Even the best marriages can have their fair share of annoyances. Husbands, be real: you’ve probably heard your wife complain a little (or maybe a lot) about certain things that you do or don’t do. You might have the best of intentions, but you can do better. (And it’s not just you, we all can.) But here’s the thing: if you let those little grievances continue to stack up, then you risk having a marriage rife with passive aggression, irritation, and all-around unpleasant vibes that threaten your connection.
You love your wife, right? Right.
So if you want to make her happy, listen to these tips on how to be a better husband:
Do the dishes. It’s more important than you think.
An international survey found that live-in boyfriends do more housework than husbands. Once they put a ring on it, a husband creates an extra seven hours a week of housework for his wife, on average, according to a University of Michigan study. Whereas a wife saves men from about an hour of housework a week. It’s 2018, a husband and wife should share the household chores, before and after they get married. More than likely your spouse is working full-time herself, either at her career, at motherhood, or both. Lighten her load, and do the dishes. In fact, split up the household chores 50/50 between the two of you. When you both contribute to the household, you’re not only forfeiting a regular argument (be honest, how much do you fight over chores?), but you’re also showing your wife that you appreciate and value her time.
Don’t talk to her like she’s one of your friends.
Women don’t always communicate in the same way as men. And the way you speak with your wife should be different than the way you interact with your guy friends. Men who are close often tend to be direct, argumentative, and nonchalant with each other. You regularly joke and insult your buddies and no one’s feelings get hurt. Most interactions serve a purpose and then you move on. Understand that the majority of women communicate differently. Women communicate to express their feelings, or to figure out how they’re feeling about something. Your wife sees communication as a means to connect with you intimately and deepen your relationship. So listen to her. Make an effort to routinely ask her how she’s feeling at the end of the day without any distractions, including your phone. In return, communicate your feelings to her. Dig further than one-word answers. Ask caring questions and express heartfelt concerns or encouragement. She’ll respond with a deeper love and appreciation for you than ever before.
Please her in bed.
Sex can kill a marriage. Yes, sex. The most obvious way is, of course, not having sex. Studies estimate that a staggering 15 percent of married couples have not had sex with their spouse in the last six months to one year. Being too tired or busy to knock boots are common reasons for strife among most couples. Solution: schedule sex regularly like it’s your job. But, here’s the rub (no pun intended): a lot of couples do the same old, same old between the sheets, which leads many people to withdraw from sex. Consider switching things up. Take a class in oral sex and female pleasure (yes, those classes exist). Ask her what she wants and needs from you in bed, what and how she enjoys sex, and then make one night a week just about her. Massage her, touch her, talk dirty, use a toy—whatever it is that she wants, do it. You both won’t regret it.
Go on dates.
Once the fresh smell of “newlywed” wears off, spouses tend to spend less time together doing couple-y things. You might think that you don’t have to spend as much time together as you did at the beginning of your relationship, but nothing could be further from the truth. When your life revolves around finances, children, and everyday stresses, you risk losing the connection—that initial spark—that brought you together in the first place. Carve out regular date nights with your spouse that includes doing things that bring you closer together. Think quality over quantity. There’s no point in going to dinner every Friday night if you’re just checking your phone every five minutes. Maybe it’s taking a walk after dinner or joining a couple’s tennis league. It could even mean taking a shower together in which you catch up on your day (among other things). Look at your schedules and see where you can carve out meaningful time together, and then do it.
Do something about your snoring.
Thanks to their larger oropharynx (the space behind the tongue) men snore twice as much as women. While there’s nothing you can do about it, physiologically speaking, it doesn’t make it less annoying. Factor in young kids getting up in the middle of the night and the fact that women suffer from insomnia more than men, and no wonder your wife’s thought about suffocating you in your sleep. If you want to continue sleeping beside your wife, find ways to quell your snoring. From nasal strips to sleep clinics to even surgery, there are options. Use them.
No marriage, or husband, or wife, is perfect. There will always be hurdles and obstacles to navigate throughout the course of your marriage. However, it’s easy to fall back on old patterns and become so complacent within your relationship that it seems like you’ve given up. Don’t be that husband. Be the husband who tries. Chances are, if you’re reading this article you already are that man. So take it a bit farther and be the husband who regularly pleasures his wife, does the dishes, and wears a nasal strip. That’s the husband who’ll stay married for the rest of his life.