My husband Ron admits he used to be jerk, but I discovered a secret formula that turned him into a loving husband. I started treating him like a VIP!
Ron always wanted my respect, but I thought he should earn it — and I had to feel it — before I could give it. Wrong.
We women are good at pointing out our husbands’ faults and failures and punishing them for not meeting our needs. That only leads to discontent and distance in our marriages. Yelling, nagging, and belittling are disrespectful and ineffective.
I’m suggesting a radical alternative: Treat him like a king, and eventually, he may begin to treat you like a queen.
Instead of waiting for him to earn your respect, behave respectfully and watch him grow into the man God designed him to be.
Twenty-five years ago, we were on the brink of divorce. I was controlling, critical and disrespectful. Ron was defensive and angry. We were Christians but not living spirit-filled lives. My emotions dictated my actions, and I thought it was Ron’s job to make me happy.
Then, we made a decision to rebuild our marriage.
A Christian counselor read Ephesians 5:33 to us: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” He then said, “Nancy, if you want to win Ron back and stay married, you must begin to respect him.” I knew he was right. I swallowed hard and came up with a plan.
Here are three of the ways I began to respect Ron. They spell out the goal — to treat him like a V.I.P.
1. Respect Him Verbally. Replace complaints with compliments. If you want to have a peaceful, happy marriage, learn the art of the compliment. Compliments have magnetic pull. The more you compliment your husband the more he’ll be drawn to you. Notice what he does well and encourage him by complimenting him at least once a day.
Can’t think of anything to admire? Consider these categories:
• Physical traits
• Mental skills
• Financial strengths
• Spiritual growth
• Healthy relationships with others–children, parents, or friends.
If you want your marriage to grow and bloom, water it with kindness and encouragement. Don’t wait until he changes. Just start. Then, as he sees your sincere efforts, he’ll begin to transform too.
If you need to bring up a difficult issue, sandwich it between two compliments. Here’s an example, “Honey, I know how hard you work for our money and that Chloe’s braces will be expensive, but I need your decision before her appointment tomorrow. I hope we can do this for her, but if you want to wait, I trust your judgment. What should I tell the orthodontist?”
2. Respect Him Intellectually. Men are problem-solvers. They like to fix things. Appeal to his intelligence by asking him to help you solve a problem. Instead of saying “This garage is a mess, clean up your camping stuff!” Try, “I’d like your help with something. Could you figure out a storage system for the camping supplies?”
Avoid saying “I think you are wrong about…” Instead say, “I’m confused about…please explain it again.” (Remember to keep your tone of voice sarcasm-free.)
Request his help on spiritual matters, too. Ask him to explain a Bible passage or ask him to pray for you about a specific challenge you’re facing. He’ll likely grow as a spiritual leader when he knows you respect his spiritual life.
Men don’t give a lot of weight to feelings — show them facts and they’re more likely to listen. For example: if he wants to buy a car that you think is too expensive, don’t give free reign to your emotions. Instead, list your expenses and ask him which should be cut out in order to buy his car. Let the facts speak for you.
When you can’t reach an agreement, instead of trying to wear him down ask, “Is that your final decision or can I give you my input?” If it’s his final decision, then honor it. It’s freeing — let him carry the responsibility.
3. Respect Him Physically. Find out what his top three physical needs are. Ron likes the laundry done, sex a least twice a week (guaranteed!) and he likes me to keep my “girly make-up stuff” off of the bathroom counter.
Once these needs are met, he’s content and easy to get along with. I know it sounds simple, but ask your husband what makes him feel loved and appreciated. Then do it!
Be aware of your body language. You can communicate disrespect by rolling your eyes, crossing your arms, or slamming doors. Commit to express your respect heart, mind, and body.
Change your attitude and actions.
Respect is both a verb and a noun: an action and an attitude — begin today to respect your husband in thought, word, and deed. He’ll be more willing and able to give you the love and affection you crave if he’s respected and admired.
When I began to respect my husband, he was skeptical. However as he saw my changed behavior, he began to treat me differently — lovingly. Now we help other couples discover the blessings of true love in action.
