What He Wants for Christmas

Okay, there’s no way I can know what items your husband would like for Christmas. Men are similar, but not that similar!

What I’m offering here is not gifts in the traditional sense, but rather ways of treating him better. My hope here is to go beyond what he might say he wants and hit on what he needs deep down inside. 

Couple in Santa hats © Syda Productions | dollarphotoclub.com


Yeah, this one gets a lot of press… and for good reason. Many men don’t feel very respected by anyone. It’s a deep need not being met, and it hurts. It can also turn us to do ugly things.

There can be a catch 22 here – how do you give a man respect if he doesn’t act respectable? Look for any place you can show respect. If a man starts to feel respected, he starts to feel respectable, which can lead to acting more respectable. 

If your hubby doesn’t feel respected, odds are he’s felt that way since long before he met you. It’s not about you, but you can do things to make it better or worse for him. (Just as your body image issues are not about him, but he can make it better or worse for you.)


Most (but not all) men say respect is more important than love. However, this does not mean love is unimportant. He needs to hear you love him, and he needs you to show it. Even if he acts like what you say or do is silly he is probably blessed by it.

We have all kinds of rules and expectations in our heads preventing us from reacting to love the way we should. This is unfortunate, but it doesn’t mean expressions of love are lost on us. 


Men have a deep need to know their wife appreciates them. They want to hear how much you appreciate what he does for you. He wants to feel he is making a positive difference in your life. Tell him when he makes things easier for you. He will probably shrug it off like it’s no big deal, but your appreciation of his efforts is a big deal to him.

Non-Sexual Touch

Yes, non-sexual. I’ve heard from a number of men who are unhappy with the lack of cuddling in their marriages. Many of these men say they have all the sex they want; it’s other forms of touch they lack.

There are two potential blocks for a man on this one.

  1. If he’s sexually hungry, any physical contact with you is going to get him going sexually. He may seek out non-sexual touch because it’s really what he needs, but then he gets horny and his body drags him into sex mode. More sex is an obvious fix for this. You can also work on giving him non-sexual touch after sex. Or give him non-sexual touch with the understanding sex will follow. A massage is a good way to do this.
  2. He thinks touch should always lead to sex. This is not about his body or his sex drive, it’s about the lies he has believed. He thinks a “real man” gets turned on anytime a woman touches him. So to prove to both you and himself he’s a real man he feels obliged to turn any touching into sex. Ultimately this will only change if he deals with his lies, but you can help by finding ways to give him non-sexual touch in small bits. Try snuggling up with him while watching TV, especially if there are others around and he can’t get frisky. Give him 30 second back rubs – outside the bedroom and while you are both fully dressed. Touch his hand or shoulder often.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I love how my wonderful wife gives me these things.

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5 Comments on “What He Wants for Christmas

  1. As you note, it can be extremely hard to show respect for someone who does not act respectable. If showing respect seems nearly impossible, perhaps an easier first step would be to stop showing contempt. No more sneering, eye-rolling, name-calling, contradicting, second-guessing, or whatever else it is one does that conveys the message of disrespect. If you wouldn’t treat co-workers, neighbors, or strangers that way, don’t treat your spouse that way, either. Courtesy is a form a respect you can give to someone even if you haven’t yet found specific attributes to respect.
    Rosemary recently posted…Happy AnniversaryMy Profile

  2. @Rosemary Great advice.

    @Paul I wonder if the coming election year with all its hoopla will add layers of difficulty when it comes to showing respect toward, and feeling respected by, our spouses. I’m already having trouble, and it carries into the bedroom. If my spouse supports a candidate who disrespects people in general, that can translate to feeling that my spouse does not respect me, and before I know it, I feel I’m sleeping with and having sex with the enemy.

  3. @Rosemary – excellent!

    When we dated and got engaged, there must have been something about the other person we respected, loved, and appreciated; but, we allow something to get in the way.
    Sometimes, we have to sweep aside the unmet expectations, lies we believe, interpretations of uncommunicated thoughts, etc. and focus on the respect, love, and appreciation of our olden days.

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