My husband wrote a post on “12 Ways To Be A Better Husband“…. and his willingness to strive to be a better husband amazes me every day. I consider myself a lucky lady.
His post really got me thinking about all of the things I need to work on in our marriage.
And there are lots. LOTS.
He is typically the one in our relationship who is easier to get along with. He is agreeable, hard-working, passionate and the first to say he’s sorry when he knows he is wrong.
Me, on the other hand? Phew, I’m what they call “the feisty one“.
I often wonder how in the world my husband puts up with me.
I’m bossy, impatient, need lots of attention, stubborn (oh how I am stubborn) and not near as affectionate as I should be. I’m often quick to make judgement on his “big ideas”, I’m skeptical of everything and anything, including his choices on dinner plans, and I love to argue.
I think I should have went to law school.
When it comes to being a “wife”…I don’t always measure up. Of course, there are things that I do well (cooking isn’t one of them – ahem), but there are also a whole lot of things that I could improve on.
If I were all of those things I mentioned above and unwilling to admit any of it? I might consider myself a bad wife. But one thing I am willing to do…is recognize areas I could improve on and then be committed to making sure I genuinely work on them.
I am human, just like you. I make bad choices, I’m selfish at times, quick to anger and slow to forgive. But, I’m working through all of those things with Jesus on my side.
Ladies, grab a pen – or bookmark this on Pinterest (the 20th century way to take notes) as a reminder of things that will help you keep your man happy and your marriage from failing.
Here are 13 ways to be a better wife:
1. Shower Him With Affection – You Go First
If you think your man doesn’t like a sweet peck on the cheek, an unexpected bear hug or for you to tackle him on the couch and shower him with kisses?
You are wrong.
I know it’s hard to believe ladies, but men do actually care about other things besides just sex. It’s true.
I tend to have the mentality that men should always be the one to initiate affection. I want him to come home from work and greet me with a kiss. I want him to grab my hand and hold it during church. I want him to cuddle up to me before bed “just because”.
So many times I sit back and I “wait”. I wait for him to be affectionate. I wait for him to make the move. I wait, wait, wait and I never go first.
He is always telling me that he wishes I would initiate affection more. Men want to feel loved just like us and even though, they feel loved by different things, a hug and a kiss are a universal way to show affection no matter the gender.
So, if you constantly wait around for you hubby to make the first move (I’m not talking bedroom move – just affection in general)…stop waiting.
2. Brag On Him in Public
We get together with our girlfriends and we love to complain and “vent” to them about everything our man does wrong. Can I get an amen?
It’s so easy to fall into that. Trust me, I do it too. And sometimes we do need to vent to our best friend, but we also need to realize that we need to share the good things too.
I remember I had a friend that always talked smack about her husband when we went in public. She constantly bashed him. I’m sure she wasn’t doing it on purpose…but it left me only knowing the negative things about her husband and her marriage.
I’m sure there were good things about him and wonderful things about her marriage, but she never talked about them.
Next time your out with the girls or even out on a double date…brag on your man. He deserves it!
3. Forgive Easily
I was born as stubborn as they come so forgiving is something that I have had to pray about over and over and over again.
There are so many times that we get into silly arguments, raise our voice, and then ignore each other for the rest of the evening. If he’s wrong, he usually is quick to say he’s sorry. But me? I am slow to forgive him…even if it’s half my fault.
It’s definitely a character flaw.
I have this wall that immediately goes up any time there is tension and once it’s up… it doesn’t easily get broken down.
Try taking a moment alone. Pray and ask Jesus to help you forgive. It has done wonders for my ability to forgive.
4. Praise Him for What He Does
Our expectations of our husbands are that they SHOULD help do the dishes. They SHOULD take out the trash. They SHOULD help with kids bedtime routines. They SHOULD drop us off at the door of a restaurant. They SHOULD, they should they should.
And I’m not saying they shouldn’t, but I’m saying they deserve a little praise every now and then for the little things.
My husband took my minivan last week to put gas in it. I thought to myself…”that was sweet.” And then I never shared with him how appreciative I was. Not only do men like to be patted on the back for their thoughtfulness, but it’s also HUGE incentive for them to do it again.
He told me that he had no idea I even cared about him putting gas in my car, but now that he knows it means something to me? He will do it more.
Praise your man – even for the small things!
5. Give Him Direction (without being bossy)
This one is SUPER hard for me because I am an only child and I am pretty sure that I was probably bossing people around since the time I was two. Not proud, but speaking truth here y’all.
Most of the time that I get angry at my husband for not doing something…he responds by saying, “I didn’t know you needed me to do that.” To which I reply, “Well you should know.” Haha!
Prime example that men need direction.
They can’t read your mind and they certainly weren’t born with the Spidey Intuition (just read here if you are confused). They are ok with you giving them direction, it’s just the tone of the direction that you need to be careful with.
I like to bark directions. You know, demand things instead of politely ask him to do something. Oops.
If you need your husband’s help with something don’t expect that he “just knows” what you need. Ask for his assistance (in your sweet-convincing-I-love-you-more-than-life tone).
6. Show Interest In his Interests
I live with four boys. Everything in this house revolves around sports, sports, and more sports.
And dirt. Because boys are dirty.
I often grumble at the thought of having to watch another NFL game on TV. Ugh.
Last summer my husband (and my three boys) decided they wanted to take a two week RV trip and travel 3,500 miles.
A little known fact about me: I’m a girly girl. I like hotels. With room service. Not campgrounds and disgusting bugs.
However, I decided that I was going to “man up”, as I like to say, and take the adventure with them with a smile on my face.
