How to Become a Better Husband, Boyfriend or Life Partner

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This article is not particularly insightful. Nor is it all that authoritative. I am not claiming to be the world’s best husband – far from it. But one thing I can attest to is that I am always trying to be better for my lady. I never forget that our relationship is something that needs to grow and change and be worked on.

In this post I am going to tell you all the most important things I know about being a good husband, boyfriend or life partner. Some of these I figured out myself, others I learned by trying to do the opposite of what my father did.

NOTE – This post is for the men out there. Ladies, perhaps you can read it too and if you like it email it to your man.

The role that always changes

The first thing that you need to know if you want to be a good husband is that things change. Your partner changes, you change, your life situation changes. And because these changes take place without warning you constantly need to evolve as a man and as a partner. If you aren’t willing to change who you are (or think you are) then you are going to run into trouble in your relationship.

Related:Β 10 Ways to Become a Better Son or Daughter

That being said, being a good husband is not about bending to your wife’s every whim. Not at all. In fact, she wouldn’t like it if you did that. A good woman will always want you to be true to yourself and to do what makes you happy. But she will expect you to change when change is required, and rightly so.

The reason I wrote “become” instead of “be” in the title is because this is a role that is always changing. The job is never finished. The good husband, boyfriend or life partner will always see that there is work to be done on his relationship and his self. Please take this to heart.

How to become a better husband, boyfriend or life partner

better husband vintage wedding
Creative Commons License photo credit: elyse patten

I would like to share some tips with you now in the hope that they will impact your relationship in some positive way. Sadly I have not had that many great male role models in my life so my idea of what a husband should or should not do is something that is constantly changing. If anyone out there knows better than me or has some insight into what a husband really is I would love to read your comments.

1. Learn to listen, but not just to her words
One of the best things my life partner has taught me (indirectly) is that a man needs to listen to a woman on many levels, not just her speech. By the time she has to tell you to do something you have often already missed several hints that she has been giving you. If you want to be a good husband you need to learn what these hints are.

Take the dishes as a really simple example. My mother used to cook dinner ever single night for my father, my brother and me and every single night my father would “forget” to help with the dishes. Now my mother never asked him to help because she knew he was tired from work but she quietly would have loved him to offer his help as thanks for a lovely meal. After dinner she would always be grumpy. On the odd occasion that dad did help with the dishes she would be a different woman; happy engaging and gentle.

Being a good husband means listening, not just to her words, but to her more quiet signals. Every woman is different and communicates in different ways and as her best friend it is your job to figure them out.

2. Suggest and create excellent communication habits
After reading the first point you might be thinking, “why can’t she just tell me what she wants?” That is fine. If you have spent a lot of time talking to your wife and creating a relationship where she can openly ask you to do something without feeling like she is nagging then that is excellent. Wait for her to tell you. Mostly, however, your wife will say she shouldn’t HAVE to ask you, you should just do it. This is where communication comes in.

Becoming a good husband means creating excellent communication habits. Sometimes this is hard. Sometimes in the heat of anger you won’t want to communicate. But a good husband tries to. A good husband will find out why you have got to the point of getting angry and create a solution. Let’s look at an example, again borrowed from my father and mother.

Say you go out on Thursday night with your friends for a beer after work. Your wife is at home cooking dinner and as such it would be nice if you got home by 7.30pm to eat together. But it doesn’t always work out like that and sometimes you don’t get home until late. When you get home you wonder why she is grumpy and you ask her things like, “what’s wrong?” and “did you have a bad day?” which only makes things worse. At the end you give up, yell at her and go to bed.

No solution.

A better way to do things is to use your brain and find out what is eating at her. Does it happen every Thursday? Yes. Well then perhaps it has something to do with the beers after work. Okay, now we are getting somewhere. Next you should sit her down on a nice Sunday afternoon and ask her whether you had upset her by being late for dinner. If she says “yes” then apologize and then promise to communicate with her better the next time (i.e. phoning if you are going to be late). Also, gently suggest that she be more open with her feelings because you would never intentionally upset her.

Opening the communication and creating good communication habits will save your marriage. Be creative. Don’t say “what’s wrong woman” and expect her to tell you and then be cool with it. Take some responsibility and create a solution. If my father did this I imagine their relationship would have worked out a lot differently. This has a lot to do with how much he respected my mother.

3. Don’t lose your sense of individuality
This is not something that you ever get told by your parents but it is something that is so important I had to write about it. Don’t lose your sense of individuality. Don’t become one of those couples that merges into one. A marriage is not a melding of two people; it is two individuals coming together. If you lose that individuality you lose something special.

Erin + Andrew
Creative Commons License photo credit: Bryan Bruchman

Quite often I see people get together and then give up their hobbies, past times and interests because they are all absorbed in their partner. Within a few months or years the relationship is over (or in chaos) because they are bored with each other. They gave up their individuality.

There is a quote in Buddhism that says, “If you spend enough time with a person you will see only their faults. Even if you were with the Buddha himself you would find something not to like“. This happens in relationships when you give up your individuality and just live as if you were one person. Remember, when you first met each other you had other things going on (reading, sports, music, poetry, friends, etc.) and this is partly why you were attracted to each other. So why give them up?

Sometimes it is hard to keep your hobbies and past times going because work is so full on and you hardly get to see each other but you must try. You must make a concerted effort to spend time apart every week and do something for yourselves. You will be much happier as a couple if you do.

4. Never hit, swear at or yell at your wife
It might seem obvious to some people but other people seem to miss the memo. It is never okay to hit, swear at or yell at your wife. If you get to a point where you find that yelling is the only answer then you have made a mistake somewhere along the line and need to go back and fix it up.

