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Wondering how to show love to your husband? Try showing him love in actions, not just in words or feelings!
I’ve been trying to write about how to bring the tension level down in marriage and have more fun–instead of feeling as if marriage has to be a hard slog. Earlier this month we looked at 79 hobbies to do as a couple.
I’m spending this week recording the audio version of The Great Sex Rescue in a recording studio, so I thought today I’d rerun another important post that can help make marriage more fun and help you feel closer–even when life is tough.
When our son was terminally ill, a counselor we were seeing suggested that we each make a list of 20 things that the other person could do for us that would make us feel loved and special, just to keep our marriage close during a really difficult time.
In every good marriage you need to find non-sexual ways of showing your spouse love–that you’re thinking about them and you care about them.
Show Your Spouse Love–The Rules
I wanted to show my husband Keith that I loved him, but it was hard when we were going through such a difficult time. How do you get yourself out of your head enough to think about someone else when you’re hurting so much? But doing this exercise really helped us. It took the guesswork out of wondering how your husband felt loved (and he didn’t have to worry about how to make me feel loved!)
We simply wrote up the lists together, exchanged them, and then committed to doing roughly two things on that list each day.
I can’t tell you what a difference it made in our marriage! If your husband’s willing to do this, I recommend it wholeheartedly.
But if he’s not, you can still make your own list of ways to show your husband love. And while saying “I love you” is nice, learning how to love your husband in actions is usually more important. When we act love, we feel love. And when we act love, he will feel loved, too! Actions often speak louder than words. So here are some ideas to get you started:
Show Your Husband Love–The Ideas
25 Quick Ways to Show Your Husband Love
- Praise him in front of the kids.
- Greet him at the door when he gets home–drop whatever you’re doing and go kiss him!
- Make him a coffee to take with him in the morning.
- Give him a backrub.
- Brag about him to your friends when he can hear.
- Tell him one thing you admire about him in relation to his work–and try to make it a different thing every time you say it!
- Rub your fingers through his hair as you’re watching a movie.
- Lay out his clothes for him the night before.
- Make an appointment to get an oil change for the car.
- Sort the mail so he doesn’t have to.
- Put on lipstick and fix your hair 15 minutes before he’s expected home from work (or right before you arrive home from work!).
- Text him and tell him specifically what you love doing with him.
- Bring him a glass of water if he’s working out in the heat.
- Bring him a drink when he’s working at his desk.
- Ask him what he’d like for dinner–let him choose the menu at least once a week.
- Wear something you know he loves.
- Going out to pick up an ice cream/treat with the kids? Bring him one, too–even if you went out during the day when he was at work. Save it for him, with a note, “We were thinking of you!”
- Rub him dry when he gets out of the shower–and put some “manly” moisturizer cream on him, or some talcum powder. Towel dry hair for him, and tell him you just love how he smells. Granted, this one may be a little sexual. 🙂
- Read a bit of a book/funny story/newspaper to him while he takes a bath.
- Pray for him while you’re lying in bed–out loud. Reach out, put your arm on his, and say a sentence-or-two prayer.
- Walking by him? Reach out and touch him for a second!
- Rub his feet while you’re watching TV. (You can even get a cloth and wash his feet and put some cream on them, too).
- Ask him his advice on something–and then follow it (without challenging him!)
- Ask him to explain something about a hobby to you.
- Don’t just tell him you love him–tell him WHY you love him.
Or here are some ideas for how to show your wife love:
(And, yes, a lot of them are the same!)
25 Quick Ways to Show Your Wife Love
- Praise her in front of the kids.
- Greet her at the door when she gets home–drop whatever you’re doing and go kiss her!
- Make her a coffee to take with her in the morning.
- Give her a backrub.
- Brag about her to your friends or your family when she can hear.
- Tell her one thing you admire about her in relation to her work or her giftings–and try to make it a different thing every time you say it!
- Rub your fingers through her hair as you’re watching a movie.
- Gather all her devices at night and plug them in so that they’re charged for her in the morning.
- Make an appointment to get an oil change for her car.
- Sort the mail so she doesn’t have to.
- Put on her favorite cologne right before dinner, or before you watch a movie together. Or shave right before you go out to dinner!
- Text her and tell her specifically what you love doing with her.
- Bring her a glass of water if she’s working outside in the garden or watching the kids outside.
- Bring her a drink when she’s working at her computer.
- Share your “high” and “low” with her everyday–the time you were the most “in the groove” and the time you felt the most defeated today. Let her into your heart.
- Wear nice pajamas (without holes in them) that you know she loves.
- Going out to pick up an ice cream/treat with the kids? Bring her one, too–even if you went out during the day when she was at work. Save it for her, with a note, “We were thinking of you!”
- Rub moisturizer all over her back and her legs when she gets out of the shower.
- Read a bit of a book/funny story/newspaper to her while she takes a bath.
- Pray for her while you’re lying in bed–out loud. Reach out, put your arm on hers, and say a sentence-or-two prayer.
- Walking by her? Reach out and touch her for a second! (But don’t grab a boob! Brush her shoulder, her waist, her back, her hand).
- Rub her feet while you’re watching TV. (You can even get a cloth and wash her feet and put some cream on them, too).
- Ask her his advice on something–and then follow it (without challenging her!)
- Ask her to explain something about a hobby to you.
- Don’t just tell her you love her–tell him WHY you love her.
Start doing two or three of these things everyday, and you’ll be changing the dynamic in your marriage. You’ll be showering him (or her) with random acts of kindness, and that makes a difference. It says “I’m thinking about you.” It tells your spouse “I love you”, even if times are tough.
But one big caveat: we tend to experience love differently.
We tend to want to express love in the same way that we experience it, but sometimes this can backfire.
I love backrubs. I really do. There’s nothing you can do to make me swoon more than rubbing my back, mostly because I have such horrendous posture. But my husband, when he’s thinking, likes to be left alone. So if I go over and rub his back, I’m annoying him. He loves it when he’s just relaxing; he doesn’t like it when he’s thinking. It’s just a little thing, but we can think we’re showing someone love when really we’re not. So we have to figure out how our spouse interprets kindness.
We tend to experience love differently. So we have to figure out how our spouse interprets kindness.
That’s why this exercise works best if you EACH make up your own list, and then exchange lists.
Use my list of 25 things as a starting point, but remember: he may not feel loved from all of these, and she may not like some of the things on her list, either! Maybe he’d rather choose his own clothes. Maybe he’d rather that you left him alone while he’s showering. Maybe he doesn’t even like you with lipstick! And maybe she doesn’t like cologne. Maybe she WANTS you to grab a boob!
So don’t try these things and then get upset if your spouse doesn’t react well. The point of the exercise isn’t to do as many things as possible for your husband (or your wife); it’s to do the things that actually show your husband love, or actually show your wife love. So ask your spouse to sit down and write lists with you. Then exchange lists, and you’ll be amazed at what happens in your marriage!
And again–this really works best if you’re both doing it. When one person makes all the effort in the marriage, it can create a very unhealthy dynamic. If your marriage is in a rough spot, being the one to take the first step and do kind things anyway can often be the thing that gets you out of that rut. But that shouldn’t be a long-term thing.
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Now, what advice do you have for us today? Tell me in the comments other ways that perhaps I’ve forgotten of quick things to do to show your husband love!
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Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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