Am I making my husband happy?
As a newlywed, I find myself asking this question from time to time, and it's difficult to answer. I suppose that's understandable, since I'm new at this wife gig. Not to mention, men are known to be hard to read. But if this whole marriage business is about making each other happy, what exactly is my husband looking for me to do in order to fulfill that role on a daily basis? To answer this question, I got input from six of my male friends (my husband included) who have gotten married within the last year, and guess what emerged from their responses? The top five "little things" newlywed wives do to make their husbands happy.
Make little sacrifices. One guy tells the story: "I love LEGOs, and have ever since I was a little kid. But I have way too many. My wife and I have had discussion about selling or getting rid of some because they take up most of my parents' basement and she hates clutter! She went against her better judgment and bought me a really cool LEGO set for Christmas, because she knew it would make me happy - and it did." Another mentions that he his wife willingly goes out to shovel the driveway with him, even though she didn't grow up having to do that kind of work.
Newlywed husbands like when their wives are willing to give up a little something for them. It shows them that the relationship is give-and-take and their love is selfless.
Take care of him. Somewhat stereotypically, the men told me they love that their wives do the laundry, keep a clean house, make dinner, and do the dishes. Two of them mentioned how sweet it is that their wives make sure they have coffee in the morning, and another wrote, "She always has leftovers packed and ready for me to take as lunch." My husband loves when I give him back rubs or foot massages, or if I'm willing to just run upstairs and get something he needs.
Newlywed husbands like to be cared for. You shouldn't baby him, act like his mother, or let him walk all over you, but partnering with him to keep a clean house and making the occasional effort to go out of your way to do something nice for him will go a long way.
Do things he likes - even if you don't like them. Two guys specifically mentioned they love that their wives sit down and watch football with them. One raved that his wife plays Xbox with him and is willing to read his favorite books, while another told the story of how his wife finally watched "Star Wars" with him. He commented, "I couldn't tell if she liked it at first, but after it was over, she had a sheepish look on her face and tried not to smile as she said softly, 'Can we watch the 2nd one now?'"
Let's face it - men and women don't generally like the same activities. But your newlywed husband wants to spend time with you, and it means a lot if you are willing to do or try things he likes - especially if it's something you wouldn't normally choose to do on you own. Who knows? Maybe, like "Star Wars," you'll end up liking it!
Show you genuinely respect him. One guy wrote that his wife is always glad to see him when he gets home and often prepares surprises for him. Another said he could tell his wife cares because she calls her mom to share good news about things that are going on in his life. One summed his wife up by saying she is "just very thoughtful and understanding," while another shared, "Feeling respected is definitely something husbands respond to."
I am certainly guilty of failing to show my husband respect. I can be quick to judge and criticize, and not as quick to defend or brag about him. It's easy to get so used to your husband that you take him for granted. Your newlywed husband will be happy if you go out of your way to show that you are happy to be with him, proud of him, and genuinely respect him for who he is.
Be yourselves. One new husband wrote, "She lets me be romantic and takes me seriously." Another said his wife makes him happy just by being who she is. Two mentioned the importance of a sense of humor - one wrote, "She makes me laugh on a daily basis," while another told a story: "Once she got mad at me and for some reason reacted by blowing in my face... ever since we have used that as a way to express our frustration, and it usually leads to laughter."
When you can get through conflicts, laugh together, and not have to walk on eggshells around one another, you have begun building the foundation of a strong, lasting marriage. Newlywed husbands are happy when you can just be yourselves together. Let him be him, and he'll love you for you!
While these five "little things" might be somewhat universal, one of the great things about a marriage is that each is unique. Every day you can discover something new about how your individual relationship works and what makes your husband tick. Enjoy a lifetime of figuring out what "little things" you can do to make each other happy!
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