First, remember...Men are from Mars! Seriously, men are wired much differently than women. Men are willing to give up or modify their plans for women, especially in the "beginning" stages of your relationship or your marriage. As time goes on, admiration and appreciation of your husband can sometimes fade. Some may accept this as the norm, but if your husband starts to feel less and less appreciated, it can slowly erode relationship that you once deemed the most important thing in your life. Unacceptable, right? Not to worry, it is never too late (or too soon, for that matter) to show your man how much you love and appreciate him, even if you’re not quite sure how to communicate it to him.
Maybe you find it difficult to express yourself to your husband. What follows are some small things you can do to make sure your husband knows you appreciate him. There are hundreds more, but these are sweet, easy to accomplish deeds that will show your husband how very much you appreciate having him in your life.
- Say thank you for whatever he does that lightens your load.
- Send a sexy text message.
- Ask him out on a date, and you plan it out.
- Take out the garbage.
- Load his MP3 player with his favorite music.
- Slip a note into his lunch box.
- Write a note on the steamy mirror while he is in the shower.
- Accept him for who he is.
- Hold his hand.
- Rub his back.
Many times, problems in a marriage come to light after the "honeymoon" stage is over and the realities of life set in. Additionally, if you have children, a house to take care of, etc., those things can also cause a breakdown in communication with your husband, simply due to your lives become busier as your family grows. Adapting your lives to care for your children seems to fall into place naturally, but when life revolves around focusing on the children so much of the time, your husband’s need to feel appreciated is put on the back-burner. A caring partner should always make time for their husband as well. Even if that time is limited to a few hours a week, there should always be time for the two of you to talk about things that are going on in your lives, to spend some time alone together and reconnect.
Another way of showing appreciation to your husband is to accept him for who he truly is – including what he enjoys doing in his spare time, even if his hobbies annoy you. Most importantly, strive to show your husband appreciation without expecting anything in return. The most you should expect is a "thank you". It is dangerous territory when you enter the "I'll do this for you if you do this for me" realm. Living your life in that manner only makes your marriage a tug-of-war, and it is likely to fail. Instead, start by doing the small things to show your admiration and appreciation, and build up to the larger things. For example:
- Put your husband first. Give him the last taco at dinner, or offer to get up to get him another beverage when you don’t need to do so for yourself. That's easy. Spending a long weekend away with his family is not so easy. Try to adapt.
- Understand your husband's feelings. If you don't know what he's feeling or thinking, ask him.
- Don't judge people in his family or circle of friends. If you don't like certain people, keep it to yourself. There is no good that come from your telling your husband of your dislikes.
- Try to accommodate your husband's request. If he asks you for something, it's probably important to him.
- Express that you care for your husband. If you aren't into public displays of affection, that's okay. Figure out something else. Bring him a beer or take the kids somewhere so he can enjoy the football game without interruption.
- The absolute best way to show that you value your husband is to say, "Thank you". Women do a thousand things every day and never get a thank you; however, for men, it's necessary. It's spikes their ego and they feel more appreciated if you say "Thank you" to every little thing. Try it!
It's important that you remember there are things you can do to reconnect with your husband and show him your gratitude without spending a dime. Many people think romance is buying expensive gifts or going on exclusive vacations. That could not be farther from the truth. Sure, it's great to get away, just the two of you, but let's face it, getting through all the normal things in life, day by day, and still being in love and enjoying each other is an accomplishment in these busy times.
There are many ways to show your husband how much your respect and appreciate him, even if you only have a few hours a week to be together. As hard as it may be, do not spend your few hours a week talking about the kids, or anything else that is not specifically about the two of you. Try talking about things like when you first met, first fell in love, or any other particularly happy time. Reminisce about those significant times in your life together.
Think about all the reasons you are blessed to have your husband in your life. Over time, make a list of these things and share them with your husband. Make the list specific; in other words, don't write, "He is helpful". Instead, write, "He helps with gathering the laundry."
Lastly, remember that you chose this wonderful, helpful, decent man to be your husband. Right? Your husband obviously has wonderful qualities that drew you to him in the first place. All marriages hit a few bumps in the road at one time or another. Rough times are often the result of communication breakdowns, as well as when spouses no longer feel loved, appreciated, or respected. Those rough times can also strengthen the relationship, when properly worked through.
If you are struggling in your marriage and need to talk about your issues and learn how to get things back on track, the counselors at Orange County Relationship Center can help you. Call us today or book your appointment via our online calendar.