Father’s Day is coming soon, and women around the country are searching for that perfect gift for their husband. But, chances are you, as their wife, can give them exactly what he wants for Father’s Day without spending a dime. Because what husbands really want is to be respected.
It is said that the one thing men really want is respect, and the one thing women really want is to be loved. When a woman respects her husband, she often receives the love she desires. But, respecting your husband can be hard at times. We live in a society that praises independent, strong women, whose opinions are heard, and at the same times seems to lessen men, their opinions, and their voice. And sometimes our adamant female positions on a subject may be disrespecting our husband.
I know this because I am a stubborn woman, who loves to talk, always has an opinion, and often times thinks my choice is better than that of my husband. In so many small and simple ways I often disrespect the man I love. In turn, I don’t always receive love and affection, or praise, that I crave from my best friend and spouse.
Respect is an interesting thing. While of course you respect your husband for working (or taking care of the kids, depending on your family’s dynamics), for earning money, for being a good father, and a good husband, it is often their opinion and their needs that they really wanted to be valued and respected.
Respect Your Husband’s Opinions
For my husband and I, this means that I must not shut down his ideas immediately. If he mentions a big purchase he would like to make, or a trip he’d like to take, or that we should move our family to a different apartment, my immediate gut response is always “No!” I am a very frugal person, and any mention of money being spent makes me cringe inside, as I want to avoid spending money like the plague.
Despite my husband being the spender in our relationship, he often mentions these big expenses because he thinks they are a good idea. He wouldn’t bring it up otherwise!
By the time my husband has brought up something like this to me, I can safely assume that he has thought some about it first. To immediately shut down his ideas, without hearing them out, without asking how he thinks we can swing it financially, or without asking why he thinks we should do it, I am disrespecting him.
Even when I immediately shut down his smaller ideas, my husband feels disrespected. My husband can mention that he’d like to take the family to the Bounce House, or that he’d like for us to go swimming on Saturday, or that he’d like to eat out at a Mexican restaurant for dinner tonight. But, sometimes I think that they aren’t great ideas for whatever reasons. Maybe I’m not craving Mexican (and he always wants Mexican, and it costs too much money to eat out), or maybe the Bounce House is too expensive today and I think we should wait until Wednesday when the admissions is $2 less per kid, or that swimming on Saturday won’t be great because we have other errands or things to do instead.
Whatever it is, I have this horrible tendency to discredit what he wants to do for some reason. His ideas are valuable, just as are mine. I have yet to to master the skillful art of getting my husband to think my idea was his idea, which I know some women are great at! So, for now, I just come across as always shutting down his ideas, like a jerk. I mean who likes to be wrong all the time? Who likes feeling like their ideas are stupid? Or who likes being dismissed by “better ideas” time and time again? No one, especially not the man in your life. It says to him that you do not respect him, or his opinions.
Respect Your Husband By Doing What He Asks You to Do
I stay home with the kids, and my husband attends school full-time and teaches as he attends. He’s gone quite a bit, and I am often delegated certain responsbilities because, well, I am home during the day, and he is not. This of course means I do the laundry, sweeping, mopping, and dishes. But, sometimes this also means completing errands or tasks, specifically ones that my husband has asked me to do.
However, like most people, I don’t always get to the to-do list in a timely manner. And some requests from my husband go unfulfilled for days, weeks, or months. Ignoring my husband’s requests to call and make a doctor’s appointment for him, or to get the car washed and detailed, or to call so-and-so about babysitting this weekend so we can go out, is disrespectful to him.
My husband doesn’t usually make a lot of requests of me, as he knows I have a lot on my plate with three young kids, homeschooling, managing a home, and running a blogging business. But, he sometimes just can’t get to things during the workweek and needs me to do them.
Prioritizing his simple requests speaks volumes about how much I respect him and love him.
Respect Your Husband’s Need for Affection and Attention
Men love their wives, and crave time to be with them. Ignoring your husband’s hugs, kisses, pats on the back, or desire to be intimate, is disrespectful to them as well.
Husbands express themselves through intimacy, through sex, through physical contact. Don’t keep putting off your husband’s physical needs because of your kids, because you’re too busy with the housework, because you are just too stressed or tired about life, or whatever.
Before kids, family, and the craziness of life, it was just you and him, man and wife. Your husband wants to still be your number one support and your lover. He wants to feel important to you, more important than kids, school, work, or home. He wants to know that you still value him, need him, and desire him. And sometimes the best way to express this to him is through intimacy.
I know that women (generally) are different in that this need is not as strong as it is in males. We don’t need sex as often as our man, but, as anyone who is in a loving, respectful marriage will tell you, sex is more than a physical act. It’s binding. It’s emotional. It’s important within a marriage, and especially important to your husband. But, be sure you aren’t just going through the motions in this area either; please, try to engage him in sexual relations, as it speaks volumes about how you feel about this aspect of your marriage, and ultimately about him.
If you need or want some ideas on spicing things up, here are some great printables from the Dating Divas:
But, besides showing affection in the bedroom, husbands want affection otherwise too! They want to hear how proud you are of him, his hard work, and all that he does. They want to know that you are aware of the sacrifices he makes every day as well. Praise him, listen to his stories from the office, and congratulate him for his work.
And when your husband does something helpful around the house, thank him for it.
Appreciating and respecting your husband are what he really wants for Father’s Day, and everyday. For great ideas on how to find joy in your man and to develop your relationship with him, I recommend reading “Women Living Well.”
So, tell me, how do you respect your husband? How do you show him that respect on Father’s Day, as well as other days of the year?
Katelyn Fagan is a young wife and homeschooling mother of three young kids, including twin preschoolers. She’s a simple, down-to-earth, friendly Midwest girl currently living in the big state of Texas. Katelyn enjoys living with less, dating her husband, reading books, playing with her kids, creating art, singing, dancing, going to church, and blogging away. You can follow her adventures and advice over at What’s up Fagans?