The beginning of a relationship is always exciting—your first meeting, your first date, your first year together, the wedding, the honeymoon. It’s all so rosy and giddy. However, after the honeymoon passes and the married couple starts to adjust to the intricacies of life, they realize that they have a partner share their life experiences with. Slowly, both of you become so used to each other that the romance starts to dwindle.
If you are a man who wants to be a husband cherished by his spouse, you have to put in the work to maintain—and rekindle, if gone out—the spark and make your spouse feel loved. To become a better husband, you must learn to put your spouse first, which is something a lot of people are not used to.
Well, that’s what this article is for. Here are seven ways to help you become a better husband to your wife.
Identify things about your spouse that you’re thankful for
There’s a very good chance that you and your spouse looked on each other as perfect when you first met. When you’re infatuated with your spouse, it is very easy to ignore shortcomings and faults in the person. But as time goes by and things like work, finances and health start to affect you as an individual, you’ll begin to notice things that you find annoying or irritating in your spouse.
The best way to override the negative effects of this is to replace the negativity with positivity and gratitude. Try to make a list of things you’re grateful for about your spouse every day. Think deeply on these things and write them down, no matter how small they might seem. If you find it difficult to identify something, ask yourself—and answer—some questions. These questions include but are not limited to:
- Is my spouse understanding and caring?
- Do they help me pay the bills?
- Does my spouse accommodate my perks even if it inconveniences them?
- Does my spouse help with house chores?
- Do they help me pick up the kids after school?
- Do they assist me at my work?
Being appreciative of certain aspects of your spouse every day will create a shift in the way you view and treat your spouse. If you can, communicate your gratitude to them. Tell your spouse all the ways in which you’re grateful that they’re by your side. Make them feel special.
Doing this can make you become a better husband. It will also foster positivity and gratitude in your marriage.
Work on yourself
Just as it is important to be good to your spouse, it is equally as important to be good to yourself. Your spouse is supposed to be your companion and friend, not your babysitter. It’s not appealing to be lazy, stubborn and arrogant. People with these negative characteristics often get trapped in the same situations repeatedly, thereby creating more problems for themselves and loved ones.
It can be hard to notice the bad about yourself and call yourself out on them, but it needs to be done. When you find yourself in a situation where you get triggered, take time to analyze and discover those particular triggers. Find out why those things triggered you—introspection works great for this. Use whatever you realized as a starting point to improve yourself.
For example, if a statement your spouse made about your job situation gets you angry, you might suspect that you have a self-esteem issue. You can go to the library or bookstore to get books on building confidence.
If you can, start practicing journaling. It involves free-writing your feelings down in a journal or diary. It can help you keep track of your good and bad traits, and help you clear your head. If you don’t know how to write well, here are some tips to become a better writer.
Understand that everyone has shortcomings. To become a better husband to your spouse, you have to be completely honest with yourself about your faults and commit to improving yourself. You don’t have to fix all your shortcomings to make your partner happy, but it’s good that you make an attempt to grow, be happy and become a better person.
Geelong Thubten’s book, A Monk’s Guide to Happiness, details all the ways in which you can become a better person.
Communicate with your spouse properly
One of the biggest culprits of broken marriages and relationships is the lack of communication. Marriages are bound to implode if every complaint, dissatisfaction and grievance is not addressed for a long period of time.
However, it is often difficult to communicate these things to your spouse without offending them. If there’s something about your spouse that annoys or irritates you, it is imperative that you first analyze that thing and figure out whether you can work on it or not.
For instance: Your spouse comes home after a hard day at work and tries to unwind by watching their favorite show on TV. Turns out that this show is one that you dislike very much. Instead of throwing a tantrum and picking a fight, you could try doing something else to pass time. If your partner wants you to watch an episode of the show with them, you could either gently explain that you’re not a fan of the program or you could just indulge them and stay. Instead of focusing on how much you dislike the show, focus on how happy your partner is because of your presence.
If there’s something you want your partner to do or change, try to tell them without being unnecessarily mean. Don’t use strong adjectives.
For instance: Your spouse spends too much money on shopping and this is putting a strain on finances. Instead of screaming at them to stop shopping, you can call for a meeting in which you address the topic with valid reasons why their behavior is generally negative. After that, you and your partner should try to find common ground on the matter.
The level of trust you and your partner share will increase when conflicts are resolved in this manner.
