Making a marriage work can feel challenging, but there are many things that a man can do to improve his marriage and become a better husband. Any husband can be a great husband. If you are unhappy with your marriage, the first thing you can do is start by working on yourself. Any relationship improvement begins with self-improvement.
1. Remember To Be Her Friend
Being a husband also includes being your wife’s friend! You’re the person she spends the most time with, who knows her better than anyone, and who she should be able to open up to. Ask her how her day was when you get home. Ask her about her friends, her job, her hobbies, etc.
Women are typically more of the social beings in the relationship. Entering into adulthood, establishing a career, and becoming a wife often means less time to socialize. And if she has children, that time becomes even less. Take the time to talk to her as a friend, too. If you can give her that friendship, it can be great for her overall mental health and happiness.
2. Learn Her Love Language
If you aren’t sure what “love language” means, read up on it! It started as a fantastic marriage book, but now you can find most of the information on the internet if you aren’t a big reader. It is game-changing for a relationship. In short, each person has specific ways they enjoy being shown love. Oftentimes, spouses have different love languages.
The five love languages are:
- Words of Affirmation
- Quality Time
- Physical Touch
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
Where most couples go wrong is that they tend to show their partner love in THEIR OWN love language because they know that’s what they would want, rather than showing love to their partner in their partner’s love language. Make sure you know your spouse’s love language and show her love and appreciation the way she enjoys most. This can be a powerful tool in making marriage work.
3. Look At Her Every Time She Talks to You
Eye contact is so important. It can be frustrating when you’re trying to talk to someone, but they’re on their phone or watching a show and not looking at you when you’re talking. If your wife starts talking to you, pause what you’re doing for a minute and look right at her, so she knows you’re listening.
Wives truly appreciate being prioritized over what you’re currently engaged in. And while it might feel like they’re constantly interrupting or nagging at you while you’re trying to do something, they will likely interrupt you LESS if you consistently stop what you’re doing to give them a minute of your attention.
4. Do Things For Her Without Her Having To Ask
Doing something without being asked is much more than just “helping out.” It’s a sign of respect, appreciation, and love.
If you notice the trash is full, take it out. If there are clothes on the floor, pick them up. If she usually gets the kids ready for bed, take the initiative to do it for her one night. She will notice, and she will be so grateful.
5. Never Stop Surprising Her – Bring Back The Romance!
In all aspects of life, never stop surprising her. At the beginning of a relationship, there are often little surprise gifts, nice things done for them, etc. These little surprises are a great addition to a good marriage.
Surprise her with a date night, or doing a chore for her, get her a small but meaningful gift, etc. You could just randomly give her a big hug and tell her how much you appreciate her, and that little unexpected act will mean so much. Being affectionate is a great way to surprise your wife.
6. Compliment Her Regularly
As women grow older and have children, their lives start to change. It can take a toll on their self-esteem and self-worth. If you can be the consistency in her life and make her feel as if your love for her, appreciation for her, and attraction to her haven’t changed, that can be great for her mental health.
Compliments are not just about physical appearance, although those are nice too! Compliment her parenting, her work ethic, etc. Anything you know she might struggle with or is working on being better at, let her know she’s doing great.
7. Be Vulnerable
To be vulnerable is to be your open, authentic self with someone. Letting go of your pride and sharing your feelings with a woman is a powerful way to bring you closer. Odds are, she wants and needs to be vulnerable with you. But, it can be challenging to be open with someone if you don’t think they are just as open and vulnerable with you.
Being vulnerable with her will help her feel closer to you and safe to be able to engage with you in the same manner. Vulnerability is key to a happy, healthy marriage.
If you have a hard time being vulnerable and understanding your own emotions, maybe offer to try marriage counseling with your spouse or on your own if you feel it’s something that might help you work through any possible marriage issues.
Marriage therapy can be a safe place to work through issues. A marriage therapist or counselor is the perfect third party to help, as they are not choosing sides, and it can be great to get an outsider’s point of view on your relationship problems.
8. Take Her Seriously, Even When It’s Hard
Some of the things she gets upset by may seem silly to you. But if it’s important to her, that should be enough for you to take it seriously. Don’t laugh when she’s upset about something; don’t tell her it’s no big deal.
The odds are that if she is upset about something small and seemingly insignificant, it’s probably a lot deeper than you realize, and it stems from something else. Remember that, and take her seriously. A happily married couple starts with two happy and mentally healthy people.
9. Express Gratitude for Everything She Does
The more grateful you are, the more grateful she will be, and that’s a guarantee! Tell her regularly how grateful you are for all she does for you and your family.
Don’t forget to be specific sometimes. Rather than just saying you’re grateful for everything she does, list some things you have noticed she’s done recently. If she cleaned the bathroom, tell her it looks great and thank her. If she puts your children to bed, tell her how much you appreciate her and how great of a mom she is. Showing gratitude is a great way to show her that you love her.
10. Prioritize Time With Her
If YOU take the initiative to make time for her, she will, in turn, need less of your undivided attention. Plan a date night, ask her if she’d like to watch a movie together before bed, go on a walk with her, etc.
It doesn’t matter what you do. If your wife feels you are making time for her, that will be enough for her to feel noticed and loved. Time together is the first step in improving physical and emotional intimacy and having a healthy relationship. Without spending time together, you can’t work through a failing or struggling marriage.