How many wives do you know who wish they had a handbook to give their husbands so they could be better partners? (Many husbands could probably use one for wives, too!) Well, search no more. These five guidelines are thoughtful tips for being the best husband (or wife or partner) possible.
Simple advice for creating stronger, happier marriages, right here.
For the first five guidelines, see Five Guidelines for Good Husbands.
6. Be generous and fair. While gender equality in the workplace has made great strides, it is still more than likely that you have more earning power than your female spouse. Do not expect her to pay half of everything if she is earning less than you: make your contributions to shared living expenses proportional to your different incomes. Be as giving as you can be without feeling resentful or put-upon. Take steps to leave her provided for in case anything should happen to you, especially if you are planning to have children. If you have financial worries, share them with your wife. Work together to make your lives as secure as possible. If you do not trust your wife with finances, or if you want to keep what you work for all to yourself, these are potential Marriage-Killing issues that you need to address with a counselor, either individually or as a couple.
7. Think like part of a team. If there is a problem, assume your wife is on your side and wants to work with you to figure out a solution. Your wife is not the enemy. You can work together to problem-solve creatively, and to have more of your legitimate needs met. Nothing warms a woman’s heart like hearing the word “we.” Use it often.
8. Be affectionate. While men seem to think women just want hot sex (and we do, make no mistake), it’s actually tenderness and affection we crave even more. Men are often so focused on their own performance that they lose sight of their wife’s need for cuddling and closeness. While an aerobic romp between the sheets can be great, if it is followed by indifference or coldness, any benefits to the system or the partnership are cancelled out in a major way. Sex without vulnerability and closeness is just friction. If you truly do not feel affectionate toward your partner, this is a Marriage-Killing issue you need to look at, and get some professional help with.
9. Own up when you’ve messed up. It takes largeness of heart and spirit to admit when you’ve been in the wrong, to apologize, and to mean it. It is also just about the only thing that helps to heal the hurt you may have unwittingly caused. If you can empathize with what your partner is feeling because of something you have done (or have left undone), and can express your sorrow for it, you will be forgiven. I guarantee.
10. Care about her well-being. People usually get married hoping to get their needs met. In other words, most marriages start out with a selfish desire for one’s own well-being. But somewhere along the way, things need to undergo a radical shift. You need to start caring as much about your wife’s welfare as you do about your own. You must be thoughtful of her health, even when this conflicts with your own personal desires. (An example is the ban on actual sex after childbirth. Good husbands put aside their own needs for their wife’s safety.) Ideally, you begin to think as much about her happiness as you do about your own.
By Cait Johnson, Assistant Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.