I want to remind you that ‘submission’ from your wife is not yours to demand or enforce or impose. Your calling as a husband is to love them and not to be bitter towards them.
Don’t try to understand your wife, because chances are that you won’t. There are some days of the month when she might not even understand herself.
Why don’t you make things easier for yourselves by just learning the art of communication? Find out what actions and words transmit love to your wife. Then do them.
Talk to her. Even when you feel you have nothing to say, find something to say, no matter how mundane. Read a book and discuss it. Watch a film together and discuss. Discuss music, artistes, discuss trends, discuss the past, discuss the present, discuss the future. Talk about your plans, your dreams, your aspirations. Talk about the people in your lives. You know, my mum used to say that marriage is the only place where gossip is not considered gossip. Be a husband who is a part of his wife’s life and her day and her plans.
Listen to her. You think women talk too much? Wait until you live with one who doesn’t. Even when you think she’s not making sense, or when you’ve heard the story again and again, or when you think you have more important things on my mind, listen to your wife. Look at her while at it and throw in the occasional, ‘Wow!, Really?, Are you serious?… Act surprised, happy, sad, intrigued… or whatever it is what she is talking about demands. And, to be able to figure that out, you have to be really listening.
Make your woman laugh. Even if you think you don’t have a sense a humor, learn it. But make sure, it’s the kind of jokes that will keep her laughing even after you’ve left the room, or long afterwards when she’s sharing the joke with her friends. Her friends might think the joke is not funny but, believe me, it won’t matter. Be a husband whose wife will smile and chuckle in a conference meeting at the thought of you.
Be a friend to her. Be a friend who wants to share and grow together. Be a friend who is always offering a helping hand. A friend who goes the extra mile. Be a friend who would advice and take advice. A friend who will seek out his friend. A friend who is interested in the life of his friend. Be a friend to your wife. And be a husband who is interested in his wife. In her goals, her ideas, her passion and her idiosyncrasies. Support and champion her causes and interests. Let her make her own decisions, and even if you think she’s wrong, give the benefit of the doubt. Let her make her own mistakes, and resist from saying, “I told you so.”
Respect your wife.
Appreciate your wife, with you words and with your actions. Celebrate your wife. Pay compliments.
Help at home. Even if she is not employed outside the home. At least one day a month, go home early and make dinner for the family. Find at least another day in the month and take her out for dinner. Believe me it won’t kill your savings or affect your money that much, but it will do tremendous things for your relationship. Be a husband who helps. Be a handy man.
Ask for her opinions and validate the ones you find useful, then give her credit.
Give gifts, no matter how small. One of the most beautiful gifts my husband gives me is “Cashew nuts” or Häagen daz Ice-cream”… especially when I get it on, you know, those days when I’m fighting the very bitchy PMS.
Defend your wife. Not that she can’t defend herself, but the results when you do will be in your favour.
Settle your differences with the utmost care and gentleness. You will not always be right. When you’re not, admit it and apologize. When you are, don’t force it down her throat. Don’t lord it over her. Make your point without making the woman in your life feel dumb. Don’t talk to her in the way you talk to you subordinates or a child. Stop exaggerating things. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t give instructions, you are not her father nor her teacher. You are her husband. Stick to that role.
You are not bigger or better or stronger or wiser. You don’t know more or less than she does. You are not a judge or a mind reader. You are neither a lord nor a master. You are a husband. And this is a job that demands humility and wits and strength of character. So, stop complicating your life, come down from your high horse and just be a husband. Believe me, when you do, she will come to you for all of the above and for many more, a godly women will exalt you beyond the highest positions imaginable to man.
You think your culture or tradition has anything to do with marriage? You think your education or degrees will help you? You think that your gut instinct is enough? You think you know? Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but you don’t know jack! Work with the wife and find out what works for both of you. Make your own rules and be willing to break them if need be. Be open to change, because both of you will change. Be willing to learn new tricks and unlearn old ones. Marriage will do things to you that nothing in this world will equal. Make sure you are the husband that will remain standing and make sure your wife stands with you.
You think all of the above is too much? You think women are too complicated? Well, wait until you end up with an unhappy wife. Then you will understand what “too much” or “too complicated” really means.
Believe me, the only thing worse than doing the above is an unhappy marriage.
Remember, dear husband, ‘submission’ is not yours to demand or enforce or impose. Love and respect is yours to give.
P.S. There will be a follow up letter to the wife. And, given that I’m pretty sure that I have left out more than a few things, I ask you to add your voice in the comment section. Whether you’re a husband, a wife, or you’re unmarried, disagree with me if you must, point out anything you thing is worthy of emphasis, highlight anything that resonates with you. And I hope you have enjoyed the article. If you have, please share.