner, folding towels or cleaning the pool, (some of which are things he does on a regular basis, or something I typically do but he beat me to it) OR just a plain ol’ Thank you for just being you and doing what you do. I don’t remember the last time I told him I trust you, and honestly- I never thought of it the way you explained it. Very eye opening–Thanks!

  • Karen Runkle

    Love this! So true :)

    Men are complex and I think a bit more tenderhearted than we usually realize.

    I don’t always understand the man respect code but I can almost always see defeat in my husband’s eyes when I have missed the mark. We expect so much out of our guys, ladies. It is high time we take time to lay down our agendas for the day or busy schedules and see if we can serve our spouse.

    • Ann

      I agree. I learned that the dishes and chores can wait a little while. Spending time cuddling and making our husband first before day to day activities is vital. I will lay next to him while he sleeps and say to myself, “This is the most important place to be right now.” Our husband like to be comforted and feel our bodies next to theirs so we can feel the closeness the bond of being together after a long hard day.

  • Steph

    “You’re my hero.” I know it means the world to my husband when I say this to him.

  • Holly Weeden

    One that I know hits my husband is when I tell him “I am proud of you” it gives him a boost to do better at whatever he is trying to accomplish. So it shows I do appreciate everything he is doing for me and our family.

  • Paul & Anna N

    We both agree 100%! Tx for an awesome page – keep it coming.

  • Christi

    “You’re my best friend” :)

  • Jeff

    Trust is hard to come by when you know you haven’t always been the best man God calls you to be. I believe it is extremely important for my wife to recognize my own spiritual growth and be able to say, “I forgive you and I still trust you.”

  • Jason Carroll

    I agree with everything including #1 with the condition that we as men realize that “I trust you” will only come when we rely on Christ to lead us as we lead our families. How can we expect “I trust you” if our actions are self-centered and untrustworthy. It’s definitely something we as men want and need to hear, but personally, I’d rather hear it knowing it’s spoken in truth rather than for posterity’s sake

  • Sarah

    You can never say “thank you” enough. And it shouldn’t be just for the big gestures. It’s the every day seemingly mundane things where a “thank you” is heard the loudest. When your husband opens a door for you, folds a shirt, washes a pan, or complements how you look, let him know that you are thankful. He won’t forget it. Those simple words say ” I see what you are doing, and I appreciate you! Your help and support are invaluable!”

  • J.J. Molstad

    Including why I appreciate my husband or why I love him or trust him that affirms those statements- the small things I notice throughout the day or something major that really opened my yes – encourages him greatly. It’s a second marriage for both of us, and we’re both learning new ways to treasure each other.

  • Alsa

    Hmm…It’s not that I don’t get it and I say or do all of the 4 almost every day, including Darren’s #5, but I kinda don’t see what it has to do with complexity. Of course I don’t believe ALL men are like those TV show husbands, but honestly to me most men are very simple and predictable (which makes it a lot easier to be friends with a man than with most women) and the 4 things you listed just underline my believes.

  • Andrew Duda

    I love you is a definite need for me. My wife doesn’t really say that except in response to me. We’re in a very rough spot after only 5 months of marraige.

    • Karl

      Been there buddy. I also had a rocky start to my marriage, but it has improved so much because of the work we put in. Just keep loving her the way Christ loved us. Serve her and cherish her. Put her before yourself constantly.

  • cas

    This is a great article but did I miss #5? I feel foolish asking but I didn’t see a #5.

  • Ginger Sexton

    “I’m proud of you.”
    “I appreciate how hard you work for us.”

  • Dennis

    That’s all well and good in a healthy marriage, but what if you’ve destroyed your wife’s trust? How is she supposed to trust or believe in you? She can’t until you consistently, over years, show her she can trust and believe in you.

    I don’t expect my wife to willingly say these things to me until she had learnt to trust me again. It’s hard, but I love her and will wait forever, loving her all that I can. I don’t want focus on what she can say to me to show her love , I want to focus on what I can say to her!

