We all want to live happily ever after, but no one gives us a rule book for how to do that. But here are some tips for how to be the best husband.
We didn’t think it would be this difficult, right? You know… marriage. The Disney movies and chick flicks make it seem so easy. Find someone who’s cute and you like to be around, date for a while, propose, and then ride off into the sunset. Easy as pie!
Well, maybe not.
Whether you are a newlywed or have been married for decades, you know that marriage can be challenging. But you know what? It doesn’t have to be.
You see, it’s not that marriage is complicated, it’s that people don’t know how to do it right. No one taught us how to have a good romantic relationship… for the rest of our lives. And unless your parents were the perfect model for marriage, then most of us just didn’t have anyone to teach us.
How to be the best husband – Little changes that lead to happiness
Don’t worry. You really can be the best husband to your wife. But you know what? There is one thing you definitely need to know right off the bat. You need to put some effort into it. Yes, you heard me. You can’t just sit back, be lazy, and expect her to be happy. You have to actually take actions in order to be the best husband. [Read: 12 subtle signs of a loveless unhappy marriage]
I know, I know. We all just want to magically have the perfect relationship while simultaneously being selfish. Yeah, umm, that can’t happen. But the effort required to be the best husband isn’t really that difficult, so let’s take a look at some things you should be doing.
#1 Talk to her. This should be obvious. But to some men, it’s not. Believe it or not, a lot of husbands think it’s a chore to talk to their wives. They think that women talk too much and give too many irrelevant details about their lives that they just don’t care about.
#2 Share the chores. Sure, who wouldn’t love to have a maid to do all the household chores? I know I would! In fact, that’s one of my regular fantasies. But I digress. Here’s a newsflash – this is the 21st century. Gone are the days when the wife was the one who did all the cooking, cleaning, other household chores.
These days, women work outside the home too! They are tired. They can’t do it all by themselves. So, you need to be her partner and do your half. Don’t wait for her to tell you to do it, otherwise she’ll think of you as another child. And no wife wants a man-child around.
#3 Share the kid responsibilities. I know you don’t like to change diapers. Who does? I know your wife doesn’t. I mean, it’ smelly and gross. But beyond the diapers, kids can be just downright exhausting. Sure, we love them. They’re our kids. But we need a break.
#4 Help her keep track of plans. According to research, the most stressful thing for a woman is to be the only one who keeps track of plans for the family. She knows that Johnny has soccer practice at 4:00 on Tuesday, and Suzie has an appointment at the dentist Friday after school.
She also knows that you are getting together with the Johnsons next Saturday, and that you have to participate in a 5K run in May. This is exhausting to be the only one who keeps track of everything. So, in order to be the best husband, you have to be her partner.
#5 Pay attention to her needs. The world doesn’t revolve around you. While you rationally know that, a lot of men don’t get it. They are kind of selfish. Don’t be selfish. A marriage is about two people trying to meet each other’s needs, not the wife trying to please her husband 100% of the time.
Ask her what she needs. Does she like back rubs? To be alone for an hour with a glass of wine and a good book? Does she need you to hold her hand and cuddle with her on the couch? Ask her. She’ll tell you. Then do what she wants and needs. [Read: Selfishness in relationships – 15 ways to do the right thing]
#6 Don’t forget to be affectionate. I know that a lot of men aren’t highly affectionate outside the bedroom. But women are emotional creatures. We love touch. We love when you hold our hand or lay with us with your arms around us.
Yes, lots of men would rather just touch their wives in the bedroom. But here’s something you need to know. Touching your wife outside the bedroom gets them much more in the mood to be intimate with you inside of it. Touching is an extension of your love. [Read: 16 ways to show your appreciation for someone you love]
#7 Learn the Love Languages. This is huge. There is a famous book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Basically, it says that we all give and receive love differently. They are: (1) touch, (2) giving of gifts, (3) spending time together, (4) words *saying I love you and other compliments*, and (5) acts of service *doing things to help them*.
So, if one of you expresses love by touch, and the other person wants to hear words, then this can be tricky. Each one of you doesn’t recognize that the other person is expressing love in different language. So, ask her how she wants to receive love, and then express your love that way. [Read: 16 non-sexual touches to feel connected and loved]
#8 Understand each other’s personality types. Another really helpful hint for being the best husband is to learn more about each other’s personality types. Go online and take a Myers-Briggs personality test. It will tell you everything you need to know about each other.
Once you understand the personality differences between the two of you, then you can be more tolerant and patient with one another. You’ll never be exactly alike *that would be boring*, but appreciating the differences will help you get along a lot better. [Read: 15 subtle things that change when you get married]
#9 Don’t get lazy or let yourself go. Some people think that once they’re married, they don’t have to put in any effort anymore because the “chase” is over. But that’s when the real work starts! The fun part was the pre-marriage phase.
Don’t get fat and unhealthy. Don’t lay around the house like a blob while she’s running around like a crazy person trying to hold the family and household together. Take care of yourself, take care of her, and take care of the family. [Read: 7 eye-opening tips for how to survive a sexless marriage]
#10 Don’t forget date nights. Just because you’re married, that doesn’t mean that the romance has to die. Sure, having kids is exhausting, but you can’t forget to be lovers just because of that. The two of you need to have time alone to keep the romance alive.
So, in order to be the best husband, you have to plan date nights. They don’t have to be expensive or elaborate, but you do have to have them. Trust me, you’ll thank me for this advice someday.
Now that you have these tips for how to be the best husband to your wife, it’s time to get to work! With the divorce rate so high these days, you don’t want to become another statistic, do you? I didn’t think so.
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Dr. Carol Morgan
Dr. Carol Morgan has a Ph.D. in communication and is a professor at Wright State University where she loves corrupting young minds. As a relationship and succes...