My husband and I were having a general discussion about relationships and such awhile back.
During this particular conversation we talked about how and why some men hate going home to their wives for whatever reason and he told me, “Baby, there are two types of married men – those who love going home and those who hate coming home.” Yeah, pretty blunt, right? I know, but we like to keep it real when we talk. He was explaining how some men really don’t enjoy coming home because they don’t get the love, support or encouragement like they should.
For me personally, there’s something about cooking and preparing a meal for your man and watching him partake of it after a long, hard day at work. Call me sappy, ol’ school or whatever, but that’s why it means so much when he tells me that he loves coming home to me because I feel like it’s one of my main duties as a wife – to provide a comfortable and loving atmosphere for our home and our family.
Now, of course everyday isn’t perfect, and I’m definitely no “Perfect Patty” – especially if I get in one of my moods (LOL). Quite honestly there are days when we disagree or have an argument and we can’t stand to be in the same room with each other. But most of the time I, like many other women, strive to do what I can so he wants to come home instead of pushing him out in the street or worst case, into the arms of another woman.
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And I’ll say this as a side note – there are in fact a lot of women who go above and beyond to create an atmosphere of love, but unfortunately there are some men who take advantage of it, and that’s not right. Although many will claim this (or lack thereof) as a reason for stepping out of their marriage or relationship, it’s never a valid reason. Rather it’s usually a symptom of how one is feeling, and it should be addressed and resolved in a more useful, honest and practical way.
Nevertheless, as someone who really didn’t have a blueprint for marriage and wasn’t exactly sure how this whole “marriage” thing worked, I always knew I wanted to do whatever I could to create a comfortable and happy atmosphere for my husband. But it wasn’t until we were officially married that I realized just how important this was and what it looked like. Mind you, it’s easier said than done because it’s easy to get so caught up in our personal wants and needs that we forget what it means to submit to each other and satisfy the needs of our spouses.
So, I figured why not share some of what I’ve learned (and am learning) about being my man’s number one cheerleader and what that looks like at home!
Home should feel like an inner sanctum, not a jail cell.
Unlike jail, there is no rule that says once you’re married both parties have to be tied down to each other 24 hours a day. Sometimes as women we have a tendency to try and control our man’s every move and quite honestly, it’s usually a sign of our lack of trust. Eric and I understand that some days we both need our space, but we also understand our limits and boundaries.
For example, my husband loves to work out at the gym so he goes a few times during the week and will stay for hours. Instead of bugging him with questions like, "Where are you going? What are you doing? Who are you with?” I let him live--especially because I want the same in return. Trying to tie someone down or keep them bound at home will only make them yearn for “freedom” even that much more. Home is where the heart is. He shouldn’t feel like that’s where he’s going to find hell on earth.
Create an atmosphere of admiration, not agitation.
In other words, nag him less and encourage him more. For me, a lot of times this means “don’t sweat the small stuff.” I have a tendency to nag or bother Eric about little stuff – whether it’s a dish in the sink, his clothes everywhere or even the trash. While little things can build up to become bigger issues, I’m learning how to pick my battles and try to focus more on what he’s doing right rather than wrong…or wrong as in not doing things exactly as I would have liked him to! Besides, nobody’s perfect, so just like there are things he has to work on, there are things I need to work on as well.
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Whether they’ll admit it or not, men need positive reinforcement, too. Sending cute, caring and kinky texts, writing love letters and emails, or even buying cards are just a few simple ideas to show and tell them how much we appreciate them. Awhile back I wrote Eric a cute little love note and snuck it into his car, so when he went off to work he would see it as he was getting into his car the next morning. He still has the note in his car to this day. Other times, I’ll go and buy a greeting card (he loves greeting cards) just to let him know I’m thinking of him or to let him know “I appreciate you” or to congratulate him for something he did on the job. Whether big or small, it definitely goes a long way.
Let him relax.
When our men come home from work, are they greeted with, “How was your day honey,” or “Ugh, I couldn’t wait for you to get home so you could do this?” I don’t know if anyone else is guilty of this but sometimes I go through the day thinking of this and that and coming up with a “honey-do-this” list for my husband and I say to myself, “I can’t wait for him to get home and start working on this,” or “He needs to do this as soon as he gets home.” But I’ve learned that sometimes I need to give him a moment – especially after a long day’s work – and let him relax. For instance, when I do his laundry and fold his clothes, usually the only thing left for him to do is to hang them up (I’m pretty short so I can’t reach his side of the closet.) So instead of hitting him with it as soon as he comes through the door, I’ll put off mentioning it until later or ask if he could at least do it before we go to bed or before he goes to work the next day. Once I truly think about how hard he works and how much he deals with on a daily basis, the last thing he wants when he walks through the door is to hear me yelling or nagging at him about something.
Listen…I know there are times when not all arguments will start or end at home. Sometimes you get angry in public or in the car on your way to an event, but that doesn’t mean the anger has to be revealed at that very moment in time--and it definitely shouldn’t be done in a way that will demean or embarrass him in front of others. Timing is everything. Furthermore, we know when his favorite basketball team is playing. We know he enjoys football all day even if it is back to back games, just like we enjoy our favorite TV shows, books, quiet time, etc. So while he’s watching his sports, I will either join him, watch the other TV, or find something else to do, but what I won’t do is interrupt him and say, “Can we talk?” Football season for me usually means one of two things: more girl time or more “me” time, so take advantage of it.
Honestly, Eric is actually pretty flexible when it comes to making time for other things even if it is football season. We find ways to compromise whether it’s football or even vice versa when one of my favorite TV shows is on. Of course, if it’s critical and a really important issue that seems to be a little too much, then it’s time to have an open and honest discussion in hopes of finding a resolution.
Showing our men the respect they deserve is probably one of the biggest and most important ways to show them we’re they’re number one fan. More importantly, we have to let a man be a man.
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There are times when I may get upset about something with my husband, and even though I may not verbalize exactly what I’m thinking Eric can usually tell through my actions or facial expressions what I’m thinking. Unfortunately, at times my body language or facial expressions can convey a certain level of sarcasm or as if I’m being condescending. So, I have to be mindful of my words and my actions to avoid making my man feel less than anything but a man.
Good men deserve to have good news shared about them.
Moment of transparency…sometimes I feel bad about posting pictures or cute anecdotes about my hubby. But then I think to myself and realize if people can post and talk so much about how terrible some of these men are out here, then surely I have a right to and should post or talk about the opposite. For me, it’s not to brag or boast; rather, it’s a testimony of how much God has blessed me and blessed our relationship and to show just how good He is. I’ve also noticed that it actually encourages others. I’ve had so many women – and even men – tell me how encouraging it is to see the love between the two of us whether in real life or even through an image or story I’ve shared via social media. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Ladies, don’t be so quick to tell your girlfriends all the bad things about your man but slow to tell the good things about him. If they never know how good he is to you, then how will they know if he’s good for you? So, don’t be hesitant or feel bad about sharing good news about your man.
As always, be mindful of how much is too much as it relates to sharing anything about your relationship. At the end of the day not everyone is a cheerleader for your relationship, and then there are those who will try to cheer louder than you. But one thing’s for certain, there’s only one cheerleading captain over here and no one is going to scream or cheer louder for my man than me.
Originally published on White Noyze