Before the weekend starts, I want to write about The Man! I believe every man wishes to be a happily married man and make his beloved wife happy. This is what I learnt from “The Secrets of Happily Married Men” – Dr Scott Haltzman. Haltzman writes about eight simple ways which men can adopt, to make them happy husbands. And before we go any further, No, I’m not about to set up a “Happy Husbands Club“!
I believe many people, men and women alike, would agree that there is a huge difference between the “chase” or courting time, and married period. Like, Before vs After. Every man and woman continuously, openly or secretly, yearn for the “once upon a time when you were…“.
I agree with Haltzman when he said that, “during courtship, men are inclined to be romantic, thoughtful and considerate; they enjoy the challenge of pleasing their partner. That proves to their partners that men have these feelings and can do these things“! That’s why most women want their marriage to remain that way, like “those” days! Read along if you want to find out how, by doing that, could make you a happier husband.
1. Make Your Marriage Your Job – the concepts and theory of business skills are directly applicable to your marriage, but, with a little adjustment to the vocabulary, of course. Focus on the benefits of marriage, not on the day-to-day frustrations. Put your skills (discipline, reliability, devotion, loyalty, stability, intelligence, flexibility, commitment) to good use in this marriage. Learn from mistakes. Be determined to get better and better in your job as a husband.
2. Know Your Wife – Yup, get to know who she is and what does she want? Take a closer look at her being a mother, her relation to her own parents and your parents, how she wants to raise her children, her career, her attitude towards material things and her notion of important ideas. How are you going to do that?! Simply by dropping all past assumptions about her and look at her as if you’ve just met her and try to discover who she really is. When you can’t understand her point of view, seek further clarification. Love your wife for who she is – not who you think she should be. That’s why you fell in love with her in the first place, isn’t it?
3. Be Home Now – Simply be there, in person. Include your wife in your non-working life pursuits. Don’t foster close friendships away from home that exclude her, particularly if they are with other women. It is good for you both to have some quality time-out from your pals, sports channel, computer/blackberry/iPhone/iPad, etc. And, for the wives, when dearest hubby tries to be with the family or you more, don’t start arguing about anything. No man would like to walk through the front door of his home and felt like walking onto land mines! Men could try to understand that, being at home, for the wives, can be very stressful. Their job of parenting and maintaining a home, is time-consuming, strenuous and demanding. Worse, if they work as well.
4. Expect Conflict and Deal with It – “I’m Right, You’re Wrong!”, sounds familiar? We have to accept that conflict is a natural part of marriage. Men and Women are different. We act, speak and think differently. Conflict is not necessarily bad; your wife may need it as a way to clear the air. Ever experience that after a conflict, you both end up being closer and more caring than before, towards each other? While conflict is good, we must hold back hurtful and hateful comments. Don’t ever get physical either. When temper flares, take time to let things cool down. Don’t disappear, walk away or switch on the TV; stay open to communication. Assume the best motives, take her words at face value and move on. Fight (verbally, of course) if you must but after you make up, put the fight behind you and move on towards your goal of having a happy marriage.
5. Learn to Listen – your wife ever said this to you : “You Never Listen!”? You need skills for this but right practice makes perfect. Listen not only to her words but for the meaning behind those words. Which refers to her verbal and most importantly non-verbal speech like tone, gestures, feelings. By listening to her, you’re telling her that you give her your undivided attention. Certainly not, “listening” to her while reading the papers or watching the TV. She knows. Listen to Understand, not to win her over to your point of view.
6. Aim to Please – “If Mama’s not happy about how her home life is working out, there is very little chance that you are living a happy marriage”. Although many responsibilities fall to her, it is your responsibility to find ways to make her life easier. Use the people-pleasing skills you possess at work to make your wife feel special. Give her positive feedback each day and soon you’ll notice a more optimistic, confident and supportive wife you have. Surprise her with spontaneous dates! Pay attention to things that please her, you know better.
7. Understand the Truth About Sex – Don’t stop being romantic as she needs to know that you love her from deep within yourself. Pitch in to help around the house – that will help her clean out her emotional closet and make more room for you. Try to understand what sex means to her. Be patient as rewards won’t come all at once. Remember, women don’t want a quick fix. When she says that you are not romantic enough, don’t expect rewards, right after giving her a lovely gift or take her to a candle-lit dinner. Romantic to her is in general, treat her special not just once but every day. How? Just the way you did when you were courting her. Small kind gestures, touch base by calling her during lunch hour (small talk about her), tell her you miss her when you are away on a trip, etc. Get the idea?
8. Introduce Yourself – Huh?! Take a good look at the physical you. Are you proud of yourself, is she proud of you? If not, start yourself on an exercise and diet routine to get back into shape. Take great care of your health – schedule a checkup with your doctor to keep yourself healthy. These show that you care for her; you want to be healthy, to share the rest of your life with her; to be the pillar of strength for her, amongst other things. Be faithful. Any form of infidelity undermines a strong marriage. Evaluate your core values so that you have a better idea of what’s important to you and involve your wife to help you attain that values. Give your wife what she needs first, before asking for what you need. Respect and love her deeply and honestly.
Now, go celebrate your love. If you find the tips valuable and would like to know in greater details, go get the book. No, I don’t earn anything from this. I read it and feel that every man should have a copy for reference. You know, we forget easily and over time we would start to take each other for granted again. Then, it’s time to bring it out again to refresh our memory. When I found a great read, I always like to share with my friends.
A toast to all men, to love and happy husbands…don’t be afraid to start all over again after each conflict. It breathes fresh air into your marriage, for good. Remember, stop trying to meet impossible expectations. Compromise will be good enough. You’d be better able to be true to yourself and still be good husbands.