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10 Things Every Husband Should Be Doing for His Wife

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25 NIV).

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard work. It takes deliberate effort to follow through on the vows we make on our wedding day. No matter how well prepared we think we are for marriage, we aren’t—not until we begin to walk those vows out. Whether you’ve said, “I do,” recently or you’ve been together for decades, you can count on one thing—your lives will be full of for better or for worse.

So how can you keep your marriage strong in the better and build it back up in the worse? Love your wife more than yourself. Push your needs aside and instead of asking what she can do for you, ask, “What can I do for her?” The list I’m offering next is only meant as a springboard to answer that question. God knows your wife and your marriage. He put you together, and He wants you to stay together. Ask Him to reveal her heart, then pay attention to what He shows you.

10 Things Every Husband Should Be Doing for His Wife

1. Touch Her

Most women crave affection outside of the bedroom. In the beginning of your marriage, you probably didn’t even have to think about holding her hand or rubbing her back. The longer we’re married, the more absent our touches can become. Jobs, kids, and financial stress can take priority over focusing on one another.

But even though life gets busy, her need to feel loved by you hasn’t changed. Look at it from her side—the day you married her, she became off-limits to every other man. Any affection she receives only comes from you. That’s a privilege, not a chore. She’s yours to take care of and love. You get her in ways no one else can have her. Don’t withhold something she needs; make touching her a priority. An unexpected hug can be worth a thousand I-love-you’s. Try it and see.

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2. Show Her Respect

When you first met, I’ll bet you asked her where she wanted to eat, what movie she wanted to see, or what she thought about her future. When you knew she was the one, you probably saw her as a partner, an equal, and someone to talk things out with. Her opinions mattered.

Now that you’re married, remember that. Keep listening to her, and value her input. Consider her needs even if you don’t understand them. Remember, she’s just as invested in the life you’re making together as you are, and she wants to feel as if she’s standing by your side instead of walking behind you.

3. Carry Her Burden

We get married for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that we don’t want to go through life alone. There’s something appealing about that picture of growing old and gray together. Part of that appeal comes from having someone else to shoulder your burden.

When life weighs her down, step in and bear some of her load. Give her a chance to rest—emotionally, physically, spiritually. Be there for her, and when it comes time to return the favor, she’ll be strong enough to be there for you.

4. Speak Her Love Language

It’s true that women and men show and receive love differently, but I don’t think it’s about gender as much as it’s about personality. Not everyone speaks the same love language. Chances are, the things that make you feel appreciated and wanted won’t always make her feel the same. When you cart the kids around to give her a break, your heart’s in the right place. But if she really needed you to bring her flowers to feel loved, you’re going to go through a lot of effort to show your devotion and be left disappointed.

Stop, drop, and roll. Stop and pay attention to what makes her feel cherished. What makes her feel like she’s your number one. Drop what you’re doing if it doesn’t match up. Then roll with what you discover. If you’re not an observant guy, cheat. Ask her what she needs. Yes, she may be irritated that you couldn’t figure it out, but she’ll also be touched that you cared enough to try.

5. Let Her Be Herself

You fell in love with your wife for who she was, whether you met her in high school, college, or after. Maybe what first made you fall was her sense of humor, the way she wore her hair, or how you felt when she smiled at you. And you never wanted her to change.

But people do change. Life brings experiences and circumstances along with responsibilities. And we have to adapt, good or bad. Plus, we want to grow as people, and God is pruning us to be our best. Encourage her to pursue new interests, make new friends, and change her style. Love who she was yesterday and be excited for who she’s going to become tomorrow.

6. Give Her Space

When you get married, you naturally spend most of your time together. You live in the same place, have a lot of the same friends, and go to the same events. But even though you’ve merged your lives together, you both still need space.

Give her time to be alone, but also give her the space to do the things that are important to her, even if they don’t interest you. If she feels good about who she is alone, she’ll be able to be a stronger partner when you’re together.

7. Treat Her Better Than a Stranger

Test yourself this week. Watch how you interact with people you’ve just met. Are you polite? Considerate? Do you answer questions patiently? Listen to their opinions? Check yourself when you’re angry? Now compare that behavior with how you act around your wife.

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