"God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today. Have you used one to say, "thank you."?"~ William A. Ward
When is the last time you said a word of appreciation to your husband? It is hard to tell which comes first, his lack of appreciation for you or yours toward him. Rather than debate this, I suggest that you pump new life into your relationship by giving your man the gift of appreciation. I have chosen to make this article one-sided because I occasionally catch grief from other men who complain that I am always asking them to make the sacrifices in order to make their woman feel special. I still believe this and I believe appreciation should be a two-way street. I also believe that a man will do a lot more for the woman he loves if he is appreciated.
You see, when a woman is not happy, the man feels like a failure. When she is happy, he feels that he is successful. Men may give up in their efforts to make her happy if he doesn't see results. A woman's show of appreciation is his scorecard. So, ladies this is ultimately in your best interest to give your man one of his deepest longings, appreciation.
Dennis is frustrated that the vision for his marriage is out of sync with his wife, Nancy. She throws him "under the bus" every time they are around their family and friends. Everybody knows something is wrong. Dennis seems very unhappy. He is frequently ill and has nothing to look forward to. Nancy's belittling of him has led to him feeling inadequate as a man. He pouts like a child and acts in a passive-aggressive manner. For instance, he seems to always "forget" her birthday, Mother's Day and Valentine's Day. This is how he has learned to retaliate for her lack of appreciation. He dreads going home each day. Their marriage is in real trouble. Don't let this happen to your relationship.
Here are some ways to let your man know how much you appreciate him:
1) Greet him with enthusiasm. Light your face and his with a smile. Be glad to see him.
2) Build him up in front of others. Refuse to say anything negative about him to anyone else. Look for opportunities to sing his praises to his friends and relatives as well as yours.
3) Tell him the things you admire and appreciate about him. Men love to hear how great they are. This also serves as positive reinforcement which in turn will promote an even better man.
Point out how hardworking he is. Thank him for being thoughtful and patient, and a good listener. You will be surprised at how much better he will become.
4) Be playful. Draw out his fun side. Once couples get established in the relationship, they tend to forget how playful and goofy they can be. Being playful will keep you young.
5) Ease up on the guilt trips. Women typically hate to ask for the things they want or need. Instead, they complain about what the man doesn't do. Men interpret this as, "No matter what I do, it is never good enough." Don't make him feel obligated through guilt provoking statements. Learn to make direct requests such as, "Will you take out the trash?" instead of, "You never take out the trash!"
6) Make a big to-do when he achieves something. Fix him his favorite meal or a special dessert. Put the children to bed early and break out the candles. Use your imagination. The bigger the better.
7) Tell him how much you love him. Not with a card. Most men are not into receiving cards. Tell him face to face. A sincere statement can penetrate the toughest of hearts.
8) Thank him for providing for you and your children. I know he is supposed to do this, but a wise woman will never take this for granted. Men equate long hours of hard work to a show of love. Receive this with a thank you.
9) Thank him for supporting your pursuits. Behind every great man is a supportive woman. The reverse is also true.
10) If you want to see a huge difference in your man, listen to him. Listen to his goals, his dreams and his frustrations. Give him a chance to talk without correcting him or getting defensive. Let him vent without taking it personally. A man will give his right arm for this one.
So, ladies, which of those ten is the hardest for you? Which do you do naturally? It took me a long time to learn #3--to tell your mate what you admire about him. I was constantly saying "I love you", but that didn't cut it. Keith wanted to know WHY I loved him. It took me a few years to figure this out, but now I try to tell him what I admire everyday.
I would probably add one more (and you ladies who are regular readers know this about me), but I would add making love frequently. Men make love to feel loved. For them, sex is a necessity but affection is the choice. For us, affection is usually the necessity while sex is the choice. But it is an honest need they have, and we need to learn how to overcome our own barriers so that we can make love with enthusiasm regularly! (My book, Honey, I Don't Have a Headache Tonight, addresses just these issues, and it's on sale for Father's Day!)
That doesn't mean, of course, that if he's into pornography you do weird things with him. I'm not talking about that, and I've addressed that problem before. I just mean that in most relationships, we could improve them a ton if we began to realize that men aren't sick for wanting sex so much; that's the way they were made. And besides, when you make love, you sleep better anyway!
Alright, it's your turn now. What do you need to work on to make him feel appreciated? What can you do leading up to Father's Day to tell him that he's #1 for you? What do you find the hardest? Leave a note in the comments, or go write your own Wifey Wednesday post about how to make him feel appreciated this week. Just copy the picture at the top of this post and upload it to your blog, and then come back and enter your URL in the new Mr. Linky. Love to hear from you!
About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.