Calling all wives: do you struggle with communicating with your husband? On this episode of Have a New Kid by Friday Podcast, Dr. Leman breaks down the do’s and don’ts of talking with your man.
Show Sponsored by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing
Produced by Unmutable
Dr. Leman: Andrea, I have a question for you. When was the last time you looked at your cute husband, Doug, and said, “Doug, I need you”?
Andrea: What? Am I supposed to tell him that? I can’t answer that question. I guess we need this podcast today.
Doug: Let me tell everybody what our topic is today. Our topic today is how would I communicate with the man I love? And, here’s a little bonus, it also works for your children, which is why we are doing this. Hi, I’m Doug Terpening.
Andrea: And I’m Andrea.
Doug: And we are so glad that you joined us today. If this happens to be your first time with us, I want to let you know this is for your education and entertainment purposes only. And if the subject matter raises any concerns for you or your child, please go seek a local professional for help.
Well, Dr. Leman, the short answer is never.
Dr. Leman: Okay. All right. I’m going to make a bold guess here. That the podcast that you’re about to hear is the best podcast that we have done in this marvelous, wonderful, exciting year. So I wonder how many women realize that their husband, more than anything else, needs to know and feel that he’s needed by the love of his life. And hopefully, ladies, that’s you.
Doug: So Dr. Leman, Andrea and I, this is going to shock you, we may have communication issues at times.
Andrea: At times.
Doug: At times. Not often. So why in the world would any woman say to a man-
Andrea: I need you.
Dr. Leman: Because that’s basically what a man needs to feel. He has to feel and experience the need from you that he’s needed in your life. Again, keep in mind that we live in a society where women have been taught, in some circles, statements like this. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. We’re in a man bashing society. Men are written off as buffoons who apparently don’t have a lot of feelings, because we know that most men are not talkers. But there’s reasons why men don’t talk. It’s because women have a very difficult time, even though they’re great communicators, they’re great communicators with their girlfriends, with people in general. They’re thoughtful. They’re always saying things to other people like, “Well, thank you for asking.” They are tuned in to relationship talk. But they miss the mark when it comes to talking to their husband.
Now, some people are thinking, well, wait a minute, Leman. You just said that my husband needs to feel needed more than anything else. And I say, yes, that’s true. Well, what about respect? I’ve always heard that my husband wants to be respected. All right. Why don’t you put that litmus test into your life today? Ask your husband, ask that man in your life, “Honey, what’s more important, to be respected or to be needed?”
Andrea: What’s more important, to be respected or feel needed?
Doug: Oh, I’d rather be needed here than respected.
Andrea: Really? Can you describe the difference?
Doug: Yeah, because needed is a form of respect. It’s the highest form of resect, in a sense that if I am not needed around here, fine, I’ll go. I think probably the easiest way for me to describe it is I have all this stuff within me I want to produce and I want to do, and I want to be a part of something. But if I’m not needed, I’ll either turn incredibly selfish and just take care of myself or I’ll go to work where I’m needed.
Dr. Leman: Right. And here’s the rub on that, Doug. Men identify largely with what they do for a living. So it’s easy for a man to say, “Exit stage right. I’m out of here.” And not only can he put all of his emotional thoughts and efforts into work because it pays off. You get promotions, you get raises. It’s real easy to do.
The other thing it’s real easy to do is fall prey to the woman at work who just simply says to you, Doug, “Wow. I love your sweater. That is a good looking sweater.” Now, you don’t know the woman. And you’re at the water cooler. And you say, “Well, thank you very much.” And you get back to your office and you’re thinking, who the heck was that woman? Wow. She was a looker. Now, I’m telling you on good authority that affairs in marriage start, start, over little things like that. And when a man’s needs are not being met, and I’m telling you loud and clear that your husband, ladies, needs to feel needed by you. And quite frankly, so many of you have already prioritized and you’ve shown him daily that the people who really matter to you are the children that we brought into this marriage. Because the children come first, and your husband is put in second, third, or fourth place. That’s one of the reasons why marriages are in such trouble today.
So again, you have to understand your husband needs to be wanted and he needs to feel needed. Wanted and needed is right up there. Well, where is respect? Well, if you want to separate wanted and needed, then respect, in my opinion, falls in third place. Because respect is important. But I thought Doug Terpening said it best, that respect is part of feeling needed.
Now, these thoughts come from a wonderful little book. I have to tell you, certain books are just more fun to do than others, but I had so much fun writing the book, Have a New Husband By Friday. If you haven’t read that book, I’m telling you, it’s a life changer. And the feedback we got on that book is unbelievable. Don’t take my word for it. Go to Amazon, read the reviews on Have a New Husband By Friday. It’s a counterculture book that scratches where women itch. They’re looking for significance in their relationship and they don’t know why they can’t find it. They can’t understand why their husband, Doug, will not answer the question that they just asked.
