There is a secret in a man’s heart. I can’t tell you what is in every man’s heart, but I can tell you this: every man I’ve asked this question—”What do you want most from your wife?”—has agreed with me when I told them what I thought it was. And I have asked a lot of men this question.
What is it?
He wants to be your hero. He wants you to think of him as your prince, your knight in shining armor. He wants you to look up to him and to respect him and to trust him. To be completely accepted by you.
He wants this just as bad as you want to be cherished and adored by him and to be the center of his world, to be the most important person in his world. More important than work or sports or any of his interests or hobbies. To be completely accepted by him.
They are kind of similar, these #1 desires, aren’t they? But they are also different. If you know these desires are almost universal, you will understand a lot about men and women.
(If you disagree, man or woman, please comment on this post. I want to hear from you!)
Now from observing your husbands, you might think the thing he wants most is to watch college football, play golf, collect tools, or to be physically intimate with you.
Those things may be what is showing up when what he really wants is something else but he can’t figure out how to get it.
The other thing that shows up when he can’t figure out how to get what he wants is an addiction of some sort, too often these days a roller coaster addiction to pornography. (That was a simplification; a pornography addiction is way more complicated than that, but what I am talking about here will play into it.)
My wife understands the need I have to be her hero, and she encourages me endlessly to be her hero by showing and telling me how I can be.
That is what the honey-do list is about at our house. It is actually the hero list. I know that and my wife knows that.
And what is the hero list composed of? It is a list of things that (1) she doesn’t know how to do; (2) are hard for her to do; (3) are too yucky or dirty or smelly for her to do; (4) are too scary for her to do; and (5) she is overwhelmed and just needs help.
That’s the way it is at my house. How about yours?
If you have a hero list for your husband, and most wives do, explain in a bit of detail why you want him to do the things on your list, why he is better suited to do them than you are. It will help him if you calmly share your feelings about the things on your list.
And when he does do them, thank him genuinely and let him know you admire him for what he can do to make your life better, easier and more convenient, even if he is not perfect at it.
You will get much, much more, over time, from your husband by praising him, intreating him, persuading him, coaxing him, encouraging him, honoring him, and respecting him, than by any other method.
Positive words will inculcate positive behavior. Usually.
If your relationship is way out of balance, though, meaning that you or both of you are using negative words and actions in an attempt to get your needs met, it will take awhile to bring things back into balance again. But err on the positive side of getting things done, remembering that:
That which doth not edify [build up] is not of God and is darkness (D&C 50:23.)
You can’t use darkness to bring forth light. You can bring light out of darkness, but you can’t use darkness as the instrument to produce light. It just will not happen.
In conclusion let me say that my wife is a world expert at this. She really knows how to make me feel like I am her hero. If I could read to you what she wrote in my birthday card this past week, you would know what I am talking about. The little positive, appreciative things she says and does, to support me in my far flung efforts to improve our lot temporally, is what I really want and need. It is wonderful.
I doubt myself, but I don’t doubt that my wife thinks of me as her hero. Knowing that in my core is what keeps me putting out my best effort, and bettering my best. And it makes it easy for me to adore her and to love her the way she wants to be loved.
Have fun with this. It is like a game! The funnest game there is, when you play it right.