Basic Needs of a Husband

I will spare you my rationalizations about why I watch the Duggars’ reality show,  “19 Kids and Counting,” and simply say: I am repulsed yet strangely fascinated. Also, I have always enjoyed learning about foreign cultures.

I didn’t think their beliefs could shock me anymore, but the season premiere proved me wrong. The camera scanned ever so briefly across one of Michelle’s public speaking handouts and the title, “Seven Basic Needs of a Husband,” jumped off the page. 

I paused the DVR so I could study up on my husband’s needs.  And so I could take a picture of the screen. Here you go.

Squirming with discomfort, I read about the ways in which I am destroying my husband’s (apparently ridiculously weak) manliness.

For example: wives, did you know that we destroy our husbands’ manliness when we “resist his decisions in our spirit.” That’s interesting, because I don’t stop with resisting in spirit. I say that shit out loud.

Most entertaining were the handout’s practical tips. For example, instead of “resisting his decisions,” you should “learn to wisely appeal to your husband.” Even fundamentalists understand the need to be realistic about who really makes the decisions. Fear not, wives! We need not accept our husband’s decisions, we just need to learn how to be more subtle in our resistance.

These “needs” were so over-the-top ridiculous it was hard to be as pissed as maybe I should have been. When I noticed the “love is killed by self-sufficiency” line, I dissolved into giggles.

But wait a minute…

If you’ve been reading here awhile, you may be aware of my early retirement fantasy

Why is it just a fantasy? A.) our mortgage, 2.) I imagine replacing the time currently spent working and commuting with things I want to do, not what I’d actually be doing (learning to cook, cleaning the house, doing Dave’s laundry, etc…), and c.) as grumpy and depleted as work makes me, my self-worth is largely tied up in how well I perform there and in my ability to earn a living. It would make me (not to mention Dave) uncomfortable to expect Dave to earn all our income.

But the Duggars (actually the “Institute in Basic Life Principles”) were telling me that God wants me to be financially dependent on Dave. My self-sufficiency is killing our love. That doesn’t sound good.

Could Dave really need me to quit my job? Could this really be so simple and easy? I thought I’d consult an actual husband about the accuracy of these needs.

“Dave, I need to show you something. Can you come in here for a minute?”

I played the scene in slow motion so he could peruse his basic needs.

“So, what do you think? Do you need me to quit my job? Because I’m willing to make that sacrifice to support your manliness,” I looked at him hopefully.

Unfortunately, Dave fixated on a different basic need.

“No, but I agree you shouldn’t resist my physical affection.”

“Crap, I hadn’t even noticed that one. I brought you in here to discuss how my self-sufficiency is killing our love.”

“But God wants you to stop crushing my spirit.”

“I don’t think God understands how often you want to have sex. Look, if we worked on meeting your need to have a financially dependent wife first, I’d have so much more time to, uh, stroke your manliness in other ways as well.”

I think he’s starting to warm up to my early retirement. I think it will be more difficult to convince myself.

I joked that God didn’t understand how often men want to have sex, but apparently he does. The only practical tip the handout provides for wives to help them meet this need is: “learn the power of prayer.” Yep, that sounds about right.


If you wonder how I know the “Institute in Basic Life Principles” published this document, that’s because my perfectionism commitment to my blogging craft made me research the source. I may also have ordered my own copy. Hey, there are six more needs the show didn’t even cover, and I’m nothing if not thorough.

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37 Responses to “Basic Needs of a Husband”

  1. speaker7
    Monday, March 26, 2012 at 7:34 am #

    Thank you for enlightening me. I had been putting way too much stock in my bible teachers and not enough in the leadership of my husband, but wait a second..isn’t taking Michele’s advice, putting her leadership over my husband’s? I’ll have to ask my bible teachers…oh wait. It’s a vicious cycle.

    • logyexpress
      Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

      I’m not religious, but strangely that was the “rule” that bothered me most. I guess the religious tradition in which I was raised is just different from the one espoused by the Duggars (duh), but I prefer to take ALL my questions (spiritual, medical, scatological, etc…) to people with relevant expertise. Oh well, at least I have nice hair (that’s part A of basic husband need number 3).

  2. kirbycarespodi
    Monday, March 26, 2012 at 8:19 am #

    Oh my goodness–all these years (28 and counting) I have been destroying my husband’s manhood. By now, he’s probably gay. Which would actually make him the perfect husband.

