Thursday, March 23, 2006

100 ways to Love Your Husband!

Having made it to 25 reasons (WHEW!), I decided to take a bit of a breather, and post a list that somebody else has made. This one is more proactive: rather than focusing on what your spouse does (or doesn't do) to show love to you, try listing ways that you can love him or her instead.


(Author Unknown) (Click on the title above for original website)

Discuss this list with your husband. Ask him to check the ones most meaningful to him and then arrange them in order of importance to him. Use this list as a basis for learning his views. Your relationship can be greatly strengthened as you use these suggestions.

  1. Communicate with him respectfully.
  2. Regard him as important and let him know he's important to you.
  3. Do everything you can to at least understand his feelings—even when you disagree with him.
  4. Be interested in his friends and occasionally give him time with them (if they are trust-worthy men).
  5. Ask for his opinion and let him know you value what he says.
  6. Tell him you both love him AND like him.
  7. Let him feel your approval and affections.
  8. Protect his dignity on a daily basis.
  9. Be tender with him realizing he has feelings also.
  10. Foster an atmosphere of laughter in your home. Look for ways to laugh together.
  11. Avoid sudden major changes without discussion giving him time to adjust.
  12. When you go out on a date together don't bring up problems—reserve that time to one of having fun together.
  13. Focus on what he's doing right, instead of focusing so often on the negatives.
  14. Show interest in what he feels is important in life.
  15. Correct him gently and in private.
  16. Recognize that the first few minutes after a spouse comes home often sets the stage for the way the rest of the evening will go. So try to make the first few minutes of seeing each other a more positive experience if possible. (And then ease into the negative if it's necessary.)
  17. Make special time available to him apart from the children.
  18. Don't allow any family member to treat him disrespectfully. You should be the one to defend him to any family member that dishonors his place as your husband.
  19. Compliment him often.
  20. Be creative when you express your love, both in words and in actions.
  21. Talk with him about having specific family goals for each year to work on to achieve together so you will both feel closer to each other as a marital team.
  22. Don't over commit yourself. Leave time for him.
  23. Be forgiving when he offends you.
  24. Find ways to show him you need him.
  25. Encourage alone time for him when it's possible. (This energizes him to reconnect with you at other times.)
  26. Admit your mistakes; don't be afraid to be humble. Peel away your pride.
  27. Defend him to anyone who is being disrespectful in their talk about him, remembering that love protects (1 Corinthians 13:7).
  28. Respect his desire to do well—not his performance.
  29. Rub his feet or neck, or scratch his back after a hard day.
  30. Take time for the two of you to sit and talk calmly (schedule it when necessary).
  31. Initiate going out on romantic outings (when he's not tired).
  32. Write him a letter occasionally, telling him how much you love him.
  33. Surprise him with a fun gift of some kind.
  34. Express how much you appreciate him for working so hard to support the family.
  35. Tell him how proud you are of him.
  36. Give advice in a loving way — not in a nagging or belittling way.
  37. Help your husband to be the Spiritual head of the home (without "lording" it over him that you're helping).
  38. Look for ways to reserve some of your energies for him so you're not so tired when he wants and needs you sexually.
  39. Don't expect him to do projects beyond his capabilities. All men aren't born equal in this area of expertise.
  40. Pray for him to enjoy God's best in life.
  41. Take the time to notice what he has done for you and the family.
  42. Brag about him to other people both in front of him and even when he's not there.
  43. Share your thoughts and feelings with him (but keep it brief when he's tired—sometimes men can feel "flooded" by too many words).
  44. Tell him 3 things you specifically appreciate about him.
  45. Honor him in front of the children (and differ respectfully in private when it's necessary).
  46. Give him time to unwind for a few minutes after coming home from work, and then take your "time out", giving him a few minutes with the children.
  47. Get up with him, even when he gets up earlier than you want to and pray with him. (Hopefully you can go back to sleep afterwards. If not, it's a sacrifice worth making.)
  48. Be his "help-mate" in whatever ways you sense he needs it.
  49. Do some shoulder-to-shoulder activities with him (like watching a movie or driving quietly in a car) without talking. Sometimes men just like to BE with you and not talk.
  50. Be a student of your husband's ways so you can show your love for him in ways he'll better comprehend it.
  51. When your husband is in a bad mood—give him quiet time to recover.
  52. Help him to finish his goals, hobbies, or education when he needs your help.
  53. Treat him as if God has stamped on his forehead: "Handle With Care".
  54. Work to get rid of habits that annoy him.
  55. Be kind & thoughtful to his relatives. Don't make him choose between you & them.
  56. Don't compare his relatives with yours in a negative way.
  57. Thank him for things he's done around the house. (It means a lot to men).
  58. Don't expect credit for all you do for him and the household. Do it as "unto the Lord".
  59. Make sure he understands everything important that you're planning to do.
  60. Do little things for him—an unexpected kiss, coffee in bed, etc.
  61. Don't belittle his intelligence or be cynical in your words with him.
  62. Initiate sex periodically. And respond more often.
  63. Sometimes let him enjoy his day off work without having to "work" at home.
  64. Get to the point in your discussions with him. Spare him details unless he wants them.
  65. Discover his sexual needs.
  66. Surprise him with a 15 second kiss when he gets home from work.
  67. Wink at him from across the room when you're out at a group function.
  68. Give him the benefit of the doubt when he says things in a wrong way. Think, "What's he really trying to say?"
  69. Don't quarrel over words.
  70. Don't forget to use common courtesies with your husband. (Too often we're kinder to strangers than we are to our own spouse.)
  71. When something goes wrong, instead of assessing blame, focus on how to do better.
  72. Never say, "I told you so."
  73. Don't argue over money. Peacefully discuss future expenditures instead.
  74. Take him out on dates—pre-planning all of the details ahead of time.
  75. Hold his hand in public. Snuggle up close to him at times both at home and in public.
  76. Praise his good decisions; minimize the bad ones. (And if you need to discuss the bad ones do so respectfully, looking for ways to make better decisions in the future.)
  77. Tell him you love him often.
  78. Put love notes in his pockets and brief case.
  79. Sit with him while he's watching television—even if the program doesn't interest you.
  80. Don't ask of him to read your mind. (Family's are spared the grief when a husband isn't required to read their wife's mind despite the fact that the woman thinks he should.)
  81. Periodically, give him time with his family alone.
  82. Check with him before you throw away his junky looking papers. (He may view them as more important than you realize.)
  83. Work to keep yourself in shape in every way.
  84. Let him express himself freely, without fear of being called stupid or illogical.
  85. Carefully choose your words, especially when angry—remembering, as the Bible says, to "speak the truth in LOVE".
  86. Don't criticize him in front of others—keeping his dignity in tact.
  87. Visit his childhood home with him.
  88. When you're angry with him, express it in ways that are respectful. Don't give him the silent treatment.
  89. Pray for him.
  90. Make him homemade soup when he's sick.
  91. Look your best—dress to honor him and make him proud to be seen with you.
  92. Support him when someone tries to put him down. Be his best cheer leader.
  93. Don't disagree with him in front of the children.
  94. Take him for a weekend get-away without the children.
  95. Cheer his successes whether in business or in other areas of everyday living.
  96. Be gracious in teaching him how to show you ways that will demonstrate his love for you.
  97. Give him coupons to redeem—maybe for a back scratch or a shoulder rub.
  98. Buy him a gift certificate to his favorite lunch spot and put it in his wallet.
  99. Hide notes for him around the house where only he will find them.
  100. Thank him for just being himself.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Reason #25: He's giving me "A Weekend to Remember!"