Go on weekly dates
It’s safe to say that the beginning of your relationship with your spouse was rosy. Both of you were infatuated with each other. You went on dates thrice a week and sent good morning/good night text messages every day. But a few years after marriage, life caused the routine to change, and you both hardly spend quality time with each other.
No matter how tough life gets, it is very important that you make an effort to get to know your spouse. If you don’t, the romance will slowly fan out and your marriage will begin to feel like a chore.
To remedy this, try to schedule a weekly date on the calendar and stick to it. This date should not just be limited to fancy dinners in fancy restaurants. The date can be something as simple as an indoor Netflix-and-chill night with loads of popcorn, chocolate, and drinks, a walk through the park or even an at-home spa day. Just make sure that the date involves something that you and your partner love doing. If that activity creates an opportunity to have a conversation, even better!
Apart from your weekly dates, you should try to buy soft gifts for your spouse. They don’t have to be fancy—just small things to let them know that you think of them often. A bouquet or a box of chocolates can do that!
Speak your spouse’s love and apology languages
There are five major love languages: physical touch, words of affirmation, acts of service, quality time, and gifts. Knowing which love language your spouse speaks will save you a lot of time. Work to find out how exactly your spouse wants to be shown love; don’t assume that the way you show love is the way your spouse wants to be loved. For example, you may enjoy surprises and gifts, but your partner might just want a hug!
Show your partner that you really love them. Don’t assume that they know. Yes, they do, but hearing it from you will spark the fire. Be creative with your exhibition, but make sure it aligns with their love language.
Here are some tips:
- If your partner loves words of affirmation, you can slip a card or love note in their bag or under their pillow every morning.
- If your spouse loves physical touch and quality time, try to run both of you a romantic bath. Decorate the bathroom with roses, candles, and fairy lights. Put scented oils and Epsom salts in the bath. Make sure there’s wine, too. Lots of it.
- Celebrate anniversaries together—first date, engagement day, birthdays, years of marriage, etc.
These can really help solidify your relationship with your spouse.
Similar to a love language, a person’s apology language is the particular way they like to receive apologies. Knowing how exactly to apologize to your spouse can help you resolve conflicts and get past disagreements very easily. If you’re not sure how your partner likes receiving apologies, have a conversation with them to find out.
Take responsibility for your own actions
Are you the type of person that likes to extricate himself from situations when things go awry? Do you try to find a way to put the blame on your spouse?
Well, it’s high time you stopped. This action does not help you become a better husband in any way.
Not everything is your spouse’s fault. Sometimes, you’re the cause of the trouble or, at the very least, you contributed to it. The best way to move through it is to own your part in the problem. Take responsibility for your actions and try to learn from your mistakes. Refusal to do so is the same as saying that you’re a perfect being—which no one is.
When you argue with your spouse, don’t try to shift the spotlight by shifting blame to your spouse. Blame-shifting usually sound like these:
- It’s your fault!
- You did this…
- If you hadn’t done X, Y wouldn’t have happened…
- Well, you need to fix this…
- If you had let me handle this alone…
Instead of using ‘You’ statements, start using ‘I’ statements. Rather than getting defensive, just acknowledge that you had a hand in the problem. Make a habit of owning up to your wrongdoings and be willing to say these powerful words: I AM SORRY.
Express appreciation more often
In a relationship, both parties involved usually have a desire to be understood and to know that their emotions and actions are valued. The best way to value your spouse and make them feel secure in the marriage is to simply show them that you appreciate them.
You don’t have to book a ticket to the Maldives for a two-week vacation to do this. If you can afford it, great! I’m sure your spouse will LOVE it. But honestly, it’s the small things that count. A text message, a compliment, and even a simple note can go a long way in solidifying a relationship.
You can help you spouse feel understood and validated by letting them know that they are appreciated and that their efforts are not in vain . It is not enough to just say ‘thank you’. Be specific. For instance: if your spouse buys you a gift or does something nice for you, don’t just say something as vague as ‘thanks babe’. Instead say something like, ‘You know what I really need. I see how thoughtful you are towards me and the kids. Thank you for that. I really appreciate it.’
See the difference?
It’s all about being specific and intentional in the way you express appreciation. Focus on your partners and their actions and strengths. Doing this can greatly increase your marital satisfaction.
Here is a recap of the ways through which you can become a better husband.
- Identify things about your spouse that you’re thankful for
- Work on yourself
- Communicate with your spouse properly
- Go on weekly dates
- Speak your spouse’s love and apology languages
- Take responsibility for your actions
- Express appreciation more often