The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Happy Wife, Happy Life.

…but what about the husband? I was recently watching an episode of Mad Men and two of the (far from faithful) husbands were talking, one sharing that there came a time in his life where he started taking the 7:25 not the 5:25 train home. & it just made me think. How many men love coming home from work? Does my husband love coming home from work? How am I to come home to?

And it just hit me in the gut. & I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Today just happens to be our eighth wedding anniversary, but as high school sweethearts, we’ve got a good fifteen years under our belts as a pair. I work very hard to keep my marriage in a happy place and I can think of no greater influence on my babies than the way we love each other. They are watching and learning. & that is a huge responsibility.

So what I thought I would share today are some of the ways I actively try to keep my marriage in a good place. I am a firm believer that love is a verb–it’s something we do continuously. & it’s not always easy. But men are pretty simple. (says my favorite book about marriage ever) Make them feel loved. Be sure they know you are proud of them. And respect them, in and out of the home. You get what you give—and a happy husband sure is a joy to have around! It’s worth every bit of effort! Promise!!!

So here are some of the things I’ve been known to do:

  • Make his lunch. I add a note on his napkin–can be as simple as I love you or maybe an inspirational quote. Just a little bit to make him smile & feel loved in the middle of a hectic day.
  • Bake–no faster way to a man’s heart than his belly…right? ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Put Siri to work: schedule a reminder in his phone…like “don’t forget, your wife thinks you’re awesome.”
  • Put down the phone. Walk away from the computer. & give him some undivided attention after the kiddies go to bed.
  • Leave a sweet post it on the screen of his laptop.
  • Ditch the sweats and t-shirt to bed. Wear something comfy, but attractive.
  • Sneak a card into his work bag.
  • Sext. Not the dirty kind. (well, maybe sometimes) ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just send a little text when you’re thinking of him throughout the day. We love the emoji keyboard on the iPhone. & send lots of kisses this way.
  • Acknowledge big events at work. I like to sneak a handmade card into his car after he goes to bed, so he’s got a little something special on the dashboard on the morning of big exams.
  • Initiate. (You know what I mean.):)
  • Say thank you. Especially if he is the sole income provider. It goes a long way.

These are easy & hard to do all at the same time. When I find myself in a marital rut (which we all have from time to time) I just remind myself to try a little harder. Even one of these things will go a long way. We’ve got so much on our plates a mothers, but our marriage is something that deserves to be a priority. ‘Cause when it’s good…so is everything else!

What are you doing to make your husband feel loved? I’d love to hear your secrets!

About Shawna

Despite days full of washing diapers & messy fun, Shawna is determined to make mommyhood a stylish adventure. Married to the military & mother to one feisty girl and a snuggly little dude, she is a passionate DIYer & loves sharing how to make the complicated simple. Shawna talks creativity, style, food, decorating, green-chic living & mommyhood at styleberryBLOG, a daily-ish dose of something fab.

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  • concernedcitizen100

    There is a saying that goes with what you are trying to say, and it goes “Happy man, happy clan”. If you keep your man happy then the whole family will be happy. If your man is not happy, then he may start looking elsewhere for happiness.

  • Maggie

    Thank you so much for this post! I really needed to read it today. My hubby works really long hours and by the time he gets home I’m usually completely exhausted after running around after my 1 year old all day and am grumpy more often than I care to be. He’s a self-proclaimed “robot,” so many of the things that I love to give (and receive), like the notes, don’t mean much to him but this helped me realize that I can definitely make coming home a lot more enjoyable. Thank you!

  • eLIZabeth Floyd

    I just discovered this blog, and this post if FANTASTIC! I too believe that a lot of little things go a long way to keep a marriage happy and going well, like the little love note in his lunch or in his card. Two years ago I wrote 52 love notes to my husband for his birthday gift, one for each week of the following year, it was fun to read them throughout the year.

    Thanks for sharing these ideas,

  • Valerieatkins

    I agree with everything you wrote Shawna. My husband and I got married early (I was 19, he 21) and we’ve been married for 25 years. Our two kids have grown up and they both have children. We can so easily get caught up with daily life that we forget that we are more than best friends, we are lovers! We have been through the ‘take for granted’ stage and I don’t want to go there again.

