Did you guys know that I have a degree in this stuff? Yeah that's right. I am all sorts of full of all sorts of marital advice. Marriage is challenging, mind-numbingly hard at times. But also amazingly rewarding. Let's focus on the latter. Want a better relationship? Make your husband feel loved. You will be amazed at how things shift and improve. Men are men after all.
Say Something Nice. It's just reality. My husband sees me at my best, but he also sees me at my worst. There are times when I am not as nice as I could be (that's putting it mildly). But I also know about the magical 5:1 ratio. Listen up because this is scientifically proven. To have a loving and successful marriage, you have to follow the 5:1 ratio rule. That means, for every negative comment, you must make 5 positive comments to maintain a healthy balance! Think about it, and be truthful with yourself. Are you doing your part?
Here are few suggestions...
1. Text him a nice message while you're apart. "Just wanted to let you know I'm thinking about you. You're awesome! I can't wait to see you!"
2. Make a big deal about something he does. "I really appreciate you doing that for me. You're so nice and I'm so happy to have you!"
3. Make a big deal about his accomplishments (even the small ones). "Wow, I had no idea you could do that. What talent! You really impress me."
Show Some Respect! Research shows that men would rather be respected than loved. I know, crazy talk, right? But this is men we are talking about. We think differently, but neither men nor women are better. We're just different. That's why it's so important to learn what your husband needs from you to feel loved. So what do you do to show him you respect him? Consider saying "I'm proud of you," rather than, "I love you." I'm not suggesting that you stop telling him you love him, but rather that you mix it up a bit. Also, people become how you treat them. Treat him like he's amazing and chances are he will rise to the occasion. (Disclaimer: sometimes people are just jerks.)
Ideas for showing respect...
1. Tell him how impressed you are with his hard work and say thank you.
2. Give him a call at work (or a text) telling him to keep up the good work and to have a great day.
3. Talk about his successes in front of his friends or in public!
Get Intimate. Your husband feels connected to you through the act of sex. I know, seems strange to us girls. Talk to you husband about how he feels about sex and try to understand. Put yourself in his shoes. Try to see sex as an opportunity to connect with your husband. The mere act of sex makes your husband feel connected, secure, loved, and confident. Don't think of it as a duty, or a task to check off your list. Think of it as an opportunity to give your husband positive feelings. Just a little shift of your thinking will make a big difference.
Some ideas for making your husband feel "wanted"...
1. Whistle when he walks by or give him a little squeeze in public (discreetly and tastefully of course)
2. Surprise him with candlelight and ....
3. Discuss how often each of you would like to be intimate and do your best to accommodate his request.
If You Love Him Set Him Free. No one wants to feel confined by the bonds of holy matrimony. I decided long ago that I wouldn't be one of those wives whose husband complained that his wife wouldn't "let him." Of course sometimes I say no to what my husband wants to do. But I use the absolutely necessary rule (say yes unless it's absolutely necessary to say no). And when I do say no I don't just come out and say no, like I'm his mother, I site the reasons it's not a good idea or a convenient time and then I ask him what he thinks. Most the time he decides "on his own." When I do have to just say no, I make sure he knows my reasons and I do it nicely. In return, he doesn't say no to me either and we both get to enjoy our favorite activities.
Here's an idea...
1. Suggest he invite his friends over to watch the game while you take the kids to do something. He'll probably fall off his chair.
2. Next time he asks about a fishing excursion or bike ride reply with, "That sounds like a lot of fun, you should totally do that."
3. If he wants to do something that's not practical or possible, rather than say no outright, make a suggest to modify the activity in a way that will work for both of you. "That fishing trip sounds awesome babe but may instead of three days in (a few states away) you could spent a night at (insert favorite spot closer to home)."
Do Something Fun. Have you ever asked your husband what he and his best buddies talk about and received a blank stare in return? We girls like to delve deep into our psyches and explore a myriad of issues with our girlfriends, it's how we bond. Men bond through activities. How they are able to bond over a football game is beyond me, but it's true. So bond with your man by getting out and doing something you both like to do. Don't be afraid to try new things together. And don't be afraid to try things he likes to do. I used to golf with my husband. I think I liked it at the time, haha. But seriously, I have discovered some of my favorite activities though our time spent trying new things.
A few more ideas...
1. Instead of dinner and a movie hit up the local bowling alley or tennis courts.
2. Each put three activity ideas in a bowl and pick one out and make a date out of it. Creativity, spontaneity, and activity = sexy!
3. Say yes often enough that when you do have to say no he will agree that you usually say yes.
Need more help? Here are some books I have actually read and recommend.
Should we Stay Together?
Five Love Languages
The Big Leap