This ones for the guys.
Let me preface this post by saying that I am by no means an expert on marriage. I just have a number of things that have worked for me, and if they happen to be of any benefit to you – great! If not – that’s cool too.
Gentlemen, let’s not kid ourselves – we’re not as intuitive as we think we are. More often than not we need things to be made plain as day for them to “click” in our minds. Thus, if there is one recommendation I would give, one thing to take from this post above all else – it would be to ask.
My dad always told me growing up, “con hablando se resuelve todo“. Loosely translated this means, “things get resolved when you talk them out“. I have applied this principle to all aspects of my life – and I have seen its fruit.
Personally, I don’t trust my own judgment when trying to decipher how, or if, Bri feels loved. I would much rather talk out the details and ensure I’m on my game, than to think everything is okay – and they’re actually not.
So here is my recommendation: ask your wife the following two questions:
1.) What makes you feel most loved?
2.) How can I show you that I love you?
In most cases the first question answers the second – but ask them both.
Once you have an answer, make any adjustments necessary and stay proactive. There’s nothing worse than having a serious conversation about personal needs and having it followed up with inactivity.
One last recommendation – be open to correction. Believe me, I don’t like being called out, but if I’m not fully providing something my wife needs, then I should be man enough to know I need to put my pride down to keep our relationship on the forefront.
5 Easy Ways
The following list is based on conversations that I’ve had with Bri. While your spouse may have different preferences, I’d recommend trying any one of these.
Perhaps try a few- then ask if they resonate with her.
1.) “Let’s Get Physical”
Olivia Newton John said it best, “let’s get physical – physical“! Now before your mind wanders, this point is less about the bedroom, and more about small displays of affection.
A random kiss, hug, hand grab, etc., go a very long way, especially when done outside the contexts of a greeting or goodbye. While these little moments may seem small to us, they are significant moments of affection that speak volumes.
Full disclosure, this was an area that I personally needed to step my game up on – but I wouldn’t have known that, had I not asked.
2.) Pick Something Up
On your way home, swing by a store and grab something that she likes. It doesn’t have to be extravagant – it’s merely the fact that you went out of your way to get her something.
I remember once Bri had a particularly hard day at work. She was stressed, tired, and in need of a pick me up. So on my way home (and without her knowing) I stopped by an ice cream shop and picked her up a hot fudge sundae (her favorite).
The treat cost me 3 bucks, but the gesture communicated something far greater.
3.) Don’t Wait to be Asked
Bri and I both have things around the house that we typically handle. She’ll cook dinner – I’ll clean the kitchen after. She’ll do laundry – I’ll take out the trash.
There are times, however, when Bri may be a bit occupied (especially now with baby Judah). So instead of waiting to be asked, I’ll step up and handle the tasks that she normally would.
Interestingly, this gesture (for me at least) is never grounded in love per se’. I simply see something around the house that needs to be done – so I do it.
Bri, however, feels loved knowing that she can count on me to keep things going, even if it pertains to something that she’d typically take care of.
Again, I wouldn’t have known had I not asked.
4.) Leave a Note
Remember back in elementary school when you would pass little love notes to the girl you liked? Same principle.
It doesn’t have to be a chapter book. It doesn’t have to be a poem. Just leave her a little note wishing her a good day – telling her that you love her. Use a sticky note. Use a napkin. Leave a message for her on the notes app so it’s the first thing she reads when she looks at her phone.
Bri leaves these for me all the time as well, and I cherish them. I keep a little box full of them in my office for when I need some encouragement.
Bonus Tip: Speaking of notes, my brother-in-law taught me this one – keep an ongoing note in your phone of things she mentions she likes – it’ll make purchasing gifts in the future super easy.
5.) Acknowledge! Acknowledge! Acknowledge!
Bri makes dinner every night – so I thank her for making dinner every night.
I don’t say that to pat my own back, I have just come to realize that a “thank you” always conveys a sense of gratitude, whereas not saying thank you can often convey a sense of expectation.
Don’t be the guy that expects his wife to do things – be the guy that is grateful she does.
In my experience, I am much more likely to do something again, and gladly, when someone acknowledges what I’ve done.
So say thank you – and say it a lot. Earnestly acknowledge the things she does.
Let’s Wrap This Up
I once heard a Pastor say, “even after marriage, never stop dating your wife”. I took that to mean, never get comfortable. For whatever reason, however, our relationship with our spouse can become so routine. I haven’t been married terribly long, and I’ve already seen how easily “getting comfortable” can be.
I think for us as husbands we have to be especially conscious that we remain active in our “pursuit” of our wives. Part of that, in my opinion, is trying our best to understand her and her needs.
1 Peter 3:7 says it best, “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together“.