The good news is your wife isn’t nagging you about these things. The bad news is that she still needs them, but doesn’t want to ask. In your quest to love, honor and cherish your wife, here are a few ways you can give her the signs of affections she really needs but is too afraid to ask.
No matter what, she needs and deserves your respect. You’ll never see eye to eye with your wife on everything, so don’t drive a wedge between you determining who is right or wrong. If you have a disagreement, hear her out respectfully. Your wife wants you to listen to her ideas and give them serious consideration. Dr. Amy Bellows says, “Respect allows you to accept another person’s point of view whole-heartedly.”
It’s true men typically think of intimacy in terms of s*x. Women generally view intimacy as an emotional closeness. Take the time to meet her need for intimacy by steps as simple as enjoying a hobby together. Therapist Fran Fisher offers couple exercises to recharge your emotional intimacy. The good news is, when you work to improve her idea of intimacy, your idea of intimacy will improve as well. It’s a win-win.
Two minutes of undivided attention
While women tend to multitask well, men are often good at focusing on one thing at a time. These qualities complement each other. To make this difference work for your marriage, take time to focus on her when she is talking to you. First, look up from what you are doing, and second, listen. Really listen. Don’t just pretend and nod your head. Focus your attention on her and what she is saying. There likely will be a pop quiz on the information later.
Coaches can communicate with their teams from the sidelines. Take a page from his playbook and come up with a discreet way to say, “I love you” and use it often when you’re in public.
Even if you consider your wife to be your equal in every way, she needs you to be strong and confident. Warning: Don’t confuse this as overbearing and brutish. A study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
showed that men who are confident without being arrogant are more attractive to women.
The adage is opposites attract, but the truth is that common goals keep a relationship strong. Setting and achieving goals keeps both partners engaged in the marriage and helps to see past the immediate obstacles that will inevitably come your way.
A dynamic relationship
The middle years of a relationship can feel like treading water. But, like floating in the ocean, you’re still moving. If you don’t make an effort to grow together, you will find yourself drifting apart. There is no standing still.
Spiritual leadership in your home
Whether religious or agnostic, women are, by nature, more in tune with spiritual matters. This means you have to work at keeping up. If your wife attends a worship service, go with her without complaining. Initiate the invitation to pray together at home. In their book, The Soul-Mate Marriage: The Spiritual Journey of Becoming One, authors David and Lisa Frisbee outline the importance of both partners being spiritually invested in the relationship.
Your shower gel
Her sense of smell is keener than yours. There’s a reason shower gel marketed toward teen boys do so well. Hint: It’s because teen girls — and women — like the smell of a just-washed man.
A best friend
Though you may golf with your buddies every now and then, she needs to talk to her best friend everyday. She needs a bestie who listens to her, who opens up to her and who she can talk to everyday. Acknowledge her need for a best friend and give them time together. She also needs you to be the best friend she can trust. You don’t have to abandon all manliness, but taking a few steps to become her best friend will go a long way.
A good laugh every day
Laughing releases endorphins. We love people who make us smile. Express your affection in silly ways. Be playful in your relationship and have fun together. In the words of actress Joanne Woodward, “Sexiness wears thin after awhile and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that is a treat.”
A little indulgence every now and then
Every once in a while, she just needs a break. Take time to give her a little royal treatment. A nice foot massage, dinner out, or a night in reading a good book may be all she needs to rejuvenate her mind and get the rest and relaxation she needs.