How to Let Your Man Know What You Truly Need from Him

How to Let Your Man Know What You Really Need From Him

You wouldn’t have to know me long.

Before you concluded I could use a break now and then.

You’d soon be saying, I bet that lady needs a tall latte.

Maybe even a dark chocolate truffle.

I wouldn’t need to explain all this.

You would just know.

As a woman, it would be obvious to you.

You’d take one look at my full-to-overflowing days . . . and you’d understand exactly what was needed.

A small retreat.

Away from the noisy house and the busy children.

Yes. I’m thinking a 16-ounce latte and a quiet, uninterrupted conversation with a tall grown-up.

Preferably him – the one who thinks so clearly and has such broad, caring shoulders.

Oh, yeah, definitely him.

Now isn’t that readily apparent to you?

But for some reason it was NOT apparent to my husband and I had a hard time believing he couldn’t see it.

An Eye-Opening Conversation

So one day we had a conversation about this need of mine.

It began by my asking, “Can I tell you a little bit about me?”

Yes…

“Well, I love being your wife.

And I love being a mother.

And I could keep going on like this for the rest of my life.”

Small pause, so he’d see I was sincere.

“But you know something else about me? I do sooo much better when I get to step away from here occasionally.

“Not only get away, but go out and have time together with you. It would do me a world of good.”

I drew breath and then finished with, “So do you think we could pull that off? You know . . . arrange for that on a regular basis?”

He started to laugh (though I didn’t really see the humor).

His response? “Strange. I never looked at it that way.”

My turn. “Ummm….So how do you look at it, Dear?”

“Well, I guess that since I’m away from the house all day, my favorite thing is to come home to my family. I love it when we’re sitting around together and don’t feel a particular need to go back out again. And I thought you felt the same way.

So as it turned out, he really was unaware.

I had to explain what I was hoping for and even what that looked like to me. I wasn’t asking for a Mediterranean Cruise or an expensive dinner out – just a latte, please (though chocolate wouldn’t hurt).

Mostly I wanted time with him.

But in his mind, our evenings together at home counted as “time.”

It didn’t count so much with me.

He didn’t know what I needed. That was something he had to hear from me.

How to Let Your Man Know What You Really Need From Him

How to Let Your Man Know What You Truly Need from Him

Pray.

Bring it before The Lord first. Ask Him to help you say what you want to say in a loving manner. Also, ask Him to prepare your husband’s heart to hear you.

Come clean.

Let go of any bitterness or resentment that might have built up before this. Come with a fresh spirit.

Prepare him.

Let him know you’ve got something on your mind and you’re looking forward to sharing it with him.

Approach him.

Gently. With words seasoned with grace. Not accusing or demanding, simply laying down your needs before him.

Be patient.

Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while to sink in. Or if you have to repeat your request periodically and in different ways. Patiently and lovingly remind him of your needs.

Show appreciation.

If he tries at all, then express gratitude for his efforts. Don’t only say it in words, but also in your attitude. Make sure he sees what a difference it makes in your life.

Be willing to leave it there.

This might be the hardest one. Some needs can go for a long time before they’re met. Others never will be met. At least by him. Because God is the only One who promises to supply all you need (Phil. 4:19).

So go ahead and let him know what you need. Whatever it might be.

And, of course, what I need these days is a tall latte.

Chocolate.

Above all, some time away with my Man.

But you already knew that…. 😉

In His grace,

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Why We Need to Stop Journaling All His Faults

Why We Need to Stop Journaling All His Faults

Think back with me, for a moment, to when you first met your spouse.

Do you remember those looks you exchanged from across a room? That smile that made the rest of your day awesome? How simply standing near them that made your heart beat a bit faster?

It seems that while we were dating we were on our best behavior. We used our manners, we were patient and understanding, we overlooked the other’s little quirks, and laughed at each others jokes.

The day of the wedding comes and we think this is as close to heaven as we can get.

We are excited to set up a home together and we walk around with hearts in our eyes.

As the honeymoon phase disappears so do the hearts in our eyes as we begin to see the reality of our lives; namely that we are married to a sinner. We can’t be on our best behavior all of the time and soon little quirks become annoying and faux pas turn into big deals.

