Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

Unlock the Heart of Your Husband

  • Bill and Pam Farrel Authors, The Marriage Code
  • 2011 15 Oct
Unlock the Heart of Your Husband

In The Marriage Code, we discuss the key need of a woman and a key need of a man. Unlocking a man's full potential -- when you understand his core need and seek to be a teammate fulfilling that need -- is the best gift a man could get!   For most men, success is the most vibrant need. It isn't that men don't want to be secure, it is simply that they will sacrifice security in order to do what they are best at in life. The need to feel successful is the need men feel most often and it determines the quality of everything in their lives.

Bill explains it this way. A man's approach to success is often confusing to women because it isn't always about being productive. It is about spending our time, money and energy on the areas of life we know we are good at. We are highly motivated to focus on these areas. At the same time, we are intensely disinterested in the areas of life we don't think we are good at.

Success in our lives, therefore, includes:

  • Discovering what we do well and what we don't do well
  • An emotional need to spend time doing what we do well
  • Evaluating our lives based on what we do well
  • Fierce commitment to doing what we do well
  • Hoping for relationships that "work"
  • Avoidance of the areas of life that don't "work"
  • Pressure when we have to work on areas of life in which we lack confidence
  • A desire to make relationships as simple as possible to insure success
  • Confusion when things are not "working" the way we think they should

The most comprehensive statement that describes a man's need for success is that he will make a fierce commitment to doing what he does well.

Most of us understand this when a man commits to being productive. If he is busy at work, busy at coaching his children's sports teams, busy maintaining the house, the yard and the car, we admire him. We know that many men can become obsessed with these pursuits and neglect those he cares about, but it seems like a natural struggle.

It is a little more confusing when a man decides to succeed at being an underachiever. These primary needs, security and success, are self-defined so that success means one thing to one man and another to another man. A man who is consistently criticized, especially during his childhood, may conclude that he is "good" at being lazy or less than competent. If the conclusion sets in, he will fiercely commit to being an underachiever. You can point out his shortcomings, challenge him to action and point out how he can succeed, and he will still underachieve because he believes this is what he is best at.

So it seems a wise decision to give the gift of believing in, admiring, and encouraging the men most important to us. Instead of focusing on his shortcomings, this month try something new, every day. Compliment your man. Tell him the things you value, you admire, you appreciate. Make time in your life to help him be busy at things he feels successful at. Thank him for the things he has achieved. Compliment his best traits. 

You really do yourself a favor when you value your mates desire to succeed, because when you do, in turn he does succeed more. So begin complimenting in areas you admire most then work your way to areas he might not feel as successful in and look for ways to encourage him in those areas. Soon you will see his desire to improve in those areas will grow too. The biggest question on his heart and mind is "Will my life succeed with you in it?" Let the answer be a resounding YES! by becoming a fan of his.

Originally posted July 27, 2010.

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists and authors of over 30 books including best selling Men are like Waffles, and  Women are like Spaghetti and their newest: The Marriage Code. For free articles and other resources on relationships: