What is your best advice for men who wish to become better husbands?
The same thing I would say to a wife, listen. Sometimes because we think we know someone we anticipate what they need and what they are thinking. But the most important part of the process is listening to what they say and watching what they do. If they are someone who follows their words up with actions and usually are faithful to the words that they speak you can depend on that to guide you.
Each of us has needs and we are drawn to people who make us feel good. We hope to find joy, happiness and a sense of contenment inside of the world that we create and the relationship that we build. In order to be a good partner you have to listen to one another's needs and try to address them when you can. If I am cold all the time and you get me a snuggle to sit and watch tv with you I will know how thoughtful you are and that you pay attention to what I need. If I have a cold and you make or heat me up my favorite soup and pick up cough drops and vitamin c drops when you are out I see that you are caring and attentive. If you buy a few groceries like milk and bread and my Sunday paper without being asked I feel like I am being taken care of and assisted in what I have to do. When we do things for one another that need to be done without being asked we feel like the pressure and burden are lifted and that we are in this thing together.
First and foremost, go deep deep inside and be honest with yourself. In what area of your relationship do you want, WANT, to be a better husband, and what is keeping you from saying YES to being a better husband.
Most of us, men and women, but especially men, have major disconnects from our heart, from our emotions, and so we are not as emotionally connected to our partners as we could be.
But becoming more emotionally connected means having to feel our wounds and our neediness. It is much more comfortable to remain emotionally distant and disconnected and then blame our partner for the distance in the relationship.
We bring a lot of "stuff" to a relationship, much of it not very helpful. Perhaps our model for a relationship is the model we saw growing up and we have never questioned just how healthy that model is. Instead we remain loyal to the model.
And instead of thinking in terms of right or wrong or good better best, simply hold yourself both accountable and responsible for the kind and quality of relationship you CHOOSE to live in.
And it's always helpful to ask the question: do I experience myself as precious, as lovable, as valuable just because? Do I experience my partner as precious, as lovable, as valuable just because? And if not, why not?
And what keeps me from making a commitment to my partner? Perhaps that is the road to being a better husband. Where am I committed in the relationship and where am I afraid to commit in the relationship?
And there will always be moments of disillusionment....The "better" we are, the more we are willing to risk experiencing the pain of relationships, but also the better we get at the healing work and the healthier and stronger the relationship grows.
And, of course, there is spirituality. Spirituality is a given for me and almost automatically grows out of a healthy relationship. I think the spirituality is more genuine when it grows out of the relationship in contrast to attempting to artificially implant "it." If we believe God is love, then when we choose to live in a loving relationship, we are going to experience God. And we will know, almost automatically, where God is calling us to become better in the relationship.
Well, I guess that is enough for now.
THANKS FOR THE QUESTION.
This is soooo simple. Men, I'll make this short and sweet. Whatever you appreciate in a partner, how they speak to you, what they do for you and with you, the little extras that you aren't expecting, the art of "listening," showing interest in YOUR interests, a little help with problems, a shoulder to cry on, a hand to hold and an understanding heart. All the things you love about her, are the things she loves about you........Love, respect and trust know no gender, no boundaries, and have no manual. You can do this. Your wife believes in you as you believe in her. Didn't I say it is simple?
Help more around the house. Listen when she wants to be heard. Arrange a date night on a regular basis to strengthen your marriage.
SexyLadydee, yes, I was going to say listen too . I also would say that it is not a good idea to call other women sexy. If my wife reads this, I had to call her sexyladydee because that was her username.... hehe. Anyways, also say the word "yes" even if you don't understand the point. For example, I do not understand why my wife needs 300 pieces of jewelry, but I don't tell her she can't buy any. Whatever makes her happy. She makes me happy. It should be a compromise.
Thank you for taking a moment to ask me this question. My best advice would be to understand that women truly do operate differently than we do. Yes, I know every book out there say that men are from one planet and women are from another...but truly...
Women communicate on a deeper level. Men jump from thought to thought..we put things in a certain compartment...so....my advice to men who wish to be better husbands would be...
When your wife is speaking...STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND LISTEN. Move away from the computer, put the video game on pause...most of us married men have some way to pause our sporting events...whatever we are doing...take a moment and listen to the person we say is the most important person in the world to us...and talk...don't change the subject or try to solve the issue...listen more...ask questions instead of giving solutions...
That is the beginning of being a good husband...
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