This is when some whip out their notebooks or diaries and begin to keep a list of their spouse’s sins and shortcomings.

Shameful, right? But we all do it. We may not put pen to paper and physically write them down.

But we journal our husbands’ faults onto the pages of our hearts so we never forget.

Man does more harm to man than animals do to man. – Ralph Venning

Why We Need to Stop Journaling All His Faults

Throw Away the Journal

It is usually the people closest to us that hurt us the most and in ways that we would never imagine.

And this goes both ways. We hurt those closest to us more than any other.

Living as husband and wife brings with it lots of blessings, laughter, joys, and fun, but it also harbors a darker side. The side where we say and do things that wound and tear down.

For some, keeping track of those hurts is a way to protect themselves while others use those remembered wounds as way to hurt back. It is a way to build up their debt against us and to make sure they somehow pay.

But this is not God’s way.

He does not keep an account of our wrong. He does not wait for a day where he can stick it to us. He does not throw our transgressions at us in a fit of anger.

God gives us mercy and grace. He forgives and then puts our sins from us. He helps us in our weakness and loves us dearly when we fail. He always wants our best and this should be our attitude towards our husbands.

We have to stop recording all the wrongs.

We must stop revisiting the sins of our husbands.

Our forgiveness must be total.

It is not enough to say that we forgive with our lips, but we must forgive in our hearts (Col 3:13). This means not bringing the offense up again, not holding it over the other’s head. This is one of the first steps in receiving freedom from the pain that was caused.

Forgiveness is hard and showing grace is impossible if we have not experienced the grace of God in our own lives first. The forgiveness and complete love God has for us becomes overwhelming when we understand the messiness of our hearts, the dishonor we show God, and the ungratefulness we exhibit towards Christ and his work.

This understanding is what allows us to throw away our journals and show grace and forgiveness to others, especially our spouses.

 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. ~ Colossians 3:13

Blessings,
Jen

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15 Ways to Say You Love Him…Without Ever Saying A Word

15 Ways to Say You Love Him (Without Ever Saying a Word)

I’m not sure that I understood the man’s mind when we first got married.

Or maybe I should say understood his masculine heart.

I mean, I thought I did . . . but it turned out I had a lot to learn.

Lots and lots.

Basically, clueless.

I figured mostly what I needed to do was to look up at him with adoring eyes and occasionally say, “I love you” and that about covered it.

It had worked so well when we were dating . . . .

But less so as time went on.

Not that he still didn’t want to hear it, but I found there were other ways to tell the guy that you love him.

I discovered that – much like me – he needs to hear love spoken in a variety of ways.

And he needs more than just big eyes and a few romantic words.

So my friend Christy and I decided to pool our marriage experience to offer some suggestions (sort of a “two for one” deal) in case you were looking for new ideas too.

So here’s what we came up with . . . .

15 Ways to Say You Love Him

1.     Prepare him food that he especially likes.

I know. It may seem a bit silly to you, but the feeling is real. They might say that “Love makes the world go round,” but the truth is—it’s food.

Especially cinnamon rolls.

Preferably homemade and with extra cinnamon goo.

2.     Do one of his chores that he wouldn’t expect you to do.

Surprise! All done. Just ’cause and no need for thanks.

3.     Display overt public affection.

Remember how you used to drape yourself all over him when you were dating or engaged? (you did do this, didn’t you??)

Well, no reason to leave off with that lovey-dovey stuff.

Even my silver-haired hunk of a guy loves it when I wrap my arms around his neck. Or tuck my arm into his. Or snuggle in next to him. Right in front of everyone.

Somewhat embarrasses the teenagers, but I figure it’s good for them.

And I know it’s good for him.

4.     Tell him Chris Hemsworth only wishes he could look so good.

No explanation necessary. 😉

5.     Serve him with style.

For instance, making his dinner could be described as my “job.” But when I add a little extra flair? Put some finishing touches on the plate? Present it with a warm smile?

It communicates that it’s not only my job – it’s my pleasure.

