Your husband cannot read your mind. You must tell him what you want/need, but in a way that entices him to want to follow through with it. A woman who knows how to get in touch with what she’s feeling on the inside and understands how to effectively express what she wants to a man on the outside is very attractive. She appears composed, confident, and calm because her objective is clear.
One of the biggest and most harmful misconceptions about how to be a successful wife is that she should not voice her wants or needs too often because it may annoy her husband. What a way to ruin a promising marriage!
Firstly, when you avoid telling your husband what you want/need, you will begin to feel distant towards him. Part of being able to emotionally connect with someone is that you feel comfortable expressing your wants, needs, desires, dreams and problems with them.
Secondly, when your husband does not know what you want/need, he will not be able to provide for you in a way that makes you feel fulfilled. If he is not doing what it takes to please you, then you may begin to believe that you’re giving more than you’re getting, which can eventually fuel anger, resentment, and grudges towards him.
Lastly, the notion that a man will become irritated by hearing a woman’s desires is completely erroneous and it demonstrates little understanding about the noble qualities that men possess.
Behind every good Muslim man is a longing to be his wife’s hero. Pleasing her and meeting her needs boosts his confidence in himself and it increases his affection for her. The problem is that many women do not know how to stir the hero in their husbands. Consequently, when they do ask for their wants and needs, it does not inspire him to act, and depending on the way it is done, he may even feel attacked, insulted, or nagged.
If you want to know how to effectively get your message through to your husband, then you need to gain a better understanding about who men are. Communication is ineffective in a marriage when we ignore the fact that men must be approached differently in order to feel motivated to perform.
Here are some basic rules of engagement:
Rule #1: Men are not multi-taskers, but they are committed to completing one task/project at a time with excellence.
When a man commits himself to a duty, he commits his entire being. All faculties will be focused on completing the task at hand. Consequently, it is important to give your husband the time and room to fulfill his commitment. Avoid overloading him in one go.
Also, make sure to express your want/need at a time when he’s willing to hear you out, and not when he’s busy with doing something else. Chances are if you tell him while he’s busy, you’re either going to annoy him or he’s not going to hear you.
Rule #2: Men are very literal in the way that they speak and how they understand directions.
Some wives are so focused upon what they do not want and how upset they are about their circumstances that they lose sight of what they truly want.
For example, they complain to their husband that he spends too much time on the computer, but what these wives really want is for their husband to spend more alone time with them.
In order for your husband to rescue you, he first needs to clearly understand what you are asking from him. Get in touch with what you really want or need. Spell it out and make it as specific as you can. Don’t overwhelm him with unneeded details and explanation. He’ll lose sight of your point and will not take action.
Rule #3: Men want to be recognized as heroes.
Men are driven to accomplish their goals, and they thrive off of being winners and solution-finders. If you can effectively rev up our husband’s drive to answer your calling, your husband will gladly be your hero inshaAllah.
One way to tap into his hidden hero is to clue your husband in on how you will feel if he does what you want. Add an enticing statement to motivate his manly drive to please you. For example, “It would really make me happy.” This simple statement entices him to take action because his path to success is clearly outlined, and he knows that what he is setting out to do will make him score big with you.
Rule # 4: Men want to be appreciated and awarded as knights in shining armor.
Thank him for what he did and be grateful to Allah for what was gifted to you; it’s a huge step that women often overlook. When a husband takes any type of initiative to please his wife, the worst thing that a wife can do is stand there pointing fingers, saying that it’s still not good enough.
You must use positive reinforcement to win his heart. Any step that he makes towards pleasing you is a step worth praising. Showering him with love means to tell him how much you appreciate him without limit. The more you thank him and acknowledge him, the more that he will do for you inshaAllah. (see: Sweet Talk & Encouraging Words)
Rule #5: Men do not feel nagged or attacked when you use your feminine charm.
When a woman asks for her want/need in a cute voice, a man is more likely to pay attention to her and be charged to rescue her. Work your feminine charm by stating your requests in a voice that will warm his heart.
Facial expressions and body language also make a difference. Pouting while saying “I miss you. I want you all for myself!” is a more effective way of getting alone time with him than asking with a frowning face. When all else fails, an attractive smile with a soft tone will save the day inshaAllah.
Stating Wants & Desires
A want is something that you desire and it would make you feel happier if it occurred, but it is not crucial.
How To: Clue him in on how important the task is to you and subtly inform him how he’ll win with you when he does what you want; it will sound like a goal that he can easily accomplish, which men relish.
Try using starter phrases like “I would really love…”/ “I would really appreciate…” / “It really matters to me…” / “I want…” and then adding how it would make you feel by stating it in a positive frame.
- “I would really appreciate if all junk food is stored in this closet. It would make me feel more relaxed and less anxious about binging.”
- “I would really love to spend time together as a family every Saturday. I feel my happiest when we’re all together and I know the kids enjoy your company.”
- “It really matters to me that the dishes are placed immediately in the sink after dinner. It soothes me to see a clean table.”
- “I want to be hugged and kissed every day before you leave for work. It makes me feel more connected to you.”
A warning with house chores and mundane tasks. Quite often, men agree to do a house chore in principle, but they forget about carrying it out in practice. There is no harm in giving a friendly reminder; sometimes men need to be retold and they appreciate the reminder if it is done in a loving way. Unlike what some women think, this is not deemed nagging. Rather, nagging means to repetitively point out that your husband still hasn’t done what you want him to do, and it is said in a manner that irritates him. Be considerate and kind; it is by far one of the best habits to form in a marriage.
Stating Needs & Setting Boundaries
A need is what is essential for you to have in order to continue to want to stay in the marriage; it is crucial, like the way you speak to each other when arguing. In other words, needs are about marking boundaries and drawing limits.
How To: Alert him of your disappointment and clue him in on what needs to be done differently by using phrases like, “I am not happy with it being this way. I need…” Make sure to state your need in ONE sentence and avoid using this mechanism as a gimmick to unload on him. If you need to briefly explain your point, make sure to add phrases that indicate it’s due to your personality/preference.
- I am not happy with it being this way. I need us to stop fighting over this topic and be friends.
- I am not happy with it being this way. I need us to be a team in front of our parents. It’s really important to me.
- I need time for myself every few days. I know it will help me to feel more close to you when we spend time together. It’s not personal. I’m an introvert.
- I need for you to speak to me in a softer tone when we discuss things. It will help me to focus on your point better.
Now here comes the hard part: give each other time. It’s far-fetched to expect serious issues to be resolved in one sitting. Happy couples may engage in several discussion sessions over a period of time before they finally reach an agreement, but in-between the tension, they’re still interacting in basic marital ways – eating together, smiling in front of the kids, and sleeping in the same bed.
But what if he is keeping his distance from you?…
- Discover Your Communication Style
- Five Exchanges That Inspire Him To Rescue
- Episode 7 in our “Find Purpose Again” Self-Paced course