This coming weekend, DH and I will drive to Anchorage, AK, (about 400 miles south) for a marriage retreat! That is the plan, at least, God willing.

DH's father had a heart attack last weekend. (He turned 83 years old in February.) DH wasn't sure if he needed to fly down to be with them or not, but his dad is fine, though recovering from two separate procedures to place stints in two of his arteries (one was 80% blocked, the other one was 100% blocked). He has friends and family there to support them.

My step-dad is celebrating his 60th birthday this Friday night, with a big party. If it were not for the marriage retreat, I would have probably taken a flight to visit him and my mom. He'll be fine, though; there will be many friends and family there to honor his birthday.

I'm almost holding my breath in anticipation of this "Weekend to Remember" marriage retreat! I've waited so long ... I've been asking DH to take me to some sort of marriage retreat for twenty years. In that twenty years, we have hosted several retreats, taught at some retreats, and counseled many couples to go to marriage retreats. But, DH always had some excuse or another for not going with me to a retreat just for our marriage. Pastors have free registration, so that's not a good excuse--and the one about him being "too busy" is not a very good excuse, either.

As we approach our twentieth anniversary (20 years!!!) this coming May, DH has graciously granted me the opportunity of a lifetime, and signed us up for "A Weekend to Remember" for a lifetime!

All things considered, this is probably the best time ever to go to a retreat. I've heard DH muttering to himself about not wanting to attend a marriage retreat now that things are going pretty well in our relationship, for fear that some issues will come up that will "muck it all up."

