Ever get tired of pouring into your husband? Admittedly, sometimes I get lazy in this area, and I think I’m not alone. Sometimes I feel like he is not pouring into me as much as I want, or I just plain don’t feel like he deserves it. Whatever my excuse to avoid giving him support, encouragement, love, and respect…it’s a bad one. He should always have these things from me. It is an unconditional gift I need to be giving him whenever I am able. Typically, when a husband feels uplifted, supported, honored, and respected by his wife, he does amazing things! He works harder, he strives to be around his family more, he will to do more around the house (and therefore no need to nag ladies!!), and his bad days at work don’t ruin life at home. When a wife can unconditionally love her husband, the relationship is taken to that level where many relationships wished they were. Here are some tips and tricks for loving your husband well:
- Learn his love language.
The book by Gary Chapman, “The Five Love Languages” outlines five different ways most of us give and receive love. Read this book together, learn each other’s love language, and start using it! After reading the book, my husband and I discovered that we have the exact opposite love language scale. For example: my primary love language is “gifts.” If you give me a gift, I will love you forever! My husband scored very low on that one meaning it is not very important to him. His primary love language, on the other hand, is “words of affirmation,” which I scored a zero on! What does all that mean? It means that it is incredibly difficult for me to learn to uplift him by affirming everything he does, but I do it anyway. I have reminders in my phone set for a few times each week because I know he loves getting affirming texts throughout the day, but since its my bottom love language (thus it does not come naturally to me) I need those reminders! It is so important to learn his love language and use it to lift him up. In learning this skill, you must also learn to receive your husband’s primary love language. I couldn’t care less if my husband thanks me for doing the dishes, but I know that’s his language of love to me, so I must work to recognize and appreciate that he is showing me love when he says those things to me.
- Hug Him
Along the lines of the 5 Love Languages, it is important to know this: nobody ever has just one and the rest are null and void. So whether he scores high or low on “physical touch,” hugs still mean something to him. Non sexual touch is a way to gently encourage your husband throughout your week. Hug him before he goes to work if you are around, and when he gets home. Hugs are a way to envelop him in your love and show him that you are there for him when something goes wrong.
- Affirm Him
Tell him that you appreciate everything he does for the family. He likely works very hard, no matter if he stays at home with the kids or goes to work everyday, he is a major contributor to the family, so tell him often how much you appreciate him. Tell him you appreciate more than just what he does for you, but who he is as a man. Affirming his character is one of the best ways to get the actions you want from that kind of character. Tell him how you love his kindness, his humor, his love for your children. Whatever it is that makes him the best version of who he is, tell him! Maybe you have to go back to when you were first married to think of something, but if that helps, do so.
- Give Him Tokens of Your Love
Gifts are a symbolic gesture of how you feel about each other. Write him a love note. Give him a small gift that shows you were thinking about him. Make him his favorite meal every so often. Take him out on a date! Go back to the things you did before you were married and recreate the gestures. When my husband and I were dating, we would pass notes to each other in between classes in college. We don’t have classes anymore, but I know his heart gets a little more full when I write him one of those notes.
- Brag about him when he’s NOT around
When I talk about all the wonderful things my husband does or the things he is good at to my friends when he is not around, my love for him deepens…and that is the whole point. I fall in love with him all over again in those moments, and that naturally helps the relationship. Then it’s easier to come home and love him better in the ways he needs it. I feel more energized to uplift him after I have done that when he’s not around!
- Brag about him when he IS around
Men love to hear what good you have to say about them in front of your friends. Yes, we wives can worry about this turning into an ego trip, but, most of the time, I have found that worry never comes true. For example: my husband loves to write. He is very good at it, so it’s easy to brag about this hobby of his in front of people. This has certain power when he isn’t around, but when I do it at a party where he can hear me…the power doubles or even triples. He can know what I actually feel about it, and that I truly do think he is amazing! How happy would you be if you heard your husband brag about your talent in front of his friends? Yeah…that feeling is amazing.
- Be very careful when talking about the negative
In a similar way to #6, how embarrassed would you be if you heard your husband tell his friends all about this horrible things you did, or the horrible way you acted one time? Deflated, embarrassed, and humiliated I am sure. In that moment you feel like the enemy and now you feel the pressure to figure out how to save face or get back at him. We should not cause that feeling for our husbands either. Besides the terrible way it would make him feel if he found out about it, it pits you two against each other, and it forces your friends against him. Is indulging your angry emotions worth that price? You may be upset with him for a moment, but when you “vent” to a friend about him, that puts them in a difficult positon. They are unable to see when you two reconcile, so you and your husband may go back to being best friends, but your friend still sees him as a big mess up. When you have friends who are resentful towards your spouse, you will eventually start seeing their side and become resentful yourself. This is not to say you can never speak about any of your husband’s mistakes. It is important to process through those times you feel angry or untrusting of him. This point is saying that how you talk about it, and to whom, matters a great deal.
- Encourage His Hobbies
Going back to the example of my husband loving to write: he’s good at it, but when he writes, it takes him away from what could be our quality time (another big love language for me). When he tried to put aside his writing and give me quality time instead, he was unhappy, and the quality time I was looking for suffered as a result. We both ended up frustrated and disappointed. When I realized that the quality time I was getting was large in quantity but very low in quality, I knew something had to change. He went back to taking a chunk of time every week to write, and when he did, the quality time we had afterwards grew in quality exponentially. I was getting more of what I needed, in less amount of time, and he was getting what he needed to make him feel happy and contented in his life. Encouraging your husband in whatever he loves to do, will likely make him want to come back to you afterwards and give back. It is a lovely thing to see your husband in his element. Encourage that. It is good for the soul.
- Respect His Needs
I love lists. In the past, I would be at home and have a list ready for my husband when he came home from work. “You should do this…oh hey, can you do that…you forgot to do this yesterday so can you do it now?” On and on I went, feeling very efficient, not knowing how frustrating it was for him. He would come home and immediately feel bombarded with things to do, get overwhelmed and sometimes even feel like I was telling him what a bad job he does around the house (even though that was not my intention). I couldn’t understand why he came home grumpy, but when he was finally able to articulate what he was feeling, I listened. He requested that when he gets home, I first welcome him, give some time to talk about our days, and then give him the list. Turns out he just needed some time to acclimate himself to home life and know that I am glad he is home. He knew this list was important to me, so he was willing to listen to it, just…later. Respecting his need to come home and feel appreciated is very important to him. Helping him feel that way is much more important to me than any list I could give him. If you husband asks for time or space, respect that. It is important to him.
- Forgive Him
We all mess up. It’s a part of human nature. Husbands, just as much as wives. Forgive quickly and forgive often. He is a human being and he is doing the best he can with the information he has. Give him grace and understanding. He likely knows he was wrong, so give him grace. Choose to love. Choose to support. He is not your enemy, but your partner. Don’t put more of a wedge in the relationship by pointing out his wrong doings, instead choose to be the glue that binds you two closer together. This is very hard, trust me, I understand. The phrase, “I told you so” is no longer in my vocabulary for this reason though. It is not helpful, but hurtful to him. He knows what he did, and rubbing it in his face that I was right and he was wrong is only going to rip our relationship apart. Instead of lifting up yourself by tearing him down, lift him up by simply letting it go. Forgive.
Comment Time! Let me know what you think! Do you have unique ways to life up your husband? Let me know, I would love to hear!