To love your husband isn’t always the biggest issue on our list of marriage concerns. Sometimes it’s when you wonder whether you even like your husband.
If you’ve read anything about me, you know that the first year of marriage was h-e-double-chopsticks. You can go ahead and assume that I behaved perfectly and loved him through all of his flaws. Our marriage counselors at the time advised us to love anyway. For me it wasn’t that hard. I was still in love! I just couldn’t find it in my heart to like him… at all.
The key of course is to work on your friendship with your husband. To like him, you gotta be his friend.
If you’re thinking, “Have you met my husband?” Being friends with my husband is like putting on a wet swimsuit in the middle of an arctic storm. How can I like what makes me crazy?
Here’s the cold hard truth about marriage: you picked him. He picked you. If you don’t learn to like him, you’ll become another statistic.
We don’t want a divorce! But you know what, we don’t want to skulk about our husbands either. We want happy marriages! I want your girlfriends to wonder what makes you glow and you can tell them: it’s because I’m best friends with my husband.
In the meantime, here are a few tips for you when you’re in a tiff, when you find a particular habit unbearable, or when you just don’t feel like being your husband’s friend.
Ask for what you want
Spouses overlook this gem almost every day. I would be willing to put money on divorces being a direct or indirect result of not communicating wants.
Men, our husbands, are not mind readers. It takes us sometimes years to figure this out. I still meet a wife upset that he didn’t know she wanted to go out for her birthday. He planned a simple celebration with the kids at home. He ordered takeout.
Did she tell him what she really wanted? Or did she expect the birthday fairies to tell him her deepest desire for a romantic birthday dinner?
Is what’s bugging you a sin?
If you’re husband is cheating on you and you know about it, then I give you permission to dislike him.
There are sins and then there are forgivables. If he is forgetful, try to look for ways to help him remember stuff. This is my husband’s problem and I’ve learned to update the Google calendar. It pops up on his phone and the computer and I know he’ll be reminded.
If he likes to hang with his buddies sometimes on a Saturday afternoon, plan a mommy-kids day at grandmas or the park. If didn’t call again when he was going to be late, again, go back to asking for what you want. Sometimes instead of rolling up your sleeves to give him a piece of your mind, you can tell him that you would like him to call the next time.
Putting it in perspective often helps us turn down the heat on our frustrations.
Spend time purposely enjoying his company
How would you describe your husband before you got married? Think of all those qualities, whatever they are. Witty. Intelligent. A thinker. Social. Outgoing. Fun-loving. Considerate of others.
Think back to how you used to describe those things that bug you so much now. He’s a little distracted, but it’s cute. He adores his mom and calls her everyday, isn’t that adorable? He loves sports, I love the athletic types.
Try to remember what you enjoyed most back then, and then sit down with him and go ahead and enjoy those same characteristics in him. Have a fun conversation about nothing. You don’t always have to talk “business.” The kids, the house, the car repairs… can wait.
Protect your time with each other fiercely
This is where scheduling your date nights comes in super handy. You might be annoyed that he spends time at Joe’s house some days, or forgets to take out the trash. Agree together that date night is sacred. Nothing comes before or between you and hubby on date night.
Repeat after me: “I’m busy that night.” Because you have a date.
It doesn’t matter if date night is once a week or once a month. I know that there are crazy busy people with a thousand kids. Planning can be daunting, but the ultimate point is to date your husband.
Hold hands! Laugh.
I want you and your husband to drink life in for what it is: fleeting. You don’t have time for fights!
Your kids will grow up admiring their parents and wishing for a future spouse like you. There are so many people who go to counseling for crazy rebellious children, and the first thing a decent counselor will ask is: How’s your marriage?
What is the wisest way you’ve ever dealt with your husband when you didn’t really like him very much?