Well, segue way to point two. Us men and your male children hate questions. It puts us on a defensive immediately. We’ve talked about that in another podcast and we’ll talk about it today, because it’s really important for you to understand that the words you choose, ladies, are the keys that will unlock the mind and heart of your husband. Men are very susceptible to touch. Are there men who don’t like being touched, Dr. Leman? Yes, there are. That’s a whole nother issue.
Doug: Ever since you told us that, I’ve tried to tell Andrea that’s her secret weapon. That if she wants to get me to stay calm and listen to her, put your arm on my shoulder or on my knee and say, “Hey, Honey. What do you think about blah?” And you’ll keep my attention.
Andrea: That’s good, but keep reminding me of that.
Dr. Leman: This plays into the nature of man. A man loves to provide. Do women provide? Yes, many women make more money than men, so don’t send me a snarky email about that. A man, if you’re a man that really loves this woman, you want to be a helpmate. You want to be a team member of the marriage. You don’t want to just stand and watch. You don’t say, “Well, that’s woman’s work.” You roll up your sleeves and get it done. But my point is that us men, if you’re a real man, you want to please your wife. You want to please your wife sexually, emotionally, practically, you name it. We always talk about women being pleasers. In fact, I wrote a best selling book years ago called The Pleasers: Women Who Can’t Say No and the Men Who Control Them. Look it up. It was a national best seller. So I’m just telling you on good authority, we’re missing the boat on thinking respect is number one in a man’s mind. It’s needed and wanted, followed closely by respect.
Doug: So to give a real life story about this, and then I better talk about the ebook so I don’t forget it. So Andrea and I, shocker, have a long-standing issue in our marriage that’s been here for quite a few years, 10 plus years. And just in the last couple months, actually, we were in the middle of a discussion with elevated voices maybe, and a little bit of edge to the voices. And she said, “I can’t do this without you. And I’m afraid that if you don’t do X, then I won’t be able to do…” And it really helped me. She didn’t say I need you, but she implied that. And I was like, oh. A, now I understand why we fight about it, and B, if you really need me around here, then I’ll fix it. I’ll get it done. Not like I’m going to jump in and shove you out of the way, but now it’s like, oh, okay. Now I understand and now I’m engaged. It was very interesting. It totally 100% changed this fight that we’ve had for 10 years. So real life example.
Before I ask my next question, it’s fabulous, timing is wonderful. So Dr. Leman already referenced it. And if you want, you can get for ebook Have a New Husband By Friday for a mere $2.99 cents between January 14th and the end of January of 2021. So January 14th of 2021 to the end of January 31 of 2021, wherever ebooks are sold. Yes, Andrea, go for it.
Andrea: So I looked up some Amazon reviews on this book, and I will read this one. This book points to the fact that we, as women, must do things different in order to get our partner to behave differently. I like this book because it shows us women that even though our actions may not be the deplorable ones in the relationship, it is still our actions that can directly control those deplorable actions. There is a lesson to be learned in this book about how we can discreetly get closer to our ideal husband and children by simply stating boundaries and following through with what we say we are going to do. Highly recommended.
Doug: So get it now, between January 14th and end of January 31st of 2021, wherever ebooks are sold. And now a no nonsense parenting moment with Dr. Kevin Leman.
Dr. Leman: If I had to grade parents in the US and Canada, I’m going to throw you Canadians in as well, I think I’d give you, on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the highest, I think I’d give you a three. I really don’t think most parents do a good job of parenting. They shirk the responsibility to stand in healthy authority. They’re afraid to say no. And so many of you, you want to be your child’s best friend, you want to be their buddy. Your kid doesn’t need best friend in you. They have best friends. But the point is the parent who always wants their kid to be their buddy is the parent that always wants their kid happy. They’re going to do far too many things for kids that kids should be doing for themselves. Read Have a New Kid By Friday, read Planet Middle School, read The Birth Order Book. By the way, ladies, you want to check out Have a New Husband By Friday. I love that book.
Doug: Alrighty, Dr. Leman. So in the title of this episode, we say that this is how you communicate with the men you love, but then you told us that it works with our kids also. How does this also work with our kids?
Dr. Leman: Well, here’s the question. How many of you have done things or haven’t done things that allow your kids to step up, do things for you, for the family, for their brother or sister? Where’s the takeaway in your family for a kid to say, “My family needs me. My mom needs me. My dad needs me”? if you’re doing everything for your kids, they’re just riding free. They got a free lunch ticket. Everything’s taken care of for them. Where do they get the message that I am competent, that I’m a contributor? Do you see what I’m saying? And by the way, young boys, Mom, they don’t appreciate your questions. You tend to remind them to be careful a little bit too much, stuff like that, it weakens a kid’s self-esteem. So think of your sons as future husbands, if that’ll help you. They need to feel needed and wanted.
My question to you is what happens in your life daily with your son or your daughter that provides them an opportunity to give back to the family? Most of us, I think, fail that test. Now, you guys up there living in a rural community, and I know for a fact your kids have been in 4H, which is a wonderful organization, they’ve had many an opportunity to be engaged and to help family and be part of family projects. I know you guys pretty good by now, and so that shouldn’t be a huge issue in your family. But the propensity on the part of the woman in the family, the mom in the family, is for her to do far too much for the children that they could be doing for themselves.