6.     Buy white bread on occasion.

Contains zero nutrition.

And a bit hard on the soul.

But there you have it.

The way to a man’s heart.

7.     Initiate you-know-what.

Your man likes to know that you find him desirable too.

8.     Do something cheerfully where you would normally have a habit of whining and making his life miserable.

So go ahead and shock the socks off of him.

9.    Brag on him.

Tell family and friends – maybe even complete strangers – how much you appreciate the man that he is. Preferably within his hearing.

10.    Make an effort to enjoy an activity along with him, even though it’s not your thing.

Sometimes “laying down your life” means watching a sports game with him. Tagging along on that unfamiliar adventure. Or, in my case, being willing to go dirt-camping when I’d rather sit by clear, blue water at an upscale resort. Sigh.

11.    Play footsies with him under the table.

You wouldn’t believe something so simple could be so effective. My husband still looks up with astonishment – and I’ve been playing this game with him for over 20 years now!

12.    Learn the lingo of his favorite hobby.

Casually throw out your thoughts on the improved clinch knot or perhaps the Boone & Crockett Club. Or maybe drop some remark about the halyard or hawser. This kind of vocabulary is sure to get his attention.

13.    Communicate contentment.

Let him know that he makes you happy.

Not that he – or your marriage – is perfect.

Not that you both don’t have room to grow.

But for today, for now, you’re content with him and the life you enjoy together.

It will mean a lot to him.

More than you might know.

14.   Tell him, “Go fishing. You deserve it!”

My husband calls it “recess.”

So give him your blessing to go outside and play.

15.   Listen to his heart.

Even if he doesn’t share it with words. Listen anyway. And listen carefully.

Because his masculine heart might be different than your feminine one.

But it’s still a heart.

And it’s his.

So why not tell him you love him? 

Without so much as a word.

In His grace,

Lisa & Christy

*Got any fun additions to add to our list here? Please share! 

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What Makes Marriage Strong and Beautiful: A Few Things You Might Not Know

What Makes Marriage Strong and Beautiful - A Few Things You Might Not Know

Love is a complicated infrastructure.

A thing you are either building up or letting fall into decay.

What makes it strong are the deeds done in the everyday walk of life.

What makes it beautiful is two unique people coming together and making their own unique kind of love.

It doesn’t come from textbooks or formulas, or to-do lists.

You’ve probably seen my parents from afar, either online here or maybe speaking at a conference somewhere. But I’ve lived around them for a long time, so in case you were wondering . . .

Here are a few things you might not know about my parents’ love:

They talk about everything.

Even tiny, inconsequential things.

Sometimes I wonder at them as they sit chatting away about a subject that seems to be of little importance. They mull it over, and in between second cups of coffee, they look at it from their different angles.

It’s a slow process, and I must confess, sometimes, as an observer, I grow impatient. Why talk about the small things of life? Schedules? Planning? Little worries and concerns?

And then it came clear to me one day . . . that to them, this was sharing life.

There are so few mountain top experiences in this life, and they could not wait at the bottom hungering for them.

They find their love, on Monday and Wednesday, and the week-end.

They make their love talking about the smallest of things.

They live their life confiding the tiniest thoughts.

They like going everywhere together.

Even to tiny, inconsequential places.

Again, this seems to me to be taken somewhat too far.

Going to feed the chickens? Let me come with you! Going to work in the garden? I’ll come.

No matter how small the destination happens to be – either of them is usually willing to tag along. It could be a trip to Home Depot, it could be to Costco. It could be to the tree nursery, or to the bank.

And all this takes place in little, dry, dusty Central Oregon.

But by their attitudes, you’d think they were going out for a round of champagne kisses.

They love touching each other.

Even in tiny, inconsequential places.

Dad and Mom like touching each other. Of course, since there are eight of us kids pretty much always around, they have to keep it toned down. But it seems to me that little touches are a thing too. Maybe brushing the back of a tired head, or stroking hair that’s gone a bit flat at the end of the day.

Sometimes I see them touching – without touching – by a look. It’s really understated most of the time.

It’s a slow burn of love, and it keeps on from day to day.

