Gentlemen, this episode is for you: how to love your wife and be intentional in your relationship with your spouse. (We’ve mentioned once or twice before the importance of intentionality, right?)
And ladies… don’t use any of this against your spouses as ammunition—we’ll try to get them going in the right direction soon enough. Don’t you worry!
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
Every month, there’s a large number of women who Google, “Why does my husband hate me?” That’s crazy just in the statistics of it, but it’s incredibly sad and heartbreaking to think of how those women must be feeling. So how do we deal with that?
Love for friends is a choice. But it’s every day that we must wake up and choose to love our wives, no matter what happened the day before.
Our commitment is to love our spouse. We love our wives just as Christ loved the church. But it’s important to remember that Christ also served the church; when we reflect on this, it looks a whole lot more like serving your wife and your family rather than yourself.
If you really want to love your wife, that means you are present physically and you are present emotionally.
We all know the phrase, “actions speak louder than words.”
I (Taylor) don’t know about you, but I want my actions to really speak. For example, I’m not a good writer; I really don’t enjoy sitting down with a pen and just writing. But I know it’s important to Megan that I write her love notes. Whether it’s three sentences or a full page, I know it means the world to her because it shows that I took time out of my day to put her needs and desires first.
As husbands, I think we can do a better job at facilitating and managing our time in order to show our wives the love they need. Again—emotionally and physically being attuned to what’s happening in our marriage.
A big thing to note here is being selfless; selfless with your spouse, not selfish with your time.
A dozen roses are really nice. But in our experience in talking with couples in our newlywed classes and such, the majority of those women would much rather have that $100 go towards a house cleaner or getting her car detailed and filled with gas.
Meg has told me that she is just as happy with the $1.47 rose from Walmart or the flower I pick from the side of the road, versus the $200 bouquet from the florist.
I’d much rather be selfless and spend money on something that’s an experience or will serve as help for my wife.
Helpful > Helpless
In Jeremy’s practice, he’s come across quite a few husbands who have the belief that, if they do something at the house, they’ll get sex in return. Yes, sex does start outside of the bedroom (as we’ve mentioned in previous podcasts/blogs), but it also starts with realizing that you may not get something just because you did what was asked or required of you.
Just help for the sake of helping. You’re a part of the family, aren’t you? You love your spouse and you want to serve her well, right?
In theory, if her life is easier, your life is easier. Don’t keep score; doing the dishes isn’t something you’re going to get a gold star for. It’s all about compromise and helping where you can, when you can!
Paying Attention is FREE
You shouldn’t have to have a book tell you what your spouse does or doesn’t want, because if you’re paying attention as you should be, you’ll know what she appreciates and what she doesn’t. You’ll know if she just needs you to tell her she looks beautiful more often; you’ll know that she likes getting flowers; and you’ll know that she enjoys having an extra hand picking up around the house without being asked to do so (because it’s your house, too).
But it’s important to remember, that particular behavior is reciprocal. It goes back to relationships being a covenant, not a contract; a covenant says, “I’m going to do this for you, regardless of what you do for me,” while a contract says, “I’ll do this, if you do this.”
For those of us that haven’t found this to be a routine yet, and we’re struggling to get there, how do we do that?
First things first, we’d say to be present. Put your phone away. Put the XBox controller down. Turn the TV off. Live in the moment and spend time with your spouse. Get to know them even better than you do right now.
Women love to communicate, and they love when you listen.
They don’t always need a Mr. Fix-It. Sometimes they just need someone to be there and say, “Hey, I support you. I love you. Tell me what’s on your mind.”
I try to keep a running list of things that Meg likes, or things that would be beneficial to her. I know she doesn’t like going to gas stations, so I wake up early by default and take her car once a week to fill it up or get it washed so it’s ready to go when she needs it. It’s not that she’s asking me to do any of this, I just want to make her life as easy as possible. I want her mind to be clear and free.
Out With The Stale Routine…
Generally speaking, your spouse has your every move tracked. You’ve been together for so long or know each other so well that she has you mapped out to a T. She already knows what you’re going to say, how you’re going to act, or what you’re going to do when you get home.
I like to tell people to scramble their wife’s map. Do something so out of the ordinary for you that she will be thrown off! Maybe instead of spending hours watching football or playing video games after work, plan to get a babysitter and let your wife know you have surprise reservations. It doesn’t have to be a huge romantic gesture, either—even something as simple as going for a walk in the park together goes a long way.
Spontaneity creates curiosity and desire.
If you go off of your normal routine to do something you don’t normally do, it’s just a fun way to shake things up here and there. It doesn’t take much at all to breathe an extra spark into your marriage.
If you’re wanting to take a step forward and really show your wife how much you appreciate her, do something good. Do something that would scramble her normal map of who and what you are. Do something out of the norm, out of character, to the point where she goes, “Wow, I have no idea what’s going on, but I love it.”
And we want to tag this on date nights, too; you wouldn’t believe the amount of couples who tell us it has literally been months or even years since their last date night when they got to unplug from life, kids, and work, and just be together. That’s it.
It’s incredibly important to have those date nights so you can focus your attention, love, and energy into your wife and your relationship.
…In With The Love
Invest what you can in your relationship. Regularly add to your marriage. Do something that takes energy. Not just sexual passion, not just sexual energy, but the energy of life. Be intentional with your time with your spouse, as well as your precious kiddos.
If you want to be the best husband, try. If you want to be the best father, try. Just at least try to be, and you’ll be okay.
Ladies, we’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on how your husband shows you that he loves you. Help us spread that advice to others—we want to use it on future episodes! (And who knows, we might even interview you on our podcast!)
To learn more about all the tough marriage topics most people shy away from, follow us on socials, explore our website, and follow us on YouTube. We’ve got something for everyone. See you next time!