A Great Husband
There is no one-size-fits-all formula for being a wonderful husband. Every wife and every marriage is different. But there are some common issues that many married couples face, and if you’re dealing with them, the following guidelines will help you become a better husband.
Being a Good Partner Means Showing Her You Care
Be honest. In a mature relationship, honesty is the best policy. It may be difficult, but the truth will allow relationships to breathe. No matter what happens, no one can ever challenge the fact that you are truthful, which might mean that the other person also gives you the same respect. If something doesn’t suit them let them know, otherwise they will not trust your opinion. But make it sound like a compliment.
- Suggest an alternative and attach praise to the alternative. For example, if they ask you if you like something they are trying on (trying on, not already wearing at a party!) let them know that it might work but you think the blue one is your favourite so far because it shows off their great (insert a feature you appreciate, preferably not one that they are self-conscious about).
- It’s not going to be easy to be honest and kind at the same time, so focus on learning how to positive, loving feedback and you’ll both be better off.
Communicate. Do not talk her ear off; however, make sure that if you have any problems that will affect your mood, she is made aware of the reasons for your problems and mood, so that you do not appear to merely be a fickle and cranky creature. Zone out everything around you when you’re talking to her. If you ask her a question, ask because you really want to know. For example, ask her what type of movies she enjoys, or about one of her favourites.
- If you know it, talk about it a little bit in an honest way, what you thought of it, and make a guess at why she might have liked it. Even if you are wrong, your mate will usually love the fact that you are interested enough to try. Remember, the opposite of talking is not waiting, it’s listening.
- Make sure you’re actually listening, not just waiting for your turn to talk. Put off a vibe that tells her that she can tell you anything. Make her feel safe.
Do your part. Don’t make her ask you to pull your own weight around the house. This makes her feel like a nag, and it creates an adult/child relationship. Which is never good. She is your partner not your mother. Show her she can count on you to get things handled.
- Clean up after yourself (figuratively and literally). Loving husbands know that anyone can father a baby, but only mature men who understand and accept responsibility can be a good fathers.
- Do it yourself or be a good helping hand. Great husbands refuse to make anyone do anything they themselves are unwilling to do. Helping your wife doing tasks or chores will gain you great respect from your wife if your consistent and willing.
Seek emotional maturity and take responsibility for your actions. Responsible people honor their commitments, accept their duties and are accountable for damages they incur, debts they owe and claims they make. It’s part of growing up, a man steps up to the plate, while a boy complains or criticizes.
- Make some sacrifices. Mature people make some sacrifices for the people they love and care about even if they would rather have it easy.
Don’t brush your wife off. People often find it exasperating when they get the feeling their partner treats them as an inferior in a relationship. Women are no exception. A lot of people have been taught that the only way to get attention when their partner is trying to ignore them is to act more emotional and be louder until the partner finally surrenders and pays attention to her even if in annoyance.
- If people feel they’re being given the cold treatment by people who are supposed to be important to them, they get worried. Especially when it happens without you giving an explanation for why this disturbance has occurred. People aren’t mind readers. Your mate is not likely to be able to guess that you’re cranky just because they wouldn’t let you do something that they felt was very trivial, whereas you found it important.
- If you know that your mood might lead you to overreact, simply say “I’m feeling really irritated right now. Can we talk about this later after I cool off a bit?” (Don’t forget to follow through and actually give her your time later.)
Don’t show her even the mildest forms of contempt. Contempt is poison in a relationship. You don’t have to act like you like what she said or did, but do not take on an attitude of superiority, even subtly in passing, such as momentary smirking, sighs of disgust or eye-rolling. Such gestures, though seemingly insignificant, deeply show a lack of support, respect and trust, especially over a period of time.
- The way you naturally act towards her should subtly validate her as a person, even when you do not understand or agree with her. Giving eye contact when she has something important to tell you shows respect; not giving eye contact shows disrespect and that you don’t care about her or what she has to say. This will destroy any attempt to communicate well.
- If you show contempt in front of your child(ren) they will then feel that is an appropriate way to treat their mother. A son may feel he can treat his mother with contempt if he witnessed you treat your wife that way.
Prioritize your partner. She is the partner you have chosen: treat her as such. Talk with your wife and set clear expectations about what decisions you can make without each other, and what decisions must absolutely be discussed. Ask her opinion when in doubt with “Let me talk this over with my other half.”