    • logyexpress
      Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

      Yes, you wouldn’t have to worry any longer about resisting his physical affection.

      Congrats on 28 years of crushing your husband’s spirit!

  3. paralaxvu
    Monday, March 26, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    And here I thought I was doing something spiritually good for my soul by NOT watching, how many is it, “39,000 and counting”?!!! I’d race right over to zap2it and find out the next show time, but I’m busy right now pounding R’s clothes on a rock…the washing machine so doesn’t clean them enough.

    • logyexpress
      Monday, March 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm #

      Sadly, this episode was on 6 weeks ago. If I could quit this damn “making me self sufficient” job, I’d be able to write more timely blog posts.

      I don’t seem to be able to stop watching this show. I keep hoping one of the girls will escape and go to college and realize their parents are full of shit.

  4. Becoming SuperMommy
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 9:12 am #

    Yet another reason that Judaism and Evangelism clash.

    Did you know that, according to the Talmud, it is the HUSBAND who is obligated to, ahem, perform for the wife?

    That’s right. And if he doesn’t she can divorce him.

    There are a few things he can do to get out of it. One of them is heading off to sea. Another is studying the Torah. But both of those are only temporary reprieves. The man has to slip it to his lady wife whenever she wants.

    And if he dies without providing her with children, she gets the pick of his brother to… ah… pick up the slack.

    Where’s the reality show about THAT family?

    • logyexpress
      Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:29 am #

      This plus latkes sounds like enough reason to convert.

  5. Ninja Mom
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 10:34 am #

    Love this post. Sharing on FB. How’s that for meeting your needs?

    • logyexpress
      Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:35 am #

      Thanks! Women’s needs are more complicated, at least according to the Institute of Basic Life Principles. The “Seven Basic Needs of a Husband” handout is 8 pages, while their “Seven Basic Needs of a Wife” publication is an 80-page book. Wives are so high maintenance.

  6. Ms. HalfEmpty
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 11:18 am #

    This post was hilarious! I too am willing to “sacrifice” my job for my husband’s manliness. I love how he focused on the sex part of the handout — so typical!

    Didn’t you feel a bit odd about buying your own copy of the document and supporting an organization with beliefs that you mock? Or does research just necessitate that sometimes?

    • logyexpress
      Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:38 am #

      I’m honestly just fascinated by these people. And I thought I’d turn the post into something bigger about the whole handout. But that would have been too long, so I kept it to the part of the handout I could see on the show.

      It was only 2 bucks, so I didn’t think I was making much of a statement. My only concern was getting on their mailing list and receiving spam from them, but so far so good.

  7. Eva Gallant
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 11:55 am #

    Excuse me while I gag! I question the sanity of a couple who has 19 kids in the first place!

    • logyexpress
      Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:43 am #

      I certainly can’t identify with the desire to have so many kids. But I’m sure they would question my sanity for having none!

      They would’ve had 20, but Michelle miscarried her latest pregnancy in December.

  8. Motherhood on the Rocks
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Oh please. People actually buy into this crap? lol

    following from FTF

    • logyexpress
      Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:52 am #

      I keep hoping one of the kids will say, “this all seems like a load of crap,” but so far no dice.

  9. sparkling74
    Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    I found it fascinating the other day when I watched an episode where all of the boys got to go play laser tag and SHOOT EACH OTHER! They can’t watch TV, they aren’t allowed to be on the internet but they can shoot each other and be excited about it. Hmmmm. Found you at finding the funny.

    • logyexpress
      Friday, March 30, 2012 at 12:51 am #

      I saw that! (Of course I did, I admitted watching this show regularly!). It did seem kind of odd.

      The craziest part was when Jim Bob (the Dad) stole the hiding place of one of his boys during the game. Josiah (I think) was hiding behind a bale of hay or something and Jim Bob came up behind him and pushed him out into the open, stealing his cover. Josiah got “shot” immediately and was out of the game. I thought that was pretty cold. And kind of dumb–if you’re really going to be that cut-throat, why not just shoot Josiah?

  10. Susi (@no1susi)
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 5:30 am #

    OMG! Ok, I love God and there are good reasons for many of those points. I just don’t like the way they are promoted here, it so degrades a woman’s value. It makes me feel that I shouldn’t be Susi or Susanne, I should be mrs (insert hubby’s name here). And the one about being financially independent is just ridiculous. How can it be wrong to bring money into the household? The only thing is that work takes too much time from homemaking (but I’m already planning to cut down on working hours btw).
    That guy on the show muste earn tons to provide for 19 kids and have a wife that thinks it’s wrong for her to earn any at all.

