This month, my husband and I will be celebrating our 5th anniversary and I’m very excited for the day to come. We’ve been through a lot these past few years and I hope that there are many more years to come; I actually hope to grow old with him and share my entire life with him. He is my best friend, my lover and my everything.
We’ve known each other for a little over 7 years now and we actually met online in a chat session. I really do believe that God planned our meeting and that He made everything happened afterwards. We chatted for a little while and shared e-mails but forgot about each other for a time. He then sent me an instant message asking me who I was and we connected from there. He lived about 1 hour and a half away from me but for almost a year, he would come visit me every week. He eventually moved because I really didn’t like the long distance (well, I thought it was long) and the rest is history. A few years and two gorgeous children later, here we are. At our most beautiful time together yet.
He and I have very different personalities. When we met, I was very quiet, reserved and shy. And he is all the opposite; he’s not afraid to speak his mind. He can also be very indifferent and I’m not like that; if there’s something wrong and I notice I have to do something about it. But we have learned to move past our differences and focus on the things we share. Besides, if we were both the same, we would probably get bored all the time.
I’ve actually read a few books about personalities and marriage, and I’ve tried to combine them to use them in my marriage to make the best of it. No one prepares us for marriage, just like no one prepares us to be parents one day, but we learn as we go. One of the books that I really like is “5 Love Languages” by Gary D. Chapman. This book helped me identify what my husband most needs from me and what I need from him, so it works both ways. The tips and information on the book can also be applied to other people you love, such as your children, parents, siblings, and friends (and no, I’m not getting paid to say this, I really did read, own a copy and like the book).
One of the things I always read is these marriage books, is that our husbands need respect from us. Ephesians 5:33 says, “But each one of you must love his wife as he loves himself. And a wife must respect her husband.” So we should receive love from our husbands, and they should receive respect from us.
I do think men need more than respect in their lives, but I think it is a crucial thing for them for a few reasons. One, they can be insecure (although they might not show it) but they do compare themselves to each other, and by showing them respect, people think better of them and that makes them feel better (and you do want people thinking your husband is the best, right?). Two, when you show respect to your husband, he will try his best to treat you right (he will be your knight in shining armor always to the rescue). Three, if you have children, this will impact their lives as well because if you respect your husband, they will see that and they will also respect him (and daddy will be their hero forever).
So, how do you show respect to your husband? Here are 10 tips for you to try that have worked for me:
- Pray for him, and ask him if there is something that he would like you to pray about (God is always the answer).
- Tell him encouraging and uplifting words – you don’t have to learn the dictionary, but you can start by telling him he looks good (men do like to hear that), tell him I love you everyday, thank him for something he did (maybe he cleaned the car or the bathroom), or things he likes to hear. But never use a negative word on him
- Do things he likes to do – yes, I know that being the mechanic’s hand is not the best thing in the world, but if he likes to work on cars (or other mechanical things), and you help him, he will think you are the best wife in the world. Does he like biking? Go out with him. Does he like fishing? You can try it too. It doesn’t mean you have to do it everyday, just once in awhile so that he feels the love. Every husband likes to have sex (well at least mine does), and although I know we are not always up for it, make time to be intimate; it’s special for both.
- Push him to his potential – when you chose your husband, you saw a lot of potential in him. Maybe he talked to you about starting a business? Or maybe he had other goals and dreams that have been forgotten. Encourage him to always try; to never give up. You want your husband to be a fighter for your family, but if you don’t discover his potential, he will always be less than what he should be.
- Pamper him – maybe your husband doesn’t like to do his nails or get a massage (or maybe he does!) but find ways to pamper him. This could mean cooking something he really likes, or treating him to a place he likes to visit. I’m my husband’s personal barber. He loves it and I can see he really relaxes when I’m at it.
- Show him off – brag about him to family and friends; hold his hand or link arms; kiss him in public (on the cheek or mouth, or wherever). I wouldn’t go as far as opening doors for him (I think they should do that) but make him feel special (just like you want him to make you feel). And please don’t fight in public (they hate that). Keep any discussion for you two only.
- Let him do things for you – here is where I would say, let him open the door for you, give you his jacket, treat you somewhere nice, take you out for a walk. I know your husband wants you to be happy, and he will try to do things you like as well. Let him.
- Give him time off – I don’t mean that he should stop being your husband. I mean that once or twice a week, let him go out with his friends. Or let him do something that you know he wants to on his own (maybe go running or go fishing). My husband likes to run and I don’t but I try to encourage him to do it because it makes him happy. We all need time to just be with ourselves.
- Look pretty for him – you don’t have to wear your fancy clothes or wear make-up everyday (if you do, kudos to you!). But try to dress up once in awhile, wear a perfume he likes, do your hair, and if he likes you with make-up, do your make-up. This will keep his eyes on you, and you only.
- Make him laugh – nobody wants a boring wife. Think back to the days when you were dating, I bet you two would laugh about everything and anything. Think of ways to make him smile and laugh out loud. Marriage doesn’t have to be all serious and no fun. Have fun with your husband; remember that he is your best friend.
There are plenty of other ways to show respect to your husband, just figure out what he likes. I certainly know that it can be hard sometimes to just be nice to him, especially when he made you angry. But if you really want your marriage to work, you will learn the best ways to show him that you really love him. And he will start doing the same for you. Pride doesn’t work in a marriage. When you fight, especially if you have children, everybody is losing. I don’t believe in divorce and I hope you don’t either. Think back when you met your husband and ask yourself what you saw in him back then, he is still there. God can work miracles, so if you are having trouble in your marriage, reach out to him. He is the answer.