It may surprise you that your husband is not at all hard to please. You may think so because you’ve tried making him romantic dinners and while his belly was grateful, he didn’t turn into a blubbering mass of romance and sing your praises. Maybe you’ll get tired of hearing this, but Proverbs 31 talks about a man who loves to brag about his wife from the rooftops. He is proud to call her his wife and thinks she is the best thing that has ever happened to him.Let’s be honest, we don’t want to be extravagant wives or have to “top” the next loving gesture. After reading P31 you might start wondering exactly where to begin, but the reality is that your husband isn’t expecting extravagant, and the little things really do make a huge impact.
My husband and I sat down and talked about these for a while, we discussed what makes a man really start thinking about his wife (aside from the obvious) with stars in his eyes. We discussed how much effort a woman would have to put in to make it stick, and it turns out that it’s not much and a lot of it includes your daily routine anyway!
Drum roll please…
A note or a word can change the tone of a man’s entire day. If you’re not gushy like me you can put something surprising in there that will thrill him to his core, but to you it might look like putting a lump of coal in his lunchbox. Tell him you respect him and why. I’ve learned that if you don’t put at least one reason why (and there is always at least one) he will come home excited to ask you to elaborate. Thank him for working so hard to allow you to stay at home with the kids if that’s your story. Tell him that you think he is the best husband ever in short hand and it will still floor the guy. Time investment: 2 minutes.
Help him – this is a huge one for my husband. He loves taking on projects and doing things on the side, but usually always needs some kind of partner, helper, assistant or what have you. An example is that recently he bought a drone. Yes you can fly a drone by yourself, but he wanted to play with the camera settings while it flew. So he handed the device to me since I know a few things about photography and he flew the drone around town for 20 minutes. Not a huge time investment! Imagine if your husband asks you for 20 minutes of your time, excited to do something new and you are “busy” or “can’t” which is usually relative anyway. Imagine his dejection and sense of resigned “fine, I’ll do it by myself.” Turn off the stove, get up from the computer, put the baby in his pack n’ play, go!
Play with him at the things he likes to play: video games, basketball, catch. He will enjoy teaching you, and once you’ve gotten the hang of it he will have some decent competition. I play Xbox 360 with my husband and we love the types of games that require teamwork! Lego Indiana Jones is our go-to. Time investment: 15 minutes, but you get hooked and have to finish the levels, which takes about 30. If you’re not a video game fan, ask him to teach you to play his favorite card game or sport. Men love teaching their wives, it is healthy and makes him feel powerful.
Ask for his advice when you are stumped, but here’s the kicker: take it. Even if you think there might be another better answer out there, if it is not a life or death situation (shiffon blue or teal blue?) go with his decision. When he sees us taking his opinions seriously, there is something very special that happens in a man. His confidence goes through the roof and he even begins to take on his role as head of the house with more gusto.
Your presence is something that we often overlook and wonder why in the world he cares if I sit next to him while he watches the football game. It matters, and he notices. There isn’t a science behind it, it’s just who they are. Men love to feel like their wife simply wants to be in the same space as him. There is an awesome story in the book Love and Respect about the neighbor lady who sat on the lawn filing her nails while her husband tinkered with the car in the driveway. Comparing them to many other neighbors’ marriages these two were die hard lifers. I’m pretty sure no one ever asked them if filing her nails on the lawn was what kept them together for all those years, but there is an easy way to prove my point: ask your hubby. Time investment: if he doesn’t mind you tinkering with Pinterest while he watches the game, almost none.
Support his decisions. This is something everyone wishes for. Everyone. Not just men. The big difference being that when wives support their husbands decisions (even the bad ones) they have a stronger bond as a couple, he learns from his mistakes, appreciates when she keeps quiet about that fact, and the next time he will either a) make wiser decisions based on experience or b) listen to your opinion. This is a long term investment! While deciding to support him takes all of 2 seconds, it’s sticking to your guns when the poop hits the fan.
Attentiveness to your husband is antiquated, but still a powerful tool in a wife’s arsenal of happy arrows. What do I mean attentiveness? Fold his socks. Sometimes when he sees the house clean, delicious food in the fridge, and the kids all happy and excited that daddy is home. If you tend to the children, they are happy, and when daddy gets home and doesn’t have to listen to whining about their “boring” day, he knows your job is done.
Last, but absolutely not at all the least:
Be a mom boss. My husband wanted to remind us that our main job and ministry is the family, so while the marriage and kids don’t get neglected, working the mompreneur wheel is exactly what will make him start talking about you randomly to his coworkers about his awesome wife.
I want to take a moment to talk about the time investment of a mother’s side hustle. If you decide to go that route, you have to calculate how much time counts as not neglecting your family, but also has a great return on investment. I just read a great article about a mom’s success story of investing 10 hours a day her first year and measuring the ROI of her tactics. I wish I could remember who she was! I can’t find a pin or a tweet anywhere that could point you to her. If you find her, let me know. She also talked about how 10 hours seems like too little, but when you consider that 10 minutes to spend with your husband is hard to sift out of your day, imagine 10 hours out of your week.