    • logyexpress
      Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 10:55 am #

      Honestly, I’ve never understood how this family makes money (well, now they do through the show and books and speaking engagements, but before all that they were “in real estate?!?”).

      I also don’t think all of the needs are “wrong,” some are just common courtesy, but the fact that wives aren’t entitled to the same respect and courtesy is my issue.

  11. Ada
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    I am *dying* here. This post is just too funny. I’m so glad I’m not the only one drawn to just horrific television. While I am not a wife (I’ve been living with my manfriend for nearly three years now, though . . . . *Scandal*!) it appears I’m well on-track to be a *terrible* wife. So many unspoken rules I didn’t know about!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

      Perhaps I should cover the other 6 needs in future posts so you can bone up? I did bother to purchase the handout…

  12. Catherine
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    Oh boy, this is classic on so many levels but first you must have a strong stomach to watch that show. I’m all for trainwreck TV and I watch my fair share of it but that one would make me stabby.
    Anyway, LOVE the conversation on meeting Dave’s needs because I would have pulled the same stunt and gotten the same response. How is that a man who can’t find the laundry hamper could immediately zoom in on the text about his physical needs?!
    As for depending on your husband financially, that is a legit question and I have the same take you do. At times (like right now when I’ve been unemployed for over a year) it would be nice to let go and know that I was taken care of but why is that the man’s job? Very confusing topic.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 9:56 pm #

      Yeah, Dave’s not observant at all, but I guess I know what’s most important to him! Dave actually comes from a pretty traditional family and I’ve always bristled a little at the clear gender roles when we’re visiting. So I’m not even sure I’d be able to quit even if we decided it was financially feasible. I’m torn.

  13. randomreflectionz
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    VERY funny. I find this impractical advice to be hilarious in its ridiculousness. Sometimes you just have to laugh and not get caught up in how “wrong” it is.

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

      I don’t know what it says about me, but this show entertains the crap out of me.

  14. TriGirl
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 3:07 pm #

    Haha, I’ve heard about this :) I can say from personal experience that being financially dependent on my husband was stressful and not at all fulfilling for either of us. But, I do love how your husband zeroed in on the physical happiness and you didn’t even see it! That would happen here too :)

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

      Yeah, I think my fantasy of “not working” would turn into a nightmare of cleaning, cooking, and doing all that “woman stuff,” (which currently gets taken care of very half-assedly or by Dave (cooking)).

  15. Pish Posh
    Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    This is ridiculous! You, on the other hand, are wonderful. We hurt husbands by having financial independence? Oh I don’t think so! Not having to be the sole supporter of the finances is a huge relief for anyone!!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      Why does WordPress think your comment is spam? Weird.

      I’m glad I rescued you from spam-world because you said I’m wonderful.

  16. LetMeStartBySaying (@LetMeStart)
    Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 6:58 am #

    “love is killed by self-sufficiency” <– I read that as Women Shouldn't Masturbate. Just so you know.

    I love this post, I love that you tried to use it to quit your job, and may have to become an on-call sex minion to your husband in trade for that.

    Came from the WOE linkup, knowing I'd find you there!

    • logyexpress
      Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 10:05 pm #

      Thanks for the laugh, hadn’t considered all the possible ways I could be self-sufficient!

      Dave’s the one who purchased my last sex toy for me (and yes, I just wrote that on the internet…at least I’m not providing a link), so he must not fully understand his husbandly needs.

  17. Nicole
    Wednesday, June 13, 2012 at 11:16 am #

    “But God wants you to stop crushing my spirit.”

    This made me l-o-l.

    Absolutely hilarious!

    • Tracy @LogyExpress
      Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm #

      Thanks Nicole. I totally set myself up for this. Of course he would focus on that need.

  18. Bonnie Vesely
    Saturday, June 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm #

    This is truly laugh-out-loud material! I left my day job last fall in order to start my own career coaching/writing business, and I’m afraid that my husband had some high hopes about what that could mean in terms of his/my domestic commitments – poor, disappointed guy.

    So happy to have found your blog through Write On Edge – and I’m sharing this post on FB.

    • Tracy @LogyExpress
      Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks Bonnie. Congrats on the business. It’s a dream of mine to open an ice cream shop. I’m sure that would make my time for domestic commitments plummet though.


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