HE’S NOT YOUR PRINCE CHARMING: what every woman really wants #4


Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman,

or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?

Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you.

Rejoice in the wife of your youth.

She is a loving deer, a graceful doe.

Let her breasts satisfy you always.

May you always be captivated by her love.

Proverbs 5:20, 18-19

Dear sons,

Just a few weeks ago when I asked women to write and tell me what they really want from a man, I got so many responses I had trouble reading them all. Some funny, some sad, some silly, and many wise words of what women want and hope for and need in order to thrive.

Yet there was one thing I didn’t hear from even one woman, and it surprised me. Because I know that it is what every woman wants more than anything in a relationship with a man.

One thing without which every relationship is doomed…

One thing that is critical for the happily ever after…

Every woman, every single woman without exception, wants her man to be faithful.

Hers and hers alone from this day forward and forever.

So why didn’t anyone happen to mention faithfulness? Not even one?

I think I know. Because I am a woman too and it’s what we hardly dare talk about. As if merely mentioning the idea that my man might possibly choose someone else might jinx us.

It is the unmentionable, unimaginable, too-horrible-to-think-about worry of every woman.

Every single woman. 

My dear sons, I have scraped the wounded hearts of too many women off the floor. Soaked my own skin with their tears. Carried the weight of pain they were never meant to bear.

All because a man found it irresistible to slip between the sheets with a woman who had convinced him he was irresistible. Or because a man felt that somehow his own pulsing needs were more powerful than his promise of forever.

And no woman ever recovers that part of her soul that is lost when the man who chose her chooses another.

Good men fight every day for purity. Not for perfection, but for the strength and courage to “contain his own vessel in sanctification and honor” (I Thess. 4:4).

Yet I would like to suggest that faithfulness is more than simply staying out of another woman’s bed.

Faithfulness, the way a woman defines it, means staying wholly devoted to your wife through good times and bad, not matter how she is or how she looks or how you feel.

And so, my sons, may I offer you…

Three Ways To Stay Faithful To Your Wife:

1.    By focusing on her

Every woman knows she’s not The Most Beautiful Woman In The World. We are surrounded by the marketing magic of men (and women) who exploit the magnetic pull a woman’s body has over men.

Then we look in the mirror.

But when a man, a good man, looks at his wife and tells her she is beautiful, when he lets her see the sexual pull she elicits from him, when he uses his eyes to rebuild the beauty she thinks she has lost… something magical happens in her insides.

She feels beautiful.

The mirror doesn’t matter as much as what she sees mirrored in your eyes. She stands a little straighter, acts a little sexier, tries a little harder because you’ve given her what she really wants— you’ve given her your whole-soul faithfulness.

2.    By delighting in her

Every woman longs to be captivating. She wants to be so alluring, so lovely, so clever that she pulls you in to a cocoon of oneness with herself.


A good man gets that. He understands that to remain fully faithful he must choose to remain captivated by his wife for the rest of his life.

No matter who else vies for his attention, no matter how much she changes, no matter that three kids have wrecked havoc with your once orderly home— NO MATTER WHAT!

To remain faithful, a man must remind himself every day how delightful his wife really is. And if he’s really wise, he’ll say it out loud.

3.    By pursuing her

Every married man, at some point, figured out how to pursue a woman. Some better than others.

For some men, that act of pursuit is something of a game. A battle to be conquered. A woman to be won.

For others it is more like a chore that needs doing in order to get what he wants.

Either way, may I suggest that just because she wears your ring does not mean you’re finished?

Women are, by nature, responders. God made us that way. Part of what a man gets when he pursues is this magnified response a woman emanates when she is being pursued.

Stop pursuing her and she stops responding. Keep pursuing her and she’ll flirt and give and be the delightful woman you want.

Pursue her heart. Ask her questions. Give her gifts that mean something. Carry her burdens. Share your fears. Lighten her load. Open her door. Keep taking steps towards this woman you’ve pledged your life to.

If you will do this: If you will focus on her, if you will delight in her, if you will pursue her heart, her soul, and her body— all of her— and if you will keep on doing it every day for the rest of your life, then you will be a faithful man.

To you faithful men, THANK YOU. Keep at it. You are our heros.

From my heart,


P.S. Girls, can you tell us how your man is delighting in you and focusing on you and pursuing you?

And men, can you chime in here? Women are reading this who want to know— how can we help? Has your wife helped you to remain faithful? Can you tell us how?

More on this next week…

December 9, 2013
Charming, Features
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20 comments... (add a comment)

  1. Ann Menke

    AMEN! Thank you Diane for so beautifully putting to pin what each of us women know to be true. We want to feel loved. We want to be wooed and pursued. We want to feel special to our husband. I am so very thankful to have a husband that continues to woe and pursue me. Doesn’t our Heavenly Father also woe and pursue us?

    • diane

      Yes, Annie, He sure does! And when we revel in that pursuit we become beautiful all the way through. You’ve got a good man, dear friend, and I know you value him well.