Ask the Lord to strengthen you as you obey His word.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~ Philippians 4:13
Guest blogger Nancy C. Anderson is an award-winning author and speaker who loves to teach women and couples to avoid the “Greener Grass Syndrome” by watering their own lawns. Nancy and her husband Ron teach at marriage seminars and banquets. For more information about their speaking schedule and other marriage articles: www.RonAndNancyAnderson.com or their blog www.joyfulmarriage.blogspot.com
5 Ways to Tell Your Hubby You Love Him without All the Words by Paula Tobey
Have you ever been in a rut in your marriage where you find it tough to ‘talk’? Maybe you argue or you’re just not connecting as well as usual. Maybe you find yourself not in the same place of love like you were a few years back. Whatever it is, friend, I am here to tell you it is okay. There is always something you can do to help get out of that rut, and it starts by doing one small thing at a time.
Today, I will share with you five ideas of things that you can do to show your hubby you love him without all those words, because let’s face it, he probably doesn’t want to hear them anyway.
Marital connectedness is so important in a family. It helps the kids in many ways to feel secure, not to mention setting a positive example for them as they grow and enter into their own relationships. Parents have a responsibility to model for their kids behaviors and attitudes that help establish positive development. One of the best things we can do for our children is teach them love and respect. There are lots of ways you can teach this without preaching or teaching with words. Your behavior and actions will show them better than any words can how you feel, so go ahead, win him over without words teaching your kids how to show love and respect for your husband!
Dressed to Impress – Complimenting your Hottie on how good he looks in his dress shirt. This is one thing that I have not been very good at, but it means so much to my husband when I tell him that I like how he looks. Words of Affirmation go a long way for some, but even saying that you like how soft his shirt is, can be just the kind of compliment he needs to hear. After I have said a statement like ‘I like how soft that shirt is, it looks great’ I will undoubtedly receive a text a little while later thanking me. Take it from me, you hubby likes to know you are still attracted to him after all these years.
Get Your Own Box – Cheeze It’s are one of my husband’s favorite snacks. I cannot eat them because I’m gluten free, so I tend to buy things for the family that we can all eat. However, my husband told me about a year ago that he really loves it when I buy those for him because he knows that I went out of my way to get him something that I would not normally buy. It is not something that I will get often, and as a matter of fact, I save those for things like an Easter Basket gift, but when I do get them, his face lights up like a kid getting candy! For that reason alone, I will make sure he gets his own box!
Precious Post It Note’s – When I go out of town for a few days, I like to leave my husband (and daughters) little notes to tell them that I love them. When we were getting ready to move a few months back, I was cleaning out my husband’s medicine cabinet in the master bath, and I found a piece of paper taped to the inside of the mirror with all kinds of post it notes I had left him over the years. It made me smile to see that not only had he kept them, but that he wanted to be reminded often how much I love him. Because I smiled, I am pretty sure he does too. I did not quite realize just how much those little precious notes were to him until then.
Shopping Cart Surprise – Once I was on Amazon, and I noticed that my husband put an item in the Wish List. It was just a book, and it was not expensive, but I went ahead and ordered it for him. To his surprise, the exact book he had been looking at mysteriously showed up! It was cute when he asked if I had ordered it for him, and I just gave a little grin like ‘I don’t know what you are talking about – who me?’ He then gave me a nice big hug and kiss. It was fun. Sometimes it is the little things that add up to make the big things not so big!
Good To The Last Drop – Every morning my husband is up before me. He does not need as much sleep as I do, and he enjoys his quiet time to read the paper and drink his coffee in the mornings. One work day this last week, he was actually still in bed, and I was awake, so I got up and made him some coffee. I wanted to be sure he had some because I figured he must have been pretty tired to still be in bed. When he came out and I had the coffee out for him, he was so surprised, he asked me who I was. J It was very unusual, but I do know that if I continue to do little things like that, he will be happy to drink every last drop!
