How to Make Your Husband Feel Amazing with One Powerful Phrase

Note from Mark Timm, CEO Ziglar Family:  We are honored to welcome Shaunti Feldhahn as our Ziglar Family guest blogger this week.  Helping people thrive in life and relationships is Shaunti’s driving passion, supported by her research projects and writing.

After starting out with a Harvard graduate degree and experience on Wall Street, her life took an unexpected shift into relationship research. She now is a popular speaker around the world and the author of best-selling books about men, women, and relationships, including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage.

Her newest book, The Kindness Challenge, demonstrates that kindness is the answer to almost every life problem, and is sparking a much-needed movement of kindness across the country. Visit to learn more about Shaunti and her ground-breaking work.


Every day, our men wake up and head out to “conquer” the world. Or, rather, the worlds of work, finances, home, school, kids’ activities, sports…We think we understand that, right?

Turns out, we don’t. Not quite. Because in his mind, it isn’t about “juggling” everything. Instead, every one of those spheres has a very, very specific set of expectations of him — expectations that he is desperately trying to meet. And at a deep level, he doubts that he is adequate to the task.

You see, a man may look confident on the outside, but on the inside, he is constantly asking himself, Do I measure up?” Do I measure up as a provider and protector? As the husband my wife needs? As a dad? I want to be a great dad… but am I? Every day he is pouring out his effort… and wondering whether the most important person in his life thinks he has hit the mark.

So how can you invest in him in return? How can you show him that he is a great husband or father? Believe it or not, one of the most powerful ways to show your husband how you feel about him is by looking for daily opportunities to say two little words: “thank you.”

In my research For Women Only and The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages, I interviewed and surveyed thousands of men, in part to solve one thorny problem: what is it that you can say to a man that conveys all you feel about him?

After all, guys kind of get off easy in the “what to say” department, right? When he says those precious words, “I love you,” we hear ten different things. Not just “I feel such affection for you,” but sentiments like “You’re mine” and “I would choose you all over again.”

The problem is, the men in the research broke the news that, for them, hearing “I love you” is nice, but really doesn’t have that same sort of emotional impact. Instead, what deeply touches your husband’s heart is “thank you.”

Thank you for clipping the hedges, even though you weren’t feeling well today.

Thank you for being willing to pick up the kids when I got stuck in a meeting – you’re a wonderful husband.

Thank you for working so hard to support the family.

Those sentiments are stuff we may think, but we don’t say often enough. And since a man’s primary need is appreciation and respect, we need to get in the habit of saying it!

I had one man tell me that he worked a grueling job as a sales executive. He would come home drained and tired after long hours and late-night meetings. His wife would give him a huge hug, and say, “Thank you for how you provide for our family. You do such a great job!”

He says, “Those words were all the encouragement I needed. Hearing ‘thank you’ means that she noticed what I did, appreciates it, and says it was good.” He said it makes him feel like he has on a Superman cape and can take on the world!

I know that to most wives it sounds impossible that those two little words could make such a difference emotionally. So don’t take my word for it. Try it.

The next time your husband is heading out the door for work or completing a chore in the yard, make an investment in his emotional bank account by saying “thank you.” Let him know you see what he has done and appreciate his efforts. Your deposit of respect and appreciation will speak volumes to his heart.

And don’t give up if it takes a while to see him respond.

Usually, a purposeful attention to saying “thank you” will show dividends immediately, but sometimes hurts and doubt have built a wall that takes a while to overcome.

So, make this a long-term investment in your relationship, and don’t give up. Just like a seed that is planted and has to be watered, an investment may not always deliver results right away – but in time, it will grow to produce something beautiful.

Question:  How can you apply this information to your own relationship? Do you have any other ideas or suggestions on how best to speak love to your spouse? 



  1. Edem Kwaku July 29, 2017 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    Very insightful and thought_provoking piece. These words are rarely noticed in our daily activities but undoubtedly very effective in the field of relationship.

  2. Diaomari Bailey July 29, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply

    You can surprise her with aittle picnic with candles an a meal. Leave your wife a love note on her pillow.

  3. Jeanette July 29, 2017 at 10:25 pm - Reply

    I don’t say Thank you nearly enough for what he does. He has told me that he needs to be hugged just because. That’s part of his love language obviously.

  4. Sussan July 30, 2017 at 1:03 am - Reply

    Great! Thank you.

  5. Bri July 30, 2017 at 1:58 am - Reply

    I love this! I’m going to start putting it to use immediately.

  6. Jicelyn July 30, 2017 at 4:15 am - Reply

    I will start planting the seed of “thank you” in our family.

  7. arlyn July 30, 2017 at 9:30 am - Reply

    As a man, for me this is completely wrong. I don’t want to hear “thank you”. I want to know I matter, that I’m wanted.

  8. amy July 31, 2017 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    I started a thank you journal and everyday I’m trying to write one think about my husband that I am thankful for. I have 109 days so far. I am going to give it to him on our 20th anniversary.

    • Jen July 31, 2017 at 4:38 pm - Reply

      Amy, I love this!! What a great idea! (Hope he doesn’t read this and ruin the surprise!)

    • Maggie August 8, 2017 at 1:30 am - Reply

      I have thought about keeping a positive journal about my husband, so I can read it and be reminded he has done something nice when he makes me very upset.

      • Jen August 8, 2017 at 7:24 am - Reply

        I like that idea a lot! 🙂

  9. Jase August 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    This is not what men want. Men want to feel wanted, and that is not shown through words….

  10. Jen August 4, 2017 at 10:38 pm - Reply

    I agree, but I also like to be thanked for what I do. My husband and I share many responsibilities, but it always helps to be recognized for what you do.

  11. Honesty August 11, 2017 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Interesting. We all thank my husband often. “Thank you” is a part of celebrating all that he does. Very interesting to read that men need it. My husband shakes it off when we tell him; but that doesn’t stop us from repeating it often (Father’s Day, birthday, holidays etc.).

  12. Lea August 12, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    I think this is true, but in our 15 years of marriage and 6 kids timespan, 2 other big things are also just as important for my man: that he feels wanted AND needed. As a busy mom I can just keep it all together and be independent thinking I’m helping by carrying it and relieving the burden from him. But, he likes to “rescue” me sometimes! It makes him feel I NEED him, then I can thank him, and he knows he’s wanted. All 3 things may play out in a different order in different situations, but FEELING wanted, needed and appreciated are all super important to my man. He needs me to SHOW these, not just say it.

  13. Olutoyin October 21, 2017 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    Give him his favorite meals, appreciate his strength, but look away from his weakness and bless him sincerely from your heart, also respect him in and outside of your home. Let your kids know that, they have a wonderful father. Be interested in his career and also remind him of important things he needs to attend to (help him keep the dairy of events he discussed about with you) The lists are endless but very important, make him importantlty needed and wanted. Bless you.

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