The Little Big Things
This might be stating the obvious, but there are more guys out there than you might think who are guilty of the following crimes. First of all, remember important dates; birthdays, anniversaries, even the day you first met, if that’s what your spouse remembers and wants celebrated. Don’t let milestones slip your mind and don’t be lazy when it commemorating these moments. Know what your partner’s favourite flowers are, what she would like to do on that day, and do it, even if you don’t think it’s that big a deal. It is for her, and it won’t hurt you to put a reminder in your calendar if it will make her happy. Beyond that, there is research to confirm that one of the secrets to a happy and lasting marriage is celebrating moments like these, at least according to The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, by Dr. John Gottman.
Don’t Mansplain Things
Mansplaining is one of the worst things you can do, in a relationship and in a marriage. What you have to realize is that your wife is smart and she knows stuff about stuff, so never assume you automatically know better and are therefore there to ‘enlighten’ her. Never be condescending and patronize her.
Don’t worry, admitting you’re wrong or even keeping things to yourself when you’re certain you’re right doesn’t take away from your masculinity, but it does make you a better husband. It makes you the kind of husband who treats his wife as the equal she is, and that’s what being a real man is all about; respect, listening and valuing your spouse’s opinions. Oh yeah, and equality.
Don’t let go It’s no secret that marriages fail, although statistics for Australia and New Zealand alone are actually quite encouraging as they state that the divorce rate has been on a steady decline. However, if the road in your marriage gets rocky and you hit a major bump in the road, don’t just call it quits. Fight for your love, and if you can’t manage to work it out on your own, turning to an unbiased third party, such as face-to-face counselling services is one of the best things you can do. Sometimes you need that fresh perspective that comes from a trained professional who doesn’t take sides when you aren’t able to see clearly through the fog.
Don’t let yourself go While there is a very common misconception that as a man, you get better looking as you get older, it’s not always true. It is however quite important for a marriage, no matter how superficial it may seem. When you stop exercising and give in to junk food it doesn’t only send a message that you’ve stopped caring about your looks, it sends the message that you don’t care if your spouse is attracted to you. Yes, after a while passion fades, but it shouldn’t. You should always be crazy about each other and desire one another. So, in order to prevent the spark from fading out of your lives, make the effort to stay sexy and healthy for your loved one. Do it for yourself as well; keeping yourself fit can do wonders at eliminating self-esteem and body image issues and doubts.
If your wife hates the fact that you leave your shirts all around the apartment, on every surface that may seem convenient for dumping clothes on – nip that behaviour in the bud. We don’t live in the 1950s anymore, so don’t expect your wife to go around and constantly pick up after you. If she gives you a simple task, like taking out the trash or replacing the light bulbs, just do it, no postponing. It’s a five-minute errand that won’t cost you anything but will bring a humongous amount of satisfaction to your wife. She will feel heard and she will feel like she’s not holding down the fort that is your home all by herself.