Sometimes I go out with my mates and talk about our partners and wives. Inevitably one of them will bring up “fights with the missus” and talk about how sometimes you need to yell at your wife to assert your authority. My internal reaction to this is always “no you don’t”. She is not a dog that needs to be trained by showing your dominance. She is your life partner, your best friend and your lover. Hitting, swearing and yelling are forms of degradation and not fit for this person.

For all the men out there who think that yelling is necessary I understand where you are coming from. I know the place you are in, I have been there. But I would like to offer you a quote that has stood by me through thick and thin with my lady. This quote was offered to me by my yogi friend when we were discussing marriage back in India.

“The real measure of a man is by how quickly he gets angry.”

You will not show your dominance by yelling at your wife. All you will show her is that you have a weak will and a low level of patience. Then man she would really respect is the one that can stand up for himself without resorting to bullying. The real man is one who can keep his calm in battle, sport and love. Please think about this.

5. Show creative leadership
Now before you start sending me nasty emails, I do not not think that the male is the leader in the relationship. I am well aware that men and women are equals and have always thought this to be the case. One thing I have learned, however, is that your partner will love you all the more (and find you more attractive) when you can show creative leadership in the relationship. Let’s look at an example.

You have both had a big day, just arrived home and are pretty hungry for dinner. But there is nothing in the pantry. Quite often you will both sit around umming and ahhhing and thinking about what to have. Should we get take away or should be be good and cook? However, instead of sitting around and wondering, a creative leader would make an assertive decision and then get it done. No fuss. No mucking around. Just action.

Scientifically speaking women are programmed to like this behavior as it shows strength and survival skills. But more than that is takes away a layer of stress. If you can show some creative leadership when she isn’t feeling at her best she will really appreciate the input. It might be dishes, a conversation over dinner, the color of the new paint or a solution for a problem she is having. Once you start doing this for her you will notice how often she has been doing it for you!

6. Love her, but not just with words
A big theme in this post is that you must be a husband in more than just words. Words are empty if they are no backed up with meaning and action. The same is true of love. You could tell her that you love her 1000 times a day but it means absolutely zero if you then turn around and ignore her.

JellyNYC's Pool Party (August 30th, 2009)
Creative Commons License photo credit: Amanda M Hatfield

A good husband will find new ways to love his wife. He will listen to her stories, ask her about her day, value her input in the house and in your life and always make sure she feels that appreciation. Tell her how much you admire her actions and who she is becoming as a woman. But don’t do it if you do mean it; make sure the words have meaning. If you can find a way to connect the words with an action that shows you are serious she will love you forever.

7. Don’t beg for sex, create the moment
A real man will never have sex with his wife when she doesn’t want to. Unfortunately, sex is such a big part of a relationship if problems start to occur the relationship can get a bit rocky. One piece of advice that I can give you is that a good sexual partner creates the circumstances for enjoyable sex, he never asks or begs for it. If she isn’t into it then you need to be patient.


Being a good husband, boyfriend or life partner is something that is constantly evolving. You cannot just sit back, do nothing and hope for it all to work out for the best. Try to love her with more than just words, be creative and create some really clear communication habits. And never hit her. Ever.

95 thoughts on “How to Become a Better Husband, Boyfriend or Life Partner

  1. Great checklist! I have been happily married for over 20 years. But I have made some of these mistakes and learned to correct them. Couple of other things that can improve the relationship:
    -Read Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus
    -Never go to bed with an unsettled argument or issue
    -Compliment more, criticize less
    -Spend some together, daily – for us it’s a short walk after dinner
    You have inspired me to do a post with my own checklist πŸ™‚

  2. Thank you for this post, I feel fortunate that I have been blessed with a wonderful woman in my life, but also parents that guided me much as you stated here. I always strive to do more and I feel that is our role as men, not to impress her, but because of who she is to us. I particularly enjoyed what you said about yelling, etc. You’re absolutely correct, it gets a relationship no where, plus who wants love tainted with fear? Many Thanks

  3. Really great article. I’ll keep this in mind, when I get married someday! I love the part about creative leadership especially πŸ™‚ Thanks for your awesome blog!

  4. As a woman, I get more upset when I hear “what’s wrong?” no matter how genuine the tone of voice sounds because “what’s wrong?” = “what’s wrong with whatever you are feeling right now?” = “whatever you are feeling right now is wrong.” In other words, it does not acknowledge, embrace, and accept whatever feelings your partner is having right at that moment. Asking “what’s wrong?” takes you one big step further away from creating a loving and trusting space between you and the partner so it is not a surprise that she feels unsafe and not loved to open herself up and let you in. After all, there are multiple reasons why a psychology counsellor or a psychotherapist would never ask you, “what’s wrong?”.

  5. Well instead of hearing “what’s wrong?” or “Are you ok?”, it would make a world’s difference to hear?

    1. Acknowledging our love one’s feelings: “Darling you look/seem to be _______ (eg.upset or irritated)” or “I could sense you are _____,is it what you are feeling?”

    2. Embracing our love one’s feelings: “I would like to know/learn what made you feel __________.” or “I want to support you by learning what you are experiencing right now”

    3. Accepting our love one’s feelings: “And I’m right here whenever you feel you are ready to share with me your feelings/thought because you mean a lot to me.”

    This practice applies to me as well! πŸ™‚

  6. what? are you saying ‘should never yell’? what are you saying exactly, that anger is not a human emotion, and that people should not, or dont get angry at each other? how do you resolve problems, if you are getting ignored when speaking softly, and have run out of patience? let me backtrack – simply, what is the appropriate emotional response when you are angry, in your books? my wife beats me up/hits me when she is angry (which by the way I dont mind, bc I know its an outlet for her anger), yet this is the same person that professes against violence and hitting. I’ve never hit her and will never hit her, but it just seems a bit unrealistic what you are proposing.. yes you identify the symptoms, but people are not always in their best behaviour, so the question is, what is the appropriate response when one is angry at one’s spouse..

    p.s. the yogi quote comnes from someone who is not married, and has not run out of patience because they live a disconnected reality, (i.e. out of patience from not days of saying the same thing and being heard, months and years of saying the same thing and not being heard).

