When my daughter became engaged, the day before he proposed I had an opportunity to have a long discussion with her fiance about her, marriage, and living life together. The topic of how hard he wants to work to make his fiancee, and soon-to-be-wife, feel special and loved came up repeatedly in our conversation.
What can a husband do to help his wife feel special and know that she is loved? This list, built after years of observation and experience, will help stimulate ideas of your own for helping your wife feel special.
Send Her a Love Note
Handwriting notes and letters are becoming a lost art in an era of instant communications and technology. A love note, written by hand, is an expression that communicates love, caring, and giving of one's time and self. A short note sharing your love, your admiration of her, your appreciation of her special traits, and your commitment to her speaks volumes about how special she is.
Learn to Speak Her Love Language
Gary Chapman's book The Five Love Languages has been a true revelation in many relationships. Chapman makes the case that most people receive messages of love in one (or more) of five different ways. The way we receive love is our "love language." The five languages are:
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
- Physical touch
- Receiving gifts
- Acts of service
My primary love language is words of affirmation; my wife's is quality time. So hearing from her how wonderful I am is one thing that communicates love to me, but that love language doesn't work for her.
I need to give her undivided attention and lots of it for her to feel love. Take time to determine which love language works for your wife or partner, and then speak love in her love language.
Do you have a "honey-do" list a mile long? I know that with my hectic schedule, my list never seems to end.
Doing things that are on her list is a good way to show how special she is to you. If she sees you doing the things that are important to her, she will feel love and devotion. Painting the family room, cleaning up the garage, or following through on a commitment to the kids will make a big difference in how she feels about you and about her worth to you.
Call Her On the Phone
A phone call in the middle of the day lets her know that you are thinking about her. Consider calling at a random time, when she will least expect it, and just tell her that you are thinking about her, wanting to know how her day is going and to communicate love. It is easy to get caught up in all the business of the day, and she knows it. So taking the time to call and let hew know she is important will make a big positive difference in her day.
Send Sweet Text Messages
If you have the ability to communicate via text message, consider sending texts that communicate love, and maybe even flirt occasionally. Here are a few suggestions to get your ideas flowing about what might work for your partner.
- If I could rearrange the alphabet, I would put U and I together!
- Thinking of you makes me smile.
- Did the sun come out or did you just smile at me?
- I just moved you up to the top of my TO DO list
Plan a Romantic Getaway
Find someone responsible to take the kids - then you can make plans for a weekend away. Plan everything out, choosing things that she likes to do. For example, make dinner reservations and get tickets for a play, a movie or an event she would enjoy. Reserve a hotel room, pack her bags and make sure her calendar is clear. Some quality time with things she loves to do is an awesome way to communicate how special your wife is to you.
Make it Physical
Lots of dads will read this and think sex. But remember, our partners want to be touched in more ways than we like to be touched. Consider an extra long hug in the morning or a kiss hello or goodbye that lasts about 15 seconds. A back rub, foot rub, or a tender massage communicates worlds about your feelings for her.
Physical touch is important in a relationship, and while it often leads to sexual touching, your wife will love the extra attention and the feeling of being touched without it having to lead to something else.
Listen Fully Engaged
With our busy and demanding world where work tends to invade every moment of life, it is easy to be distracted at home. Even the kids can create significant distractions from meaningful communication. One habit my partner and I picked up long ago is setting aside 30 minutes each evening to just talk. No television, no kids, no telephone or computer, no friends. Having half and hour for just us has really helped with our communications patterns and allows me to be fully engaged in the conversation. Active listening, where you listen with all your senses for intent and feeling, is a big communicator of love and affection.
Cook for Her
There is something a bit romantic and something that communicates love and caring when a man cooks for his woman. Plan ahead for a meal she likes. Find a recipe, get the ingredients, and the follow the recipe to create a great meal for her. A little pampering like being able to eat a meal that she didn't have to plan for or prepare goes a long way in letting her know how much you care.
Give Her a Break
One thing our partners don't usually get at home is a break. From the time she gets up until the time she crashes into bed, it is usually one very long day with more demands on her time that she can fill. This is especially true if she is a stay-at-home mom where she is likely starved for adult human contact.
And moms who work outside the home also tend to carry with them all day their responsibility as a mother. Giving her a break from the stresses of the day can really communicate love. A hot bath with some music she enjoys while you clean up, go through the bedtime routine with the kids and get things ready for the next day will really help her feel your love and your specific concern for her and her needs.
Whatever you do, make sure that you regularly communicate how special your wife is to you.
Little things are big things, and it is important to identify how she receives your communication of love and to make time to make these little expressions happen.