Ten simple rules for being a happily married man

Ok, guys. I am going to let you in on a secret. It’s not that hard to keep momma happy. Seriously. Let me lay out the simple ground rules for keeping peace in your home.

If it matters to her, it should matter to you.
If she loves roller skating, I suggest you learn to skate. If she likes chick flicks, don’t roll your eyes when she picks out a movie. If she is a fitness junkie… Yeah. That’s where I drop the ball. Mine is. I am still working on that one.

Pick up after yourself.
Really. Socks and towels on the floor? It tells her you don’t care. Leaving crumbs and trash on the kitchen counters, not cool. Seriously. Simple stuff.

Learn the art of dating again.
Don’t sit home every night. Take a walk. Figure out the things that she loves and do them. Most women are more sociable than us guys. Get her out with people she likes. Dinner and a movie are fine sometimes, but reach for things that cause interaction. Do things that allow you to talk and experience things together.

Show her that she matters.
Fix things that need fixing. Paint things that need painting. Clean up things that need cleaning up. Make notes if you have to. When she mentions things that bother her, or things she wants, do something about it.

Finish things.
I had a buddy who thought it was hysterical when his wife griped about all his half finished projects. He had started, and gotten bored with, dozens of projects. His house was a testimony to laziness. He thought it was funny, just part of who he was. Yeah. He is divorced now. It gets old.

Surprise her.
It tells her that you were thinking about her, even when she wasn’t there. It says a lot. Regular gifts and treats tell her that you are willing and able to be the romantic. It shows her that you are trying to create positive expectations. It’s a big deal.
I will add this… Be smart about these surprises. Make sure it’s something she wants. Don’t force something stupid on her. Don’t surprise her with a new car, and payments, when you are already struggling.

If you really know her, you already knows what she likes and doesn’t. Be smart.

Listen to her.
I don’t mean listening to respond. Listen to hear. Let her talk and pay attention. She needs the interaction with you. She needs to know that her ideas and concerns are validated. The events of her day matter. Prove it by listening. Don’t interrupt. Don’t turn every conversation into something about you.

Be a great dad.
Yep. Believe it or not, most wives will admit that seeing you make an effort to be a great daddy, is about as sexy as it gets. They love to see you treat those kids like the precious gifts that they are. Even in our worst days, my wife still wanted to see me focus of the kids. It proves what kind of man you are. It declares you to be capable of selfless love. Make their needs and wants more important than your own.

Come to terms with your purpose.
If you are determined to find your worth in your job, good luck. It’s not there. It’s a check. Do the job with excellence. Maintain a good attitude. Get promoted. Make money. Do what has to be done. But, it’s not your purpose. It’s a job.

Sorry. I have to hang out here for a minute.

This was my single biggest failure, as a husband. My family was always second place, to whatever I was focused on. I chose jobs that made me feel like I was important. We still struggled for money. I worked long hours. I came home late. They eventually learned to live without me at home. And when a job fell through, or I got fired, I was devastated. I was shattered. My purpose had been taken away. Hence the regular use of the word, “knucklehead.”

Your family is your purpose. Taking responsibility. Doing what has to be done. Making the effort. No excuses. We work to provide. Period. Get past that whole mentality and focus on them and their needs. Like the need to live indoors and eat occasionally.

Learn what love really means.
I don’t care if you are sick of hearing it. Ephesians 5:25 is our foundation as married men. If you want to understand perfect love, learn what Christ did for us. Learn how he made his purpose purely about saving His bride. He put aside every distraction and opportunity. He only did what was best for the bride. His only purpose was His bride. Stop thinking that you are better than that. Narrow your focus. Strengthen your family. Teach those kids what a real man looks like by being the right kind of man.

My life is so much simpler, now, than it ever was before. I have intentionally narrowed my interests. I have cut off lots of distracting options. I want a strong family. I want my wife’s love and affection. I suggest you make the effort, too.

These things really are simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple. The hardest thing, for most of us, is the need to be in control. Most wives tolerate insane amounts of foolishness, to hold their families together. Most of us just want everything on our terms. Let it go. Humble yourself and learn to love her. Show her that you love her.

She is worth it.

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