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August 8, 2014
by Casey Truffo, LMFT

Be the Flatterer-In-Chief

August 8, 2014 02:55 by Casey Truffo, LMFT

The Flatterer-In-Chief? 

Let's break it down.  Flattery can be defined as pleasing someone by giving them [almost] constant compliments.  It can also be defined as making excessive comments and praises in order to play upon someone's vanity.  This article will show you ways to flatter your spouse, in good, healthy ways, by never letting your spouse know that you find them attractive, caring, or whatever else will make them feel good about themselves.  If your spouse has good self-esteem, your spouse will feel good about you, as well as about your relationship.  This will help in making the possibility of turning to others for affirmation less likely.  Flattery, in this case, is not about being fake, but rather about being appreciative by making your appreciation known to your spouse.

What Women Want

If you ask 100 women what they want to hear from their husbands, the collective answers will likely be, "I want to know that I'm attractive", "I want to be told that I'm beautiful", and/or "I want to feel like I am special in his world."  Those are just a few examples.  When thinking about how to praise your wife, make sure you are sincere.  Don't say what you know she would like to hear if you don't mean it.  She will immediately know you don't mean it.  Another way you can honor your wife is to help with the little things by performing small acts of kindness.  Even though men have a tough time understanding why women like certain things like flowers, gifts, help in cleaning up the house, or help with the laundry, women thrive of these things.  If you show random acts of kindness, just because you want to, that alone is worth its weight in gold.

If you are going through troubled times in your marriage, and believe me, everybody has trouble times, try these things to show your wife how much you care.  Take some time to reflect how you treated her when you first met her.  Revert to treating her the way you did all those years ago.  Hug her for no known reason.  Plan a date night, especially if she's the one who usually does the planning.   Compliment her, clean something without being asked, and help with the kids.  All of these things are things that your wife just adds to her to-do list because these are things that have to be taken care of.  In other words, someone has to do them.  Pitch in and help, without her having to ask.  On a slightly different note, remember...RESPECT.  If you are going to be late getting home, for whatever reason, call and let her know.  Maybe you think she doesn't care or maybe you think she knows that every Wednesday night you play poker with the guys to unwind.  That's great, but still...if you're going to be late, pick up the phone and call.

When you ask women what they need from their husbands, these things top the charts.  Tell her she is loved.  Conversation - Talk about things other than your job, the weather, weekend plans, and the kiddos.  Quality Time - Make time for your wife and for your kids, without looking annoyed about it.  Show your wife that your family is a top priority in your world.  Be Positive - There is nothing worse than emitting negativity at every little thing.  If you walk in the house to a lovely home-cooked meal, be delighted and thankful.  Don't start asking why the trash isn't taken outside or why there are dirty dishes in the sink.  Start saying YES to your wife, and to the kids, more than saying NO, and you will be surprised at the results.  Listen - When your wife is speaking and you are not making eye contact, you are telling her you are not interested in what she's saying.  She wants you to listen with your ears, but also with your eyes and with your heart.  Kindness - This goes hand-in-hand with affection.  Do you use good manners when talking to your wife?  Do you give her unexpected hugs or kisses? 

What Men Want

Now, let's talk about what men want from women.  You may think men don't need much of anything, but you are wrong!  Men also need to feel fulfilled and flattered; however, it's a little bit different than the way women need those things.  Here are some examples.  Tell him, "You make me feel safe."  There is nothing a man wants to do more for his wife than to protect her.  "I admire how you handled that conversation."  This shows that you like his judgment.  "My friends love hanging out with you.  You really keep them in stitches."  This shows acceptance by your friends that this is the man you love.  "You're a good friend."  This shows your hubby that you understand he has other relationships in life and that you see how people like him.

