If you want to have a happy marriage, you've got to have a happy partner. Over nearly 25 years of marriage I’ve learned that the little things make all the difference. I’m not perfect. I still make mistakes. But I also work daily to be the best possible husband.
I want to make sure there is never any question she knows she's the one I love most.
Here are 11 things I do consistently to make my wife happy:
1. I do simple chores.
This morning, I emptied the dishwasher and she was so appreciative. I often help with the laundry and make the bed. Simple chores show her I care about making our house feel like a home.
2. I focus on her needs first.
I always ask what she wants to eat for dinner rather than suggesting my own preference. When running together, we set a pace that works for her. It’s her, then me. It’ not me being a doormat. It's me respecting her needs.
3. I listen without fixing.
When she wants to share, I sit and listen. Sometimes I ask questions to let her dig deeper into her thoughts and emotions. I don’t try to solve the problem unless asked. I’ve messed this up a few times before I got in the habit of just listening. Women often just want to talk through their feelings, while men feel compelled to offer a quick fix. Sometimes that's not what she wants. Just listen. You'll figure it out.
4. I treat her gently.
My wife never hears a harsh tone from me. She doesn’t have to worry about me being threatening. I love her too much to be anything but gentle with her. When we disagree, I don’t give my emotions control of my speech and actions. Instead I remember how much she means to me and treat her with grace.
5. I use kind and grateful words.
Using kind words is the verbal iteration of gentleness. When I speak to my wife, my language is amply sprinkled with pleases and thank yous. She receives more of my verbal appreciation than anyone else in my life. I make sure she often hears how much her actions mean to me.
6. I compliment her.
When she tries a new outfit or hairstyle, I notice, and I compliment her on it. When we are with friends, I tell them of the many great things she does. I love how she paints, how she gets out and runs in the worst of weather, how she cares so much for others.
Because I love her, I compliment her for these things all the time. I compliment her just as much or more when she’s not around. I want the whole world to know that she is an amazing person!
7. I take responsibility.
Certain things like taking out the trash, making sure the lawn is mowed, and doing small repair jobs are my responsibility in our home. When it’s my job, I do it. Sometimes I’m a little slow, but it still gets done. I don’t want to put any additional burdens on her.
8. Listen, apologize, and change.
I’m a runner. At this point, 3 miles is a breeze for me. Recently my wife pointed out that when I say “It’s just 3 miles,” I may be unintentionally insulting others. She helped me remember that 3 miles used to be a huge distance to me, and that kindness means thoughtfully treating everyone with respect, no matter where they are on their journey. I don’t use those words anymore.
9. I ask for her opinion.
When I have a difficult decision ahead, I ask her for her input. She is intelligent, insightful, and aware of the feelings of others. Her advice is always valuable.
10. I support her dreams.
On her last birthday, I gave my wife a gift certificate to a local art studio. She loves to paint and this will allow her to buy supplies and enjoy more classes. I want her to follow her dreams, so I support her in practical ways.
11. I tell her I love her.
Every day, several times per day, I tell my wife I love her. It never loses its power and I’m always sincere. She does the exact same thing for me. I want to make sure there is never any question she knows she's the one I love most.
My words and actions have a great effect on how my wife feels every day. Doing everything I can to make her happy is part of my commitment to our marriage. As partners, we need to consistently and sincerely strive to make a priority of our partner's happiness.
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