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Survey Says: What Men Are Really Thinking

Updated: Jan 18, 2021

I spent the last several weeks asking real life husbands and dads some intentional questions about their lives. Questions around their roles in the family, their work life, their hopes for the future, their fears, what they love about life, what they struggle with, and more.

Here are some of the top answers. All are anonymous. I hope you enjoy it and I especially hope you glean some takeaways from it. 😉 -Kim

1. I feel the most appreciated when ______.

“I hear thank you for my hard work.”

“My efforts are recognized.”

“I am recognized for the work but in the house and at work by my spouse.”

“My wife compliments me since she knows my love language is words of affirmation.”

“I feel most appreciated when it is verbally communicated to me that I am.”

“My wife and kids recognize how much work/thought I’ve put into something and thank me/tell someone else about what I’ve done. Example: If I spend a lot of time/prep into making a meal I love to hear that they enjoyed it or brag about it to someone else.”

2. I feel the most loved when ______.

“My wife takes time to hang out with me.”

“I feel most loved when I am randomly given physical affection or cuddled up in a family sandwich watching a movie I am excited for.”

“I experience physical touch. Not always sexual.”

“[My wife and kids] take a genuine interest in my day/what I’ve been doing. Ask me how my day was, ask me about my golf game, ask be about my trip, etc.”

“Looks me in the eyes, places her hands on the back of my neck, smiles, and tells me something about me she loves.”

“She does something spontaneous for me.”

3. I feel the most respected when ______.

“My wife boosts me up in front of her friends.”

“I am asked for my opinion.”

“She comes to me first for insight and help.”

“[My wife] asks me for my opinion or a suggestion and then genuinely considers it as an option. They don’t have to choose my idea but don’t ask for my input and then immediately dismiss it.”

“I feel most respected when my opinion is valued without validation from other people.”

4. I worry about this ______.

“Succeeding at parenting; providing; our kids’ potential debt as young adults.”

“My kids not deciding to follow Jesus OR them ending up lonely. I worry my son will be treated differently because he is black.”

“I worry about not being the best husband or father at times.”

“I worry about the future for [our son] and how I can help him become more independent and successful. I worry that he will never ‘leave the nest’. I worry that he won’t be able to handle/process rejection (friends, girls, jobs).”

“Protecting my family.”


5. I wish you grasped that these things are on my mind as much as they are: ______.


“Seeking God’s ways.”

“Intimacy, finances (spending).”

“How much I miss spending time with [my wife]. No kids, not at home, not doing errands.”

“Ensuring that our needs as a family are met.”

“Future of our family and what is the next step.”

6. Here is something I want you to know about my job or work life ______.

“Difficult to play Doc, CEO, Accountant, etc.”

“I love working for my company but I’m worried that I have plateaued in my career but I’m nervous to make a big leap because of the impact it may have on our family. Worried about failure, worried about needing to move, etc.”

“Things can be more difficult than I make them out to be.”

“There are many knots to untie with customer satisfaction and internal support.”

“She may think that my work is all fun but there are days where it is very stressful.”

“I like to create new things and take risks but not too many risks.”

7. One thing I love about my wife is ______.

“Kind heart and meal prep. Her love of God.”

“Her drive.”

“She is caring and very thoughtful of others...loves GOD.”

“She has a huge heart for others.”

“She’s truly one of the finest people I’ve ever met. Her GENUINE care and concern for others is amazing. In addition to that, she is relentless in pursuing her passion whether that is theatre or ministry or something else.”

“Her patience and understanding of my son and family.”

8. One thing I don’t exactly enjoy about my wife is ______.

“Holding grudges, ‘keeping a record of weaknesses.’”

“Has a hard time admitting when wrong, ‘conversations’ can turn to arguments easily...I realize this can be by me as well.”

“She’s a people pleaser that can take away from our time.”

“When she gets in a ‘mode’.”

“Lack of confrontation, except with me.”

9. A few things I love about our kids are ______.

“They are goofy like me.”

“His independence and comfort that his needs are met and some of his wants every once in a while.”

“Love of God at a young age.”

“They are smarter than I think, they want family time, they want to pray.”

“Love to be active, are funny, are caring about others...LOVE GOD.”