  7. looking forward to the article of the same name, but with ‘wife’ replacing ‘husband’ and gf replacing bf!

  8. Good wisdow I read here that only comes with thinking about your experiences first hand. Full marks dear friend !

  9. I have to say that as a man, I find this list very unbalanced. #’s 1 and 2 are excellent examples of this. What these points are saying is that we need to conform to a womans’ sense of communication. We need to know what she wants already instead of meeting in the middle and gasp! talking about it immediately. If I should have done the dishes, I really hope my partner doesn’t sulk and frown to get her point across. Isn’t that what a child does? I’d rather her say to me “Can you do the dishes here and there after I cook?” Isn’t this more constructive than promoting the “what’s wrong” emotional state?

    You talk about how “what’s wrong?” is not the way to go, but after reading veggieinlove’s comment you get an insight as to how insane most women are. Do you see how much she reads into that phrase, whereas men are interested in getting to the bottom of what is wrong with their relationship so it can be resolved. Because what we really mean is “what is making you feel this way?” It’s too bad that veggieinlove and past girlfriends seem to immediately take the negative view when us men are having a hard time understanding women. They especially like to take a negative view first if something we say can be construed 2 different ways. Why not take it the positive way first?

    Because women are inherently crazy. And I’m not placating it.

  10. I like your list, with the exception of number four. Sometimes she’s gotta learn her place you know, and sometimes, unfortunately, that takes more than quiet words. Sometimes it takes force. I mean that’s just part of life.

  11. I would recommend asking instead of “What’s wrong” but “how are you feeling?” or “Did I upset you?” in a kind, genuine, and caring manner.

  12. Hi L.

    If your wife is hitting you I would suggest that both she and you are doing something really wrong. I cannot counsel on this – I think perhaps a professional might need to provide some trained advice. Violence is never okay, not from you or from her.

    I do agree that anger is a human response but I do NOT believe that good comes from anger very often in the same way good does not come from racism, hatred and other negative emotions. Yelling is symptomatic of an unbalanced approach – sure it happens sometimes but does it ever really solve anything?

    The yogi is indeed married. One of the most loving and equally balanced relationships I have ever seen.


  13. Dave I find your attitude quite concerning because you seem to have the inherent idea that women are crazy.

    When you talked about veggieinlove’s comment you seem to have the presupposition that your view is more correct than a woman’s. Wouldn’t, then, your girlfriend/wife then just be forced to communicate on your terms? And isn’t that exactly what you are speaking out against (one sided communication)?

  14. I dont completely agree with veggieinlove.

    If the words “Whats wrong?” are sincere, and a “What can I do for you, love?” insincere – which one would you prefer? I think one should grasp the intention behind the words – I guess this is what is meant by understanding each other. I am surprised that how we put it across matters – I ask “what happened” all the time (am not married though), and I’ve gotten quite good response. It could be how you put it across – Your body language and composure talks much more than mere words! Personally I’ll be more concerned about the problem, than how it is communicated, especially between husband and wife.

    But thanks for this surprising aspect – I’m interested to know if this is how every woman feels. Continue the thread!

    Maybe I should pick up that “Men are from Mars…” book pretty soon.

  15. Relationships are completely about open communication and compromise. However, I think this example isn’t illustrating that she was “sulking” on purpose, to illicit guilt in her husband, but just her natural response to his not helping her. It’s terrible to feel like a nag; no one wants to be that person. Each person in the relationship should just do things for the other without having to be asked. It’s that constant asking that grates on nerves and creates stress.

    Women are inherently crazy?

    Your gender generalization is what has helped oppress women throughout history. Thanks, buddy.

  16. This is a great article. I’ll send it to my boyfriend, but he’ll probably see the word “Husband” and freak out and not read it and then ask me a really weird, out of the blue question later on about marriage even though we’ve talked about it almost 8 million times and he knows I don’t want to get married for a loooooooong time.

  17. This list makes me glad I am a gay male and am forced to build communication and roles from the ground up with my partners.

    Want to know the best way to know what your partner is thinking? Ask.

  18. Interesting article.

    I think effort must be made on both sides for communication to be a success. I try to say how I think and feel and express what I really want, because I DON’T think it’s fair to make a guy play guessing games.

    Also, my boyfriend and I have made a point of sitting down and discussing our “signals” and “triggers” — things that one of us says or does when we feel a certain way, and things that the other person does or says that really push our buttons. It’s not just women who have behavioral patterns that must be learned for good communication to ensue. Both parties need to be aware of their good and bad communication habits.

    For instance, any variation of “We need to talk” or “Can we talk about this?” seems to send him straight into an anxiety attack. I’ve had to learn new ways of expressing myself. I have had to learn how to use “I” statements instead of the more accusatory “you”. I tend to be fairly direct and am far more likely to yell than him… though I am trying very hard to do otherwise.

    As for anger… well, I must beg to differ. Anger is quite natural and emotions are neither good nor bad, they simply are. It is not whether or not one GETS angry; it is how one DEALS with that anger. Much good CAN come of anger channeled correctly to bring about change. People who get angry about the injustice in the world can take that energy and spur themselves and others to change it. Violence is what is wrong.

    Sex varies based on the woman. I would be bored to tears by a guy who “created the right environment” for sex and just hoped I would play along. (Actually, that’s my ex-husband. I hope he is making some other woman very happy now, because most women supposedly want gentle, sweet sex.) I like my men dominant, primal, rough and animalistic in that particular aspect of a relationship… but afterwards, I want tender, lovey cuddling and falling asleep in each other’s arms. My boyfriend is happy with this arrangement, fortunately.

