We are continuing with our series on practical tips for becoming a better husband. Click here to read the first part.
6 Take time apart when necessary
In any long-term relationship, it’s natural for one or both parties to need some alone time (me-time) to unwind and focus on themselves. There’s nothing wrong with needing time away, but it’s important to be vocal about it and assure her that she shouldn’t take it personally.
- Designate one “free” day out of the week or month during which you can do your own thing, and let her do the same. If you have children, take turns watching them while the other one is out.
- Never lie to your wife to avoid having to spend time with her. If she really loves you, she will understand if you need to be alone or spend time hanging out with the guys.
7. Respect her standards for cleanliness
Some people are more comfortable living in a messy environment than others. To ensure that you both feel comfortable in your own home, make sure that your house meets the standards of whoever is most nitpicky about cleanliness. Just because you’re okay with extra dishes sitting in the sink overnight doesn’t mean that your wife is okay with it too, and you should respect that. If your wife is the messy one, then gently remind her every once in a while to clean up her surroundings.
8. Personal hygiene
Maintain your personal hygiene, be respectful when it comes to bathroom etiquette, and make an effort to stay in shape. Most men are guilty of being lackadaisical about personal hygiene, there’s a gross misconception that hygiene is only a ladies’ thing whereas, it is for both parties. Hey guys, please step up your cleanliness quotient. Not only will it make you more attractive to your spouse, but it will keep germs and infections at bay.
9. Get daily physical contact
Getting regular skin-on-skin contact releases an hormone called oxytocin, which reduces stress and increases feelings of intimacy in the long run. Physical contact doesn’t necessarily mean sex. Kiss her goodbye every time you part ways, hug her when you see each other again, and cuddle up in front of a good movie.
10. Laugh together
Every marriage has its ups and downs, and the only way to make it through difficult times is to maintain a sense of humour and be “silly” every once in a while. You don’t have to be a stand-up comedian, but you should make an effort to put a smile on her (and your) face every day. Getting regular laughter will not only improve your marriage, it can actually improve your health by lowering your blood pressure, increasing oxygen flow to the brain, and reducing stress levels.
11. Surprise her
Just because you’ve put a ring in her finger, doesn’t mean you should stop trying to win her affection. Ladies love to be chased and marriage shouldn’t stop it. Once in a while, make the same sweet romantic gestures that you did in the beginning of the relationship. Bring her chocolates, barbecued chicken, get tickets to her favourite show, or plan a surprise romantic evening.
12. Random act of kindness
Plan for it, write down what you’re going to do, then check the deed off once it’s done. Odds are, being deliberate in this way will naturally lead to more.
13. Talk openly about your finances
Money surprises are never good, so stay a few steps ahead and include your wife in an ongoing conversation about the budget. This does not mean monitoring her spending. It does mean that you don’t keep secrets, you value her input, and you make important decisions as a team.
14. Make the effort to find out more about your wife
What books did she read last year/is she reading now? Where would she like to go if you had a three-day weekend? What restaurant has she been longing to visit? Ask good questions, and then listen.
15. Make a list of the five things you’re most passionate about and where you invest most of your free time
If your wife is not number one on that list, then consider what steps you might take to make sure she is.
16. Confide in some friends
Make sure they’re friends who are in a relationship with some “spark.” Ask for their support and encouragement; exchange ideas.
17. Be deliberate about being positive
Take a look at your relationship with your wife; how much of your interactions are confrontational? How often are you fighting? Do you tell one another jokes? What’s the ratio of purely informational dialogue to talking that advances the relationship? Now make a concerted effort to initiate positive, intimate, redemptive conversations. Learn a new joke every day if you have to; the point is to be proactive, not reactive. Plan some fun, it doesn’t have to be expensive.
The summary of the above tips is to be intentional about making your marital experience a fulfilling and fruitful one. A great marital relationship doesn’t just happen. You’ve got to put in a lot of effort to make it work and above all, always commit your marriage to God. Pray daily for your spouse and be committed for the long haul. No shirking guys.
To your marital bliss.