Before I was married, I remember sitting in church and hearing that scripture that tells the older women to teach the younger women to love their husbands. I thought “I just don’t understand why God would say that. Wouldn’t we love them already if we married them?”
Then I got married.
And with marriage I began to understand that this fried-chicken brown man with 9.5 of my 10 listed qualities was often unkind, insensitive, and downright unlovable. In those moments I learned it was especially important for me to demonstrate my devotion to him. I knew I’d end up divorced eventually, but God told me that he wouldn’t allow me to leave that marriage until I’d learned to treat him right when he did me wrong.
God is just so unfair at times… Just, but unfair.
Many of you have a great partner but with daily stressors, it’s easy to overlook and under-appreciate his efforts, as meager they may be. After all, he is a man. He doesn’t do things the way you’d want him to. He’s sometimes emotionally disconnected and downright rude. Why would you want to put in extra work?
I know these sentiments well. (And to be perfectly honest, things are sooo much easier on this side. You mad? Not today? Well maybe tomorrow then…) But still, when I do marry again, I’ll have to come back to this list, swallow my pride and take care of my commitment.
Take what you can, and leave the rest…
- Wear something attractive when you leave the house. This includes make-up and jewelry to his tastes. Sometimes they say they like one thing when they really like another. Takes time to learn this skill, but start off small.
- Wear very little when you’re at home. It won’t kill your kids to see you in a halter top, sundress and leggings. No mu-mu’s, bulky bathrobes, or flannel pajamas. You don’t want him looking elsewhere, do you?
- Wear nothing (or next to nothing) in your bedroom. Make this a rule… please. As your children grow older, they should spend less time in your bedroom.
- Dismiss his jerky responses five times out of ten. After you get good at five times, work your way up to eight. Eventually he’ll get the point that he can’t touch a naked woman if he’s been a jerk.
- Have sex the night before or the morning of church. Ya’ll come in looking like ravenous wolves and the poor single folk can’t take any more of your abuse. If your husband is a minister, you really need to take care of him because the devil will walk in and try to catch his eye.
- Get in and/or stay in shape. Of course men are visual, but really, you’ll feel better about yourself and everything around you by doing this.
- Feed him his favorite meal… lightened up. Men like lasagna, meatloaf and stuff covered with barbecue sauce. Let him eat it, but lighten it up a little without telling him what you’ve done. And if you don’t know how to cook, then by all means, learn. Email me, and we’ll work something out.
- Romance him. If you don’t already know his love language, learn it and communicate it to him. If he likes to be touched, then touch him. If he needs to hear how handsome you think he is, tell him. If he likes to have his shirts ironed, then take them to the cleaners because most of us don’t do that anymore… lol.
- Celebrate him when he comes home from work. Brush your hair. Fix your make-up. Get the kids at the door and cheer for him as he comes in. Tell him “thank you.”
- Re-stock his favorite foods and drinks before they’re empty.
- Keep your car clean. Who am I kidding? This will never happen.
- Say “Ok, baby…. whatever you want” at least once a day. Get it over with early before the stresses of the day make it too difficult.
- Conform to his mood. If he’s being goofy, then join in. If he’s a little somber, then downplay your emotional highs. Don’t do this all the time, but it helps.
- Make dessert at least twice a month. You don’t want to be gluttonous, but figure out what he likes and have some every so often. If you’re doing #3 and #6, then #21 should take care of the extra calories.
- Send him loving texts during the day. If you could just modernize and personalize a scripture or two from Song of Solomon, that’ll do.
- Argue with him… logically. Now women tend to be emotional, and there’s nothing wrong with it when our emotions are balanced. But if you could just give him one good logical argument, you’ll watch his jaw drop. This really is more for you than him, but do it anyway.
- Play dumb sometimes. A man’s self-esteem is important. Sometimes, when you know he’s wrong, play dumb instead of demanding the truth. Getting him to admit something shameful (or pressuring him and causing him to lie) may be more damaging than just overlooking it and playing dumb. A “Hmmm… I wonder how that happened” should suffice.
- Don’t argue with him in front of the kids or talk about him in a negative way. You probably have a friend or two with whom you can vent, but be sure these people won’t carry your tales or treat him differently when they see him.
- Be faithful to him. In word, emotion, deed, sexually… all that.
- Have a quiet spirit. Being overly emotional and excitable will cause him to shut allll the way down when you need him to communicate.
- Have sex. You don’t have to make love allllll the time. I think men get tired when we make an event of everything, and so they resort to simpler measures. You don’t want to discourage your mate with your “romance novel” fantasies just like you don’t want him bringing porn star images to bed.
Fret not, ladies. A list is coming for your dear hubbies, but if you want him to read it, you should get a head start on a few of these items.
Which items are easy for you? Which are challenges?
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Please please please comment and share your thoughts and forward to your friends even if it’s just for giggles.
With love, sincerity, and hope for lasting marriages,
P.S. I will not be accepting any marriage proposals via text, email, Twitter, Facebook, or GChat. I will, however, accept “thank you” cards and gifts from men whose lives have benefited from the list, even if the benefit is nominal.
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