I’ve been married for 5 years now. During this time, both my husband and I have been on a journey of self-improvement. My progress is a story for another time, but his?
His is pretty inspirational. That’s why I want to talk about it today, in the context of becoming a better husband.
You see, when we started out, there were issues. There were times we were close to calling it quits.
But thanks to his hard work and dedication to leaving certain toxic habits in the past, we’ve progressed to a place of harmony, love, and commitment.
So if you want to be a better husband, this article is for you. Read on for a few behaviors you should say goodbye to:
1) Giving the cold shoulder
When you give the cold shoulder to your wife, you’re essentially shutting down any form of communication.
A little while back, I did something that was triggering to my husband (without realizing it). His response was to go cold and quiet.
Luckily, he remembered what he spoke about with his therapist, and eventually came back to me so we could talk through what happened. In the past, he could ignore me for days.
I was glad – because once he explained how he felt, I understood my role in triggering him. I was able to apologize and we moved on from it. It was also closure for him.
So, the next time you feel like shutting down, take a breather and let your wife know you need space, but don’t drag it on.
Talk to her as soon as you’re both calm enough to do so.
2) Automatically jumping to defense
Being defensive is another behavior to leave behind. I know there will be times when you do need to defend yourself, and in those moments, go for it.
But when your wife is genuinely pointing out something that could be improved, that is a real point of contention in your marriage, hear her out.
If you’ve got respect for each other, the chances are, she’s not trying to attack you.
She’s trying to encourage you to be the man she knows you can be and to create a solid relationship.
This doesn’t mean she is flawless. For sure there will be times when you need to call her out on her behavior.
The point is to be able to listen, really listen, to each other.
The final thing I will say about always being defensive is that it gets tiring. Real quick. It makes the other person feel like they can never bring up issues.
But as we all know – communication in a marriage is key. Be open to it.
3) Expecting your wife to be a mind-reader
I think it’s easy to expect your wife to know what you’re thinking or feeling, especially if you’ve been together for a long time.
I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past.
But the truth is, as humans, we’re always evolving and changing.
Something that never used to bother you in the past might suddenly become an issue now. But your wife won’t realize that unless you verbalize it.
You see, when you expect her to read your mind, you’re putting her in an impossible situation.
9 times out of 10 she’s going to get it wrong, and you’ll argue.
So why not avoid that altogether and just get into the habit of speaking your mind?
Be open about your feelings.
Even if it feels like it should be common sense, taking two minutes to discuss it could save you from dealing with the headache of a situation later on.
4) Not prioritizing quality time
I know that it’s hard to balance everything; work, marriage, friends, family, hobbies…there aren’t enough hours in the day sometimes.
But one behavior to say goodbye to if you do want to be a better husband is neglecting quality time.
I’m not saying you need to spend every hour of every day with your wife. I’m not saying you need to stop seeing your friends or working out.
But just making an effort to do something with her, even once a week, will go a long way.
She’ll feel valued. She’ll see that you really enjoy spending time with her, just as you did when you first started dating.
Not to mention, this quality time is amazing for your marriage. It’s an opportunity to have fun, reconnect, and essentially, remember why you’re together.
Because let’s face it, with the stress of everyday life, it’s easy to forget. Before you know it, you end up being roommates, not life partners.
5) Disrespecting your wife’s boundaries
When it comes to boundaries, it’s got to work both ways.
For the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume your wife respects yours. If she doesn’t, this is your alarm bell that a serious conversation needs to be had.
So, what type of boundaries am I talking about?
- Personal space and time. Your wife is still an individual person. She doesn’t owe you all of her time or space. Respect her when she needs an hour to decompress after work, or an afternoon to herself.
- Emotional boundaries. If there are certain topics that are emotionally testing or triggering, approach them in the way your wife is most comfortable. Don’t shame her for feeling upset, even if you don’t fully understand why.
- Digital boundaries. We live in an age where everything is online. Respect your wife’s privacy, don’t read her messages or go through her inbox. Unless it’s something you’ve already discussed beforehand, of course.
Think about it this way – when you’re disrespecting her boundaries, you’re disrespecting her.
If you want to be a better husband and create a marriage based on mutual respect, start here.
6) Being selfish in bed
I could get into this topic deeply – I have pretty strong views on how porn has jaded a lot of men’s expectations when it comes to sex.
So while I’m not giving guys a free pass, I do understand where it might come from.
But you’re a grown man. Porn shouldn’t be your only education on sex. By now, you should know that your wife also craves and deserves pleasure.
In other words, it’s not all about you.
Now, I get it. Maybe she takes longer. Maybe she struggles to orgasm. Maybe it’s just easier to give up once you’ve reached the finish line.
Many women struggle in this area. But it takes a patient, dedicated man to make sure his wife receives the pleasure she’s entitled to.
So give it a go. Make her feel sexy, desired, and wanted. Take your time with her body. Pay attention to it.
Not only will your wife love you for this, but I bet my last dollar that your overall sex life will improve too.
7) Not helping with childcare
I grew up watching my mom resent my dad for not helping out with my brother and me.
He was working, I’ll give him that. But he could have helped out when he came home. We were his kids just as much as my mom’s. And she worked too.
So get involved.
Stop seeing the responsibility as hers. It’s your responsibility to be a father to your kids – they’re paying attention too you know. They will pick up on this and as they get older, hold you accountable.
But in terms of your marriage, having a supportive husband makes a world of difference.
You might find your wife has more time to spend with you. To look after herself. To be the person you once fell in love with.
I’ll be honest, I’ve met so many men who complain that their wife isn’t the same once kids come along. Yes – kids change you as a person.
But most of the time? Women are exhausted. We need your support. Maybe those men wouldn’t “miss” their wives if they picked up the slack and just helped her out.
The point of this article isn’t to make men out to be the bad guys. I know most of you are really trying your best. But there’s a reason you’re reading this article.
And as a woman, I wanted to share how certain behaviors affect us. These are behaviors you might not have even realized you were displaying.
So please take it with an open mind, see it as a chance to improve yourself, and I strongly advise you to bring up these points with your wife.
Change starts with open communication and respect. By taking that first step, you’re already on your way to becoming a better husband.