    We are both working on really ‘seeing’ each other every day and have incorporated the odd lunch date during the week (I say odd because he works odd hours as a Postman) and I love that he calls me to want to have lunch with me. As for the change in nightwear – I had a good giggle over that comment because that’s what I used to wear and he commented that he appreciates when I wear something ‘nicer’ to bed.

    So yeah, it does all add up and is appreciated on both sides. Thanks for your article.

  • Shawna Percival

    Interesting chatter. To address the semantics: sure my article qualifies as “sexist” defined as “fostering stereotypes of gender roles based on sex.” I will also add that I am most definitely a feminist, in the sense that I expect men and women to have equal rights. My husband knows he’s just as lucky to have me as I am to have him, and he shows me that too. I expect that of him. I just didn’t feel the need to cover that above. Communication is a basic component of any marriage. I consider the above my “bonus” measures that work for us.

    That being said, I adore being a mother and a wife. I left my six figure, breadwinner income to nourish my family–so I’ve been on the other side. It’s not easy. Call it dated if you want, but my traditional lifestyle, (SAHM–who works at home too–with a husband who provides,) is one I enjoy. His career as a military surgeon leaves me with most of the responsibility of maintaining our household, and I enjoy it. & I do thank him for putting in well over 100 hour work weeks so I can be the one to raise my babies. We are both openly grateful for one another. I am just not one to brag about how good I’ve got it. :)

  • Jess

    It’s nice to be reminded these things need to be done. Actions. To back up all those words. And for someone who is in the midst of a rocky patch, these are things I can do to “fight” for it. Would it be nice for him to say thanks for raising our daughters? Sure, but then I have to remind myself that he does by providing for us and purchasing the little things that help round out the bigger things. I didn’t marry a man that thinks about flowers all the time, but him buying me an iPad when our second was born, so I could read my books, or a iTunes gift card to buy said books…those are his ways. I need to remember that. And that he needs those little things too. Am I rambling? I feel like I’m rambling ๐Ÿ˜‰ good post.

  • IDoCherishYou

    I’ve been with my husband since 1/19/00 we got married in 02 and this is very accurate. We’ve had tons of ups and down like any other and when we’ve discussed some things he would like for me to do it includes initiate, spend time on what he likes to do, he appreciates coming home to clean laundry and his towel hanging in the bathroom (the boys like to run off with it lol), and many other little things that say he’s an important sought after person in this house and we appreciate him. This list isn’t sexist it’s true. She didn’t say go barefoot in the kitchen and make him a sandwich and dress sexy with makeup while doing it and don’t talk back etc. She said iniate it some times, bake him something he loves because they do love food. So quite taking it all so seriously the point is love your man with his love language what ever that is. Remember dating and what cute things you did together Love in action is the point. Love without action is dead and sometimes the ex lovers haven’t even realized it until it smacks them in the face.

  • Clbailey91

    This was well written and you hit home with me! Sometimes I get jumbled up in my day that I forget to take time for my hubby. Forget those nasty posts, you took time out of ypur busy day to share with us your thoughts. With that I appreciate ot! Thank you

  • Heather

    Lovely post. Thank you for sharing part of your life and relationship with us. Please forgive those who lack tack in their responses. They’ve clearly forgotten to appreciate the differences in all our relationships, as well as repect for those who are willing to share their intimate examples in an effort to help inspire others. To those who disagree or have angst about this post, I say, “different strokes for different folks!”

    P.S. not only am I a woman, but I’m the sole provider in our family as we decided for my husband to stay home with our kids. I can completely appreciate the need for understanding and respect for different life choices, circumstances and family dynamics.

  • Jaimie

    I do these things sometimes, but not often enough. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Samantha Hines

    When I first read this post, I must admit that it did strike me as rather dated. “Love” is indeed a verb; but just as everyone “walks,” “runs,” and “skips” differently, each person loves differently. There is not a one-size-fits-all kind of list that exists; and a gesture that may be meaningful to one person may be artificial to another. And certainly as it is important to ask how much one’s partner likes coming home to the person who is home, it is equally important to ask how much s/he anticipates his/her return. So, while I agree with the comment below in that there is without a doubt inherent sexism throughout this piece, I think his/her comments would have been much more effective (not to mention infinitely more mature) sans the opening salvo.