    Incidentally — that “men are from mars, women are from venus” book was written by a guy whose degree is from a totally unaccredited, now defunct school. In essence, it’s not much better than a mail-order Ph.D. While there might be some truth in his books, take them with a grain of salt… if he is intellectually dishonest enough to mislead people about his level of education, how far can his words and judgment be trusted? Food for thought.

  19. As a woman going into the sixth year of my relationship with my bf, I agree with some of Dave and Christine’s comments.

    In the beginning of our relationship, there were a lot of things I didn’t want to say because I didn’t want to be a nag, but eventually the bf told me in a very straightforward manner that, if he didn’t understand or pick up on something wrong, he wouldn’t feel insulted if I just told/asked him.

    This is the biggest difference between the sexes (or even certain cultures). Some people are more direct (I think men; Americans in general are) and others are more passive/aggressive (sometimes women, asian cultures, middle eastern).

    Men shouldn’t always have to guess about what women are thinking and vice versa. But people in a serious relationship should be serious about communicating openly.

  20. Wow… this article actually made me cry… I never knew men could/would think about their relationship in such a way… All the while I was reading the article I kept thinking that a woman must have wrote it. And I still can’t believe a man wrote all this. Thank you for posting these words. I really hope it catches on…

  21. This is the first time I left a comment on Internet that has made quite a stir on some people’s emotions! Should I say I’m flattered to be on the spot light? πŸ™‚

    I’m cautious to say any more as it might be interpreted in a direction that creates more tension & divisions between men and women. So this would be my last comment regarding this particular post. I appreciate TheDailyMinder’s effort in writing this post as it acted as a checklist for me whether I have become a better life partner for my darling. Like I said in my second comment, it applies to me as well. πŸ™‚

    with metta,

  22. Yeah, sounds great, but some women are just incorrigible. I got back together with a girl I dated when I was younger, and her work and financial situation stresses her out and the only outlet she has is to criticise me for every decision I do or don’t make.

    All this advice above is useless. She tells me I’m too sensitive and that’s I’ve done nothing for her, yet her household is more organsied, her finances in better situation, her pot addiction cured, yet if I buy bread on sale, I have no class and she doesn’t want to live like this… a woman who’s tens of thousands of dollars in debt!

    What gets me, is that there are so many articles like this that guys who just want a nice happy loving relationship based on friendship and respect, and the articles you read in the women’s magazine are just counter productive.

    Man, as soon as I top up my savings account again, I am going to get as far away from her as possible. What a terrible feeling to have, to give all for love and be told it’s wrong and doesn’t measure up.

    One thing that never changes; men being fools, and women playing themselves.

    Nice article!



  24. wait a minute. back up.

    so you’re sayin that i’m NOT supposed to hit my wife.

    this is patronizing drivel.

    don’t mean to be rude but if you need to get your relationship advice from a blog then you’re probably not ready for an adult relationship.

  25. Some good ideas.

    What I could really use is a post that explains why women are so complicated. Why can’t they just say what they mean and mean what they say? Why do they require such Indian Jones type puzzle solving skills?

  26. Women, I need to say this. When a man asks some version of “what’s wrong” and you say “nothing” you are asking for long-term problems. The man will eventually quit asking because it’s not worth the trouble. Also, stop saying stuff like: “you never do laundry” when that’s not really the issue. I spent so much time with my now ex-wife trying to understand what was wrong and then what truly was wrong that ultimately I gave up. It took me literally days to understand the real issue, and normally it was just a simple misunderstanding or something easily fixed. Stop the grand-standing, drama-creating games. You want a better man? Try being open and honest in a kind way. You may not get the perfect man but he will CARE what you say. Guys get tired very quickly of the “what’s wrong” game and stop playing it.

  27. Interesting that a woman can cook a meal and then be secretly angry that no one offers to do the dishes, but a guy has to mow the lawn every week as though it were a second job with no thanks or help.

  28. Absolutely brilliant article… I have just completed 3 years of married life and I am pretty sure by learning from these kind of wonderful tips , I would feel the same for my wife 30 years from now which I feel now.

  29. Something I find really interesting in all this debate is that a lot of men expect a woman to conform with their idea of communication and call the woman’s method crazy and unpractical.

    Like I said in the article, I think you need to be open to the idea that women and men sometimes communicate differently. When you get the opportunity you can try and ask your wife to be more direct (again in the article) but you have to be willing to communicate her style sometimes.

    I am quite flabbergasted at the things some men write about their partners here…

  30. My husband and I have found this together, and I can count on one hand how many arguments we have had since we have been together. Like you said, communication is the key. No mind games, just spending every day loving and respecting each other, and we are happy to be showing this to our kids in the hope that they can both find this beautiful, loving, life with someone of their own one day. My husband makes me grateful for every breath that I get to take knowing that I have him in my life.

  31. I must say that these tipps doesn’t help me.
    I’m in a 2,5 year old relationship, we talk a lot and have lot of fun. Sometimes there are hard times, when one of us is depressed for few days. But everybody is responsible for his/her happiness and entertainment.
    We spend lots of time together. Sometimes people think that we are one. Is it bad?to be soulmates. – I think no.

  32. Omg I want to marry you. Haha, great article. It’s empowering to read this as a woman. Feels like there is room for man to understand woman and vice versa.

  33. Tired of these how to be a better male in a relationship topics. Why not start with how to be a better girlfriend? But oh no, its selfish to ask for your girlfriend to please you, right?

    I’m tired of hearing how bad men are, how they need to improve everything, after meeting so many shitty bitches who has no idea how to maintain a healthy relationship at all.

