The old adage, “Happy wife, happy life” is still dead on when it comes to having a joyful marriage, but there’s danger in either spouse making their happiness the most important goal in their relationship. While you deserve to be cherished and respected, your husband deserves the same. Here are just a few things that can help you on your way to avoiding resentment in your marriage.
1. Expect him to read your mind
The best way to get anyone to do what you want them to do is to tell them. Men and women are wired differently, and the things men think about when they come home from a long day are usually different than what their wives think when they get home. Rather than trying your hand at ESP, simply ask your husband if he can put the kids to bed while you finish up with the dishes. You’ll be surprised at how willing he is to help.
2. Be a nagging machine
Whether it’s his weight, the broken kitchen cupboard, or the dry cleaning, the quickest way to get him to not want to do what you say is to constantly remind him about it. In doing so, you’re acting a lot more like his mother than you are his wife.
3. Use sex as a bargaining tool
You may do this intentionally or unintentionally, but it’s difficult for your husband to feel like he’s in an equal partnership when he feels like he needs to earn sex. So the next time you deny sex as a punishment or, in essence, say, “When I get what I want, you get sex,” ask yourself if that’s making your relationship better or if it’s simply a power play.
4. Expect him to be like your girlfriends
Men and women aren’t only different physically, but also mentally and emotionally. While it’s important for your husband to be sensitive to your needs, provide you with empathy and allow you to be vulnerable, he processes life a lot differently than you do, and therefore likely isn’t very interested in talking for hours every night about how the day went.
5. Expect him to be your Prince Charming
Let’s face it. None of us are perfect princes and princesses all the time. To expect him to be perfect without expecting it of yourself is harmful to your relationship. Of course, this isn’t a case for low expectations. Rather, spend more time focusing on your husband’s strengths instead of his shortcomings, and you’ll likely see him work harder to become the man of your dreams.
If you feel like your marriage is on the rocks, or even if you’re wondering how to improve, remember that it takes two to tango. Your husband isn’t perfect, but the best way for you to help him work on himself is to do it yourself. When there are legitimate concerns, expressing them in a calm and loving manner can go a long way in helping him grow.