They take care of each other’s hearts.

Even in tiny, inconsequential ways.

If Dad is feeling worn out, Mom will often encourage him to go do something she knows will help him relax. Sometimes mom is feeling stressed,  and you’ll hear dad telling her to retire earlier than normal in the evening.

If one is down, the other will hurry to support. It’s like a friend thing.

Sometimes I get the feeling that they are just best friends. Not so much just lovers.

And, yes, in case you’re wondering, they argue.

And they get mad at each other . . . even sometimes for tiny, inconsequential things.

But all that never lasts long.

Their love is not perfect. It’s something much sexier than that.

It’s real.

What Makes Marriage Strong and Beautiful

With love,
Savoury Jacobson
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Creating a Romantic Refuge in Your Very Own Home

Creating a Romantic Refuge in Your Very Own Home

I am a hopeless romantic.

You might not guess that when you first meet me because I’m so terribly practical.

You can ask my kids. They’ll tell you.

Practical to a fault.

I make lists, organize the spice cupboard, and draw up chore charts.

Practical things. 

So you might not see that underneath all this sensible exterior, I have this rather romantic heart.

But it’s true.

I love beauty and elegance and adventure.

Flowers and art.

Quiet conversation and holding hands.

But I’m afraid these things don’t necessarily line up with our Real Life.

The one where we have 8 kids, the health challenges of his parents, and the pressures of work deadlines.

Bills to pay and errands to run.

Basically, just plain, everyday unromantic life takes over.

Or, at least it would if we let it.

But a few years ago I decided that life is too short and our relationship is too important to let that happen.

How to Create A Romantic Refuge

So I determined to create a romantic refuge in our very own home.

A sweet spot that the two of us can slip off to whenever we get the chance.

And then I make sure that this chance happens.

Sometimes it’s right before dinner when he arrives home from work.

Or maybe after the kids are in bed late at night.

In the summer months, it’s likely to be in the morning before the heat of the day sets in.

So you see, the “when” hardly even matters—all you need is a where and that is totally up to you!

And that’s also where all the fun begins . . . .

Creating a Romantic Refuge in Your Very Own Home

A Romantic Refuge

It takes less to create a Romantic Refuge than you might think. All you need is . . .

A place to sit.

Two chairs or a couch will work. In the summer, we have a couple of chairs designated out on the back patio. In the winter, it’s a cozy spot near the fireplace. We even have a sweet corner in our bedroom now for when we desire more privacy from the children. (Yes, that makes 3 “Romantic Refuges,” but this number grew over time.)

Touches of beauty.

Now don’t get stuck on this one because it takes sooo little to make a small space lovely. Truly. All you have to do is to make sure it’s clean, neat, add a few bits of beauty and voila! romance. Pick out some flowers, a pretty picture or two, and throw in a darling pillow and you’ve got it!

And loving conversation.

We have certain “rules” of what we can – and cannot – discuss in our Romantic Refuge. For instance, this is not the time to talk about our finances, or the children’s misbehavior, or problems at work. That is saved for another setting. Because this is the place where we talk about us and dreams and good things.

*Bonus tip: Do NOT put pressure on your guy or this will take all the fun out of it for him. You don’t even need to tell him that this is your “romantic refuge” because he might misunderstand and feel pressure to “perform.” Instead, simply entice him with a warm smile and something special to eat or drink. Communicate that there’s no agenda, other than enjoying being together.

Creating a Romantic Refuge

With Special Thanks to Ever Thine Home

This “We Still Do” pillow – reminding us that we said “I do” and we still  do – is available from Ever Thine Homea lovely home collection begun by Barbara Rainey and a part of Family Life.  Not only am I thankful for their faithful ministry to families, I’m inspired by their beautiful offerings for the home. So I was thrilled when they offered us a 10% discount on all items (which are reasonably priced, I might add!).  Just use the code: Club31ETH when you check out. More here: Ever Thine Home

I can hardly wait to hear how your Romantic Refuge turns out!

Blessings on you both,
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Those Little Things That Speak Big Volumes of Love

Those Little Things That Speak Volumes of Love

I’ve determined that my husband Ted has a foot fetish.