Be her greatest supporter. Be someone she knows that she can always count on. Be there for her when she has had a long day. Listen to her with attentive eyes and ears. Back her up and ask if she needs you to protect her, both physically and emotionally. If you have done something to hurt her, even if you didn’t mean to, tell her you are sorry and show her affection. This must be sincere! There’s nothing worse than an “I’m sorry” that is put on or phony.
Take care of your relationship. Your wife may not need “taking care of” – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still care for her, and for your relationship and family. Your wife may feel overwhelmed with kids and work. Help out; cook her favorite food or make her favorite drink. Help with the kids and help around the house (like doing dishes). Wives aren’t superwomen as much as you’d like them to be.
Be romantic. What “being romantic” means varies widely from person to person, but at its core, romance involves doing something to express affection in a meaningful yet unexpected way. A true act of romance requires creativity and sincerity, often inspired by love (either its presence or its possibility). Reintroduce the excitement that characterized the beginning of the relationship. Do something different, something that your wife wouldn’t expect. The more out of the ordinary, the better.
- Treat your wife like they’re single, like you’re trying to earn her affection and trust. The opposite of being romanced is being taken for granted. No one wants to feel like they’ve already been “caught” and it’s over and done with.
- There are millions of ways to say “I love you” and “I’m lucky to have you.” Think of the world as your medium. You can write it, say it, sculpt it, look it, hide it, shout it, paint it, kiss it, fold it, grow it, touch it, and express it in unlimited ways.
Keep your sex life invigorated. Kiss her goodbye in the morning like you don’t want her to leave. It gives her something to think about all day. Be romantic. Suggest new ideas. Ask what she likes. Be willing to put her pleasure ahead of yours. Talk about it. Intimacy (emotional and physical closeness) is important to women.
Give gifts as a surprise. Anyone can buy a gift for a birthday, Christmas or an anniversary. Listen to her when you are out window shopping, and if there is something she likes, and it’s within your price range, remember it and surprise her with it when she least expects it, for no reason at all. Or pick something up on your way home from work, and tell her you were thinking of her when you saw it. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive – a book you know she will like, or a CD of her favourite band are nice gestures.
Give what she needs. Ask her for what she needs to feel loved by you. If she needs you to give her compliments, learn to master the art of compliments. If she needs to you to come home on time, be on time. If you know that you are going to be late coming home, call her and let her know. If she needs you to help children with homework, spend time with the family instead of going out with your friend, or spend a quality time with her, give it to her. Being married is being of service. You give your wife because you love her. True giving is to give what the other person needs.
- Be aware that she may not perceive love the same way you do. Quality time, gifts, physical touch, verbal affirmation, and acts of service are the different “love languages” you and your wife might have – make sure you find out what hers is, and speak her love language, as often as you can.
- Treat her like she’s the only girl in the world, after all, she is your life partner.
- Tell her what you think, don’t assume she knows. When you think she looks nice, tell her, when you are thinking you are lucky to have her, tell her. Just like you, she’ll like hearing she’s valued.
- If you say you’re going to do something, don’t forget to do it. It’s easy to overcommit yourself when your wife starts telling you what she’s noticed needs your attention. Be clear and firm about what you will or won’t do, and make your priorities clear to avoid taking on too many of her requested “To Dos”. You aren’t her servant and your priorities may differ from hers; clear communication will help you avoid having a nagging wife.
- Show her you love her. Actions speak louder than words. Make time for your family and treat her respectfully; if she feels neglected or unappreciated, she may start looking for someone new.
- Discuss your financial dreams together and research and plan to achieve them together.
- Spend quality time with her. This means laughing, talking, just having fun together. Make her see that wherever you are you feel good when you are with her.
- Make your family and friends respect her as your wife regardless of what you go through in relationship.
- Praise your wife in public, but if you notice something you’d like to comment on, please find a private moment. Don’t criticize! Make concerns known in a diplomatic positive way. It is very important to women about how they look to other people. Do Not make her look like the “bad guy” or that there is something you don’t agree with (even if there is). The appropriate time to discuss those matters is when it is just the two of you, not in front of people when she will be embarrassed. In public make sure everyone around you knows she is your girl! Hold hands whenever possible, kiss, hug, open the door for her etc. To her you are letting everyone know you’re off the market.
- Don’t make her feel like her voice (in other words her feelings) doesn’t matter.
- Some women need more attention than others. Some would rather hang out with their friends, while others consider their husband their best friend.
- Be up-front about platonic female friends. Hiding them may create the illusion that your feelings for the friend(s) are suspect. If she “finds out,” it may not be possible to convince her that you and your friend are “just friends.”
- A great husband is not an obsessive or smothering one.