Step 2 for Improving Your Marriage
If a man wants to make his wife happy, he should make sure she feels loved. If a woman wants to make her husband happy, she should make sure he feels admired and respected, and then loved. In that order.
Two years ago I wrote a post titled The Real Way to a Man’s Heart. While reading through that post this morning I realized how much has changed in two years–namely absolutely nothing. The advice in that post is as true today as it was two hundred or even ten thousand years ago.
The real way to a man’s heart is simple to understand. If you have sons you already know that beginning when they are little boys, they begin to crave admiration. When he is young, a boy wants to hear you compliment how fast he runs, how high he climbs, and how tall he can build a tower. It does not change when they grow older. A man wants you to see and admire what he can do, his ideas, and his accomplishments. It is often difficult for a woman to understand that his drive for admiration is even bigger than his drive for love. Yes he wants love, but he can’t feel the full effect of your love or reciprocate it fully unless he first feels that you admire him. If you want to see an instant improvement in your relationship with your husband, father, brothers or sons, you have to know and absorb into your brain that it is when you express admiration for a man that you stir his feelings of love for you.
Starting at a young age, the drive for admiration goes deeper than any want. It becomes a need. It is an essential element to building a boy’s self-confidence to carry him into manhood. Later, when he is grown, it is the boost that he needs to survive in the competitive world of men. When admiration is missing from his life, it is disastrous. Men who have lacked admiration often become cold and hardened. They learn to repress the craving for admiration because they’ve given up on receiving it, but the craving remains under the surface, just as strong as ever.
The best thing you can do is to begin to make it a point to notice and acknowledge these traits in all the males you have in your life. In particular, notice and acknowledge those traits that are considered “manly man.” Why? If you were to compliment a man on the way he was helpful to you when he mopped the floor, he might appreciate your acknowledgment, but it will do little to stir his feelings for you. In fact, it might have the opposite effect. He may feel a bit belittled.
What he craves most is an acknowledgment of his masculine qualities. Physical qualities to admire would be things like his large build and muscles, his strength, his beard, his rough and calloused hands, and anything that distinguishes him as male. His physical abilities would be his abilities in sports, in lifting heavy objects, chopping wood, perhaps.
Mentally he desires admiration of his achievements, skills, and abilities. This can be anything from the way he provides for your family, to how he fixed a broken door, or the way he earned his degree. Tell him how dependable he is, how you admire his determination. Tell him you are proud of him.
Why? Because it makes him feel manly and being made to feel like a man is one of the most pleasurable experiences a man can experience, and when a woman gives him that kind of feeling, she becomes indispensable to his happiness. Don’t forget, as the late Maya Angelou said “…people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Do this often and your husband will learn to turn to you for comfort and companionship. You will win his deep love and devotion.
If you aren’t sure what to admire, follow these simple steps:
(1) Spend some time thinking about him each day. Think about what he is doing. Think about things he has said. And,
(2) Watch him closely. If you keep your eyes on him with the intent to see the good in him, you’ll find things to admire.
and most importantly (3) Listen to him.
If he talks about his work and it bores you, resist the urge to look away and pay attention to your own tasks. Stop what you are doing. Put your phone down. Close the lap top. Look at him and listen. Do you hear and see a man who is devoted to his work? Do you hear and see a man who is working hard to provide? What is he excited about? What skills does he have that you never acknowledged? Is it something to admire? Perhaps he is talking about things you don’t understand. Don’t be surprised to learn that he may be doing that on purpose. He wants you to admire his vast knowledge as well and he may talk outside of your scope of knowledge just to drive home the point of how much he does know. Don’t get frustrated. Simply smile and tell him that “it all sounds very complicated. I’m glad you’ve got that under control.”
Lastly, when you express your admiration, be sure to be sincere. Do not take this lightly. Superficial flattery will come across as an insult, just like it would for you or me. Anything you say that is not sincere will be easily detected as a lie. He will resent it. Be sure you’ve observed and listened and the things you express are heart-felt. Doing these things will bring amazing rewards to him and his personal growth. It will build his self-confidence and give him the fuel to become an even better man. But more importantly, when you have accepted him exactly as he is (as we talked about in our post a few days ago), and you sincerely admire your husband’s masculinity, it brings significant rewards to your relationship.