Andrea: Well, just listening to you talk, Dr. Leman, I’m convicted of how I have been treating my boys lately. So this is a super good reminder for me that it’s not just about my husband, but my 21 year old and my 17 year old sons particularly. Am I telling them I need them, or am I asking them those questions and still trying to mommy them?
Dr. Leman: Well, it’s your nature, Andrea, as a mom, to do the things you just fessed up to. So again, we’re fighting our own nature. Men don’t like to talk, and I’m encouraging men to talk. But I’m saying for a man to really talk and share, he needs to feel like he’s in a non-threatened position.
Doug: The reason that I love doing these podcasts and why I encourage all of you to read the books is that so much of what we talk about is counterculture to what we’re currently said is the way to raise our kids. And I can’t remember when we started this, 100 years ago, you said to us, “Sit down with your kids sometime and tell them you need their help to run this house.” And I thought, oh my gosh, that’s going to freak our kids out and it’s going to make them feel bad. We did it, and I think it was a year or two ago. I’m like, “Kids, do you feel like we put too much on you?” And they were like, “No. We love knowing that you need us to run this place.” And then our kids said, “And by the way, when we’re gone, you’re totally going to fail because you won’t be able to run this place without us.”
Andrea: They said to us, “You’re going to be in such trouble when we’re all gone.”
Doug: Which is great.
Dr. Leman: I love it. I love it.
Andrea: The other night, James came home from work. And he works outdoors right now, so he’s out in the mud and the cold. And we were raking leaves, breaking them onto tarps and dragging them out into the tree to dump them off and get them out of the front yard. And it was dark and it was cold, and as he was walking in from his car, he said, “Do you need me to help you before I go inside and get showered off?” I was so appreciative that he actually saw that. And I think he wanted that sense of being a part of the family and being needed.
Doug: So now when I think about husbands and wives, if my wife sat me down and said, “Hey, I need you to be able to do blah blah blah,” you’re right. You have my undivided attention. Undivided attention.
Andrea: Well, I can think of a few things I could say I need you for, Honey. So when we get done with this podcast, let’s talk.
Doug: Well, Dr. Leman, even as you say that, I think it’s funny that we always joke about how I’ve got another honey do list. But we often complain about the very things that we love, don’t we?
Andrea: How is it different than the, quote unquote, honey do list? How could it come across differently? Because I think that’s a really good point
Dr. Leman: Because when a husband takes the initiative. My wife said to me two nights ago, “Don’t forget the pizza box.” Because we had had a pizza and she put it out in the garage. I said, “Honey, I’m way ahead of you. I took it out yesterday.” Whenever you are on top of your game and you notice things that have to be done.
I’ll tell you a funny story. My wife tells it better than me. But she was fed up with me not picking up after myself, and she put a banana on the floor of our family room, which you enter our kitchen through, if that makes sense. And she sat there having a cup of coffee, and she got just the right angle so we couldn’t see her, but she could see us. She reported that the kids came by and looked at the banana peel on the floor. All of them looked at it. They slowed down, looked at it, and kept walking. But she said, “But you,” meaning me, she said, “You walked by, stopped, kicked it to the side, and kept going.” So am I perfect? No.
But let me share something with you. I’ve got two daughters that are in their 40s, I have a daughter that’s in her early 30s, I have a daughter that’s in her mid-20s. During this podcast, they have tried to call me three times. We are a very close family. Hey, you want a family where your kids are going to call you, where they want to engage you, where they run things by you on occasion? Where you have an honest, good, ongoing relationship that’s always based on mutual respect, love, and a lot of fun in your life? If you do, pay attention to things we talk about on this podcast. We are living proof, the Lemans are, and the Terpenings are well on their way with their four children. They’ve seen the fruits of developing a home like this. We’ve seen it throughout our whole life. Our teenage years were a breeze with our kids. We breezed through those things.
I hear horror stories every day about what’s happening in families across US and Canada and around the world.
So anyway, we hope you enjoyed the podcast. We want to come across to you as real parents, not perfect parents. But we hope that you’ll use these things we talk about and put them in your parental toolbox, as Doug Terpening likes to call it, and just help you become a better parent.
Andrea: Dr. Leman, thank you so much for this podcast. I really appreciate just the really strong reminder that our men don’t want us to ask them questions, but they really want to feel needed and be told that they’re needed. And that that’s something us women need to remember, that telling them that they’re needed will bring their eyes home and make them want to help out, and it’s a better way to communicate. So thanks.
Doug: And touch them.
Andrea: And touch them.
Doug: Often. Okay, I’ll stop. Alrighty. Well, we hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. We’re doing this so we can add to your parenting toolbox and you’re going to love those kiddos more and more.
Andrea: Have a great week.
Doug: Take care.