(Photo: sheknows.com)

Rabbi Ari Enkin

By Rabbi Ari Enkin, Rabbinic Director, United with Israel

In the second article in the “Dating, Love, and Marriage” series, we discussed dating tips. In this piece we discuss what men and women really want!

What Men Want

What men really want from their wives is appreciation, respect and love. I’ll share with you some examples of all three:


Do you welcome your husband  home at the end of the day, or do you greet him with a barrage of complaints?

“You forgot to take out the garbage!”

“You didn’t….”

“I told you to….”

If you treat you husband like a king, he will treat you like a queen.


Let your husband know you’re proud of him!

“You handled that client very skillfully.”

“You’re really good at…”

“I like the way you…”


Say those three simple words, often. And without prompting. Yes, although they won’t admit it, men need to hear them too. Express it in action too, just as you expect your husbands to do. Appreciating your spouse, giving him respect and showering him with love is the basis for a strong marriage.

What Women Want

Like men, women certainly want admiration and respect, but their deepest desire is to be loved. As the sages teach us, “A woman’s nature is to find favor in her husband’s eyes.” Women will forgive many minor transgressions if they feel a sense of being treasured, of being cared for.

Men may think, “Didn’t I tell her yesterday that I loved her?” “Didn’t I take her out for our anniversary?”

“Is there any limit to the amount of reassurance a woman needs?” The wise husband knows that the answer is no. And the smallest oversight can lead to vulnerability and insecurity.

Men need to constantly express and demonstrate their love.


Through gratitude. “Thank you for dinner.” “Thank you for watching the kids.” “Thank you for paying the bills.” “Thank you for being there for me.” “Thank you for brightening up my day.”

Through praise. “That was a delicious dessert.” “I like how you decorated the living room.” “Our children are a real credit to you.” “You handled that situation at work very diplomatically.”

Through care and consideration. When Jacob fears war with his brother Esau, he places his wives and children in a safer position near the back of the group. His wives are the mothers of the whole Jewish people. They’ve shaped who we are today. They included characters whom we admire and attempt to emulate. And they took the protected position in the back.

Through physical affection.

An aspect of feeling loved is feeling desired.

If your wife asks you if she looks fat, the answer is ALWAYS no. Even if she’s expecting triplets! There is NO mitzvah to be honest in this type of situation.

But more than that, while “You don’t look fat” is certainly better than “You could use to lose a few pounds,” the best of all is: “You always look beautiful to me.” “No matter what you weigh, I’ll always find you attractive” is also good. And don’t stop there. “I like the way that dress looks on you.” “Those are great colors.” “That’s a good style for you.” Even an appreciative smile goes a long way. Because a woman’s desire is to be loved, criticism can be overwhelming. Be careful.

Some Rabbinical Advice for a Good Marriage:

1. Dropping everything and rallying the troops to the front door to give your husband or wife an enthusiastic welcome when he or she comes home from work.

2. Consult your spouse and ask permission before going somewhere. “Is it okay for me to go?”

3. Get off the phone when your spouse walks into the house. “Hey, my spouse just walked in, I have to go. I’ll call you later.”

4. Looking good in the presence of one’s spouse. Unfortunately, we have it backwards. When we leave the house to interact with strangers we are careful to be dressed to impress, but with our spouse we take the liberty of being “as is.” Looking good is an expression of respect to the most significant person in our life.

5. Catch your spouse doing something right. People are inclined, especially with those closest to them, to find fault and to be critical. We are quick to comment on what is not right. We should endeavor to find the positive in our spouse.

6. Cooking your spouse’s favorite dish (at least on occasion).

7. The intimate relationship between husband and wife must be a non-negotiable priority. To a man, a wife’s interest is the supreme expression of respect. To a wife it is a confirmation or her being loved and cherished. Conversely, and in either case, denial of intimacy is the ultimate rejection. The intimate relationship has suffered in our frenzied times.

To see the previous article in this series, click HERE.