What Husbands Want – Help Me Have a Place in the Family

October 15, 2010

in the generous life


Because men generally do not have as much contact with their children as moms usually do, they can feel on the outside of family life. They would really appreciate any help in staying in touch with the kids (like telling them about what is going on with their lives and doing what you can to help them stay connected). Guys understand that women are better at that “relationship stuff” and they do lean on us to help them build their relationships with their children. (A funny story: when my sister-in-law was a little girl and rather “creative” in her art work, her mother would always whisper to her dad, as he walked in the door, what her art work was about. That way Dad could say, “Oh, honey, what a lovely giraffe!” She always felt so special that her dad understood her art work. In later years, I’m sure she appreciated her mom and dad for understanding a little girls heart and her need for Daddy’s appreciation.)

There is also a need for respect from the family. Men have an innate need for respect and a need to be respected as a father and head of the family. Encouraging your kids to respect their father is a great gift.

Another stressor for them is they often feel ignored. Kids tend to get the lion share of the attention (which is understandable given the level of care they need), but our guys need a little attention too. Making time for him personally and encouraging family time can fill that need.

Generous tip: Consider having a date night and a family night. You might not be able to do this weekly, but try to set up time for you as a couple and for your family. Use that time to build him up.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.  Proverbs 14:1 NIV

Be generous!  Lori <><

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren October 15, 2010 at 6:27 am

My husband and I have a Family Day (Sunday Evening) – even though it’s just us and the dog. We have it set in place now (and our friends and family know about it and understand if we say “No Thanks” to Sunday invited) so that when we have Kids, there is ALWAYS a night were we are together as family. Also, my husband and I plan Date Nights often, again, even though it’s just us, so that when we have kids, it’s habit. I’ve even confirmed with the grandparents that they will babysit for us! ~ L


Wendy October 15, 2010 at 6:48 am

Technology can be a great way to bring Daddy in when he’s at work and the kids are at home. If you have a smartphone, take a picture or a little video of what the kids are doing and text/e-mail it to Daddy–he can comment back then or talk about it when he gets home. We are homeschooling and just yesterday my oldest typed out her spelling list and e-mailed it to Daddy. He felt included and she loved getting a text back from him.


suzie October 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

This is a hard truth. If I want my husband to be able to support me and my daughter and have a relationship with both of us, I have to create a safe and affirming space for him to do that. Plus I have to lead (drag) him step by step, sometimes against his will, to that place. It is very hard to do this without resentment, and I argue to myself: After managing every other detail, I have to orchestrate his relationship with his daughter, too? WHY!? And the answer is that if I don’t do it, then no one does it, that relationship will not happen, and I won’t have his support for my role. I can’t Love and Logic him on this because he wasn’t born with these skills or even the knowledge that he needs them. I can’t let him choose whether or not he’s going to take on his duties as dad. I can’t let him fail us. Like a good friend of mine says, I’m “low maintenance,” but I’m NOT “no maintenance.”


Tom October 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Suzie wrote: “After managing every other detail, I have to orchestrate his relationship with his daughter, too? WHY!? And the answer is that if I don’t do it, then no one does it, that relationship will not happen, and I won’t have his support for my role.”

I say, thank you to the gender feminists for marginalizing men/husbands/dads to the extent that they need help to have relationships with their kids. God bless you generous wives for picking up the pieces. We men appreciate it more than you know or we ever show.


Kate S. October 15, 2012 at 8:10 am

Thankfully, this isn’t an issue with my husband. He is a great dad and openly adores his children. It is a bit off balance, though, in that he really only wants to do things as a family….no date nights, no couples weekend just the two of us. Even when he calls from work to check on us, most of the time he sends a collective I Love You All, and not so much an I Love You, wife. He always wants to know how the kids are doing, but rarely asks after me. It isn’t that he doesn’t care and I can understand why he sees us as a collective-his family, but I do miss just being his wife. Good gracious, he even calls me “mom.”


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