Some years ago, a really cool relationship movie was made staring Mel Gibson and it was called, “What Women Want”. It was funny and insightful and hit on a lot of things that can help guys with understanding what women really want.

Now, if you have seen this movie or go and watch it (and I strongly recommend you do because it is a fun ride) you may find some really interesting and valid points are made about how men and women treat each other in relationships….how they process various things…how they should treat and interact with each other to maximize attractiveness and connection.

Men Love Flattery

But the core of the movie is about what women really want.  And to get into that … truly empathize with a woman, a man almost needs to morph himself into a woman.  So from that respect, I think the flick is more about the inner workings of how women think and what are some of their needs and desires and how that can lead some women to weave in and out of relationships.

So again, if you have not seen this romantic comedy, check it out.  I cannot vouch for everything that is represented as an underlying relationship truth, but I do think the producers of the movie got a lot more right than wrong.

What Does Your Man Really Want in Your Marriage

In today’s post, we are going to flip the the script and approach the question from the male perspective.  Namely, what is it that “men want“?

One thing I know men want is for you to be his Ungettable Wife.  What is that? Well take a moment and check it out as I wrote about how you can become his Wonder Woman!

What else do men value in a relationship?

What keeps the man engaged in the marriage so he keeps coming back for more and more? What is this “thing” that men want more of?

Yep, we have a lot of questions and I will tell you right off (i.e. warning: somewhat biased opinion!) that men’s basket of needs and yearnings are far less complex and confusing as women’s.

By the way, I value your comments.  So as you read this post, think of your situation and ask any questions you may have.  Or if you simply want to contribute and share your thoughts, I look forward to hearing from you.  The comment section can be found at the end of this post.

Ok, so let’s get back on track!

I think most of you who have been in a marriage or relationship for a number of years would agree.  Men tend to be a bit more predictable than their better halves (i.e. women).  Nevertheless, if you are a woman and are accustom to processing the world from your female perspective, interacting and understanding a man can be somewhat bewildering.  From a women’s perspective, a man seems to be operating under a somewhat different set of rules.  But once you get to understand a man’s rules of interacting….their common behaviors and needs….deciphering their behavior becomes an easier task.

Now I realize I am generalizing a lot here with my comments.  But that is OK, because you did not come here to read a 40,000 word publication with graphs, validity coefficients, and long and confusing accounts of standard deviations covering the entirety of the male population.  Hey, life is complicated enough, without me trying to razzle and dazzle you with a lot of psyche babble and statistics.

You are probably looking for some good basic advice like I discussed in the post below that deals with ways in which you can strengthen your marriage.  Take a look…

So let’s get on with this conversation of what makes men tick and how this can potentially help you with making your marriage or relationship stronger. Remember, this is not an all inclusive list or discussion.  Men and women are exceptionally complex creatures and I don’t think any article, whatever the length, will be able to capture everything that your husband “wants”.  Be if we are going to talk “wants and desires“, we might as well focus on the what I consider those things that top the list.

Men Think Sex – Men Want Sex

Don’t get me wrong.  I am not saying that all guys are like cut from the Flintstones mold of beings who only desire food, drink, shelter, and sex.  Well…actually…there are some days where a man’s behavior does not fall far from these basic needs.

Let is hope us guys have evolved to be much more sophisticated than that. Yep, I think we have. Though certainly some guys are somewhat more basic when it comes to their needs.  So if we are going to talk about basic needs and one of the important things that drives the machinery of your husband mind….then let it be known that sex is a leading contender.  Ok, I don’t think I am fooling anyone here! Sex is clearly a strong, primal player in a man’s symphony of behaviors.

Men are animals.  Well, technically, so are women.  But your man….your husband….not matter what lengths you have taken to domesticate him is in his heart truly a wild animal or at least that feeling seems to take over his very nature at times.  A guy sometimes acts like a beast or even strives to be beast like as it may suit his mood.  Now, don’t get misled by the word beast!  I am using somewhat loosely.  There are various levels of the degree in which a man will seek to become a beast or feel that way.  Much of the, the beastly quality is contained.  But there will be occasions will it emerge.  Sex can be such an occasion when a guy feels a craving to think wild thoughts and hunger to hold you and of course do a lot more than that.  Hey folks….just keep this PG 13 rated.

So just know that your husband or lover will often craves sex.  He thinks of it almost always, sometimes in small, subtle ways and sometimes in very clear, obvious and erotic ways.

As his wife or girlfriend or whatever the case may be, you may be thinking, “Chris, I already know that my guy want me sexually and thinks about sex a lot”.  If that is the case, then good, because wiser you will be when you realize this reality. But I am thinking some of you probably don’t know how to leverage this animal like craving your man possesses.