“They are so different. I love when I can connect with [our son] one on one, whether it is over a movie, a meme, or a song. I'm convinced that when [he] decides what he wants to do with his life that it is going to be something I've never heard of. It is not always easy as his parents in his teen years but when we get that occasion where he's enthusiastic about something it's awesome to see him light up. With [our daughter] it is completely different. I love laughing and joking with her because our sense of humor is so similar. I love the way she is such a great balance between creativity and "type A".

10. A few things I struggle with, regarding our kids are: ______.

“Mindless silliness, whining, making time for family devotion.”

“Pester each other (I know this is normal), teaching them a healthy lifestyle.”

“Disciplining and getting them to get along all the time.”

“Right now I struggle with defiance. I know that the best in me does NOT come out when the kids are argumentative or just flat out refuse to do something. I try my best to keep my emotions even but I’m not always successful.”

“I struggle with ways to motivate him to challenge himself and do things outside of his element.”


11. I wonder if you realize how much I love this about parenting: ______.

“Doing things with them.”

“Just chilling.”

“The joy and ranges of emotions a child can bring.”

“Building Legos and sports.”

“Observing them learn through discipline is gratifying.”

“I love it when the kids make the ‘right’ decision on their own. Shows me that some of the things that we’ve been trying to teach them may be sinking in.”

12. I wonder if you realize I struggle with this regarding parenting: ______.

“Enjoying things that don’t interest me (as it pertains to the kids’ hobbies).”


“Knowing how to properly react in a heated situation. Many times the disagreements with the kids are between them and [their mom]. When do I jump in? How do I jump in? Am I just adding to the fire? We’re trying to parent a MUCH different way than I was parented so I don’t have a context to refer back to. Am I doing it right?”

“Finding enough time to do it well, even when exhausted.”


13. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being immense pressure), the amount of pressure I feel pretty regularly is ______.






“Regularly is probably a 5. Can flex as high as 8 or 9 depending on things.”

14. I feel the most relaxed when ______.

“The end of a work week, I eat a big meal and I get a drink.”

“Kids are asleep, I am enjoying soulful music.”

“I can enjoy something without feeling time constraints.”

“I’m outside in nature.”

“I know I have a few days of vacation planned and can unplug.”

“I’m in Glen Lake with my family.”

15. Regarding my family life, I like it when ______.

“When we can watch and enjoy a movie together or are together as a big family.”

“We are on the same page and communicate.”

“We laugh together and show affection.”

“We ALL do something together. Often it is a divide and conquer approach but love when we can plan to do something together.”

“We are outside together.”

“We can all be together and there is no complaining. (rare…:))”

16. Regarding our intimacy, ______.

“She’s amazing.”

“It is not frequent enough, but not my wife’s fault.”

“I wish it was more frequent and SPONTANEOUS/not initiated by me, and the feeling that because it has been a while she will reluctantly participate.”

“I enjoy it especially when she’s into it.”

“I think that when we are intimate it is better than it has ever been. More please.”

17. If I could plan a weekend with no judgement from anybody, and no costs prohibited, I would ______ with ______.

“I would travel with my family.”

“My first answer is that anytime I can get alone with [my wife] is my absolute favorite time. So if I’m going with that option- I’d love an all inclusive vacation somewhere warm. Mexico, Hawaii, Australia, etc. BUT I’ve also always wanted to take a REAL guys golf trip to someplace amazing- Bandon Dunes, Pebble, Myrtle Beach, etc. So there you go.”

“I would rent a beach house in the Florida panhandle and have all my family and friends over.”

“I would see live music and golf with my brother and two great friends.”

“I would golf with friends.”

“I would go jet skiing on an island with my family.”

18. I like it when you compliment me on ______.


“Leading our family.”

“My character.”

“Being an active parent with the kids.”

“My appearance.”

“My provision and spiritual leadership.”

19. I hope you see this strength of mine: ______.

“My foresight and vision for our future.”

“I know how to get things done. I may not always get it right the first time but I’ll keep at it until I do.”

“Constant drive to improve myself and our future.”


“Trying to live a Christian life.”

20. For the record, ______.

“I love my wife and should tell her more. And my kids :)”

“I want to lead more in the home but I am not a good planner, but my wife is a planner. That is great but it can smother my ability to lead. Last, I love my wife appreciate her but realize holding in my affection is really stupid on my behalf. She needs to hear it and deserves to hear it from her husband.”


“This was a good exercise. I appreciate being included. I’m thankful for my wife and my family. I know that we are not perfect and that we have challenges but I wouldn’t trade with anyone.”

“I ran a 4:33 mile.”


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