  • Lifeineden

    I can understand how you might view this as a bit sexist, SNR. I’m a pretty independent, feminist gal. But after nearly 17 years of marriage, and 20 as a couple, I know there is value in this perspective. There are times in all long term relationships when it is easy to slip into forgetting to value your partner — or at lest SHOWing that you value them. The point is to make some effort to make your partner feel loved, to go back to those early days when you expressed things more easily and often. You don’t have to wear something to bed for him, you just need to make some small effort to make him know he is special.

    • Shawna Percival

      Nailed it. Thank you, Amy!

  • Robert

    As a married guy, I think the list is nice. It says that someone I love is concerned about me. We live in a world that is so fast paced that so much time of the time we take our comittment to one person, for granted. Being appreciative of your spouse’s actions, be it provider, or stay at home parent is just good for the relationship, not to mention good manners. Reminding them certainly can’t hurt, nor can showing them the simply dignity that another human deserves by being concerned about them. If making lunch, leaving notes and reminding ourselves that “being more attractive” to your spouse is important to the relationship…make lunch, leave notes and make yourself more attractive. I think it’s nice! Besides, sometimes when you just talk, all the other person hears is “blah, blah, blah.”

  • SNR

    i barfed in my mouth a little while reading this. seriously?????
    i have what i would consider a happy marriage and a great relationship with my husband. we have one daughter whom we both adore. i do not feel the need to leave him little notes, make his lunch every day or wear something attractive to bed for him, nor are these the things that would make him love me more or nurture our relationship in any way. the things that matter to us are listening to each other when we talk, sharing the household duties and doing things we enjoy together. i think the above list is dated and a little sexist. “say thank you if he is the sole income provider” ????? seriously, he should be thanking you for being at home raising his kids day in and day out, it’s the hardest job in the world despite the fact that there is no paycheque attached to it.

    • JAnest

      I think the list will look different for every couple since every guy and gal have unique ways they like to be loved. But that doesn’t mean that Shawna’s list is sexist. It means that this is what makes her husband feel special and respected (and a lot of these are accurate for my husband as well). While yes, it is wonderful for husbands to say thank you for staying at home raising the kids, it’s a kind and meaningful gesture for the wife to say thank you for going to work. My husband has told me that those kinds of comments often help him get through hard days at work. Besides, if we both try to “outdo” one another in love (whatever shape that takes), don’t we both feel appreciated and special in the end?

    • concernedcitizen100

      “the things that matter to us are listening to each other when we talk, sharing the household duties and doing things we enjoy together.” These are the things that matter to YOU! Have you even considered what your husband wants and needs? I’m sure “sharing household duties” is not high on the list. You are a lucky woman that he is still around. Seriously.

  • Stacey S

    This post really hit home. Thank you. xo

  • Nicole Dyk

    love it friend!

  • lindsay

    such a great post!!!!

  • Stephanie

    I do a lot of the same things! I try to make my husbands lunch as often as I can. I write cute notes on the outside of his sandwich bag telling I love him. I sneak cards into his deployment bags and write dates on them for when they should be opened. There is normally one for him to read on the plane. I like to send pictures of me or my daughter holding a little sign with a cute message on it. The biggest thing I do is constantly saying “I’ll support you in whatever you want to do.” As a military wife, you know that can be challenging at times. We are on our 4th deployment together in 3 years, yet our relationship is still strong and full of love. Thanks for some new tips!

  • Faithfulmommy

    I. Love. This. Post. We (as a nation of women) often do not appreciate our good men enough. You are spot on (in my experience) with how to love a man.
    I have a good man in my house and I plan to keep him coming home to me! Thank you for the beautiful reminder of how lucky I am.

    Did I mention I love this post? Love it.

  • Kate B.

    This is a great list! I will definitely be doing some of these. We know how important it is to talk to each other, and listen to each other. Even if our communication is through email or text, we know how important communication is. Thanks for sharing!

  • Juanita Atencio

    “Love is a verb”
    My husband actually taught me that! And it’s the best advice that you can give to anyone.

  • Audrey – This Little Street

    This is a great list, thanks a lot for sharing!