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62 Things Wives Can Do To Show Love To Their Husbands

Welcome to Issue No. 11 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to johnagliata@gmail.com.

Most married couples enter marriage having heard at least once that marriage is work. Very, very few know exactly what that looks like in the real world. That’s because there never before has been the combination of you and that loveable other human living in close proximity year after year after year after year.

There’s no secret sauce to everyone’s marriage. What works for one couple is not going to work in total for any other couple ever. Marriage is an individual collective game, if that makes sense.

That said, there are some general principles to help guide you — or, if you’re a marriage veteran, perhaps help push you past a sticking point in which all might seem hopeless. Not all 62 of these things are going to apply to your marriage, but the hope is that you find something in this list to at least try.

In this list, I’m speaking to wives because I’m a husband, but many, many of these things can be turned around and directed at the menfolk out there. Keep that in mind as you read, fellas.


  1. Listen more: Engage with him when he’s talking with you. Listening is often more powerful than anything you can possibly say.
  2. Make him a priority: We see how busy you are and how many ways you’re being pulled. You do important stuff. We want to be important to you too. There’s no substitute for quantity time.
  3. Support his work: I’m not just talking about what brings home some bacon. I’m talking about the things he’s passionate about. If he’s an artist, find ways to admire and cherish his paintings. If he’s a boss lawncare dude, how can you show that you see that and that it matters to you as much as it matters to him?
  4. Praise him publicly: We want to be your hero, and it really pumps us up when you share with others how we’ve done just that.
  5. Rock his world: You know what I’m talkin’ about here. In the age of the internet, there’s no excuse to be in a sexual rut. I guarantee you that if you bring something new to the bedroom every once in a while, he’ll have a smile on his face.
  6. Fulfill his fantasy: No, I’m not necessarily talking about the bedroom here. Does he want to fly a plane? Arrange a flying lesson for him. Drive a sports car? Rent one for him. Meet his favorite band? Find a way to make it happen.
  7. Share his passions: Take interest in his hobbies. If he likes football, watch a game with him and learn how to talk about it intelligently. Is he a car tinkerer? Ask him to show you how to change your own oil. Does he write? Read his stuff and tell him how it reaches you.
  8. Buy him small gifts: Not everything has to be big. Picking up his favorite chocolate from the gas station when you’re filling up shows us you’re thinking about us. We like that.
  9. Wear his favorite outfit: Keep your ears open. If we tell you that you look nice in something, that’s a big deal.
  10. Hug him: Don’t roll your eyes and get into a comparison game here, but it’s not easy to be a guy these days. A good, long hug freely given is a day-changer.
  11. Speak softly: I’m not talking about volume. I’m talking about the choice of words. You two are a team. Your teammate never wants to hurt you. We will, of course, because we’re human, but responding with kindness helps de-escalate crappy situations.
  12. Don’t criticize: We are flawed. We know that. The last person we need to hear criticism from is you.
  13. Avoid generalizations: “You always” and “You never” should hardly ever come out of your mouth. We’re rarely always or never anything, and when you use those phrases, we feel like what we do isn’t really seen.
  14. Remember the roots: Shared history binds us together. Return there regularly, in words, reminiscence and actions.
  15. Speak up: Men, unchecked, are dangerous. We need your balancing force. The last thing we ever want to hear is you retroactively telling us how you knew something was going to turn out badly.
  16. Let him know he matters: We, by nature, are doers. We want what we do for the good of the family (or even ourselves) to matter to you. Be free with your appreciation, no matter how big or small the gesture.
  17. Desire him: Every man wants to be wanted. Let him know that he heats your oven, so to speak.
  18. Date him: Time matters. Find at least a half hour each week to do something with him and only him. Don’t talk about your problems or the kids. Just have fun.
  19. Encourage him: We face a lot of different battles in a given day, many of which we never share. Understand how important your encouragement is to us. Give it freely.
  20. Praise his looks: We know we’re getting older and not necessarily the buff stud we used to be. But we like to hear that there are things about our disgusting man-ness you enjoy.
  21. Give him a backrub: There’s something about physical touch that is soothing. You’re the one we want that from.
  22. Sit and talk: Make time to do nothing else but reconnect after any significant period of time apart.
  23. Write down why you love him: Read this list when he’s not being so loveable. Consider sharing it with him at some point.