Now, since you husband or lover want a lot of sex and is thinking about sex all the time and frequently does and says things that lead to sex, the natural conclusion would be to give him what he wants, right?  So if you always give him the sex he desires, will he be happy, contented, and love you even more?

Well, my answer is not so fast!

If you give someone everything they want, particularly when it comes to sex, they person will slowly begin to lose appreciation of that wonderful gift of pleasure we can offer to each other.

So yes, you want to help quench your husband’s appetite.  But if he always gets what he wants, when he wants, the “value” of the act will slowly erode.  The last thing you want is your husband to take you and your sexuality for granted.  So what is the solution?  What is an effective way of finding balance so that you both can enjoy a fulfilling and enriching sex life and you can be confident that your husband sexual needs and desires are being met.  It is a bit of a balancing act.  And I think we all know there is not a simple solution because there are many factors at play.  Sometimes your husband or boyfriend is very much in the mood, but you are not for any number of reasons.  How does one navigate those waters?

I think it is helpful to realize that too much of one thing is never good.  Too much chocolate can make you sick.  Too much alcohol can make one drunk.  Just because someone desires something all of the time, does not mean that it is healthy for them to always get what they want.  What I think is a powerful solution that can help balance a man’s animal sexual desire with the reality of what is happening in the relationship is the “making it count” principle.  We can’t always have everything we want, in the quantity we want, but you when it does unfold, there is a magic to making it happen a way that is not soon forgotten.

In my book, quality trumps quantity!

I kind of think the less is more strategy can be helpful with regard to this sexual balance equation.  I also think you can benefit from the push/pull approach.  I have spoken before about what is called psychological reactance.  This is basically a psychological principle that says if you take away a man’s perceived freedom to do or have something, they will want it even more.  So in my view, to have a highly successful sex life, there needs to be some chase aspects associated with the act.

Playing Before Foreplay

I think of it as the play before the foreplay.  You want your husband or lover to feel attracted, then more attracted, then even more attracted.   A man’s  feeling to chase after his woman is wired into the circuitry of their brain.

Sure, you are now his wife or long term girlfriend (whichever the case) and so you may think that there really is not much of a chase anymore.  He has you and you have him.  You both have professed your love and commitment to each other.  All those chase games and jealousy plays are things from the past, right?

Wrong.  The behavior to chase and feel aroused and motivated by that act is natural and healthy and just because you are married or engaged, does not mean that these behaviors have less importance in the rules of attraction that govern your relationship.  Relationships can grow stale unless there is a sense of some excitement or some challenge on the sexual front.  And this “truth” is very much applicable when talking about what men want.

So play with your husband and make him feel like it is a bit of a chore to get what he wants.  The pull/push approach can be effective.  Think of it as fishing for sex. You know he wants you.  So string him.  Reel him in. But then give him slack and release him a bit and let him play with the line.  Don’t make it obvious or easy that he will get all that he wants.  A series of push and pull behaviors makes the experience all that more exiting and plays to your husband’s need to chase and pursue and achieve.

Men love to hunt.  Make him hunt for you, literally send him on a sexual quest to find you…to find what he wants and desires.  Your value will increase when he feels like he must work to gain you.  Make him invest in you, to have you.  This can happen in small and large ways, depending on the situation, your mood, and his mood.  And not every sexual encounter must be a chase.  Sometimes you can surprise your husband to the upside  and give him more than he ever imagined.

This is when your husband hits the jackpot.  While this should not happen to often, when it does, it should be something he never, ever forgets and those memories form and lay deep within his psyche.  It gives you value and plays to his desire for a repeat performance some day.   This keeps things fresh, somewhat unpredictable, and plays to your husband’s needs and can fulfill his sexual fantasy world.

Men Like To Feel Like a God

Just about every guy I know wants to think of themselves as a stud.  Some guys are studs.  Some guys are not quite there.  Other guys just don’t have the right stuff and need a little help in getting there.

There is this thing that lies deep in every man’s psyche.   One can call it ego.  Or one call refer to it as a man’s Achilles’s heel.  Whichever way one wishes to think about this matter,  just know that there is considerable mileage to be made if you make your man, husband, or boyfriend feel like a “million bucks”.

Men like to feel like they are special…that you think of them as special.  You want them to feel that they can and will come to your rescue.  If there is a jar top that needs to be opened, ask for their help and gush over how strong they are in their ability to open.  If they are working out, tell them how strong they look and how much stamina they have.

Brag on them and make your husband feel like he a kind of superman.  If you see a roach or spider, call over your guy to kill it.  Tell them how good they are at hunting and destroying these pesky pests.  Men like to feel like they are protecting you.  Again, it is something they really don’t have a lot of control over.  It is hard wired into their thinking….their very essence of being.

But don’t over do it.  Just a few choice words at the right time, spread out over time, is probably just enough to do the trick.  Men like subtle reminders, but they will find little value in your words if it is overdone.  So we are talking about moderation here, ok!