    • peachlovehope

      Before my husband and I got married, I wasn’t interested in a serious relationship. I though timing was wrong for many reasons, and didn’t feel comfortable allowing myself to trust him as much as I wanted to. He had me listen to the song “[I’ll earn your trust] Making Memories of Us” and he held true to his position. He didn’t push me, he waited, he had faith in our future despite my anxiety. He was kind, loving and always a gentleman. Hence, I married him, and haven’t looked back. If you’re in a difficult patch, and you admit to your own portion of responsibility for that situation, you’re on the right track. Keep loving her, keep up the faith & don’t fail to pray!

    • Bec

      It sounds like my marriage is in a similar place as yours. My husband has to show me that I can trust him again. It’s hard but we’re working on it. I can honestly tell him I believe in him and love him but the trust and wanting is going to take time and work and God’s grace.

    • bbh999

      Dennis,

      These four things have nothing to do with the marriage. They
      are the things every husband needs to hear – the things you need to hear. Show
      the list to your wife so she knows what your need is.

      I don’t know what you did to destroy your wife’s trust but
      when it happened, she had two choices: leave or stay. I assume her decision was
      to stay or we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

      Since she has decided to stay and if you have truly repented
      and are making a good faith effort to not violate her trust again, she is
      obligated to forgive you and be your wife as much as she can.

      This includes physical intimacy – unless there is an issue
      of STDs. I think many studies show, along with many Christian marriage bloggers
      and from experience in my own marriage, that it’s easier for a couple to deal
      with issues and conflicts if they have regular physical intimacy. After all, David
      comforted Bathsheba with sex after the death of their firstborn son (2Sam 12:24). If sex helps as part of healing from
      the grief caused by the death of a child, it should help heal most situations.

      You talk about waiting “over years” for her forgiveness.
      What if she never gives this forgiveness? Every day she might think, “If I
      forgive him today, then tomorrow he’ll feel free to…” You are planning to
      stay in her Purgatory forever. That’s not right for you or for her.

      Your second paragraph sounds very loving and righteous and
      stoic. I wonder how you’ll feel in ten years after you’ve proved your
      trustworthiness over and over and she’s still treating you like a pariah.
      Ponder and read these verses with your wife. Pick every word apart to get the
      full meaning – the consequences of acting and the consequences of not acting: 2Cor
      2:5-8.

      Your sin caused this situation but her unforgiveness is also
      a sin – an ongoing sin pattern. She needs to forgive you. You both need to
      return to being husband and wife in every sense. There may be some lingering
      distrust but that should diminish rapidly as you both submerge yourselves in a
      loving marital one-flesh relationship.

      Now, if she sees your stumble as a “gotcha” giving her the ability
      and the right to control you and beat you down from now on, then nothing is
      going to help. She is, in that case, the stiff-necked, contentious woman that
      Proverbs warns against. I don’t know how to deal with that except to point it
      out to her and hope she takes it to heart and changes.

      I apologize for the multitude of words.

      • Dennis

        Thanks for your reply bbh999. While I appreciate you had the best of intentions in your comment, I have to say that I disagree with you. Unfortunately Christians with your same attitude sent me in the wrong direction until I learned to fight my selfish desires, humble myself, and love my wife unconditionally. All things I learnt from Christ rather than Christians.

        My wife has certainly forgiven me for what I did to her. I see her every day struggling with what I did to her but choosing to love me anyway. Trust and forgiveness are not the same thing though. While she forgave me instantly, it’ll take a long time for her trust to come back. Trust isn’t something that can be demanded. It has to be earned. I have to show her over and over and over that she can trust me and slowly, with the grace of God, she’ll be able to learn to trust me again.

        I can’t have my responsibility in this played down or diminished. I wronged her. I broke her trust. This is all on me. She has done nothing wrong in any of this. That is not me being generous to her. That is the truth. All of this came from my dreadfully sinful nature.

