When I was first married, I tried to do something really nice for my wife. I got up early and made her breakfast. At the time, she was a cashier at a grocery store and we were both in our early 20s. Usually she didn’t get home until well after 1 a.m. so, like an idiot, I woke her up at 7 a.m., bright and early, to enjoy some homemade pancakes. Naturally, she wasn’t thrilled with my loving gesture.
What she wanted to do at that time was sleep. I remember being really ticked off. I mean, I made her breakfast, right? Shouldn’t she be all over me? Well… no. This was before we’d had kids, and she’d probably only slept for a few hours. She wanted sleep more than breakfast.
My intention was good, but the timing was wrong. I’m almost 14 years into our marriage now, and I’m still figuring it out. Like most husbands, I can still use plenty of tips, so I asked my blog followers this question: Tell me, what are some small nice things a man can do for his wife daily? There were hundreds of comments. Hundreds, I tell you! I went through and plucked out 25 that kept coming up so I could share them with others. So go ahead and tag a husband/partner, because this stuff is GOLD.
1. “Don’t ask me if I want you to do X or Y. Just do it. Shall I start dinner? Just do it! Do you want me to clean the litter box? Just freaking do it.”
2. “What I want most in the world is time alone at home. Whether it’s to catch up on projects, clean the floors, or just have a little quiet time… It means a lot to me when my husband takes the kids swimming or to the park, etc.”
3. “Put down your phone… and let’s have a conversation. Actually listen to me…and can you be active in the conversation by participating and offering your opinion, a solution or some empathy!?!”
4. “’I love you’ but give a reason WHY…”
5. “Bring home a bottle of wine (or her fave beverage).”
6. “Invite her for a lunch date.”
7. “Do things like take the kids to bed or bathe them without being told.”
8. “Pick up her fave dessert on the way home from work (something to enjoy once the kids are asleep).”
9. “Ask her how she’s doing/feeling, be specific especially if she has complained about anything in particular (how’s your back? Can I get you [insert relief option here]?)”
10. “Compliment her! Not just looks (although that always helps), but tell her how appreciated she is or how great that meal was.”
11. “Send her a simple text or give her a quick call during your busy day JUST to say ‘I love you.’”
12. “Make the first cup of coffee in the morning.”
13. “Let her take a nap.”
14. “People don’t write letters anymore. How about a nice letter that she can reread when she is having a tough day?”
15. “Run a hot bath and have a glass of wine ready.”
16. “Start her car on cold winter mornings.”
17. “Text when leaving work to ask if she’d like him to pick up anything at the shop on the way home.”
18. “Leave post-it notes in random places that she will find throughout her day that say nice things about her.”
19. “One of my favorite things my partner does is give me a nice hug when he gets home from work. Like a long, meaningful one not just a grab and go.”
20. “Deal with the poop, there’s always poop and if she’s a stay at home mom she’s dealt with it 20x as much as you this week.”
21. “Make the bed in the morning.”
22. “Recognizing efforts is huge.”
23. “I always have a million things on my mind and I’m stressed about something or other. Asking me what’s on my mind or taking something off my plate and owning it would be a huge help.”
24. “Chat with me during dinner.”
25. “Say thank you.”
Listen, guys: I feel like I just gave you the answers to the test. Sure, you don’t have to do all of these things, though it would be awesome if you did. And if you are already doing some, and I’m sure you are, that’s great too. But don’t be afraid to up your game. I promise that your spouse will appreciate it.