    Nope, I’m not a bitter guy, I met a lot of really great girls too, my gf is super, and I made my share of stupid mistakes as well, but time to stop this one sided bashing of the male personality in relationships.

  34. So great. One thing I think is useful to just any relationship is that you can only focus on what you do in the relationship. You can’t control what the other person does, so why fret over it? Just work on how you can be the best half and try to improve every day. Observe and play to your partners best wishes. LOVE! Don’t hate

    And I agree on the anger thing. My dad gets really angry and it’s just about the ugliest thing in the world. Anger is so ugly. Naturally being his daughter I have that tendency, and usually have to take a moment for it to pass. Nothing good comes from spite.

  35. Scotty… Unbelievable. Are you serious? NO ONE deserves “force”, no matter WHAT. If a point is not getting across, there is something wrong with the communication going on. It is my opinion and experience that people who use force with words or actions have a lot of pain underneath and need to deal with their own issues, usually from their past. Wow…

    I enjoyed your article, thank you.

  36. I admire your courage to come up with such a bull’s eye how-to article! I enjoyed reading it, and quite surprised, to say the least, of your amazing insight on the female psyche, you must be a great observer…my boyfriend, who happens to be a wonderful man, sent this to me and I was astounded. We follow this criteria as well, open communication…two people, not one…creative leadership! Yes! and you are so right…it has been key to our success as a couple!
    I am happy you are sharing this knowledge with so many…and I am glad you make it seem, because it actually is, simple and wonderful. Love is so important, it’s worth growing with it…and I just wish you the best in your marriage!
    Thank you.

  37. great piece. there are not too many things i take the time to read to the end (ie TLDR) but this was excellent.
    great advice, I can see how mastering ALL of that is real key.

  38. Hmm. This whole article is food for thought, almost like a breadbasket to pick at. I’m only 15 (My opinion immediately no longer matters to half the world) and my short time in life has shown a lot of what the author said to be completely true. I want to be as good as a boyfriend as I can for girlfriend, and I strive to do that, but I can never get her to open up and tell me whats wrong. Any advice?

  39. Why is attention to one area AUTOMATICALLY excluding the other?
    This is just simply geared towards men – there are many such articles for women.
    I suspect you don’t notice them because they are not tailored to attract you.

  40. Try not to make it an interrogation, or accusation. If she wants to let you know what is up with her funk she will, if you give her a chance.
    You seem angry (bothered, sad, unhappy, frustrated). Look at your partner, try to read them, show them you are conserned. But you don’t have to make it a question. If she wont give it up, it is probably something you did and she is too angry or upset to tell you about it just now. Come back to it another day with a question like: The other day you were upset, was it something I did? Do you want to talk about it? I have never seen someone refuse to respond to that.

    I am a woman and my partner is a stoic man, but he has feelings too. When he tight lipped and distant I don’t demand he tell me what is wrong. I say, you seem quiet, or sad. And if he wants to he will tell me it is the anniversary of his fathers death, or what not. I just have to respect his feelings by giving him the option to tell me another time, or let it slide.

  41. I agree with your description of some of the differences between men and women when you stated that women are more passive aggressive and men are more direct.

    I have been trying to work through the issues that are created in my relationships when my girlfriends try to force me into guessing everything about them when it comes to things they want me to do or when it comes to their feelings about being upset since I was in high school.

    I have found that I also will try to force my viewpoint as well with getting them to just tell me outright what’s up. Recently I have become much better about trying to work a middle ground, but I have found that the women I know will still need prompting (and hence my knowing what’s going on and pressuring them into telling me) before they will talk about anything that’s upsetting them.

    Do you have any advice on how to better reach a middle ground on this other than just accepting that men are different than women?

  42. You say that it is childish for a woman to sulk and frown instead of speaking what she’s thinking all of the time; well, I think it is childish for a woman to constantly have to order and point out the obvious to the man. Can you please do the dishes after I cook?? That’s an order like i’d tell a child…after mommy cooks, can you please do the dishes? It’s gets tiring after awhile…not all of us want to be nags.

    It’s not about conforming, it’s about wanting to understand and trying to bridge the gap between the way males and females think and communicate… I loved this article, I think you missed the whole point.

  43. So what do you do when all you do is listen? You listen to what they have to say, make mental notes of the things they ask, and do them and at the end of the day, it’s still not enough for them? You listen to what they have to say, you compromise on things, you try to meet them in the middle, you stand up for yourself respectfully, but again at the end of the day, it’s not enough?

    How do you get through to a person that thinks the mistakes that you made, example you closed the bathroom door last night before going to bed, he has asked you not to because he walked into it in the dark and would like you to leave it open so this doesn’t happen. You make the mental note apologize for it happening in the past and agree to leave the door open for them. You make one mistake and close the door one night…not intentionally, but because you are human and forget? What do you tell them when they get angry with you and tell you that you are being inconsiderate and passive agressive by closing the door and they walked into it again last night in the dark because they were trying not to wake you. What do you say to a person, when the last thing you want to do is something that will cause a fight or to upset them and they think that is why you did it? How do you get across to them that the last thing you want to do is fight with the person you love, and that what you did was simply a HUMAN error?

    I look for answers everyday, because I am in a relationship with someone 7 years my senior and I know that I am still young and have a lot to learn but what more is there to do when you ask the questions, you make the compromises, and you do everything in your power to make it better, but he still feels like you are out to get him?

    Someone, anyone please, I want to save my relationship and make it happy again. I understand that things don’t always go the way you want them to and that a relationship takes work, and I am willing to take any advise I can get at this point.


  44. Hi Lookingforanswers.

    I have no idea about your situation but it sounds from you short comment that this person does not respect you. If you are always trying to please the person and walking on eggshells you are in fact giving away a big part of yourself. You need to be independent and remember that a relationship is TWO individuals coming together, not two people merging in to one. If you are not getting your needs met but are always compromising then you are not in a relationship at all.