        What happens if we’re still in this position in 10 years? I don’t know what I will be like in 10 years, but I can tell you what I should do. And that would be to continue loving her, serving her and proving my trustworthiness to her… regardless of how much she trusts me and regardless of how she may feel about me or treat me. That is the way Christ loves us, and the way I’m told to love my wife (Ephesians 5:25).

        • IknowGodIs .

          1) Both husband and wife must TRUST THE LORD unconditionally. When one party is weak, the other must be humbled and desperately on bended knee seeking the Lord and speaking with warfare against the enemy. If I trust my husband or he trusts me and that is to be the strength of our marriage, we will fail. I fail the Lord daily! How much more will I fail my husband if I walk in pride seeking his trust? 2) If she has truly forgiven you and is trusting and fully surrendered to the Lord, she is no longer viewing you outside of trust and in your imperfection. Chances are her own pride is keeping her from fully forgiving. Seek the Lord in fasting and prayer. Warfare against those dark forces and pleading with the Lord to soften her heart and to continue to humble YOU is necessary! When we still feel hurt, anger, or mistrust, we can say we forgive all we want, but it’s not true; hurt and anger are both a result of self focus not focus on Christ and trusting HIS plan. Yes, you deceived her, but in our sin, Christ sought us and forgave us as WE REPENTED and he continues to accept our repentive heart. PRAY for her to fully trust the Lord. He allowed you to sin against your wife; HE in Grace allowed you to repent. It’s time for her to see her own sin and forgive. It’s time for you yourself to be released from the grip of the enemy! It’s time for you to forgive yourself and move forward. Continue to PRAY and to forgive… fully surrendered. ” And that would be to continue loving her, serving her and proving my trustworthiness to her… regardless of how much she trusts me and regardless of how she may feel about me or treat me. That is the way Christ loves us, and the way I’m told to love my wife (Ephesians 5:25).” AMEN!

        • Suzanne

          I agree with you, Dennis. Trust is earned. It sounds like you’re both doing a great job of working things out.

      • LovelyLady

        I hear a tone throughout your message that points to defensiveness and control issues. I assume if you approach situations with the love of Jesus your position would dramatically change. It would shift from selfishness to selflessness.

        P.S. don’t be a stumbling block to others, first get yourself in line with a Christ-like mindset.

  • Marlo Watson

    This was a great post. I can rekate to your wife’s varied emotion as you all chart out to do what God has called you to so. My hubby and I have faced a aimilar unsettledness and it can get tough to do the 4 dailys that you mentioned. Im excited to hear his thoughts after he reads. God bless!

  • Marlo Watson

    That was wonderfully written, I agree those 4 things does help a man maintain his role as a Christian husband . Ive been with my wife for 19 years and we have face some of the same situations. Me wife is my best friend and we can talk about anything which helps me keep my dignity as a Christian husband. If she wasnt the type to express how she feels I think we would have been another statistic in the divorce rate that continues to climb in America. I really enjoyed reading your post and remember to be as open as possible when it comes to communicating. Trials are going to come whether you want them to or not. God bless you and continue to stretch in your marrige and your relationship with Christ. STEVE

  • Briana

    The things you list are not what husbands need to hear daily, they are what every SPOUSE needs to hear daily.

    • IknowGodIs .

      Both surrendered fully to the Lord and seeking to fully please the other…. yes, and only possible as we individually are focused on Christ ands die to self… being willing, as God allows at times, for it to be one sided.

  • FarAboveRubies

    I am my husband’s cheerleader. It’s the words of encouragement that keeps the intimacy at good place. He knows how grateful I am to have him in my life both in words and actions. This stuff is so important on a daily basis. I enjoyed this article.

  • Patrick T

    Hearing these things are Awesome, but more important to me is seeing it in My Wife’s Eyes. We are both second marriage, 16 years now,. some Awesome, a few not-so much. (I had further to come than she did). Words are seen to be hollow pretty quickly. it’s more important that you receive these feelings with your heart. sometimes the look in her eyes alone or a certain touch of her hand speaks volumes, Our job is to know her well enough to discern it.

