As we learn to speak each other’s love language, our love tanks are filled and we protect our marriage relationships from outside physical or emotional temptations. When either or both partners fail to recognize and meet the needs of their mate, these temptations can become overwhelming. I frequently hear women say (and have said it myself), “I’m so tempted because he doesn’t meet my emotional needs!” But before you take aim at your husband for not meeting your emotional needs, look into your own emotional mirror and answer these questions:
- Do you know exactly what your emotional needs are yourself? (Many women don’t; they just know they aren’t fulfilled.) Do you know your own love language? (If not, I highly recommend that you read The Five Languages of Love.)
- Have you lovingly and respectfully explained exactly what these needs are and how your husband can fill your love tank?
- Have you inspired him to try to understand your needs for emotional intimacy, or is this something you’ve attempted to require of him?
- How consistent have you been in meeting his physical needs (not just on special occasions, but according to his needs cycle)? Have you served his needs wholeheartedly and with a positive attitude?
Sheila shares this via e-mail to encourage women to recognize their unique role as their husband’s sole source of pleasure:
If I don’t cook for my husband, he can go to McDonald’s. If I don’t clean, he can hire a housekeeper. But if I don’t respond to him physically, where can he go? Likewise, if my husband doesn’t meet my emotional needs, I certainly can’t go to another man. I am not supposed to be filled up with another man’s compliments and attention. If we truly follow God’s principles, die to ourselves, and serve each other, marriage could be a beautiful blessing!
While Sheila’s word of wisdom is a valuable one, let me interject a disclaimer. I realize that some women have tried everything, including catering to their husband’s physical needs, in an effort to wake them up emotionally. If this is you, and the above questions have only frustrated you rather than inspired you to try a new approach, then perhaps you both need to look into an emotional mirror with the help of a Christian counselor. If so, I encourage you to pursue healing as a couple.
While I can’t promise you miraculous change, I can promise you that God sees the desires of your heart for intimacy and will honor your faithfulness. I can also promise that no relationship is beyond repair when two people begin serving each other unselfishly. I’ve seen many men get a revelation of their wives’ emotional needs even after years of confusion and chaos in their marriage. If your husband needs a revelation such as this, remember these three points:
1. Revelation doesn’t come through human means but through divine means. If you want your husband to seek to understand your innermost needs for his attention and affection, then pray that God would reveal this to him in His own time and in His own way. Then trust that God will do just that. Don’t pester him, just pray for him. Leave the rest to God.
2. When you pray for your marriage relationship to improve, don’t just pray for him. It takes two to tango. If your heart has become bitter or resentful of your husband’s lack of sensitivity to your emotional needs, pray for God to help you get your heart in the right place to inspire improvement.
3. Make every attempt to satisfy his sexual needs. Don’t just give in when he initiates, but take the initiative yourself to fulfill his innermost desires. Learn to give him the look that says, “You don’t even have to ask! Take me now!” When you demonstrate that his needs are important to you, you may be surprised by how important your needs become to him.