Today’s post is a very dangerous one. I am going to name a few things that I think would make my wife feel more loved. I typed these, sent them to our editor and then asked my wife to type her own list and send them on. Let’s see how similar our lists are.
Respond to her stories with more than a dumb look. I have a bad habit of looking right through her when she tells stories. In my defense, her stories are super long. Sometimes I’m reading, sometimes I’m on my phone, but none of that should be more important than listening to her.
Put the phone, computer, or book down. Similar to the last one, but I should initiate conversation with her occasionally. Propaganda has a spoken word piece (“Be Present”) which is very on point.
Cuddle, even when it doesn’t lead to something. You know what I mean. I’m a horrible cuddler. Spooning doesn’t have to lead to the wild thing*.
Go to bed at the same time as her. Inevitably I retire to our bedroom quarters at least 30 minutes before her. Consequently, I am snoring when it’s time for pillow talk (pillow talk is a horrible, dreadful idea). Men and women are very different. When I say I’m ready for bed I mean it, when my wife is ready for bed she has a million things to do before she actually can**.
Do laundry, dishes, sweep, vacuum, help the kids with their homework, and a number of other things. Duh!
Knowing and doing are totally different things. G.I. Joe said, “Now you know, and knowing is half the battle.” Half the battle.
Do things for me. When I ask you to get me a glass of water while I’m nursing the baby, or help me with a yard project, or change the filters on the furnace… just do it. Don’t “forget”. Don’t “get around to it in a little while”. Don’t get one of the kids to do it. Just do it. That will make me feel like my words and my needs are important to you.
Do things NOT for me. When there are things that need to be done (light bulbs that need changed, homework folders that need to be signed, babysitting arrangement that need to be made), do them because they need done. Don’t act like you’re doing it for ME. Don’t act like a martyr either, because you are a part of this house too. I know this one is tricky, and it might seem a lot like #5, but trust me… they’re different. This will make me feel like we’re in this together.
Talk to me and listen. Duh. This makes me feel like you want to talk and listen to me.
Argue with me. Don’t fight, but argue. Disagree with me and have the guts to say so. Have discussions with me about parenting our kids, movies we’ve watched, the budget, anything we disagree about. Most of the time we should agree to disagree. But when it is something that matters, hash it out. Listen to my ideas and opinions, without getting defensive. Give and take. Compromise. Be the man, but don’t expect me to be a doormat. Believe it or not, this will make me feel safe.
Hug me. Hug me for no reason. Hug me in the middle of the grocery store. Hug me whenever you think of it. Hug me when there is no possibility of it turning into something else (you know what I mean). This will make me feel loved. Real, whole love.
*Horribly unfair fact of life.