Paula Tobey is founder of PheMOMenal Life Ministries a community for women to go get encouraged and equipped to be the best mom’s they can be to their children by living a healthy balanced life and by becoming all that God created them to be. For more information go check out her website here www.PheMOMenalLife.com
Today’s Project: Say something nice about your husband to someone else. Make sure you tell him what you said, and to whom.
As cliché as it may sound, our husbands want to be our heroes. More than they want to know that we love them, they want to know that we respect them. They need to know that they’re never the butt of our jokes, that they’re the go-to-guy in every story we tell.
Make an opportunity today to spread some great gossip about your man. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of your friends or one of his; let that somebody know how blessed you are to be married to your guy.
Some key phrases you may want to put on index cards to help you remember:
? “I feel so lucky to have a man who knows how to do his own laundry.”
? “You know when I knew that my husband really loved me? When he could remember my order at Starbucks.”
? “I just love the way he is with our kids.”
? “He makes the best lasagna on the planet.”
Steering the Ship
A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it (James 3: 3-4 The Message). That’s what great gossip is all about.
As wives, we are often the ship’s captain, while our husbands are that huge ship. Words spoken in encouragement and love can go a long way to building our men up. But the opposite is true as well. There is nothing that can determine the direction of our husband’s day quicker than the words that are spoken to him in the morning.
Sometimes as wives, we forget the role we play in our husband’s lives. We all remember that great line from My Big Fat Greek Wedding, spoken by Toula’s mom, “The man may be the head of the household, but the woman is the neck. She tells him which way to turn.”
OK, I don’t tell my husband which way to turn, but I do have an influence about how he navigates through his day.
I know that I need to be especially careful about my tone. Sometimes I think I am just oh-so-witty, when really it’s coming off as sarcastic and biting. It’s not enough to just say kind and encouraging words. I need to make sure that whatever words I choose only build up my husband, never tear him down.
That’s what great gossip is all about.
Death to the Dufus Dad
Our world encourages us to define our husbands by what is lacking in them. Need proof? Just turn on your TV.
Watch any channel for more than ten minutes and you’re almost assured of seeing some man playing the role of the dufus dad. You know the one; his wife is always right, his kids don’t respect him, and he’s the punch line of every joke, accompanied by a laugh track. Even his best friend, the dog, thinks he’s kind of a moron.
I feel like it’s time for a man revolution in our generation. No, I don’t want to go back to the times where women were tethered to the oven by their ever-present strand of pearls. But, I do want to see a place where men are allowed to be men and they can be respected for it.
My warrior cry will be, “Death to the Dufus Dad!”
But I digress.
OK – so you have bragged on your husband, now what?
Once you have done your bragging, let your husband know what you said, and to whom. He needs to know that he is the good guy in every story you tell.
With our friends, we have a lot of influence over the “tone” of our speech. Here’s how my friend, Michelle, puts it when it comes to steering away from complaining about her husband, Rick:
“I love this Project and have practiced it for years, even when I was irritated with my husband. Sometimes hearing yourself point out the good stuff gives you the power to change your own perception of something that’s annoying — of course, not that Rick is EVER annoying.
Another thing I think about… how women can help other women. When a woman is complaining about her husband (not confiding, because I think there’s a difference and we should be there for our buddies), but when it’s a light-hearted complaint, where a friend may be stuck in a rut, thinking about something in regard to her husband, I try and gently encourage her to see the goodness in her husband. I might say something like, “Yeah, he likes to watch football, but think of how he’s also bonding with your sons by sharing something they have in common!” You know, I try to find the silver lining and ‘illuminate’ that for my friend.”
While your greatest need may be for your husband to tell you that he loves you, most guys are programmed differently. He wants, at his very core, to know that you respect him. He wants to know that you are proud of him and that he is the one you would choose again if given the chance.
This goes a long way to solidifying you as a team, as well. There’s no way that anyone in my family would ever say a word against
my husband. They know that I’m on his side, and it’s a gossip-free zone around me (unless the gossip is about how great he is.)
So to be entered into today’s giveaway: 1. Tell us something awesome about your husband, and then tell your husband that you bragged on him.
And what will you win? A copy of The “What’s for Dinner?” Solution. Food and flattery – does it get any better for a guy?
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