Dear Husband…

I’m very lucky; my husband is a loving, kind, intelligent man.  On the whole we get on very well, and generally if we’ve got a difference of opinion we can talk it out. However, there are odd moments where he does things that baffle me, and he himself is often equally baffled by my reactions to him. Why don’t I find it funny when he pretends that I smell? Where is the line between offering help and insulting my independence? Why will I not accept “nothing” as a valid answer to the question “What are you thinking about?”, and why am I asking in the first place?!

So, dear Husband, here is my QuickStart Guide to Understanding Your Wife:

1. Your Wife likes to be cared for.

You may think I’ve gone a bit old fashioned, but hear me out.  Caring for someone can be noticing when they are tired and offering to give them a foot rub; emptying the bins when they are full and not just on bin day; remembering the thing they asked you to do without having to be reminded. Your Wife may not need someone to tie her shoelaces for her, but a little bit of TLC here and there makes her feel loved.

2. But not too much.

Your Wife is a capable, independent woman, who managed to keep herself alive perfectly well before you came along. Respect her ability to do what needs doing. Help around the house, offer to cook dinner, fix the computer – that’s all great, but if Your Wife is in the middle of doing something don’t barge in and take over just because you want to be helpful. There’s pride and satisfaction in seeing something through from start to finish; even if you think she needs your help at least ask before you dive in.

3. Always treat Your Wife with respect.

This does not mean you have to doff your cap every time she enters the room. This means letting her know she is a special and important person, and understanding that even if your mates at work think it’s hilarious to exchange insults about bodily odour or varying types of swear words, Your Wife may not feel the same way. You would not flip your middle finger up to your Grandmother – so afford Your Wife the same respect.

4. But don’t put her on a pedestal.

Although it’s wonderful that you are completely devoted to Your Wife, it does neither of you any good to worship her to oblivion. She is human. You are human. If she pisses you off, you need to tell her. Don’t let it fester and build up resentment, and don’t let her get away with it! Let her own her behaviour and apologise for it. If you piss her off, you apologise, but don’t be a martyr. Your relationship will be stronger and happier if you can both let each other screw up, apologise, and move on.

5. Think of her.

Probably the easiest way to make Your Wife feel loved and cared for is to let her know you are thinking of her when she is not there. It doesn’t matter how you do it – you could send her a little text from work just to say hi, or when you get home kiss her and tell her you’ve been thinking about her all day. (Even if you have to set a phone alarm to remind you to think about her, that’s probably OK, but I wouldn’t advise putting too much emphasis on that bit.)

I hope that clears things up a bit.

Love, Your Wife x

(P.S. I do realise this is all one-sided, but I can only write from my own point of view. Perhaps later I’ll try a follow up post on ‘What I have learned from My Husband’!)