    I think you need to be more independent and assertive. Perhaps you don’t stick up for yourself? If I was in your situation I would clearly, strongly and politely say, “I have done all I can to show you I am doing the right thing by you. I am not going to put up with the way you are treating me. This relationship goes both way. I love you but I really need you to know the way you are acting is not something I can put up with.” Or something along those lines.

    But I’m no counsellor.


  45. amazing article, you are simply saying be her doormat, learn what she wants you to do before she asks and never under any circumstances stand up for yourself.

  46. I’m sorry. but I don’t think that all women have the same needs.
    1. learn to listen is always useful. plus learn to ask for repeating what you said, when you haven’t listened good enough.
    3. Don’t lose your sense of individuality. And don’t be too individual.
    4. Never hit, swear at or yell at your wife — your wife will yell at you perhaps sometimes and then perhaps she also likes it when you yell ;).
    5. Show creative leadership – yeah I like that πŸ™‚ (I’m a woman ;))
    6. Love her, but not just with words – YES, please!
    7. Don’t beg for sex, create the moment – oh please, beg for sex :). That would be awesome.

    Everybody might see that different.

  47. I have been happily married for 22 years, and I can confidently tell people that this article is true. There are a lot of women who talk to women about how to be better wives, why are some of you having problems with men telling men how to be better husbands? People, neither side should be giving all! That’s not a marriage, that’s a dictatorship! Declare your independence from that dictator, and if he/she doesn’t like it, there are millions of others you can choose from.
    Yes, women are different from men, and we communicate differently, but it should be fun to learn about the one you love, not a chore. When you give of yourself selflessly, you get back so much more in return, if the person loves you. If you don’t get back, then you have some serious life decisions to make. Chances are, we only have one shot at this life – give your all to whatever you do, especially your relationships.
    Blessing on all of you who are giving love!

  48. Excellent post! You have given some amazing tips on how to make our relationships such as husband, boyfriend or life partner more meaningful and enriching. I liked all the tips and feel that bringing these into life would take off more than 90% of all stress and disturbances that come in personal relationships. Keep up the great work!

  49. #3 is so important and not given nearly enough attention (especially in that ‘honeymoon’ phase).

    In the beginning you go to the same social events, eat the same dinner and all of the sudden after all of your past life stories have run out you have nothing left to share because you both had the same experiences.

    It’s crucial that you’re creating journeys outside of your partner so at the very least there is something new to be shared at the dinner table..

    Jim — Love on the go.

  50. It’s a nice checklist. I just wish that my boyfriend would see that. Anyways, it’s realistic. It may look simple but I know it’s hella hard. Knowing that a guy wrote makes it a lot better. Keep it up.

  51. Ok can’t complain at the list but I will say that it is obviously a two way street. Since the author is female, I would love to see her investigate the 6 things that girls can do also … really interview guys and get similar points.

  52. You are what’s wrong. Learn to deal with your emotions and stop blaming a man that that’s trying to comfort you. See an f-ing therapist you crazy biznitch.

  53. Gender is irrelevant when it comes to relationships. We all feel. We all hurt. We all heal. We all can grow. Some people know how to read tips and can implement them. Others need guidance and practice doing things before they try them on their partner so the partner doesn’t get upset when the person who has changed suddenly doesn’t react the same way they used to. This can be a tricky thing to navigate, especially if the relationship has been long-term (longer than a few years). Something to think about. How will your partner react to change and if your partner changes, how do you react?

  54. I like and agree with what you are saying. I am not always ready to share what is “wrong” and a lot of times, there is more than one thing going on that makes me feel sad, angry, frustrated… whatever. I know that with me, an introvert, sometimes it takes longer to process what’s going on inside my mind and then convert it to words. Sometimes I just need time and if I have someone angrily or impatiently saying, what’s wrong with you, c’mon, tell me! it shuts me off.

  55. Here are some suggestions:

    1) How are you feeling right now?
    2) It looks like somethings bothering you, *Insert name* , is there something that you’d like to talk about?

  56. Thanks for sharing a little wisdom. I’ll try to take these things to heart.

    It’s not always easy to put into practice but I have noticed that when there are things bothering me about our marriage, criticizing and getting upset is usually the worst thing to do. Instead when I pay my wife a compliment (a real one) about something that she is doing well in an area I’d like her to be better at, even if it’s pretty minor, she is very surprised and it makes her happy. It goes somewhere in her brain (to the place where my complaints are supposed to go but never seem to), and then I will notice she tries harder. It doesn’t mean she’ll be perfect but it’s a question of seeing the positive. It’s hard to do, at least for me, sometimes. I’m only being honest.

    I was complaining about my wife’s behavior to a friend, and said I really wish she’d just try to incorporate this one thing into her world, it’s really bothering me. He looked at me and asked, well, what one thing are you working on to make her happier. It hit me like a train. I wasn’t doing anything! and I had no right to ask her to be more this way or that way because I wasn’t willing to budge. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even stop to think what a horrible mistake I was making, I had it entirely wrong. Thanks to my friend for that gentle and sincere reminder to be a bit more humble and less self serving, he’s good as gold.

    I like to remind myself sometimes, when we argue (it’s inevitable) that this person is not someone I want to argue with. It’s not that I don’t want to listen to her, but I just don’t want to be ugly to someone who has given me so much pleasure, love, help, kindness, and understanding. I plan to be a better husband. I certainly wish I was.

  57. This article gave me hope that I am not destined to be in crappy relationships my whole life. Thank you for being one of the few men who understand that some flexibility is needed in a relationship, and not every thing can be ( or should be!) done the man’s way. Men shouldn’t have to conform to women’s needs, but women shouldn’t have to conforms to men’s needs either- and that is expected of women in most relationships.

