One of the most important aspects of marriage is in understanding your spouse's needs.

I've written at length about the primary "needs" of husbands and wives, but I've not specifically addressed how often those needs should be met. For instance, communication is a huge need, but how often should you communicate? What should it look like? Sex is an important need, but how often should you make love?

Each person is different, so this list may not apply to all wives, but after extensive research into this, I'm convinced the following "needs" represent the daily desires of most women:

In no particular order...

1. The need to feel loved

A husband communicates love for his wife both by his words and his actions. A husband should tell his wife daily (multiple times) that he loves her, but those words should be affirmed by the tenderness and thoughtfulness of his actions.

2. The need to feel beautiful

Whether a women is dressed up to go out on the town, or hanging around the house in an old tee shirt, she needs to feel beautiful in her husband's eyes. A husband fulfills this need by telling her she's beautiful, flirting with her, showing affection and also by having eyes only for her. A man can't gawk at every woman passing by or on TV and then be believable in telling his wife he has eyes only for her. Never stop flirting with your spouse, and never start flirting with anyone else.

3. The need to be held

A woman's need for physical affection is a daily desire. This can be met through hugs and caresses throughout the day as well as the husband giving a shoulder/back/foot massage at the day's end. Those touches meet a physical need and an emotional need as well. This can include sexual intimacy, but women tend to have a greater need for physical touch outside the bedroom than men do.

4. The need for communication

A woman's need for communication is usually just as strong as the typical man's need for sex. Communication should happen throughout the day including at least one conversation per day that is without any interruptions (no kids, phones, electronics, etc.).

Put down your cell phones more often. Talking with your spouse is always better than texting with someone else!

5. The need for thoughtfulness

When a man is thoughtful, it simultaneously communicates love, concern, appreciation and respect for his wife. Thoughtfulness isn't just for romantic holidays; it's a daily need and a vital ingredient for a healthy, happy marriage.

This article was originally published on Patheos. It has been republished here with permission.

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