The little things really can make a big difference!
I’m proud to say I’ve been married about four and a half years now. That makes me some sort of expert on women and marriage, right? (I’ll let my wife’s eye roll answer that question.)
I’m always learning and being challenged, and of course, trying to be better at actually doing the things I know I should do. These ideas I’ve either picked up from other people or just from experience.
Also, some context about where I’m coming from: I work from home, and my work is our only source of income. My wife takes care of our two small children, does most of our shopping, and does most of the household work. Everyone’s situation is different, and that’s fine; I don’t intend to imply that all marriages have to have our exact arrangement. But I mention this because it’s this arrangement I know best, and some of the ideas I offer below relate specifically to our situation.
And now, in no particular order, here are five simple ways that I think a husband can start loving his wife better today.
1) Ask her about her day before you start talking about yours.
You both have worked hard. You’re both tired. You both might have things you want to share. But ask her about her day first. Always.
It shows you value what she does and what she’s thinking, which shows you value her.
I recommend it even if you have big news. Unless something is urgent, asking her about her day and then sharing big news shows that much more how much you care about her.
2) Explicitly thank her every day for her work for the family.
Your wife works hard and is probably not getting lots of other kinds of recognition for her work (money, public praise, etc). You need to make it clear that you recognize the work she’s doing and that you appreciate it.
And while everyone has a different love language, just thinking you appreciate her is not one of them. You need to communicate it to her in some way every day. Tell her, leave her a note, get her a gift – do something.
3) Always be appreciative of what she does for you, even if it’s not done perfectly.
She’s your lovely wife, not an employee or a servant. If she’s doing something for you, you should be appreciative. Even if there are flaws, say thank you and point out what you did like about it.
For example, didn’t think dinner was that great? Eat it and thank her anyway. Don’t criticize.
4) If something needs to be done, and you’re both tired, be the one to jump up to do it.
It’s the end of a long day for both of you, you’re both relaxing, and your little bundle of joy makes the biggest dirty diaper you’ve ever seen (or the dishes still need to be done, or something else needs to be cleaned up, etc). You both pause, waiting for the other person to jump up.
You should jump up and take care of it. As the husband, you’re supposed to be the leader of the family. Lead by doing work neither of you want to do.
5) Compliment her regularly and without needing a special occasion.
If she’s your wife, she’s beautiful and wonderful. And when you see other qualities you admire, let her know.
6) Be sure to spend quality time with your children in the evenings.
This is a win-win for everyone. You get to have a fun time with your kids, your kids get to have a fun time with you, but this is also a way to love your wife, for two reasons. First, she’ll enjoy seeing her husband building good relationships with your children. Second, if she’s been with the kids all day, you spending time with them gives her a break to do other things.
Simple, right? Now go out there and love your wives!
Now I want to hear from my readers, men and women. Disagree with anything? And what did I miss?
Brantly Milleganis an Assistant Editor for Aleteia. He is also Co-Founder and Co-Editor of Second Nature, Co-Director of the International Institute for the Study of Technology and Christianity, and is working on a M.A. in Theology at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. He lives with his wife and children in South St. Paul, MN. His personal website is brantlymillegan.com.