    Secondly, I can’t believe some of the comments that have been posted under this article! It amazes me that some people feel that it’s okay to call women crazy. If you think all women are crazy, selfish, and demanding you’re probably going to end up with one who is… either that, or you’re going to make the one you have crazy.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

  58. Thank you so much for this list. My wife deserves so much, and I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong until I read this. I could never understand what I was supposed to do for her to fix things. Now, I’m going to make sure I’m the best husband she could ever ask for, before any fixing needs to be done. Thank you. I plan on wholeheartedly following all of these rules from this point on. I’m even bookmarking this page, so I can read it again and again.

  59. Wow there is alot that i dont do. I deploy all the time and never thought that i was being selfish and thoughtless. I have been blind, she has told me these thing but never thought i was in the wrong. From what i have read there is alot of improvement on my part that i can make better. Yelling is something i do on a daily basis at work or at home. I guess i would say i treat my family as if they were my troops. Seperating work from family is hard to do. I think my family will be suprised how i maintain my outburst and frustration when thing dont get done right away. I have neglected my wife for years not knowing that i was doing wrong. I have not takin a vacation in 15 years with my wife and i figure i would start there. I have alot of work to do and a long road ahead.

  60. John,

    From your training I bet you know that a good leader knows when he is wrong and will admit it and fix the mistake. The comment you just wrote there made my day – it is so hard to recognize our faults but you have done it and made a decision to change. That is the mark of a leader and a man in my opinion.

    Thank you.

  61. HELP!!! My marriage is ending, although the door is not closed, the rings are are off, and considers herself single.
    I can only blame my self, but i do so much for the family.
    My father was not a romantic, nor even affectionate, never did i see him buy flowers, give mum a kiss and hug or say I love you. I learned this behaviour from him. I understand the faults but Im tuned this way. I want to learn to be the better husband, can you HELP.

    To begin, I need to win her heart over in many ways sincerely and become the better husband, not only in words.

    I need to instill the passion she needs, keep her knowing i really love her.

    Not to become complacent, keep the love alive.

    I read your words, THANK YOU. Can you guide me more, I NEED HELP. If i were a woman, id hate me too, when it comes to love and romance.

    Please help

  62. Hi Beaumont.

    I’m sorry you are going through a hard time. I really do not know how to help. I am not an expert and have no idea about your marriage and the problems that are going on.

    You sound like you are willing to work to resolve the issues. Perhaps that is all you can do at this stage?

    Good luck. I really hope it turns out well for you.


  63. hello my name is mitchell. Im not the best at words but id like to share some things with the site. im not the best husband in the world. Things could always be better in a marriage. But some things not to ever do is take your spouse for granted.I use to take my wife for granted and it got me nowhere but hurt. Ive been with my wife for 6 years and it has been rocky. She means everything to me. But i took her for granted when i use to come home from work and sit around because i thaught i was tired to tired to think about how she felt for the day with taking care of 3 kids and the house and the chores that come with that.I was selfish and stuburn with that and im sorry to my beautiful wife.I never showed the way i cared about her when i should have. Now granted i have never cheated on my wife nor will i ever,but that isnt everything.You have to show her love and attention,show her how important she is to you.Dont sit back and think she knows because she will forget how much you love her when you never show her how much.I was stupid enoughto forget to show my wife and she fell out oof love with me and i hope there is still hope for us to stay together.My wifes job at home is way harder than any mans job any day. When i go to work i get to get a break from the everyday house life that is aggravating to her with the kids fusing and all the arons she has to put up with and take care of everyday. She is the most valuable person in a marriage and dont forget it,she is the backbone and soul of the family and marriage. So love and cherrish your wife and friend. Show her that she is loved and thank her as much as you can. And if you do you might have and be able to keep the best marriage that is ever possible to have.

  64. Thank you so much for this article!

    I, too, come from a household where there was no example of how to properly treat the person who you care about the most. My parents were married for eighteen years and hated every minute of it, I believe. Watching everything that happened made me understand that how he choose to treat my mom was the complete wrong way of doing this and I vowed never to do that to my girlfriend.

    But here I am now, not abiding by most of the principles laid out here (sans hitting).

    The advice given here are staples I will now live by. We live together, work together, and can’t do anything about it; we have become that “one person” relationship that you spoke of, and we (mostly I) yell a lot because I expect of her most of the things she is looking for in me (being that creative leader, disrespecting her when I think she has done something wrong (she calls it “being her dad”)).

    Frankly, every point you made I have let fall to the waist side. With no guidance and no “know-how” in the first place, what do you do?

    Thank you so much. It is like a catharsis to read that there are people who have been presented with the same problem(s) (no mentor-ship; no father-figure) and have found the answer. I will read this every day. I need to.

    Thank you, multitudes over!

  65. Jason that means so much to me. I find it so amazing that some drivel words that I wrote down might change someone’s relationship. If you were to make that happen for you and your partner I would be forever grateful.

  66. just wanted to say that I agree with this post so much! I sent it to my man, and took heed myself. We are going thru a really hard time in our relationship and I feel as tho I have told him over and over these EXACT things mentioned in your blog.

    I think that hearing (reading) it from a completely non-biased, and unattached source might have a different effect on him, thus I emailed it to him.

    We have been married almost 9 years, separated at least 3, but reunited in the common idea that we are a family (we share a daughter). He is currently working out of the country and we communicate mostly thru email, chat, etc. It is a horrible mode of communication. I think I would just rather be silent. Words are misconstrued, no emotion can back or justify written thought…

    Long story short…great collection of ideas here. Really hit the nail on the head!! THanks


  68. I hope my husband will read this and get it into his sometimes narrow mind. The article is really good & every line i read makes me nod.

