I hate to admit it, but I was kind of a mean little ninny when I got married. I had all kinds of ideas on how to be a good wife, but often gave in to a sour temper and worried mostly about myself. Almost 14 years have passed, and I’ve learned a lot in that time. Most of it taught to me by my patient and loving husband, but I have picked up a few things from observing happy couples, reading books and just personal experimentation.
I think there is a fallacy out there that your man has to be perfect for him to deserve your best effort in loving him. It’s a lie. Give him your best. Be the initiator, and if he isn’t a jerk, or abusive or a mistake, I’d bet he will reciprocate in ways that will surprise you.
Have you ever had a panic moment when you realized you were feeling a little ambivalent in your marriage? It’s not uncommon to have that loving feeling ebb and flow. Don’t freak out, it is just what happens in direct result to how we treat each other – not some sad nonsense the world tells you about “falling out of love”. No such thing. The feelings we have for each other are always our fault, good or bad.
I want to share a few ideas on how to help your man feel your love. Spoiler alert: these tips will also help you feel love for your man. Might even make you go buy new perfume or shave your legs. I’m just saying…
Jeffrey R. Holland wisely said, “The crowing characteristic of love is always loyalty.” We may pat ourselves on the back for being loyal in deed, but we also can show loyalty in word.
Compliment him in front of his friends and family or even your friends. Complement him in private. Compliment him in front of his children. Say something like, “Kids did you know your dad is the best ______?” or “Do you know why your dad is so awesome? Because he ______.”
Put a hand on his shoulder or face and tell him he is handsome. You might be in a place where it is hard to think of a compliment. Start small – start anywhere. If he isn’t used to you doing that, he might be taken aback a bit. But he will feel good-whether he admits it, or not. Find a way to compliment him every day.
“What can I do for you today to make you happy?”
Mean it and do it.
Be prepared when you ask the magic question, he may answer something astute such as err… um.. gee… I dunno. That’s okay. Don’t take it personally. Just offer ideas, like a foot rub with lotion while you watch his favorite show. Or asking what he’d like for dinner. You know your guy.
If you are a spiritual couple, pray together at night. Hold his hand when you kneel and express to God your gratitude for specific things your man has done, such as provide for your family, help with the kids- anything you admire or would miss about him if he were gone. On your own, pray for your husband, mention his specific challenges. You might mention to him he’s been in your personal prayers.
If you find yourself silently arguing with him while you do the dishes, or wish he were THIS or wish he were THAT or why can’t he just….Stop it. Appreciate the good he does and leave the fault finding behind. Ruth Bell Graham said, “Marriage is the union of two good forgivers”. True that, Ruth. True that.
Ladies, you have incredible power to makeover your heart. Give some of these ideas a try. I bet you have some great ideas of your own, as well. Do share!