How to Be a Good Husband

So you got married and became a man of vows. All those promises you made to your wife really mean something now, so it’s time to start walking the walk. Fortunately, being a good husband isn’t impossible. It’s about following your heart, your conscience, and acting on your love for your wife. These simple steps, if taken seriously, can help lead you and your better half to a brighter future

Be a gentleman, if she’ll let you. Most, not all, women find the idea of a gentleman sweet and endearing. If your wife is that kind of lass, get ready to bust out your most chivalrous self. Think 17th century manners, or thereabouts:

  • Kiss her hello and goodbye.
  • Take her heavy shopping bags for her.
  • Open doors for her.
  • Pay for dates.
    • Of course, there’s always the chance that she doesn’t want you treating her in a gentlemanly way. If she doesn’t, don’t take it personally. Continue being sweet to her, even if you don’t give her special treatment.

Be respectful. Respect is an act of understanding. Understand that your wife is an independent, different person, and that she may not want to do the exact same thing as you, even though your interests are usually aligned. Here are four examples of ways you can be respectful of your wife:

  • Keep your promises. Do what you say you’ll do. If you tell her you’re going to do the dishes, don’t wimp out and then make excuses while she takes over your responsibility.
  • Be on time. If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time — say, pick up your kid at daycare — be there. Your wife’s time is just as valuable as yours. Respect it.
  • Stop assuming. Don’t just assume that she’ll do something because she’s your wife or a woman. Establish good lines of communication instead. Learn how to ask for a favor.
  • Listen to what she’s saying. Don’t pretend to listen — actually listen. Sometimes, the only thing we want is a good listener or a shoulder to lean on. Let her talk and be absorbed in what she’s saying.

Never lie. Get in the habit of telling the truth. Ask yourself how you would feel if you found out your wife was keeping anything but a birthday secret from you. Always tell her where you are going if she wants to know. Tell her who you are with. Tell her what your motivations are, even if you think they’re petty. Being open and never lying establishes great verbal communication, which is at the heart of all great relationships.

Never cheat. It goes without saying, but it must be mentioned. Cheating is a form of lying. You wouldn’t be very accepting of your wife having an affair, so why would you? If you’re having an affair, take a good, hard look at your life and ask yourself why you’re married to the person you’re married to.
If you love your wife but lust after someone else, realize how unfair the situation is. You want the comfort of your wife, but you’re not willing to be exclusive and honest with her. This is selfish behavior at its most basic. You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.
If you no longer love your wife, then why are you still married to her? Both of you would probably be much better off if you were given the opportunity to find someone you truly loved, or someone who loved you back. Think about it.

Find little ways to make her feel great.It’s funny because, often, the smallest things find a way to nourish a relationship. Ask yourself, what can I do to make my wife even happier? It doesn’t have to be earth-shattering to be effective. It’s the thought behind it, and the emotion in it, that’s the real gift:

  • Work on having a better relationship with your in-laws. Few things are more important for her than you having a relationship with her parents. You probably don’t see your in-laws every day, but that undersells the importance of the goal: ultimately, she wants you to love them like you love your parents.
  • Does your wife really care about charity? Invest in a microloan in her name, and give it to her as a present. She is now the proud beneficiary of someone else’s opportunity.
  • Do things around the house that she normally doesn’t enjoy. If your wife hates doing the dishes, for example, make her a little “get out dishes free” card, good for a week without dish-duty.

Show her you love her. Why did you marry her in the first place? Express to her why you love and how she makes you feel everyday. Do this often. It will lead to good habits, promote more love and affection in your marriage, and reduce amounts of stress.

  • Write her a short handwritten letter. Put it underneath her pillow; as you kiss her goodbye in the morning, tell her to check underneath the pillow. The note could say something like:“Every day I’m with you, I learn even more about how impossibly lucky I am. I love you.”
  • Come up behind her when she knows that you’re in the same room and give her a heartfelt kiss on her neck while wrapping your arms around her. It’ll make her heart melt.
  • Make your own romantic fortune cookie. Find a way to slip a personalized fortune into a fortune cookie your wife breaks open. Have it read something like: “Only you can make my heart crumble….”

Trust her completely. A lot of the things mentioned in this tutorial revolve around trust. If you don’t trust your partner, you’re probably living in a pretty miserable place. Learn to trust your wife in the same way that you want her to trust in you.

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