In my last post I wrote about how to have a happier man. It’s not what magazines write about, I’ll tell you what. These go way deeper. These are for the few, the brave, the ones who want to truly understand their man and create a relationship like no other.
I’ll tell you what. The secret to unusual success with any thing in life is, watch what everyone else is doing and do the exact opposite. So, if that’s true, then watch all the women who put down their men, who nag them, who nitpick them, who are constantly telling them to shut it and to change in order to accommodate the women. In Dr Phil’s words, how do you think that is working out for them?
So back to the last post. If you didn’t catch it, you can read it here. If you did read it, did you give any thought to which ones you’d do your best to apply in the relationship? Did you apply any of them? If so, how did you do? What was your man’s response? Which ones were the toughest to do? Keep at it.
If things have been going crappy within the relationship, give it some time. You may have just shocked him. In the beginning, my husband would say, ‘What did I do now? What is it you want?’
He wasn’t used to being treated well by his first wife, or by too many people at all, for that matter. I quietly kept at it. He knows I’m not going anywhere. I’ve seen marriages on the brink of divorce turn around.
So let’s get on with things, shall we?
6. Find out what his favorite dinners were from childhood and make them. Ever hear the saying, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? Well, this plays on that saying.
When my husband and I first got together, I said, ‘is there anything you particularly like for dinners?’ He said, ‘there are a few dishes from my childhood that I would love for you to make.’ Easy enough, I got the recipes from his mom.
If it’s mac and cheese, make it. If it’s tacos, make it. One of my husband’s favorites is ‘tuna and noodles’. I kid you not.
At first, I wanted to add my own flair to them, but my husband said, ‘Please, please don’t change them.’ So I followed the recipes exactly (one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever had to follow), and he was in heaven. When he comes home from work, steps into his sanctuary from the world, and smells those foods cooking from his childhood, it just does something for him that can’t be described.
We call it comfort food for a reason, right? Many men look forward to going ‘home’ and having mom’s cooking. Bring some of those recipes to your home.
When I ask my husband, ‘Do you have anything special you’d like me to make for dinners this week?’ His immediate go to menus are those from his childhood. So why not?
And, in the process of making Mr. Man happy, my children have discovered how much they love those recipes. Now they’ll have some childhood recipes that will bring back good memories, too, and my husband’s mom is thrilled to the gills that I’m passing the recipes on to her grandbabies.
Delight the inner child in your man, find out the dishes, get the recipes as close as possible, and spoil him with those dishes.
7. Listen to him. I can hear you now, ‘But I already DO listen!’ More than likely what you do, because it’s what most women do is, as he’s talking we are thinking about what we’re going to say next. I want you to make eye contact and totally focus on what he is saying.
When my husband and I were dating, I remember him telling me a story about a co-worker of his. I kept wanting to relate it to an experience I’ve had and tell him about it, that way we would be able to connect better. That’s how women communicate. He just stared at me until I was done, and then continued on.
I started noticing that I would interrupt with my ideas, comments, advice, and personal stories. One day, I caught myself about to say something and was able to keep my mouth shut. Eventually, it became easier to do and I noticed my husband communicating more with me.
Stop with your blabbing and listen. Honor him with eye contact, and listen without interrupting. You will not believe the things we are able to hear when we stop putting ourselves first so much.
I even took a course where we were to listen to the other person and write down key ideas, thoughts, and words that really spoke to us. When the other person was finished (it was timed), we were to read back what we heard.
Every single time I got feedback for my listening skills, two things came up. One, the person liked that I made eye contact, with just a slight smile, so the eye contact was’t too intense. Second, that I leaned in to listen. The person talking appreciated the focus I had on what they were saying. It honored them by being truly interested in what they were saying.
Try it, not just with your man, but with everyone.
8. Honor him. Remember that vow that used to be in the marriage vows, to honor all the days of our life? What does that look like to you? They are such easy words to say, we slide through them as though they hold no meaning and don’t give a second thought.
Honor, to me, means keeping my husband, the man I love with all my heart, as a the top priorities in my life. He is right up there with the love I feel for my God. Every single day I wake up and I thank that God for giving me my husband.
I know without me putting my husband as a priority in my life, there is no solid foundation for which to build our family.
Don’t get all persnickety on me, now, by saying, ‘well single moms ROCK and we can do it without men!’
I certainly don’t deny that, I know some incredible single moms raising up some beautiful and inspiring children, and while I was single, my priorities were different. This is about me choosing a man to be my husband and, therefore, requires honor and a shift in priorities.
Honoring my life mate is what drives me to take the steps necessary toward marital satisfaction. If you’ve decided to remain partners without marriage, cool, you can still honor them. Just commit to it.
So what does honoring someone look like in a relationship? Well, it can mean straightforward communication without manipulation. It can look like not criticizing for petty crap. It means, taking ownership of our stuff and dealing with it, instead of making it the partner’s responsibility. How’s that for a start?
9. Stop expecting perfection. I can hear the men letting out their breath and letting that gut out. Whew! We are not, by any stretch of the imagination, perfect beings. Hurray! What a relief, right? Now *I* can stop striving for it and being massively disappointed in my imperfection! Woo-hoo!
That also means I get to let go expecting my man to be perfect, to stop expecting him to know what I’m thinking, for him to be model fit, and a certain height, with a only a certain amount of perfectly manicured facial, chest, neck, and back hair.
We’re gonna blow it. I’m constantly blowing it. I’m constantly falling on my face by forgetting about these guidelines and jumping the gun, or forgetting to say, ‘I’m sorry’, or wearing my big fat frumpy robe to bed, yet again, and wearing my fugly uggs as all-day-every-day foot wear (but they’re soooooo comfy….).
Life is sloppy and so are humans. We’re goofy, and messy, and so full of ourselves it’s silly to observe. So how could we ever expect perfection from anyone? If you expect perfection, you are setting your partner up for failure, and yourself for disappointment, and that is hardly honoring the person you love so much, now is it?
10. Give him sex. Give him lots of it and often. And then give him some more. Stop waiting to be in the mood, or for your headache to go away, or until you’re not tired. Give me a break. You might not even be in the mood, but if you can just start, things can change pretty quickly. If he’s not that ‘good’ at it, teach him!
I read a list the other night of 50 ways to inspire your man and about every 10 or so it said, ‘initiate great sex’. It’s that important to them, ladies. It establishes and deepens intimacy, it connects us, it’s fun, and it burns calories! I know people who have lost weight because they started having more sex! You cannot tell me you don’t benefit! Go get dirty, find new places, new positions, talk nasty, get into it and get rockin’.
Men, you’re welcome.
Well, there you have it.
If you’re lucky enough to find someone who you think is ‘the one’ then, by golly, why not treat them like it? Why not wake up every day and think, ‘I am with the one I love, how blessed am I?’, because you are.
There really isn’t too much here that is going to take you hours to work on. Most of these are based on your own mindset towards your man.
If things are crappy in your relationship, and you just keep ‘trying harder’ guess what? That ain’t gonna work. Trying harder at the same methods and expecting a different result is just nuts. So apply some other methods, test them out, and look for results. That’s marketing 101 right there, my friends.
Now look, if you’re with a man who is a class A jackass, more than likely none of this is gonna work. Get away from him. But keep in mind, you picked him so more than likely the next guy you pick, is gonna be the same kind of jackass. Respect yourself enough to get counseling around the reasons as to why you are dating (even worse, marrying) the same dolt over and over, just in different wrapping.
Anyway, if you found any worth in this post, why not share it? As before, post below in the comments what you’ve applied, what’s working, where you’re stuck, and let’s create a conversation around it.