  • Donna

    These are great suggestions. I can honestly say that doing this has so many times made a huge difference in the direction we were headed.

  • Karyn

    I try to remind my kids of what a great dad they have – I try to be sure to do it in when he can hear too. We wouldn’t have such a nice place to live and I wouldn’t be able to stay at home or homeschool without his hard work and I try to remind all of us of that. I also point out to them how much time he spends with them and how he works hard to teach them things when he’s home instead of just doing his own thing.

  • Amy

    “I respect you” – though it’s similar to #2.

    • John Michael McDermott

      I have to agree with this. But I think it’s a little different than #2.

      I remember going through a marriage study called Love & Respect with my wife and I have to say that the guys part of the book “Respect” was a game changer for my wife.

      It’s taken from 1 Peter 3. It even came as a surprise to me when we learned that as women are love based and seek love, men are respect based and seek respect.

      When my wife tells me she respects me you can bet I feel a thousand feet tall and that I begin to act more selfless and thoughtful because I do want to earn that respect.

      The devotion/study was written by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and his wife Sarah.

  • John spencer

    Ryan,
    Thank you so much for digging into this topic. I know it’s two fold. Sometimes it’s hard to be (like) Jesus, especially when you’re being crucified. However, even through the darkness of the crucifixion, Jesus asked for their forgiveness. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loves the Church. I think you hit the nail on the head.

  • IknowGodIs .

    #1: As women in Christ, we are to fully trust the Lord. Men desire to be trusted; women desire to be trusted. In reality, the enemy seeks to destroy that trust between husband and wife. If our complete trust is in the Lord, and our vision is upon HIM, only then are we able to have security by faith and in hope of the Promise and to walk together in Christ. We fail each other again and again by never fully meeting one another’s greatest expectations because we in our carnal being are highly imperfect. Rather than seeking for your wife to plump your pride, would it not behoove you to desire, rather, to hear, “I love you, and I trust the Lord to lead you; and where you go, I will follow.” “Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your hard work.” “Thank you for providing for our family.” “Thank you for trusting the Lord when I am weak.”

    #2: Your wife must believe in the Lord and that the Lord has a plan; as she is surrendered to the Lord and trusting HIM, she must pray that you are fully surrendered to the Lord. Her belief in YOU leaves an open place in which the enemy might seek to intertwine with shortcomings. Her TOTAL BELIEF in the Lord does not. The path before you, laid out by the Lord, shall lead to the straight and narrow where HE is found. She must believe and speak of her faith IN THE LORD. Her ability to see you as her protector must stem soley from her belief that Christ has placed you in order as her covering before the Lord. She must see you through the perfect eyes of Christ — not simply through the eyes of total belief in you (which can be swayed to and fro by circumstance and human failure.) How much better to say, “I believe you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.” “YOU are an amazing warrior for the Lord! How blessed I am to be your wife and your fair maiden.”

    In seeing a husband as the Father sees, having been made perfect through Christ, it is easy to long after and passionately seek intimacy. In that same passion, LOVE will abound. A wife and a husband must daily die to self in order for the HOLY SPIRIT to increase and for PEACE in marriage to flourish. That is not to say that either party will not sooner or later look away from perfection and view in pride the faults of the other. BUT if our TRUST and BELIEF are to the Lord ands our walk together is surrendered to HIM, then when one fails the other is able to walk selflessly in FORGIVENESS and moved with compassion able to restore the other in love.

    A marriage focused on the Lord will stand the test of time. A marriage centered around trust and belief in one another leaves open doorways through which the enemy seeks desperately to enter.

    Be gentle with your wife when she is weak; restore her with your strength in the Lord. Seek her heart daily. Demonstrate your surrender to the Lord. Teach her to trust God and remind her of your commitment to HIS perfect plan… We walk by faith and not by sight. Love her as Christ loves the church and willingly gave Himself for it. In this unconditional Love, she will desire to appear before you without spot or wrinkle. Be mindful that only with eyes on the Lord is either possible.

    • anonymous

      THANKYOU!!!