Truly, we have been doing quite well relationally, and I think it is a wonderful time to build upon a healthy foundation and strengthen it with intimacy-building exercises. If we had gone last year, when I was in the throes of a terrible depression, it might not have been so edifying!

Thank you, Lord, for healing me of depression, and for allowing our relationship to improve so much that we can look forward to "A Weekend to Remember".

Thank you, DH, for being brave enough to schedule it! I can't wait!!!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reason #24: He's my "Hottie"!

Today, at work, one single female friend remarked to another single female co-worker, "There's a real Hottie"! (Cute Guy) I was standing within earshot, and I looked up with a quizzical look on my face. Mary asked me, "Did you see the Hottie?" I still registered a blank face, so she repeated herself. Finally, I asked, "What hottie?" As soon as the word passed my lips, the meaning of the word dawned on me, and I laughed out loud. "Oh Mary," I quipped, "I'm immune to hotties. I never notice them." I joked about having my head in my paperwork, and how focused I stay on my work. Then, I said, "I think my husband is a real "hottie" so I never have to look at any other guys."

They both made comments about how nice it was that I had that kind of a relationship with my husband, but one of them wryly commented that I still had eyes that could be used. I think they found it rather hard to believe that I wouldn't even notice if a cute guy walked by.

I'd rather have a boring Monday at work, and miss all the cute guys walking by, because I know I have a "hottie" to come home to. How sad I was for the husbands on the Dr. Phil show tonight, whose wives were out partying, doing drugs, and flashing private parts. Those marriages are headed for a train-wreck!

Dear DH (Dear "Hottie"),
Like the words of the song sung by the famous crooner, Frank Sinatra, "I only have eyes for you."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Reason #23: He loves "Daddy's Little Girl"

I have a theory about first-born daughters. I think they look, think, and act a lot like their fathers, so that fathers have an easier time to bond with them. Mia is certainly her "father's daughter" -- she has his bone structure and body build (poor child), his aptitude for sports and large motor skills, and even his physical idiosyncracies, such as claustrophobia and sensitivity to touch.

She also has inherited his obsessive-compulsive personality, as exhibited in a strong need to have the details of the day planned out in advance, a strong dislike of being late for anything, and a workaholic nature. She seems to have a slight bit of dyslexia, like her father. She also is gifted with his powers of observation, and creativity.

Mia celebrated her fifteenth birthday, recently. Daddy's little girl is growing up! Their relationship has never been better than it is at this moment. There is a lasting, special bond--though at times it has been somewhat of a "love-hate" display of emotion, especially through the turbulence of pre-pubescence.

We couldn't be any more proud of the way she is developing into a mature young lady. She has a 4.0 in school; she is well-liked and sociable (15 girls were invited to her birthday party from her class, and they all came!); she is responsible and careful with finances, even tithing on her babysitting income; and most of all, she is tender-hearted for spiritual things, and a faithful worker for God.

I know that part of the reason their relationship has improved is the investment of more of daddy's time in his daughter's life. They have gone on trips together, and out on dates, and have daily connection time on the morning rides to school. I must admit, I have pushed hard for DH to do more things with both our children. (He was not naturally a nurturer; I have always suspected he had some sort of a dissociative attachment disorder due to his adoption.) I am thrilled with the changes that I see in both father and daughter.

I know he loves his "little" girl, and I know she knows and feels his love, too. He was just saying something the other night about "flowers in her hair" (referring to the song, "Butterfly Kisses") and it was so sweetly sentimental I was almost shocked!

Lord, thank you for the special bond between a daddy and his first-born daughter! She will always be... "Daddy's little girl."

There's two things I know for sure.
She was sent here from heaven,
and she's daddy's little girl.
As I drop to my knees by her bed at night,
she talks to Jesus, and I close my eyes.
And I thank God for all of the joy in
my life, But most of all, for...

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair.
"Walk beside the pony
daddy, it's my first ride."
"I know the cake looks funny,
daddy, but I sure tried."
Oh, with all that I've done wrong,
I must have done something right
To deserve a hug every morning,
And butterfly kisses at night.

Sweet sixteen today,
She's looking like her momma
a little more everyday.
One part woman, the other part girl.
To perfume and makeup,
from ribbons and curls.
Trying her wings out in a great
big world. But I remember...

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer.
Stickin' little white flowers all up in her hair.
"You know how much I love you daddy,
But if you don't mind,
I'm only going to kiss you on
the cheek this time."
With all that I've done wrong
I must have done something right.
To deserve her love every morning,
And butterfly kisses at night.