Guys, in Part 1 we revealed that your wife doesn’t feel forever loved and happy just because you declared your forever love and married her. It reminds me of that groaner of a joke about the man whose wife complained that he rarely said ‘I love you.’ His response: “Why do I need to tell you that I love you? I told you when we got married; if anything changes, I’ll let you know!”
Although that joke gets well-deserved eye rolls from everyone, most guys secretly understand what that man was saying: Why does she ask whether I love her? We’re married! Of course I love her! She knows that. Right?
Actually: wrong. Fully 82% of women in our research have an unspoken question about “am I loveable?” and “does he really love me?” that doesn’t go away in marriage. Your wife is asking that unspoken question every day, and you are answering it “yes” or “no” every day –whether you realize it or not.
Answering that question “yes” in the little things of life, every day, is the way to make your wife happy.
There are many simple ways to do that. Here are four, to get you started:
Make Her Happy Action #1: Continue to go on dates.
You might have thought you were off the hook for initiating the date nights out or other activities that were designed to win her over before you were married. But you’re not! She’s a smart woman, and she has realized that the best way to ensure that your attention is pulled away from the house/kids/yard/work and focused on the two of you, is to have time together. That makes her very happy.
Having dinner with your small group from church, taking her to a company party, or going out to breakfast with the in-laws is great, but isn’t a date. She needs (and deserves) your undivided attention. Set aside schedules and projects for a few hours. Escape the busyness of life and just enjoy being together.
The good news is: dates with your wife don’t have to be extravagant or meticulously planned. They can be simple, casual and inexpensive; matching your schedules to grab lunch together, meeting for coffee while little Jessica is at ballet, or getting a babysitter and going to a movie. Dating your wife is an investment that pays big dividends in the long-term health and happiness of your marriage.
The important thing is that your wife feels special, pursued, and loved. Because of her hidden vulnerability, your wife’s “I do” will always mean “Do you?” Dating her keeps her answering it well.
Make Her Happy Action #2: Spend time together, regardless of what you’re doing
It turns out: spending time together strengthens your marriage, no matter what you are doing.
This is where breakfast with the in-laws or dinner with your friends from church does count. This is where doing a hobby together, sitting on the couch and watching TV, or hiking with the kids does make a difference in your marriage. In fact, spending time together is a powerful predictor of a happy marriage, according to survey respondents from the research for my book The Surprising Secrets of Highly Happy Marriages. Survey results showed that 83% of “very happy” couples spent time together at least weekly.
Looking for ways to connect and strengthen the friendship between the two of you will always make your wife very happy.
Make Her Happy Action #3: Put down your phone, turn off the TV and listen to her – so that it is obvious that you’re listening
Want a quick “wow” from your wife? When she starts sharing something important about her day, or is telling a story about how her sister stood her up for lunch again, stop what you’re doing, put your attention on her, and listen.
Make a point of showing her that your attention is on her. For example, if she’s upset about something that happened at work, sit down at the kitchen table instead of continuing upstairs to change out of your work clothes. Pull out a chair and sit and listen –and pull out a chair for her as well. Put your phone on the counter, so you aren’t distracted. She will feel very loved.
Make Her Happy Action #4: Do the little daily things that say “I would choose you all over again.”
You chose a wonderful woman to be your wife. After the wedding, she needs you to keep choosing her. And you can do that with the simplest actions. Like putting your arm around her in church. Like taking her hand when you are crossing a parking lot. Like calling her for no reason, just to say hi. Like apologizing when you’ve been in a funk and reassuring her that the two of you are okay. Like sending her a text message during the day that says, “I was just watching some drama play out at work, and feeling so grateful for how kind and generous you are. I really scored when I met you. I love you.”
We promise: she will screenshot and save that text message.
The good news is: even if you hadn’t realized how vital these actions are to making your wife happy, now you know. They are super simple. You can start right now.
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Shaunti Feldhahn loves sharing eye-opening information that helps people thrive in life and relationships. She herself started out with a Harvard graduate degree and Wall Street credentials but no clue about life. After an unexpected shift into relationship research for average people like her, she now is a popular speaker and author of best-selling books about men, women and relationships. (Including For Women Only, For Men Only, and the groundbreaking The Good News About Marriage).
Her latest book, Find Rest: A Women’s Devotional for Lasting Peace in Busy Life, focuses on a journey to rest even with life’s constant demands.
Visit www.shaunti.com for more.