      I read the article and it only upset me. I would be lying if I said any of the things in the article to my husband. Your response was the one that made the most sense. We are to keep our eyes on Christ and *His* perfection. God has placed me in this marriage for His reasons, and I am to trust the Lord, even through difficulty and unfaithfulness. I am to be faithful to the Lord and to love others with the love of Christ. Not love others because of what they have done but because what Christ has done.

      • IknowGodIs .

        I just saw this now. I didn’t even know the messaging existed. Awww… A HUGE AMEN to your reply! Exactly what you said is true! Amen!

  • Mrs W

    Here’s a question for all you lovely men. How do I tell my husband “I’m trying to trust you?” I can’t say I do, because I don’t in some cases, & how do I build that trust with him? I don’t want it to come out wrong, or mean that I don’t have some trust. I am a believer in god, but he isn’t, so there is no point in putting scripture in front of him, he isn’t interested.

    • Karl

      Tell him exactly that. Tell him what you don’t trust him with and why. And tell him that you’re trying to trust him.

      You’ll learn to trust him when he, over time, proves you can trust him. It’s something he must take an active role in.

  • Jason

    My wife regularly says in heart to heart moments, “I am so glad I married you!” That communicates so much love to me!

  • anonymous

    I would be lying if I said I trust my husband. I don’t trust him on the computer alone. I don’t trust him to spend money wisely. I don’t trust him to go grocery shopping or we will go broke. I don’t trust him to tell me the truth about various matters because he has lied to me on multiple occasions. How can a wife possibly say, “I trust you,” when she has been lied to over and over? What about when her husband is so addicted to porn, he does a B & E in the library just to look at it at 2am because he can’t get on the computer at home? He always ends up repenting after, so I can say “I forgive you.” But I certainly can’t say, “I trust you.”

    It’s also hard to say, “I want you,” to a person that wants to look at images of other women whenever the computer happens to be unlocked.

    Men need to man up and stop being untrustworthy and unfaithful. “When she expresses her belief in me as a man she is affirming her decision to marry me–that she didn’t make a mistake when she said ‘I do’.”

    What if a woman *did* make a mistake when saying, “I do”?

    • alan

      Is he actively trying to get help for it? Does your church or a church near you have a freedom ministry, addiction ministry, or men’s ministry? Has he read any resources such as “Surfing for God” or “Bondage Breaker”?

      As a recovering sex addict I can tell you 2 things I’ve learned by my experience and talking to other guys:
      1) He has to want to stop looking at it.
      2) External boundaries (computer filters, no cash) are helpful, especially initially. But he must have internal boundaries – reasons in his heart – to not go back.

      Porn addiction is more than just a guy being unfaithful by looking at other women. There’s a deep heart/emotional issue there that he needs to deal with and lust/sexual relief is how he probably learned to deal with that woundedness from his adolescent years.

      If he won’t read Surfing for God by Michael Cusick, I encourage you to.

      • IknowGodIs .

        Beautiful! Praise the Lord that HE brought you through that you might bear witness and disciple others on the truth that we are to renew our minds in Christ. The heart healed brings forth love. You are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Such a blessing!

    • IknowGodIs .

      Where are you in your marriage now?

      I’m very sorry. I never got a notice of your post. I’m moved with compassion for all you’ve faced in your marriage. How difficult a walk.

      Where are you in your relationship and surrender before the Lord? Where is your husband now?

  • Natalie Jo Hart

    “Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”

  • cj

    PLEASE read the book titled “Love and Respect” by Emerson Eggerichs. I promise it well worth the read, for both men and woman. I can only tell you I learned all of what you said in your article in MUCH greater detail and with profound examples of what I need to do to respect my man! It’s such a grayed area that women don’t understand. Women are taught to love because it’s what WE need. Men are taught respect because it’s what they need. The barrier can be broken when women learn how to speak a respectful language and men learn how to speak a loving language. The crazy cycle CAN be stopped! Thank you for this article!

