Conquest – Appreciate his desire to work and achieve. Your husband will feel you appreciate his desire to work and achieve when . . .
- You tell him verbally or in writing that you value his work efforts.
- You express your faith in him related to his chosen field.
- You listen to his work stories as closely as you expect him to listen to your accounts of what happens in the family.
- You see yourself as his helpmate and counterpart and talk with him about this whenever possible.
- You allow him to dream as you did when you were courting.
- You don’t dishonor or subtly criticize his work “in the field” to get him to show more love “in the family.”
Hierarchy – Appreciate his desire to protect and provide. Your husband will feel you appreciate his desire to protect and provide when . . .
- You verbalize your admiration of him for protecting you and being willing to die for you.
- You praise his commitment to provide for and protect you and the family (he needs to know you don’t take this for granted).
- You empathize when he reveals his male mind-set about position, status, rank, or being one-up or one-down, particularly at work.
- You never mock the idea of “looking up to him” as your protector to prevent him from “looking down on you.”
- You never, in word or body language, put down his job or how much he makes.
- You are always ready to figuratively “light the candles,” as E.V. Hill’s wife did when they couldn’t afford to pay the light bill.
- You quietly and respectfully voice concerns about finances and try to offer solutions on where you might be able to cut spending.
Authority – Appreciate his desire to serve and to lead. He will feel you appreciate his authority and leadership when . . .
- You tell him you are thankful for his strength and enjoy being able to lean on him at times.
- You support his self-image as a leader.
- You never say, “You’re responsible but we’re still equal, so don’t make a decision I don’t agree with.”
- You praise his good decisions.
- You are gracious if he makes a bad decision.
- You disagree with him only in private and honor his authority in front of the kids.
- You give your reasons for disagreeing quietly and reasonably, but you never attack his right to lead.
- You do not play “head games” with him to make him back down and be a “loving peacemaker.”
Insight – Appreciate his desire to analyze and counsel. Your husband will feel you appreciate his insight and counsel when . . .
- You tell him upfront you just need his ear; don’t complain to him later that he always tries to “fix” you.
- You thank him for his advice without acting insulted or like he doesn’t care about your feelings.
- You recognize his problem-solving approach as his male brand of empathy.
- You realize your vulnerabilities, especially among males, and value his protection.
- You counsel him respectfully when you differ with his idea (you can be right but present your views in a wrong way).
- You sometimes let him “fix things” and applaud his solutions.
- You let him know that you believe God has made us male and female for a purpose and that we need each other.
- You admit that you make mistakes and thank him for his perception and godly counsel.
Relationship – Appreciate his desire for shoulder-to-shoulder friendship. Your husband will feel you value his shoulder-to-shoulder friendship when . . .
- You tell him you like him and you show it (he knows you love him, but he often wonders if you really like him).
- You respond to his invitation to engage in recreational activities together or you come along to watch him (you don’t have to go every time, but just now and then will energize him more than you realize).
- You enable him to open up and talk to you as you do things shoulder to shoulder.
- You encourage him to spend time alone, which energizes him to reconnect with you later.
- You don’t denounce his shoulder-to-shoulder activities with his male friends to get him to spend face-to-face time with you. Respect his friendships, and he will be more likely to want you to join him shoulder to shoulder at other times.
Sexuality – Appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy. He will feel you appreciate his desire for sexual intimacy when . . .
- You respond to him sexually more often and initiate sex periodically.
- You understand he needs sexual release just as you need emotional release.
- You let him acknowledge his sexual temptations without fearing he’ll be unfaithful and without shaming him.
- You don’t try and make him open up to you verbally by depriving him of sex.