Who doesn’t want a satisfying home life? When relationships are tough, coming home feels worse than enduring Monday morning rush-hour traffic. Did you know that you can improve your life by improving your relationships?
Even if your home life is pleasant, you can still improve your relationship with your husband, but many women worry that pleasing their husbands means acquiescing to unreasonable demands. Since there are simple, dignified ways to alter your behavior, this fear may be unfounded.
There is a fine line between pleasing men and becoming a doormat. Crossing that line could lead to psychological or physical abuse. In no way does this advice advocate staying in an abusive relationship. With that caution in mind, here are five ways you can be a better wife without sacrificing your independence.
1. Practice being silent. On average, a woman uses 13,000 more words per day than a man does. Most men want to spend time with their wives but are turned off by the constant chatter. Therefore, try companionship without conversation. You can practice this skill in the car, in front of the television, or as you prepare an evening meal together. Just make sure not to confuse quiet companionship with the silent treatment.
Begin with five minutes of silence and steadily increase the time. Don’t read or surf the Internet while you visit with your man. Be in the moment with him. The experience is not unlike meditation. You will find that both you and your husband relax during this time, and oddly enough, companionable silence strengthens relationships almost as much as communication.
2. Communicate with him. Sometimes women hide things from their husbands without any nefarious intent. They may be embarrassed about something simple, like losing a piece of jewelry, or they may be avoiding an important conversation. Regardless of the reason, hiding something from your husband is a form of keeping secrets.
Secrets are the enemy of close relationships because they imply that you don’t trust each other. Without trust, your relationship will become unstable because distrust implies that you believe the very worst about each other. The woman who doesn’t communicate about the lost jewelry will eventually be exposed. When she is, her revealed secret communicates negative messages, such as fear, self-loathing, and guilt. These emotions are not the bedrock of strong relationships.
3. Show him respect. Men crave respect almost more than they crave food and sex. When you make a point of showing your husband respect, he thrives. When you overtly disrespect him, your relationship withers.
Verbally appreciate his efforts inside and outside the home. Notice when he does something to please you. At all costs, avoid sounding like his mom because it’s disrespectful to treat your husband like a child. Probably the most hurtful ways husbands and wives disrespect each other is by using “humorous” personal stories as a way to garner a laugh in social situations. Treat your husband with respect, especially when you are in public.
4. Come on to him. Men love it when women come on to them, so be that woman to your husband. Although relationships grow with intimacy, many women get in the habit of refusing advances. Once this habit is entrenched, men emotionally check out.
Try coming on to him at breakfast, texting him at lunch to reinforce your intentions, and giving him knowing looks and touches throughout the evening. Even if you have had a difficult day, you’ll be glad that you made the effort to keep intimacy alive. The health and relational benefits of intimacy are many, and you might learn that you are never too tired for a little loving.
5. Be grateful for your life with him. Even when life is incredibly difficult, you can still find something about which you are grateful. When you practice gratitude, you keep your psyche in the present. Focusing on gratitude makes it impossible to rehash the past or worry about the future.
When you are satisfied with your life, you communicate to your husband that he is successful. When you obsess about the latest handbag, a new car, or professionally decorated homes on HGTV, your husband surmises that your current life — the one you share with him — is not enough. Men feel unimportant, unappreciated, and disrespected when women seem unsatisfied.
You don’t have to leave independence and feminism behind to become a better wife. Practicing these five behaviors will not only make your husband thrive, they will also make you a happier person. Maybe your man will even find ways to be a better husband when he sees the changes in you. -By Maggie Park
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