SWM005: Why your husband can’t tell you what he needs

Sex Within Marriage Podcast Image for PostsIn this episode I answer the question “Why can’t my husband just tell me what he needs?”  It’s basically the other side of last week’s episode.

Show Notes


  • Men in generally have trouble expressing needs, whether it be to their friends, their wife, or to others
  • As such, often men struggle through life very alone with little support, because they don’t know how to ask for it, or often even that they should

Why do men have such a hard time with this?

  • There are three real reasons:
    1. Asking for help feels like admitting weakness, and men are taught that they shouldn’t show weakness to anyone.  Most often they won’t even admit it to themselves.
    2. Asking for help requires understanding what you need, and usually men aren’t self-aware enough to actually realize what we need.
    3. If we do know what we need, often we lack the vocabulary to express it adequately to our spouse.  To often things get lost in translation.

What can you do to make it easier?

  • Husbands
    • Need to recognize that having a need isn’t a weakness, but rather that recognizing your needs, even recognizing your weaknesses, is a strength.
    • Need to learn to be more self-aware, to think through what is bothering them, what they are needing and why.
    • Need to learn to communicate more effectively to express their needs in a way that isn’t an attack, and has a high potential for being understood.
    • Need to learn to bury their pride a bit.
  • Wives
    • Need to offer support in a way that is not patronizing or like a mother helping a son.
    • Need to offer suggestions, not be prescriptive.
    • Need to listen for what their husband is trying to say.
    • Need to model for their husbands what asking for what you need looks like.

Looking for more help?

5 thoughts on “SWM005: Why your husband can’t tell you what he needs”

  1. Keelie Reason says:

    Love the podcast today Jay Dee. 🙂 I really love hearing you speak.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Keelie! I’m getting used to it. Still not a fan of my own voice though.

  2. Tony Conrad says:

    Me wife meets my needs when I ask her to and I love her for it. Nevertheless I have a struggle to ask the next time for some reason. I suppose there is always a bit of guilt there. Whether this is real or imposed on me from somewhere I can never really tell. Maybe it’s because most christian teachers on sex emphasise IC, IC and IC and if you go outside of that you feel guilty. I suffer from partial ED and it can be catch 22 sometimes.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Yeah, I know, it’s hard. I do it myself. Just the other night, my wife said “Look, start something, or don’t, but don’t drag your feet and keep us up forever deciding whether or not you want to initiate.” So, even despite knowing she wouldn’t say “no”, it’s still difficult to initiate sometimes. I get it.

      Plus, yeah, the whole teaching about what is sex and what isn’t, and what is the “right” way to have sex, is a bit ridiculous, but it’s still there.

  3. Tony Conrad says:

    I suppose we have to be sure and go for it if we are going to do it. I find it does take courage in the circumstances no matter how many times I have done it. I used to just hug her until I decided until she said you only hug me when you want sex.

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