Several months ago I wrote the post 25 Free Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her. That post had such an overwhelming response, and we got so many requests for a husband version, that here I am again.
I recently had an exchange with Dr. Harvey Yoder, licensed marriage and family therapist and author of Lasting Marriage: The Owners’ Manual on the subject of love, marriage, and the reasons couples divorce. In that interview Yoder said, “If we want what dating couples have we have to do what dating couples do.” He believes loving behavior sends an emotional message to a partner that, in turn, begets loving feelings.
The Five Love Languages
If you recall, I mentioned in the “wife post” that according to Dr. Gary Chapman’s book The Five Love Languages, people understand emotional messages from others in five different ways. These love languages, as he calls them, are quality time, words of affirmation, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Chapman insists that in order for your spouse to understand the feelings that you are trying to convey, you must speak his love language.
So once again I’d like to offer you five ways to show your spouse that you love him for each of those five love languages. Because, as Yoder says, if we want to cultivate those loving feelings, we need to do what dating couples do. And I’m not so sure that dating couples spend their precious few moments together talking about the kids, why the toilet isn’t flushing right, or how much they can afford to spend on a new dishwasher.
1. When the weekend comes, ask him what he wants to do. Leave it wide open with no expectations. Just go along for the ride.
2. Get a sitter for the weekend. If you can’t afford one, call on Grandma or a trusted friend. Turn off the phones and the computers and spend time together. It’s not so important what you do, as long as you are together.
3. Rent a movie for the kids and while they are busy, serve dessert and coffee in your room. See what develops.
4. Help him clean the garage . . . don’t run to the mall! Spend that time together and then it will get done in half the time — freeing up the afternoon for more together time.
5. Establish a regular time to get exercise together. Whether you walk, ride bikes, or visit the gym together, you not only have an accountability partner for your exercise program, you are together.
Words of Affirmation
6. Put love notes in his lunch box or briefcase. A scripture verse to encourage, a prayer, or just an “I Love You” will make his day.
7. Send him text messages or emails throughout the day. My husband and I love to use the smiley emoticons on our phones to make each other laugh.
8. Write your husband an old-fashioned letter. Choose beautiful stationery and the perfect pen. After penning those loving, encouraging words, spritz a little of his favorite perfume on the page. Decorate the envelope with Victorian stickers or rubber stamps. Then mail it to his office. It will definitely make his co-workers wonder.
9. When he has a tough day at the office, encourage him. Rather than pointing out his shortcomings or telling him what he could have done differently, tell him he is the best at what he does. Build him up without offering advice. Let him know you will pray for him and follow-up on the issue.
10. Pray for him. Daily. And tell him that you are. Buy The Power of the Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian and use it.
11. Few men will take the time to add music and photos to their phones, so do it for him. Download his favorite music and photos of you and family on his MicroSD card. Then he’s sure to always have pictures of you and the kids to share with others.
12. Make him a gift. Do you knit or crochet? A scarf or socks would be great. Is scrapbooking your thing? Fashion a personalized picture frame, put your picture in it, and give it to him to take to the office. Create something specifically for him.
13. Do you still have your class ring? Put it on a chain and give it to him to wear under his shirt.
14. Make him a coupon book. Include coupons that allow him to choose the TV shows to watch for the evening. Include a few that offer to do his chores for him, like mowing the grass or taking out the trash. Think of things that would really bless him and include them.
15. Frame a memento. Several years ago I found a patent of my father-in-law’s in a box of papers in the attic. For Christmas, I had it framed with a photograph of the invention and gave it to my husband for Christmas. You can do the same thing with other mementoes. Does he have any grade-school artwork, his sports jersey from high school, or remnants from a baseball card collection? Have is precious item framed and hang it where the entire family can admire it.
Acts of Service
16. If your husband is responsible for the mowing, mow the grass. If cleaning out the car is his job, do that. Pick one thing every week or so and just do it to bless him.
17. Set up a guy’s night with his buddies. Call his friends and tell them to meet him at the local steak house or bowling alley. Kiss him on the cheek when he goes out the door and tell him to have a good time.
18. Fix whatever is broken. Don’t make a “honey do” list, or nag him to do something that you are perfectly capable of doing yourself. He’s a busy guy. Grease that squeaky car door. Pour the drain opener down the drain. Paint the porch rail. You can do it.
19. While he’s taking his Sunday afternoon nap, clean out his car. Don’t just wash the outside, remove all the trash, wipe down the dash, and vacuum it. When he goes out Monday morning to go to work, he’ll be surprised.
20. Make him his favorite dessert. Keep it a surprise and serve while he’s watching his favorite evening show.
21. Kiss him good-bye in the morning — every morning. Kiss him hello in the evening — every evening. Kiss him goodnight — every night. (Repeat from the other post, but it goes both ways.)
22. Institute “couch time.” When he comes home from work, let the kids know that his first 15 minutes are yours, on the couch, holding hands. Don’t allow interruptions. After a while, they will get it.
23. Rub his back at the computer. Are you walking down the lane? Hold his hand. Grasp every opportunity to reach out and touch him.
24. Give him a feet rub. What man can resist having all the kinks worked out of his feet? If he’s especially ticklish, do it with the socks on.
25. Move your seat at the table from the opposite end to next to him. That way you can hold hands when you pray, play footsie under the table, or just stare into each other’s eyes.
Those are 25 ways to tell your husband you love him — for free. And I’m sure that you can come up with a lot more. If so, please share them in the comments.