Okay, maybe “fetish” isn’t the right word. Perhaps “preoccupation” or “fixation” better applies here.

When I mentioned this to him the other day, he looked confused.

Foot? Fetish? Huh? Yep, his expression said it all.

That is, until I explained. Suddenly this confused look of his was replaced with one of understanding. You see, I reminded him how often matters of feet make him feel loved.

Take, for example, the matching of his freshly washed socks. In our twelve plus years of marriage, this is one action that he’s consistently responded to with an enthusiastic “You love me!”

But that’s not all.

As quirky as it may be, Ted likes me to touch his foot with my foot in the morning before I get out of bed. To him it’s a nonverbal reminder that “We’re good. There isn’t anything strained between us.” It helps him start the day freshly reminded that I love him.

And, if I really want my hot-footed husband to remember that he holds my heart, I grab a bottle of lotion and rub it on his feet while we Netflix binge watch in the evenings. Nothing like a foot massage to communicate to Ted that I’m still glad that I’m his wife.

What about your husband?

Perhaps he doesn’t have a “fantastic foot fetish,” as Ted now calls it, but I have no doubt there are little things that speak big volumes of love to your man. If nothing immediately comes to mind, perhaps it’s time to sharpen your inner Sherlock Holmes skills.

How can you do that? How can you strengthen those powers of observation?

Well, let’s get a bit scientific and look at four ways you can train yourself to be an expert in the ways of your husband.

1.     Observe

According to an article by Time, seeing and observing are not the same thing. It’s one thing “to see” or, as Dictionary.com notes, “to perceive with the eyes; to look at.” It’s another thing to “observe” or, as this trusty online resource explains, “regard with attention, especially so as to see or learn something.”

How can you make sure that you’re not simply seeing your husband, but actually observing him? You can do this by teaching yourself to focus your attention on the right details. This is where #2 comes in.

2.    Record

One way you can focus on the right details is by taking field notes. It might seem silly to pull out a notebook to write descriptions and maybe even draw pictures – you know, if you’re the artsy type – of the ways you notice your husband feels loved, but it’s something that Family Life President Dennis Rainey actually recommends. He encourages:

Become a student of your spouse. Make a list of things that communicate love to your mate and write it in something permanent that can’t be easily lost or forgotten.

3.     Analyze

Next, you can continually analyze your data. What do your notes tell you about the ways your husband feels most loved at this point in time? Is it when you speak affirming words to him? Perhaps it’s through acts of service, or maybe physical touch. Look for patterns or common threads. You know, perhaps things like feet.

4.     Test

Finally, make it a habit to regularly test out what you’re learning. Come up with hypotheses based on your observations and put them into action. Have fun determining “If I do _____, then my husband feels loved.”

In an article at ThrivingFamily.com, Dr. Paul C. and Teri K Reisser note:

Your school days may be long behind you, but you never need to stop learning. Careers, hobbies, parenting – life is full of opportunities to grow and gain new knowledge. Unfortunately, there is one subject that far too many adults stop learning about: the person they married.

Let’s not be those adults.

Instead, let’s be wives who are experts in the ways of our husbands. Wives who can confidently determine whether or not our husband has a “fantastic foot fetish.”

Ashleigh

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Team US by Ashleigh Slater Team US: Marriage Together by Ashleigh Slater

Like a conversation with a true friend, this book is open, real, and honest. Ashleigh invites you inside her heart and home to humbly share wisdom gained from experiences she and her husband walked through….We highly recommend this book for couples of any age. ~ Matthew and Lisa Jacobson

*You can read my full review of Ashleigh’s book HERE: A Book Review – Team US Marriage Together

Ashleigh SlaterAshleigh Slater is the author of the book, Team Us: Marriage Together (Moody Publishers). As the founder and editor of Ungrind Webzine and a regular contributor at several popular blogs and websites, she loves to combine the power of a good story with biblical truth and practical application. Ashleigh lives in Atlanta with her husband Ted and four daughters.

To learn more, visit AshleighSlater​.com. You can also find her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter at @ashslater.

100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

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