Not only did my husband absolutely love that I went out of my comfort zone…he adored that I actually made an effort to do something that interested him.
And now this summer he’s taking us all to the beach (which is my ideal vacation). See, show interest in his interests and he will return the favor!
7. Make Him A Priority
Maybe you don’t have kids that rule your life, maybe it’s a career or a hobby. Either way…it’s so easy to make your marriage last on your priority list.
When we had our first child our world revolved around the baby.
So much, in fact, that our marriage started to really stink. Not dirty diaper stink. Like, I resent you and can’t stand you, kind of stink.
As a woman and a mother I was putting just about everything ahead of my marriage. We rarely took dinner dates, never went on vacation and making love was often more of a chore than a benefit for me.
I finally started to realize that if I didn’t change, if I didn’t start taking time for my husband, our marriage was not going to make it.
You have to make him a priority. It’s a must.
8. Let Him Have Guy Time
In college, my husband and I treated each other rather poorly. We lied to each other and had major trust issues. We were both young and stupid. That is all I can say about that. Haha!
When we first got married and he wanted to have a “guys night” I would get so jealous.
I don’t know if it was more because I didn’t trust him or more because I wanted him to constantly be with me. Or both.
But I do know that it had a negative impact on our marriage for many many years.
Looking back I realize that I was being silly. But I also realize we are both different people now and when he goes out with the guys these days? I trust him. I know that he will respect me and my feelings and, more importantly, I know he will respect Jesus.
I wish I could give you a formula for how to make this work. I realize a lot of couples have issues with this topic. What I can say is that we started by creating boundaries for each other.
I told him what made me uncomfortable. Whether it was him complimenting other women or simply telling me that he would be home at a certain time and not show up till later… I told him what made me feel icky. I felt like if we communicated about the things that bothered me then we could move passed it. And so far, it has worked.
Men need guy friends. They need guy time. They need someone to talk football with. I mean, I can talk football, but it drives me batty.
Let your hubby have some time with his friends.
9. Dress Up For Him
I work from home, often in my yoga pants. It’s one of the perks of quitting my full time corporate job.
And now that I’m happily married with no one to impress but my husband (who should love me no matter what) I often forget that he likes to see me make an effort to look good for him.
When we go out to dinner or to the movies my mommy-brain says “wear yoga pants and your North Face”, but my wife-brain says “wear something nice for your man”.
Don’t ever stop dressing up for you husband just because you are lazy. They still want to see us put effort into our appearance. I promise you that.
10. Pray Over Him
This is one that I definitely need to work on more.
When my husband looks and acts stressed, my first reaction is to be annoyed. That is a selfish reaction, I know. I am working on changing the way I react by trying to pray over him.
Talk through the things he needs prayer for. I realize that Jesus is the only one who can give him peace.
Ladies, turn to Jesus more. Even when it feels awkward and weird…ask your husband, “Can I pray over you?”
11. Trust His Decisions
Trust, trust trust. The most controversial word in marriage.
I like to lead, whether we are ballroom dancing or I’m backseat driving? I like to lead. It bugs the socks off my husband.
He just wants me to trust his decisions. It’s soooo hard for me. But when I don’t trust his decisions it says to him that I think I know better. I know more.
It’s degrading to a man when you don’t respect and trust his decisions. Granted, if your man is making bad decisions time and time again then maybe that his something you need to have a heart-to-heart about.
But, generally speaking if your husband is constantly being questioned about his decisions he will start to resent you.
12. Plan a Romantic Getaway
In our house? My husband is usually the romantic getaway planner. He should really write a book on romance 101. He is the King.
I am probably opposite of romantic. I’m awkward.
Romance is sometimes uncomfortable for me because it involves being super vulnerable.
But I swear, I planned a romantic night…hired a sitter, made dinner reservations and took him to the place where we first met. He loved it. Like he loved it so much that he offered to do kid bedtime for 7 days straight.
See, ladies? Being romantic can be beneficial for you.
13. Be On His Team
When my husband comes up with a new idea, instead of being excited for him, I’m skeptical. I question him. I look at all the negative things it could mean.
To put it mildly, I burst his happy bubble.
I think I do that because I am more of a realist than a dreamer. It’s not in my nature to dream big. I can only see the NOW. But what I finally realized about him and his ideas is that he is doing just that…DREAMING BIG! And what worse way to dream big then to have your wife crush your dreams before they’ve hardly even begun.
Now when he comes up with ideas I try to cheer him on! I get excited with him and I support him.
Don’t forget that y’all are on the same team, working towards the same goal. Be his cheerleader!
14. Want Him
I know I said this was only 13 ways, but I can’t believe I totally forgot about one of the most important ones. Yes, it involves sex.
You’re too tired. You’re stressed. You’re dealing with kiddos.
The last thing on your mind is taking your man to the bedroom and getting busy. Ladies, I feel ya.
But your man needs to know that you still desire to make love to him. Just like we still need to know that our men still desire to cuddle us (or be on diaper duty).
If sex is an issue in your marriage you need to resolve it. And not by avoiding sex altogether. Find ways that you can make time for each other and show your husband that you still find him just as attractive as you did when you got married.
Start Being A Better Wife Today
The best way to be a better wife is to be your husband’s biggest fan while still maintaing your own identity. He likes to see that you are strong and independent, but he also wants to know that you need him more than life. There’s a balance that you have to find, but finding it is crucial to being the best wife you can.
If your marriage needs a little pick me up I suggest trying out The Love Habits. It’s a good way to keep your marriage on track or to get back on track.
What other things did I miss? How do you strive to be a better wife?