  2. I cried all the way through this. Diane, you consistently write what is in my heart. I am finding as I break the soul-ties to the times I was wounded by my husband’s unfaithfulness….God is healing the wounds of my heart. I am not getting ill any longer when my husband comes home in the evening. Praise God! 45 years of marriage….and God is giving me hope for the husband you have described.

    • diane

      Dear A,
      The wounds from unfaithfulness go deeper than any of us can imagine… and deep wounds take a long, long time to heal. But we are redeemed by the One who calls Himself Healer. So good to hear that it’s happening in your heart- and so wrenching to know how deeply your heart hurts.

  3. Mr Anonymous

    Another great article Diane! Having been married for a number of years now I most definitely know that the desires of a woman’s heart for her husband/partner to faithful. It is something that men also desire in their partner as well. While I think we can all agree that for woman it’s fair to say that faithfulness stems from emotional needs. However, for men the concern for faithfulness is based on a response to their women’s lack of interest or discontinued desire for their husbands both intimately or from a companionship standpoint. (It’s all up in our heads) Now I hope what I’m about to say doesn’t spark any debate, I’m merely sharing my opinion and I feel it important to mention that I firmly agree with the above article you have written, Diane. For many, many woman the concern/fear of unfaithfulness can be one of strong emotion. Your article is in my opinion very geared for the men out there to see and hear. Focusing on wives, delighting in them and pursuing them, are all very important and necessary in order for a woman to feel wanted/needed/desired and secure in her relationship. I do feel though that this article when read by woman who’ve not followed other articles you’ve written, can almost be “heard” as an “emotional entitlement” for a woman’s needs to be secure in their own minds so they feel their husbands know what it means to demonstrate faithfulness. While I know that this article was written by a Godly woman and wife, whose heart is most definitely in the right place and with all of the best intentions, I can say from my experience speaking with other men on similar subject matter that the topic of faithfulness most definitely has a very ugly and dark side that many men struggle with. I don’t feel it necessary to go into detail about that right now, but I will reference other important articles that Diane has written that I would say in some cases are the basis for men’s dabbling in even minor unfaithfulness. The articles themselves are not the cause, but the things written in them that if they are not read by the same woman reading this article, they need to read) Both men and woman experience faithfulness/unfaithfulness in different ways throughout their lives, both good and bad…

    While I do feel that not many men voice their feelings or responses to as many articles on this blog as I’d like to see, I sometimes recognize the need for a voice of the men out there who may read this blog, but don’t have the confidence to share even though, Diane, you are very open about hearing them. I’d like to share links to articles you have written in the past I think are very important to reference. I feel they are necessary for woman to also read because of how these related topics you’ve written about can encourage them “with” their husbands/partners in creating “faithfulness” together. They will help woman understand what men need equally in order to share the above mentioned (Focusing on wives, delighting in them and pursuing them). I’m encouraged by many of Diane’s articles and I hope that for many of the men and woman of all ages they understand that a marriage always requires work from “BOTH” husbands and wives equally. I believe that no other Godly gift has greater responsibility than that of a marriage. Woman if you have not read these articles please do so as they will give you some insight into the things you may be unaware of that encourage your husband’s faithfulness. ;)





    Thank you.

    God Bless all of you wonderful Woman for without you, our muses, we wouldn’t aspire to do more and be better. ;) You are truly a Man’s greatest gift from God.

    • Mr Anonymous

      I apologize, I’m not sure why my post kept putting “woman” instead of “women”.

      • diane

        I love this Mr. A! Thank you for responding and for urging us to do our part. Your comment has prompted me to start writing next Monday’s post about this very thing…

  4. Wife to a Christian husband

    O man… I didn’t realize this was even a part of a yearning inside of me until I read your words… and tears filled my eyes and my throat closed in – I knew – YES this is my hearts cry. All of it.

    I honestly don’t have a fear of my husband cheating – but when you explained faithfulness as so much more…. THAT I related to – completely.

    • diane

      Dear Wife to ACH,
      While I was writing this post there was a group of men meeting in the room next door (at church) about how to regain their purity and self-control. I felt the weight of their battle as I wrote… and so much courage to be strong men.

  5. Jeanette Waterman

    I’m wondering if women didn’t mention this because they assumed it was a given that their husbands who vowed their faithfulness would do just that! It’s trust!
    I appreciate your words and know how devastating it can be to not have your husband focus on you, delight in you and pursue you. It’s a good reminder to husbands and wives to be pursuing a selfless love and for husbands to love your wives as Christ loved the church. That’s ALOT!!! A sacrificial love is focused, it delights and it pursues.
    Good job sis!

    • diane

      Dear Jeanette,
      I grieve every day for the loss you have endured by unfaithfulness. Thinking of you and praying for you as we put up the tree. I know you are healing and growing ever more beautiful. And you are so right- Jesus loves like this every day of our lives. Thank you, sis.

