The key to a successful marriage is unselfishness.
If you can put your spouse’s needs above your own, you are on the right track. Having the desire to fulfill your husband’s needs is in no way submitting yourself to an inferior role as a wife. If you truly love your spouse, then you want to make him happy, and these five things generally make men happy — simple as that.
Yes, every man’s needs are different, however, according to Willard F. Harley Jr., most men have the same basic needs. While each person is unique, these needs are what most men pick on average.
My husband and I are a classic example of a couple with hardly anything in common, especially when it comes to hobbies. We enjoy doing our own things — which can be good in a marriage. But when we spend time together doing what he likes, it’s often a win-win. Spending the evening golfing with my husband was never something I would have chosen, but I ended up having a great time. In fact, it was one of the best dates I have ever been on. Show your husband you care about him by showing some interest in his hobbies. He may even return the favor and spend the day doing what you want to do!
This can be a touchy subject, but it’s an important one. One thing my husband and I have learned is to never treat intimacy like a game — to never withhold it as punishment. Doing so only intensifies feelings of negativity and resentment. Intimacy brings couples together better than anything, and if it’s important to your husband, it needs to be important to you. Whether or not marital intimacy is special depends on the attitude and effort of those involved.
In a healthy relationship, your husband is doing his part — whether that’s having a career, going to school, staying home with children, etc. Most of his actions may go unnoticed. For example, my husband works 8-10 hours a day, then spends his evenings going to school or doing homework. You may not physically see how much your husband does for your family every day, which can make his efforts easier to forget — out of sight, out of mind. Remember, as often as possible, show and tell your husband how much you love and appreciate all he does for you.
Domestic support involves the creation of a peaceful and well-managed home environment. You and your husband may share household chores and other home responsibilities equally, or your husband may need you to handle these responsibilities more often if he is busy handling others. Again, in a healthy relationship, your husband should be doing his part. If this is the case, fulfill hubby’s needs by cooking meals, washing dishes, keeping your home clean, etc.
An Attractive Spouse
As a wife of over 15 years, I know how familiar and comfortable wives can get with their husbands — which is great. As a mother of four, I know how easy it is to stay in my pajamas all day, how luxurious it is to wait and shower when I actually have five minutes of privacy. Some days are like that, and that’s OK, but don’t let this type of thing become a habit. Put effort into making yourself attractive to your spouse. If you don’t see your husband until he walks in the door 30 seconds before dinnertime, schedule a few minutes beforehand to freshen yourself up. I started doing this a couple years ago and noticed a positive difference in my husband’s mood when he came home. Bonus: it makes me feel great, too.
Examining these five needs is a great way to look deeper into your marriage to determine your husband’s individual needs. Whether a marriage is in trouble or not, when spouses fulfill each other’s needs, the relationship becomes stronger.
This story originally appeared on Becky Squire