I woke up today thinking about Handsome Hippie Hubby. More specifically, about what it's like to married to this guy. We have an inside joke about being "twin souls" but the truth is I really feel like that.
He's my guy. He's not perfect. Lord knows I'm not perfect! Therefore, our relationship hits some bumps every now and then. Some days are sunshine and roses. Some days are dirty diapers and dog poo on the carpet. Such is life. But I can't imagine traveling this winding path with anyone else by my side.
My husband holds my heart. He is my man-crush, my sexy boyfriend, my life-partner, my trusted advisor, my dear friend, and so much more. After 12+ years he still makes my heart race a bit. Your relationship is different from ours because that's how humans are (it's one of my favorite things about our species!) but this is what has worked for us.
1. Say, "Thank you."
Does your man work to bring a pay check home? Does he help take care of the kids? Take the garbage out? Save you from spiders? Don't forget to thank him. He doesn't like to be taken for granted any more than you do.
2. Ask him about his preferences.
When we were first married I asked my husband if he preferred that I fold his shirts "store style" or "in half" (with the fold down the middle). He looked at me with wide-eyed astonishment.
"What?" I asked.
"I really prefer that they be folded in half, with any writing showing so that I can easily see what's what when I look in my drawer but no one has ever actually done it that way and no one ever asked what I wanted before!" he replied.
I've been careful to fold his shirts that way ever since, even though I fold my own differently. Why bother? Because it's a tiny thing that takes no additional effort on my part that makes him happy. Why would I NOT do that?
If you never ask him you may not realize that he even has a preference.
3. If he says, "I don't care," take him at his word.
This is the flip side of #2. Men simply don't care about all the things women care about. Whether it's hardwired in our brain or a product of our culture men and women have different focuses. If you ask your husband which way he wants his shirts folded and he just looks at you weirdly for a moment and says, "I don't care!" Don't pester him about it. Seriously... he doesn't care. There is no deeper meaning there.
4. Don't ogle other men - even the ones in books/movies/TV.
Do you like it when your man stares at other women? Talks about how hot they are? Compares your perfectly average thighs and boobs to Jennifer Lopez's extraordinary figure? Would you appreciate your guy reading Playboy before bed? Going to strip clubs with his friends? Laughing with his buddies about the sexy new secretary in his building? Show your man the same level of respect you expect him to show you.
5. Praise him.
Everyone likes to get a pat on the back for doing something right. Never pass up a chance to say, "well done!"
6. Skip the criticism.
By all means, I believe a wife should be able to let her husband know when she has a legitimate concern or even a pet peeve. If you are totally OCD about keeping your white carpet pristine and he's tromping in grease from his factory job every day, ask him to stop! That said... don't point out every little thing he does wrong. We all have our quirks and faults. If he takes good care of your family, plays with the kids, mows the grass and helps you move furniture every 12 days when the urge strikes again maybe you could let it slide the next time he leaves his wet towel on the bathroom floor.
7. Feed him well.
It has been my experience that there is truth in the old adage, "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach." If he LOVES steak and you're strictly a salad and baked fish kind of girl, maybe just every now and then, you could toss a steak in the broiler for him.
8. Know that you can't be all things to him.
You may be the center of his world. You are likely his one true love, his best friend, and his closest confidant. But you're not his "bro," or his mother or his psychologist or... whatever. It is good and right and healthy that he have other relationships outside the one he shares with you. Don't deny him those connections by demanding 100% of his attention for yourself.
9. Don't hang your dirty laundry.
I get it. Sometimes you need to vent. By all means, call your person (sister? mother? friend? priest? therapist?) and let it go. Get it off your chest. Seek wisdom and council. But don't go on Facebook and tell the world what a schmuck your guy is because he did this or that. You don't need to announce to everyone in your office that your man screwed up again or tell everyone at the bar how disappointed you are in him. There is a great deal to be said for discretion.
10. Tell him.
Never underestimate the power of saying, "I love you." They are extraordinarily powerful words.What's your favorite way to let your husband know you love him? Share in the comments!
Are you, too, seeking to save the earth, promote world peace and raise productive citizens without expending too much effort?
If we work on our goals together, they may be a little easier to achieve!