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Ways to Become a Better Husband


Clarksville, TN – Let’s face it. Life is short—and the divorce rate in this country is astronomical. The reasons for divorce are many and are as varied as the individuals involved, but some common threads run amok in marriage. It’s not always the fault of one person or the other, but some general rules do apply.

In this column we’ll take a look at some easy ways that husbands can make subtle changes that can lead to better communication and ultimately to better harmony in a marriage.

Learn to be a better listener.

Men and women have different ideas of what is important when conversation is taking place. I was once in marriage counseling with a former spouse who proclaimed, “I don’t engage in small talk.” The psychologist replied, “That’s too bad because ‘small talk’ is what causes people to become close in a relationship.”

Many men believe it’s not important to listen when their wives are discussing what happened during the day with her children, friends or relatives. Many women process through discussion. Men sometimes assume that their wives are asking them to fix a problem when the wife is merely asking for someone to listen while she decides how she is going to proceed.

At other times, men tune their wives out when scheduling information is being given. Later when it’s time to go to a reception or concert, the husband will say, “Why didn’t you tell me we were going to do this?” The wife is then totally irritated because she has told him this not once but several times.

Listening when your spouse is talking is a necessity, not an option.

Communicating that you still love your wife should be a daily occurrence.

How many marriages have fallen apart because the husband has failed to say “I love you” for weeks, months, or even years? The husband’s usual response is “I can’t understand why she left me. She should have known how much I love her and depend on her!”

Wives don’t run on automatic pilot. Women love to hear “You look beautiful” or “I love you more than I ever have” or “How did I get so lucky to have you in my life?” Men need to never assume that if they are thinking these things, their wives can just read their minds.

My husband and I always tell each other every single day of our lives that we love each other. We say it every time we end a phone conversation.

You can’t assume that you’ll have a million tomorrows together.

I used to live next door to a couple who had an argument just before he was leaving on a trip. The wife turned her head away and wouldn’t even say, “Good-by.” He was killed in a plane accident a few days later.

Don’t take your spouse for granted.

Help your spouse without having to be asked.

Many men say to their wives, “Don’t talk to me like you are my mother!” Usually that’s because he’s been asked to take out the garbage or clear the dinner table or some other chore around the house.

If you see that something needs to be done, don’t wait to be asked—or told!–to do it. Every day chores are for everyone who lives in the dwelling. “Mom” doesn’t have to be the only one to take care of whatever needs to be done. In this day and time, most women work outside the home—and even if they don’t, it’s not their job to do every single task to keep the house working efficiently.

Just do it!

If a special occasion is coming up and you need to buy your wife a gift, ask her what she would like to have.

Many men believe that jewelry, flowers or candy are the only presents to give their wives. They may be what your wife really wants—but they might not be what she’s wishing for.

Some women really want a new dishwasher or a spa day or a weekend trip or any number of other things. Talk to her and find out. You wouldn’t want her to give you another tie when what you really want is a new fishing rod, would you?

Don’t set yourself up to disappoint her. Just talk to her and get some idea of what might make her smile.

Be open and honest about your budget—and work together.

Money problems are one of the top reasons that marriages break up. Plan together and help each other keep on track. Two people who marry always come from different styles of handling money. You have to compromise. Sitting down together and making a budget can eliminate many arguments and financial disasters.

Marriage is one of the two most difficult undertakings in which people can engage. The other is parenthood—and that’s a whole different can of worms!


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