It’s my belief that, at some point, every woman in their marriage (or if you’re dating, engaged, what have you) becomes a cat wife. Now, pretty much everyone loves kittens. Kittens are cute, they’re fun, they like you back. But eventually they all become cats and they kind of just do their own thing, they stop caring about cute stuff, stop playing, they get a mean side, and forget how to show love. Cat lovers (and my aunt Carolyn)- please no hate mail.
But hey! There’s hope. Most of us really want to show our husbands that we love them but it’s not as easy as flowers and chocolate. (It’s not that easy for women, why would it be so easy for men?). Anyway, here are several things I do to tell my man that 1. I think he’s awesome, 2. I’m still in it to win it, and 3. I haven’t let go of myself just yet!
Lipstick used to scare me. I’m pale and blonde and have gone through many phases in my makeup-wearing life but have always avoided lipstick. Until a couple of years ago when I realized that in pictures, it looks like I have no lips. This made me sad so I started wearing lipstick and I realized, “Hey! Lipstick isn’t scary!” Especially with so many natural colors out there. Even if I choose to skip the eye makeup on a Saturday morning, I’ll dab on a bit of lipstick in the driveway before I head out. Just that two seconds of prep makes me feel pretty and a little bit more put together which overall puts me in a better mood. And you won’t be the only one who notices!
2. Wait up and go to bed together
Because of the nature of my husband Josh’s job, he’ll now and then have to work late. Like, I should have been in bed hours ago, late. And I always work mornings. Or wake up to a baby who is super excited to get his banana and start the day before the sun comes up. Either way, there is almost never a time when I don’t stay up and wait for Josh to get home. He works 12 hour shifts. How depressing would it be to come home to a dark house that wasn’t happy to see you? My husband, who isn’t exactly Shakespeare when it comes to expressing his feelings, has told me that it means a lot to him that I stay up with him and hang out for a little while before bed. I know it makes his work day that much better when he has someone who loves him waiting for him at home.
3. Brag about him (and let him hear you)
This is one of the single most bestest things you can do for the morale of your significant other. Any and every man has the innate desire to feel respected by others. Respect, to them, is pretty much the equivalent of love to us (women folk). Now, telling your man you’re proud of him is great too. Really great. But telling your friends you’re proud of him, now that’s awesome. Even better, let him hear you. It doesn’t do much good if he doesn’t actually know that you’re proud of him. You can even feel free to make him blush a little. He’ll secretly like it.
4. Give him the benefit of the doubt
This goes hand-in-hand with the whole respect thing. Giving your husband the benefit of the doubt doesn’t mean that you need to shut up and never say a peep about what bugs you, concerns you, or what great alternative ideas you have. It means showing him in little ways that you trust him and love him enough to be vulnerable to his ideas. Or to not assume that he is out to make your life harder (You know, those thoughts you jump to when he leaves his dirty clothes on the floor 3 feet away from the hamper…). Instead, just move the clothes, assume he didn’t see the hamper, and address it up in a nice, funny, respectful (etc.) way.
5. Make his favorite dinner once in a while
My husband is from the great Pacific Northwest. He grew up where eating salmon was like eating chicken for dinner. And I grew up with fish sticks. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but now I just don’t eat anything that lived in the water. Not even shrimp. But, I’m sympathetic to my sometimes homesick husband and now and then I’ll surprise him with a salmon dinner using his mom’s recipe. And I’ll kind of play with it and dump lots of teriyaki sauce on it. But hey, he LOVES it and he appreciates so much that I would make a meal, that I would never eat on my own, just for him!
6. Boys like toys, let him get something he wants
I’m going to proceed with the assumption that we know how to be wise with our money and know when the spending needs to stop. With that understood, it’s OK to let our husbands feel a little spoiled now and then. I’m going to be vague about this, but I recently, finally, said yes to Josh getting something that he’s always wanted. It was one of those things where you know you can’t buy it unless your spouse is on board too. I held out for a long time because it just wasn’t a thing that we needed. But, after a couple months and being super proud of Josh for getting a great job, I told him that I was finally on board with getting this thing that he wanted. He now has his new ‘thing’ that he’s been waiting for and he knows how proud I am that he has been working so hard for our family. Win win.
7. Eat well and exercise
I’m not saying you need to be an all-star athlete or be one of those scary body builder women. You know the ones. But “trying” for your significant other goes a lot further than just wearing makeup. Making the effort for a healthy lifestyle tells you, your husband, and others that you care about yourself and you want to be able to have fun and enjoy life for a long time. It tells them that you haven’t given up and you respect yourself enough to take care of yourself. And this isn’t a selfish notion. By choosing a healthy lifestyle you’re choosing to do what’s in your power to live a longer, active lifestyle with those you love. And who wouldn’t want that?
8. Don’t frump it up
If your goal is to be comfy, there’s cute ways to do that. Comfy doesn’t have to be your go-to, oldest, baggiest sweatshirt. It can be a pair of leggings and a warm sweater, a maxi skirt and t-shirt. Even athletic wear can be just as comfortable and way cuter than a baggy pair of sweats. Little choices like this make a big difference.
9. Text him during the day
Now, if you’re already texting him every hour, this tip isn’t for you. If you tend to be more like a cat and forget to show affection, especially when you’re preoccupied during the day, this is for you. A little bit of genuine love can go a long way when the work days are long and stressful. A simple, “I miss you,” or, “Planning a fun night tonight,” might be all it takes to lift his spirits and give him something to look forward to. Make it so he can’t wait to come home!
10. Pray for him, and let him know that you are!
When you think of it, why wouldn’t we do this for the one we hold most dear on this earth??? For real. Try to, when you’re saying goodbye in the morning, say a quick prayer for each other at the beginning of your days. And then, as you think of him throughout the day, say small specific prayers for specific needs you know he may have (not just physical needs). If you let him know that you do this, he will know that you’re not only thinking and caring about him during your day, but you are calling on God to show him grace and to give him wisdom. Who wouldn’t be thankful for that?
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Living the Sweet Wife. It has been republished here with permission.