|November 18, 2006|
Here are four things I believe changed my marriage for the better:
1. Brag on your husband. Nothing is off limits.
Too often, women gather together to diss on their husbands and complain about all the stuff they don't do right. When you take time to brag on him instead -- both privately and publicly -- you show your husband he is respected and esteemed. You also shape your own perception. The more you talk about his virtues, the more you'll start seeing them instead of any weaknesses.
2. Ask what three things you can do to be the best helpmate possible.
It's impossible to do everything we think a "good wife" should. A lot of those things might not matter to your husband anyway -- they're simply a means of comparing ourselves to other women we know. I mean, my husband couldn't care less about whether the kitchen is clean (that's my pet peeve!). What's most important to him is that I make his lunch every day, do the laundry often enough for him to have clean undershirts, and take care of feeding the dogs. These things might change, so check in with him on a monthly or annual basis. Doing this will help take off some of the pressure you feel, and make your marriage less stressful overall because you know where to focus your energy.
3. Let him help you solve a problem.
In other words, don't be so independent! Our husbands want to feel like they are a help to us and that we respect their opinions. But don't ask for help unless you're truly willing to consider what he has to say. Not that you have to do exactly as he suggests, but it wouldn't be very uplifting to him to have his opinion asked and then disregarded completely.
4. Give him 15 minutes to himself when he gets home from work.
Many guys need time to transition from work life to home life. That can be difficult for us to understand if we've been home all day or busy with the kids. We see him getting home as a win for us -- "yay, he can take the kids so I can finish up dinner without interruption!" But giving him that little bit of space when he returns home -- after a quick kiss and hello, of course -- lets him decompress and switch modes without feeling overwhelmed.
Your Turn: What things have made your marriage stronger? If you aren't married, what have you seen in other marriages to make them healthy and vibrant?