  24. Write us a letter: It’s old school and shows you took time and put in some effort.
  25. Get out of town: We’d love a weekend alone time. You like being away with your friends. Win-win.
  26. Dig his jams: You might think his music is crap. He doesn’t. Figure out how to see his music as he does and join him in appreciating it.
  27. Dream together: What’s your bucket list? What’s his bucket list? That’s a start. Now what’s your collective bucket list? What are your holiday plans? What’s your dream vacation?
  28. Accept compliments: Humility is a fine trait, but if we compliment you about something, it’s because we mean it. Accept it and thank him for noticing.
  29. Tell him he’s amazing: That word is powerful, ladies.
  30. Tell him he’s still the one: A lot might have happened since you said “I do.” Let him know you still do and would say “yes” all over again.
  31. Whisper in his ear: Let him know what he’s got to look forward to later.
  32. Budget your money together: Finances are the leading cause of divorce. Get and stay on the same page with your money.
  33. Be there when it’s tough: Yes, we’re babies when we’re sick. But we love it when you bring us soup or take our temperature or put a Band Aid on our cut.
  34. Take him on a surprise trip: Have the bags packed and the entire weekend planned. The moment he gets home from work on a Friday, let him know what awaits.
  35. Take care of yourself: We want you to be happy. Do what you need to do to stay centered in yourself.
  36. Write his “win” list: Sometimes, the world beats the crap out of us. Write a list of all the good things we’ve done with our lives and remind us of our accomplishments when we’re bruised and battered.
  37. Tell him you’re proud of him: Similar to #29, the word “proud” matters.
  38. Stand up for him: Truth? There’s nothing sexier than a wife on the warpath in defense of her man. Just don’t do anything felonious.
  39. Welcome him home: Whenever it is that you two first see each other after a long day, stop what you’re doing and actually greet him. No phones, no kids, no TV, no book, no work. Just smile at him, hug him, kiss him and tell him you’re happy to see him.
  40. Ask his advice: We are problem-solvers by nature. Ask us what we think about the things confronting you. We want what’s best for you more than anyone else out there.
  41. Leave him hidden notes: In his medicine cabinet, his lunch bag, his car, his couch seat … anywhere that he can stumble upon a message of love from you.
  42. Forgive: We screw up. We know that. Learning to let go and not keep a record of wrongs is vital to truly moving forward.
  43. Be patient: Yes, it’s annoying to have to ask us to do something 10 times before we do it. Do it anyway.
  44. Roleplay: See #5. If you don’t know what “does it” for your man, find out. Be that. Share what does it for you.
  45. Hold his hand: We love being your man. Better than that, interlace your arm with his.
  46. Respect his guy time: Get to know his friends. Encourage them to hang out. Don’t roll your eyes when they do stupid stuff.
  47. Be creative: We might not always hear your words. Find other ways to express yourself.
  48. Say “I’m sorry:” It doesn’t matter if you intended to hurt him. We trust you didn’t. Admitting your wrong and asking for forgiveness is a great way to de-escalate things.
  49. Let him be alone: If he wants a Mancave, respect that. It’s not that we don’t love you or want to be with you. We just sometimes want to be by ourselves for a bit.
  50. Avoid constant communication: There’s something magical about a day in which no texts went back-and-forth. It gives you lots to catch up on when you reconnect that evening.
  51. Pray for him: Lord knows, we need it.
  52. Pray with him: Whatever your spiritual beliefs might be, find the common threads and make them stronger.
  53. Initiate sex: See #17. This is a great way to showcase that.
  54. Never give the silent treatment: It’s childish. If you need time to collect your thoughts, tell him so and let him know you’ll be back to figure things out in an hour.
  55. Don’t undermine him in front of the kids: If you disagree with something he’s done as a parent, talk with him privately.
  56. Tell him how you need him: We love that you’re a strong and independent person. But surely there are some things about him that make your life significantly easier. Tell him.
  57. Give him coupons: It’s nice to know you’ve got something in the bank for a free backrub, home-cooked meal, Saturday alone or fully planned date.
  58. Teach him you: You know how we should love you best. Clue us in and remind us every once in a while.
  59. Let him be him: You two obviously have some stuff in common, right? It’s completely fine to be different in lots of ways. Don’t try to change him to be more like you.
  60. Kiss longer: The hello or goodbye peck is fine. Linger. Stay there for a 15 seconds. Watch what happens to him.
  61. Wink at him: At a family party or work function together? Wink at him from across the room.
  62. Just be: There are times when it’s really, really nice to just have you by our side, shoulder to shoulder, without words.

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