    • Karl

      No offence but Love and Respect is complete garbage. The entire book is based around one tiny, out if context part of the Bible and ignores all of what Jesus taught. I would run a mile from that book unless you want a big man-baby for a husband.

      If husbands need respect, wives need it equally as much. And husbands need love just as much as their wives do.

      How about this, husbands and wives, love and serve each other as Christ did for us.

      A much better book on marriage that I highly recommend is Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.

  • Shareen Grace

    I’m gonna tell my husband of how much means to him in this four different ways.

    I truly thank you for this post. It has really opened my eyes! God Bless!

  • Great list! Remember it is also important to appreciate and respect your man! Those two factors can truly make the difference for him even more than saying, “I love you!”

    Author,
    Gina Reedy

    • Karl

      But remember, respect has to be deserved. If a husband treats his wife badly, she should NOT respect him. Love him through her actions, sure, but if he is not deserving of respect, he should not get it, regardless of how much it hurts his ego.

      That being said, if wives are to respect their husbands, husbands should respect their wives. It’s a two way street.

  • Anonymous

    What can I say to my husband if I honestly cannot say these things? I can say “I love you,” because love overlooks offenses, BUT I cannot say, “I trust you,” or “I believe in you,” because he has proven himself untrustworthy and irresponsible. Any suggestions?

  • Adrian

    what I like to do. after making my husbands dinner fresh and hot for him as he walks through the door (we have kids so they eat earlier they have a bed time, my husband comes home later than they eat) most of the time I will cook his dinner with mine so I can eat with him and listen to him discuss his day with me and he respectfully ask me about mine. as I take his plate to the kitchen he always thanks me. and I tell him in return thank you to him as well. he says you cooked it, I say I know so I affirm to him “you work hard to buy us this food so I can cook you a meal so I thank you too” :) it is the appreciation they need to hear after a long week or a rough day. I appreciate his dedication to work hard for our family and his ability to bring money home so we can eat every night. it took effort to actually notice, that sounds bad. for our situation we have been busy raising a family very young and none of he kids are spaced in between we have 3 and one on the way. so naturally the busyness of our lives take over and women and men both forget to appreciate the simple things we do for each other. I pray and ask God to show me the ways my husband provides and shows love for us. You have to let God work in our hearts so you can sit back and actually see. sometimes taking the guard and pride down to see the blessing you and your spouse really are to each other, you actually can see the little things we do for each other. if you leave them unspoken then we do start to feel un appreciated but it takes one of us to speak up and express how thankful you truly are to them. not just to yourself and to God but verbally speaking it to them so they can hear really does wonders :)

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  • Faith Abraham

    I like it most when my pastor once said (based on ephesians 5) : ” if only husbands know how to love their wives as Christ loves the Church and gave His life for her, then it will be so very easy for wives to respect and appreciate their husbands”. :)

  • Dominic

    Another big one is “I forgive you and I love you”.

    As a guy, it hurts me a lot when I know that my actions or words have somehow hurt the woman that I love. Hearing from the words “I forgive you” followed by “I love you” is not only affirming, but lifts a terrible weight of guilt, fear, and pain off of my shoulders.

    Love and forgiveness are the foundation of our relationship with Christ, and also the foundation of our intimate relationships with others. Knowing we are loved and forgiven, and hearing that in explicit terms leaves no room for doubt about where we stand with those people, and that, is very important in any relationship.

  • Ellie

    Here are some additional words my husband and I exchange that I find meaningful to both of us: “I appreciate you”, “I respect you”, “I am proud of you” and never miss the opportunity to say a heartfelt, “Thank you, Darling!”.

  • Maryann

    My husband and I have been having issues. He doesn’t give me attention
    anymore nor talk to me the way he used to. We tried therapy but nothing
    seems to work. I love my husband so much and I believe he feels the
    same way or so I thought, I don’t want to lose
    him so I went looking for help, that’s when I came across nako dako
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    bring ones ex lover back to them so I thought to myself maybe he can
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    he comforted me and promised to help me, that’s how he fixed my broken
    marriage for me, now my husband is acting right.

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