  6. Phill Bocchi

    I think the biggest thing that can help for us men us for women to be FEMININE!!!!! Be that girl that it’s expressive I know with my girlfriend, (who I know wool be my wife some day) I can’t get enough of her reactions, and how girly she is is so cute!!!! We men thrive off if the joy we bring to our ladies. If the woman is too strong willed pursuit is hard to obtain and maintain. Be a traditional woman!! And you will attract men like me :) But I’m spoken for!!! Love you Leanne!!!!

    • diane

      Love this! Especially your response to your girlfriend’s femininity. A woman can be both strong and accomplished and soft and beautiful. Sounds like you’ve found a good one!

  7. Jodi

    So true and so wise. Thank you for more beautiful insight. I am so grateful for a husband who continually pursues me. I know it’s a gift that I don’t take lightly.

  8. In my book for wives, chapter #9 is “A Husband Needs His Wife. . . To Love on Him.” Initially, it’s easy to make a to-do list: text him, leave a note in his briefcase, welcome him home, redecorate the bedroom, let him control the remote, tell him he’s handsome, try a new shade of lipstick and ask him to test it, straighten his necktie and sneak a kiss, hold hands, jump in the shower with him, write him a poem, wink across the room, tell him he’s a good father, tell him he’s your best friend, etcetera. But the best way to love on your husband . . . is to love on yourself. Women, please! Look in the mirror and see something beautiful. Hey, if your husband thinks you’re attractive, you are! Even better, look in the mirror and see reflected back someone of infinite value that gave up his life for you. That’s right! See the Lamb of God in your mirror. You are worth Jesus. You are worthy of love. And if you feel that way, then you just might finally allow yourself to be loved by your husband. Love yourself so you can better love your husband.

    Be captivating!
    /jay payleitner

    • diane

      THANK YOU! Such rich and encouraging and do-able words. I’m on my way over to Amazon to order your book for more of that wisdom for wives.

  9. Anonymous

    Dear Diane,

    As a 25 year old woman who has recently experienced unfaithfulness in my marriage for the first time, I cried through every word of this post. At the time I found out about my husband’s affair, I was at home putting my two young sons to bed, and I was 8 months pregnant with our baby girl. My good friend saw my husband out with the other woman, and she told me, right away. I am so thankful she did, but it was the most shocking earth shattering “the last thing I thought would happen” on that day. The minutes and hours and days and weeks that followed were at times, a nightmare. An ugly, demonic, nightmare. I didn’t know what was real anymore. Sometimes I still struggle with this, even though my husband has turned in full repentance from his sin. I don’t want to digress too far but it was actually John Mark’s book My Name is Hope that got through to my husband. My husband had to go on a business trip just 2 days after I found out about the affair, and I sent it with him. I had had the book for awhile, but for some reason almost out of nowhere I felt the Lord telling me to give it to my husband. So I listened, and gave it to him, not sure what he would think of it, and he called me later that day weeping. He felt that God had dictated every word to him, and he broke. This was almost 6 months ago and since then life has been a roller coaster of emotions, especially for me. Each day a little bit more healing takes place which is a good thing, but my question is, how does a woman ever fully heal from adultery? I am really deeply struggling for the first time in my life with strong feelings of inadequacy and insecurity. I constantly think things like, I am not beautiful enough, thin enough, patient enough, perfect enough, and now I notice every woman around when I am out with my husband. I notice the ones that linger when they look at him, and it fills me with feelings of deep sadness, frustration, and anger, and my heart drops to the floor because I am so wounded, and I’ve been so betrayed. Don’t get me wrong, there has been a lot of healing, and we have seen God do tremendous, amazing things in our marriage. There is so much beauty that has come out of our ashes! Still, at the risk of sounding cliche, I feel like I’ve died a little inside, and I don’t know how or if I will ever be the same. What can I do? What can my husband do?

    • diane

      Dear heart-broken A,
      Thank you for telling your sad story. And for allowing us to see some hope in it as well. I will love passing on to my son that his own dark struggle with depression was used so vividly in your husband’s life.
      May I urge you to reach out for help in order to fully recover from your husband’s unfaithfulness? This is not something that any of us should do alone. You need a wise and welcoming older woman you can be honest with. Or a biblical counselor who can help you to think truth and give you perspective. My fear is that if you don’t, you will find the skills you used to “cope” may well prevent you from fully healing. If you are a part of AJC please contact me and I can put you in touch with a trained counselor who can walk beside you. If not, go to your pastor and let him know you need a woman to help guide you.
      I am SO sorry for your grief. You have lost so much in this. But one thing I know, you are loved deeply by the One who knows everything about you.

  10. Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your blog, I love reading your posts and they are so encouraging to me! Although sometimes they are hard for me to relate to because I am just starting college and also not married. Your stories inspire me and teach me for when I will be dating and married someday, but I was wondering if you would consider writing a post sometime for all the girls who are dealing with healing their hearts after breakups. I recently just got out of a relationship, and even though I have focused my heart on God and he has comforted me in ways I never could have imagined, I still struggle with missing someone who was so important to me and the patience of waiting for God’s future plans for my love life.
    Thanks once again for all of the time you put into this blog and helping women.

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