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.

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