These things are on the top of the list when you ask men what they need from their wives.  Attention - beyond intercourse, men like to be romanced just women like it.  He wants you to hold his hand while walking down the mall, leave a sexy message on his voicemail, and flirt with him.  Understanding - men like to talk about what they are going through or what happened during the day at work when they were away from their wives.  Give your hubby 15 to 20 minutes a day to vent.  Quiet - Don't talk and talk and talk and talk the entire time you are with your husband.  If your husband is tired or is watching something on television, wait until he's finished and then tell him you want to talk.  Down Time - Everybody needs some "me" time, including your husband.  Although you may have missed him or have 15 things you want to tell him that happened in a particular day, don't jump into conversation with him as soon as he hits the door.  Give him time to unwind from his day.  Friendship - Your husband wants to be your best friend, as well as your husband and lover.  Make time to do things together so you don't disconnect.  Trust - Your husband wants to trust you and wants you to trust him.  Trust is vital in any successful relationship and/or marriage.  And above all, respect.  Don't make negative comments about him or about his aspirations.  Don't make plans for him on his days off, and be considerate of his plans. 

Men love to hear things that are macho!  For example, comment on his talents in the kitchen, in the garage, and even in the bedroom!  He wants to hear that he has skills that you recognize are exemplary.  Tell him that he is good looking.  Refer to his eyes, his smile, or his legs.  Yes, even his legs!  These flattering remarks let him know that you notice he is naturally beautiful or that he has a great physique.  Recognize your husband's brain.  Tell him you are impressed with his knowledge or his career status and how hard he works.  Say things like, "I would be lost without you."  This will make your husband feel not only loved, but needed.  He wants to know that you adore him in many different aspects of his life.

Flattery without Sounding Corny

It takes a little thought on how you are going to incorporate flattery into your love life in order to show your spouse how much you care and how committed you are in your marriage.  Don't just start going all-out mushy if you are not a mushy, romantic type of person.  Your spouse will know you're up to something or you've been reading couples magazine articles for advice on how to get your relationship where you want it.  You may want to start by having a heart-to-heart conversation on the fact that you think your relationship is becoming unstable and let your spouse know that you plan to do whatever it takes to get back on track.  If you do that first, you probably won't have your spouse looking at you like you're from another planet.  Additionally, you will most likely receive kudos for speaking the fact that you realize something is "off" and that you're going to try to improve on happenings in your world and get back on track. 

For starters, begin each day with a genuine compliment.  Whether it be, "You look very rested and very handsome/beautiful" or "I'm so lucky to have you", do something from the beginning of every day to set your plan in motion.  Remember what attracted you to your spouse in the beginning and remember what your life was like without your spouse.  Start talking about your spouse to others.  Whether it's talking about something s/he did that was selfless or something that happened at work, when you talk about your spouse to others, in time, your spouse will hear from those other people how much you cherish them. 

Don't ogle at other men or women.  A glance at a handsome/beautiful passerby never hurt anyone; however, paying too much attention to another person makes your spouse hurt emotionally.  The majority of your attention needs to be in your spouse's direction. 

Lastly, a tip for husbands.  It may be hard for your wife to accept your compliments, especially if it's been some time since you said anything nice to her or since you noticed anything she may have changed in her appearance.  Be persistent, while being sincere.  Be sure to throw a compliment at her every single day that comes from your heart.  Eventually she will know you mean it.  A tip for wives.  When you are given a compliment, accept it.  Say thank you and think about what compliment you just received.  Don't follow up with, "What do you want now?" or "You don't really mean that."  Look into your husband's eyes and say thank you.

If you are having issues in your marriage and you need help in planning how to show your appreciation to your spouse, you may want to seek professional help.  The staff at the Relationship Center of Orange County are trained professionals who can guide you through the process of working on your marriage so you are living in a healthy, loving environment.  Call us today at (949) 430-7389 or use our on-line scheduling tool to book your appointment.  You are worth it; your spouse is worth it; and your marriage is definitely worth it.

About the Author

OC Relationship Center OC Relationship Center, LMFT

You deserve to feel better - in your life and relationships. At OC Relationship Center we want to help you find more love, more joy, more peace...and less conflict and less stress. Our licensed and caring counselors can help if you are single, dating, married, divorced.

OC Relationship Center can be found at
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