For you husbands out there, I wanted to give you a few things to try this year. Not all of them might work for you. But some of them might be worth a try. I’m not promising instantaneous improvement but I think many of these might just help your marriage out. I’m also not promising that I do all of them perfectly by any means. But this year – let’s try some of them together.
1. Say goodbye when you leave the house and hello when you return home.
2. Hug your wife. Sometimes give her a pat on the tush. Not in a weird way, but in a “I’m attracted to you” way. In front of your kids.
3. Text your wife some of your feelings throughout the day sometimes. Give her some updates on feelings. Try these: I’m sad. I feel pretty lonely today. I’m stressed and don’t know why. I’m glad I’m married to you. But don’t use mine. Use yours. (Hint: you need to be able to identify more feelings than just a few)
4. Take her on dates. Shoot for every two weeks. Pay the same sitter every time and put it in the books so you don’t have to think about it and negotiate it every time (automate the important). It doesn’t have to be fancy. In fact, you could do the same thing every time – go the same restaurant and eat dinner and go for a walk. But you could try the free things in your city. Just go. Every week would be even better and something to shoot for.
5. Send her away a few times a year for a night. Book her a hotel on Priceline. You can often get one for $30. It doesn’t matter where (Well, mostly. Let’s not pick some place sketchy). Take care of the kids so she doesn’t have to worry about it. Do not ask her for help while she’s gone. Tell her to buy her dinner so she can stay away longer that night.
6. Go get a pedicure with her once this year.
7. Pick up one of her hobbies. Not to crowd her out, but to do something with her sometimes.
8. Read through the New Testament this year. You can do this.
9. Lose some weight. Eat healthier. Exercise. If not for you, for her.
10. Go get some marriage counseling. Everyone needs counseling. You do. We all have issues. We all have things to talk about.
11. Plan a vacation doing something she likes to do. Get away. Don’t take your computer. Keep your phone off. Spend time with her.
12. Make sure you watch some chick flicks.
13. Take your television out of your bedroom for the year. Beds should be for two things and tv isn’t one of those two.
14. Take your kids on some dates. Your wife will like that.
15. Try family devotionals after dinner. Pick something easy that takes 5-10 minutes. Read through the Jesus Story Book Bible or children’s catechisms or read through short books of the Bible together. Pray. Then you’ll be finished. If you stop – start again.
16. Pick a habit that annoys your wife and try to stop doing that and see what happens.
17. Sign up for some dancing lessons. Or art lessons.
18. Make it a point to go to church every Sunday. Participate in it. Don’t just sit there. Don’t throw a fit about going. Pray. Sing. Worship. Serve. Join the community. Ask God to do something in your heart. (I’d suggest City Pres or one of these if you’re around Oklahoma City.)
19. Read a book with her at night before bed. Something with short chapters.
20. Install a porn blocker on your phone, on your computer and on everything in the house. It doesn’t matter what it costs. Just do it. It doesn’t matter if you can’t look at every single website you might ever want to see. Make sure someone else has the password so you can’t get around it or change it (your pastor, your friend, your wife, your mom). Even if you know how to get around it, it’s still worth it because you may come to your senses in the time it takes you for the workaround. And it will also protect your kids. Get one that blocks – not one that reports.
21. Have breakfast with some of your guy friends every week or every other week. It doesn’t matter what you talk about. Just do it consistently and over time those guys will be your best friends, the type you’ll call if you need someone to bail you out of jail.
22. Say you’re sorry. Ask for forgiveness. You should be sorry a lot. You need forgiving often. Just admit it.
What do you think? Willing to try one? Maybe two? If you fail, try again. It’s okay. Try something. Don’t give up. Love your wife and work on your marriage. Sometimes it’s simple and sometimes it’s radical.