Showing your husband or significant other how much you love him is as important to your family’s happiness as actually saying the words “I love you.” When he feels loved and your kids see how much you care about each other, it strengthens your family bond and gives your children a clear view of what they can look forward to in a healthy relationship.
In the beginning of your relationship, showering your special someone with lovin’ was easy, because it was automatic…and there weren’t all those pesky mutual responsibilities in your lives. As your family and those responsibilities grew, the lovey dovey started to melt away, replaced by making it through each day as partners.
Every husband can use extra doses of tenderness, for no other reason than just to show him how much you love and care about him. Here are some good places to start.
1. Kiss him. Kisses don’t have to be sloppy, tongue-wrestling matches to show how much you care. If you’re standing at the sink and he goes for your cheek to kiss you goodbye, stop what you’re doing, turn around and let him have a good one. It’ll make an impression. Bonus points for going for the tongue-wrestle.
2. Cuddle when you normally wouldn’t. If he’s on the couch watching Nascar, or in my husband’s case, Dr. Who, sit beside him or rest your head on his lap. Sure, you may not be excited about what he’s watching, but he’ll know you’re making a little sacrifice to spend some time with him. Bonus points for cheering along or showing real interest in the program.
3. Apologize quickly. If you’ve had a bad day and take it out on him (admit it, we all do), apologize sincerely as soon as you regain your composure. He may have taken it on the chin like a champ, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t hurt. Admit you were wrong, and say you’re sorry. Bonus points for tongue-wrestling.
4. Encourage some guilt-free “him time.” We’re good at the guilt trip, even if it’s a sigh or longing look when he’s walking out the door to hang with the boys or check out what’s new at the video game store. Instead, tell him to have fun–and mean it. “Me time” is important for both of you, and making him feel like he owes you something for “allowing” him to be a dude, isn’t awesome for your relationship. Bonus points for buying him tickets or a gift card to an event or special interest store.
5. Buy him something pretty. Pretty to him that is. It may make you crazy that he still loves plaid polos, but if it’s what he really likes, you knew that when you got hitched. Buying him something that totally suits his personal taste shows him that you love him and respect his individuality. Bonus points for giving it to him “just because.”
6. Make him a playlist. Every woman has songs that makes her think of her man. Why keep yours to yourself? He may not listen to it on repeat like you would, but he will listen to it, and he’ll feel just how much you love him in every note. Bonus points for finding songs in his preferred genre.
7. Do “his” chores. In our house, we split all the housework and childcare duties. A lot of things overlap, like diapers and cooking, but there are certain things that are clearly under one of our jurisdictions…like taking out the garbage. Totally his. Randomly taking care of one of “his” chores, just so he doesn’t have to is always appreciated. Bonus points for refraining from drawing his attention to it. He’ll notice…eventually.
8. Give him your attention. When he’s talking, listen attentively, even if you’re not even sure what he’s talking about…like Dr. Who. You used to hang on his every word, and it made him feel important. Giving him your attention when he’s venting about his day or excited about a new project shows him that the things that matter to him matter to you, too. Bonus points for asking questions to clarify so he knows you’re really paying attention.
9. Let him snooze. All parents know that sleep is a precious indulgence. When he has a chance to get some extra ZZZs, let him have them. He’ll wake up feeling refreshed, and who knows, it may just pay off in some things getting crossed off that To-Do list. Bonus points for not mentioning the To-Do list.
10. Slip something special into his lunchbox. Be it a sweet note or his favorite candy bar, that little something extra will make him smile and think of you. Bonus points for making something really special, like giving his mom’s famous apple pie recipe a shot.
11. Go digital. Send him occasional text messages or instant message him on his computer. Bonus points for throwing in a little sassy suggestion…as long as you’re serious about following through.
12. Applaud his accomplishments. Whether they’re big or small, giving him a genuine pat on the back and telling him you’re proud of him means way more than you think. He wants to feel like a hero, and more importantly, your family’s hero. Celebrate the great things he does, big and small. Bonus points for rewarding his heroics with an impromptu date night, complete with massage.
13. Remember him when you get something for yourself. If you’re headed to the kitchen, make a habit of asking if you can get him anything while you’re up. When you’re at the store, throw in a single serving of his favorite ice cream when you’re getting your favorite frozen treat. Bonus points for making it a double and serving it in bed.
14. Don’t play his mom. It’s not your job to raise him, change him or nag his every move. You knew his quirks, endearing and maddening, when you walked down the aisle. Trying to make him a different man will only create distance between you. Save riding him for the boudoir and love him for who he is. Speaking of which, bonus points for…
15. Give him the green light. There’s no hard and fast rule that the fella has to be the one to start the fun. If you’re interested in a romantic romp, drop some hints that you’re looking for love. Initiating some naughtiness shows him that after all this time, you still find him sexy and you like what papa’s got to offer. Bonus points for jello wrestling.
If you show him you care, the benefits to your marriage and family are endless. You’ll both be happier and he’ll most likely start returning the random doses of affection and thoughtfulness. Do you have any little secrets or tips to show him you care?