9 Secrets Most Men Hide From Their Wives

Adriana Velez | Dec 7, 2014 Love & Sex

worried man with family

Men would like us to think they've got it all under control. They've got this manly men thing down pat, nothing scares them, and they can definitely provide for and protect the family. No problem! Except we know that's not really true. Our husbands and boyfriends harbor a host of fears that they don't dare mention out loud -- and some of those fears may surprise you.

Do any of these fears ring true for your husband? Do you ever talk about any of these things?


Image © Mareen Fischinger/Corbis 




  • Never Getting You Back to Himself After Kids


    "For men with small children, their biggest fear is that they're not going to get their wife back and that their children are taking over," says Dr. Dawn Michael, clinical sexologist and author of Intimacy Guidebook for Couples. Maintaining your intimacy is crucial, and it's best if you can talk frankly about how to do that while you're pregnant before you have kids, Michael emphasizes. If you already have kids, talk about how to regain your closeness.

  • Talking About Sex


    In her practice, Michael has seen men become passive-aggressive and refuse to help with the baby -- and in worst cases turn to porn and infidelity -- because they didn't know how to bring up sex with their wives. "It's the biggest problem I've seen in my practice," she adds. "You have to work as a team to bring that intimacy back."

  • Sexual Performance


    Michael says when husbands are always the ones to initiate sex they can start to feel like their wife isn't interested, and that can lead to erectile dysfunction and other problems. On the other end of the spectrum, some men fear they can't sexually satisfy their wives -- which is another thing that can affect their performance.

  • Not Knowing What It Means to Be a Man Anymore


    "Men want to feel like their wives see them as men," Michael says. Because women are taking on more leadership roles in the workplace it can lead some men feeling confused about their masculinity, especially around their wives.  Michael says that's another issue many of her clients come in to talk with her about.

    More from The Stir: 20 Small Things Husbands Should Do to Show Their Love

  • Exposing Themselves to Rejection


    "Men fear looking weak or vulnerable in front of women," says Ken Solin, dating expert and author of the forthcoming book Boomer Guide to Finding Love Online. "So if you ask a guy how he's feeling about you or your relationship the worst thing you can do is express judgment or anger at what he says." Do that, Solin cautions, and it could be the last time he opens himself up to you -- or anyone else, for that matter.

  • Being Judged for His Emotions


    What if you do get your husband to open up, and what he reveals makes you uncomfortable or hurts your feelings? "You can tell him that," Michael says, "Just don't judge him for it." Accept that he has these difficult feelings; Don't tell him he's wrong to have them.

  • Being a Good Enough Dad


    Whether he's trying to live up to his own father, or trying to make up for a lousy father, men worry about being a good enough dad. Does he have what it takes -- really? What if he doesn't? How does he know if he's doing a good job?

  • Being Publicly Criticized


    Husbands don't like to be criticized or corrected in front of the kids, in front of friends, or in front of strangers. No one does! But it's particularly emasculating for men. Be on each other's team.

  • Not Making Enough Money


    Especially these days, when real estate prices are high and wages are low (not to mention unemployment) it's getting harder for men to "prove" their manhood by providing for a family. Many men are comfortable in a dual-earner household and appreciate having a wife who supports the family with him. But not all men are that secure. Regardless, men worry about making enough money, period.

  • Know the Fear Behind His Actions


    Of course, the advice we're giving to wives applies to husbands as well. Both of you should act as teammates and avoid nit-picking or judging each other. It's a matter of remembering these fears when your husband is on his worst behavior. There's a saying I keep hearing that makes me see conflict in a totally different way: Look for the soft emotion behind every hard expression.