Men Love and Cherish Their Freedom

It is a big turn on when a guy feels he has complete freedom.  The truth is he does not have total freedom  No one really has total freedom.  But that is a long story and we will try to stay on point with this discussion!

What is clear is most guys value their autonomy.  Your husband more and likely does not want to feel hemmed in.  They want to be able to do some things on their terms.  Now, this does not apply to everything, but sometimes a guy just needs to do it his way.  Even if his way is not the best way.  Let him learn on his own what works and does not work.

If you make your husband feel guilty for spending time with his friends, little resentments can creep into the relationship.  Another big turn on for a guy is when you encourage him to go out and spread his wings.  When he realizes you do not need to be constantly paired with him and understands that you genuinely approve of his little adventures in life, he will love and value you even more.

Even the thought that you would approve makes him feel less trapped and more free.  Take away a perceived freedom that your husband or boyfriend feel they have or need or deserve to have, then you will end up fighting against  his current of emotions.  In other words, we are back to that concept of psychological reactance… people want that which they are told they can’t have.

Embrace Your Husband’s Need for Time Spent in the Man Cave

So ironically, sometimes the best way to pull your husband or lover closer to you is give him the room and space to do things alone.  A strong marriage is not simply measured by how well  people get along when they are together.  It is also a function of how well two people cope when they are alone.

So be an advocate of your husband’s need to sew some wild oats.  If he wants to go on a hunting trip or fishing trip or hiking trip or go with some buddies to see a movie or whatever….surprise him on the upside and enthusiastically embrace the idea.  Don’t try to cling to him.  Use this opportunity to realize some of your own needs and aspirations.

Think of this approach as investing in your husband’s need for freedom and space.  When he feels you are on his side when he need’s to hang with his buddies or go into his man cave, he will almost always come out the other side more appreciative and feeling valued and thinking of you as a real “catch” that understands his ways.


How likely is your marriage to succeed?

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2 responses to “Knowing What Your Husband Wants in the Wild World of Love and Marriage

  1. My husband of 20+ years works out of state, usually over 1,000+ miles from home. He is away from home almost all of the time(usually home a total of 5 to 10 days a year). He has done this for several years. I travel to see him, homeschool is amazing, and we rarely go more than a few weeks without seeing one another. We agreed when he began this that we would not go to bars without one another because neither of us was comfortable with it. I have discovered on 5 separate occasions in the past 3 years that he has gone out to bars then told me they were restaurants. I just found out it happened again. The fact that he is going to bars and spending hours there is bothering me, but then he lies and tells me I’m wrong. Then when I repeatedly tell him I know he is lying,
    (Google is amazing) after a day or two he finally apologizes and says it won’t happen again. But it keeps happening. He is horrible to me and rude, cursing me and yelling because I don’t believe the lies, then contrite and apologetic when he finally confesses. (“I’m sorry ho et I won’t do it again”)
    He literally told me he was at a bait shop/convenience store for hours, Google told me it was a bar. He eventually told me he was sitting at a bar for several hours, but only after accusing me of wanting to pick a fight because I want out of our marriage and some really hateful jabs at me.
    I dont understand why he is doing this. He would never want me to do this, and he wouldn’t be able to forgive me if I repeatedly lied to him.
    He goes to restaurant, casinos, literally everywhere, alone or with work friends for weeks at a time, so he isn’t penned in, or restricted. He has “guy time” a whole lot. I never thought he was cheating before, and I doubt it now, but the lies are killing my soul. Lies to cover lies, to hide the fact that he went somewhere. Does this make sense? I’m moving into the spare room, told him not to tell me anything he does, I just don’t want to know. Zero accountability, but with that comes zero sex from me. I can’t divorce him, he is everything to me, but I can’t trust him either. What have I done wrong? Why doesn’t he just tell me the truth, I can deal with that. Is he getting some sick pleasure from hurting me, because I think he is. Maybe he truly hates me and likes to see if he can break my spirit. Anyway, I just can’t get hurt again, so I’m going to try to stop caring what he does. Thanks

    1. Hi Karen…I am sorry you are feeling so much pain. I think you are on to something, though. Maybe you just continue to explain to him that you won’t make any judgments about his activities. That he is free to do the things he wants. But tell him that each time you discover that he is deceitful about his whereabouts, it is tearing down that the two of you spent so much time building.

      That is step one. Perhaps he will simply tell you the truth. Perhaps he will see you as someone who he doesn’t need to hide the things he feels guilty about. Step 2 is later helping him understand why he feels guilty about going to bars. It may stem from his internal voice telling him that it is wrong. That it is not safe. That it can lead to a dependency on alcohol. Maybe that is what he is hiding from himself. And that is what he might need help with.