  69. Wow, this article is just flat out amazing. Granted, I am only eighteen years old, I have been in a relationship for a little over three years now. It took me almost completely losing the love of my life for me to realize how bad I truly was. As you said it is extremely hard to admit you are wrong, but I have finally realized my mistakes. I took her for granted, and I admit I have yelled, and even lost a sense of individuality at times. Your article is perfect, and I will read this weekly to continue to become a better man. Funny, sometimes you have to lose someone to realize how much they really meant to you. Thank you so much for the guidance, and as a firm believer in self-improvement I will use this article to make my beautiful girlfriend know how much she means to me.

  70. Wow, this article is just flat out amazing. Granted, I am only eighteen years old, I have been in a relationship for a little over three years now. It took me almost completely losing the love of my life for me to realize how bad I truly was. As you said it is extremely hard to admit you are wrong, but I have finally realized my mistakes. I took her for granted, and I admit I have yelled, and even lost a sense of individuality at times. Your article is perfect, and I will read this weekly to continue to become a better man. Funny, sometimes you have to lose someone to realize how much they really meant to you. Thank you so much for the guidance, and as a firm believer in self-improvement I will use this article to let my beautiful girlfriend know how much she means to me.

  71. Great article, with lessons that are important for both husband and wife. If a marriage is going to work then it is because the couple wants to be together and are committed to creating the best possible relationship that they can. Any relationship is composed of 2 equals with equal respnsibility for making it work, it’s just a pity that so many people forget that.

  72. i find this to be a very good blog. i am in a very new relationship and i have already messed up by not listening that well. Im not going to blame anything on anyone else but myself except that my father has the same issues that i do currently about not listening to your wife or gf. i want to change and be the man that my wonderful girl friend fell in love with and the only way that i can do that is if i slow down and listen to her on a deeper level than just her words like what was stated in the first few points. thank you for the insight to become a better man in a relationship

  73. I am just going to get married in the next few months. I loved reading all the points…and seriously wish that I find the strength to express the love that I have in my heart for my wife-to-be, completely.

    Thank you for reaffirming that love and its sacredness to me once again through this post.

  74. I am speechless. I am going to send this to my husband, but I do fear that he will take it the wrong way. He just left a litle while ago after breaking cupboard dors and kicking the toilet aand calling me terrible names because he was mad at himself. That is a thing I will never understand. He and I both grew up with terrible examples. Hmmm.. I am so unhappy, but we have ben in a faithful marriage for over 16 years and have two lovely children. I hope he reads the article with an open mind and knows thatI sent it to him because I want us to be happy together. I am still crying…it’s so hard to feel loved and be loving when you are afraid of being yelled at in front of your children.

  75. Great points you give out.. Currently I am on the line of losing my love one Because of messing things up for example not being creative in the relationship,
    Sometimes ignore problems, and she always has to tell me whats going wrong and i don’t mean to do those things i truly can say i love her but they happen. i read your points and i do want to correct myself to improve my relationship.

  76. I appreciate this a lot. I’m just a young adult and kinda seem to relate with how out child hoods are and I appreciate the guidance

  77. Well,I’ve taken my time to read all through the various comments here and I’ve come to the conclusion that men can never understand women until women learn how to express their feelings/emotions without acting funny. Men are more hot-tempered and when you gave them deaf ears as to what is going on in their relationships they tend to get mad. I will use myself as an examples. I was in a relationship with a woman.. She was nice, good, healthy and very understanding. But all of a sudden she stop calling me and when I tried to talk her coming over to my place she claimed to be busy and up till now no call from her. When I call she no longer picks.. So do you blame me for not seeing inside her mind? How do I know if I’ve done something wrong or said something wrong so I can at least say sorry and never to repeat it.. In a nutshel, I’m getting tired of women as a whole..They will remain a specy we med will never understand. Remember thier heart is as deed as the ocean., so full of secrets. I just want to have my child and fuck as my women as possible before my old age.. I think that is the best thing to do. Why can’t ladies just sau”please do this and don’t do this” and see what happens next.

  78. Thanks i just read your article, and i have to admit that i messed up big time by not listening to her hints i love her a lot including her son which is my 8yr old stepson and i gotta be honest i have some problems bc they way i am to her son and i have to admit shes right, i really dont treat him good, sometimes im too rough with him i dont know is thats the way i am or what?? But now i understand what you wrote all i have to do is listen to her and try to be more sensitive with her and her son i hope im not late to fix these problem… but she already said i am… ; (


  79. Great read, but this is for both males and females. If you truly believe that men and woman are equal in a relationship.

    I don’t believe they are. I’d love to enlighten you. Men have inherited a responsibility and woman have found a lack of responsibility by men and as the years have passed they have sought out to become their own providers.

    TO truly be at the point where you have become the ultimate husband you should be able to provide for your wife.
    She should work as a choice. That is a very important quality. You might say only a gold digger or stupid girls get lucky and find those men but it isn’t true.

    Some woman aren’t as lucky and work hard to be the provider’s in their homes because the men in their lives have either opted out or dont have the mental capacity or will to do this.

    Men with no disabilities but immature minds arent’ capable of this nor should they enter in relationship’s not being able to do it.

    Say what you want but a man who cannot care for anyone else has no business starting a family.

    Woman think that a decent heart is good enough. It isn’t. The curse man was born with was to eat from the labour of his hands.

    I used to wonder why there was so much divorce but the story is always the same or something is also wrong with the female.

    Everyone wants love but no one wants to work for it.

    So lets say both work and help eachother, thats still great as long as the woman doesn’t have the majority of the burden. In our culture some woman aactually make more then the husband but then you have men who feel like less and treat their wives like theyre less alsol.

    Everything you said is right but respect, value love, and commitment aren’t the only things that will hold them together until the end. This article is great but there is still more to discuss

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