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I would love to introduce you all to my friend Tim Parsons . . . In addition to being a husband, Tim is the Executive Pastor at First Assembly Community Ministries in Lafayette, Indiana and is also a gifted writer, teacher, speaker, and consultant. He is married Consuela, the love of his life, and they have three children ages 6, 5, and 3 with one due in March 2015. Check out his blog: www.timparsons.me or connect with him on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ve been married for over 14 years now. I’m not expecting an award or anything, but in today’s culture, another year of marriage is worth celebrating.

My wife, Consuela, and I have done more things wrong than right. Each year, I learn new ways to meet her needs and how to love her better.

If you’ll allow me to generalize for a moment, we guys are not very good at sharing our feelings. We tend to keep things in and not share about what we need and want from you – we expect you to read our minds and just figure it out. When you don’t, we’re disappointed.

So in an effort to give you some insight into the male mind and to hopefully help your marriage grow and continue to get better over the years, here are ten things  every husband needs to hear from his wife:

1. The work you do matters. At its core, I work because I want to care for my family. I want to earn a paycheck that provides for them, set a good example for my children, and leave a lasting legacy. It’s important that my wife tells me regularly that the work I’m doing matters. Otherwise, I will lose motivation and lack the focus to do it well.

2. You’re an excellent provider. I am the only one earning a paycheck in my house but there was a time when I wasn’t. In both instances, it was/is important that my wife affirms that I am a good provider for my family. As I said in the last point, I work to provide and I need to not only know that the work I’m doing matters but also what I’m providing is enough in the eyes of my wife.

3. You’re attractive. But don’t use the word “attractive.” Use sexy or hot or, even better, sexy and hot both . . . Guys don’t tend to communicate this need often and can even give off the vibe that it’s not important. He wants to know that he looks nice when he takes you out on a date or gets dressed up for church.

4. You’re a great dad. Don’t just say “you’re a great dad.” Rather, say something like “It was really great to see you playing with Victoria last night” or “The discipline you used this morning with Samuel was very effective.”

5. I notice when you try to serve me. In his (sometimes feeble) attempts to do the right thing and serve you, notice it! Tell him you notice it and encourage him. This will lead to repeated efforts in the future.

6. I support you. When he’ dreaming about the future. When he’s attempting something outside of his comfort zone. When he’s going after that promotion. He needs to hear that you support him. You should be his biggest cheerleader when he is going after the riskiest parts of his life.

7. Thank you. I don’t think these two words can ever be over-used. Guys need to feel appreciated . . . even for the things they SHOULD be doing like taking out the trash or mowing the grass. But he really needs to hear you say “thank you” when he goes above and beyond. Your gratitude speaks to him like no other voice in his life.

8. I’m sorry. If you’ve messed up, say you’re sorry. Don’t wait on him to go first. If he’s going through something tough at work, tell him you’re sorry. If he is grieving the death of a family member, tell him you’re sorry. If you’ve disappointed him, tell him you’re sorry. These words will heal his heart and encourage him to open up to you more often.

9. Go hang out with your friends. His friends are important to his emotional well-being but they’re also important to your marriage. If he can regularly hang out with friends, it will help him be more present when he is with you.

10. I love you. This one might seem obvious but he needs to hear that you love him. Even when he fails as a dad. Even when he lets you down. Even when you don’t “feel” like it. He needs to hear those three words from you every day.

 I’m sure your husband could add something even more specific to this list. In fact, why don’t you ask him tonight?

At the end of the day, it’s important that you’re affirming your husband, building him up, and showing him respect. These are ways he feels most loved and it’s how you can fill his love tank to overflowing.

Which of these do you say most often to your husband? Which of these is the hardest to say to him? Why? Comment below and let me know!