My husband says I talk a lot. I say a lot of things. All the time. Can anyone relate? Chances are, you’ve probably also said some words to your husband that you wish you hadn’t. Words that slipped out. Words that might’ve even hurt him. So how can we use our words wisely when talking to our spouse?
In the Bible we are told “When you talk, don’t say anything bad. But say the good things that people need – whatever will help them grow stronger. Then what you say will be a blessing to those who hear you” (Ephesians 4:29, ERV). In the Contemporary English Version, the last part of that verse reads: “help others by what you say.” In the Message version, it reads: “Say only what helps, each word a gift.”
GUIDELINES FOR YOUR WORDS
This is really a great guideline for how to talk to our spouses. I’m sure you’ve heard that your husband needs your respect just as much as you need his love. You can convey your respect to him through your gift of words, carefully chosen and lovingly spoken.
With the help of my husband, I’ve put together a list of things you should be saying. Words that will make him grow stronger, will be a blessing, will help him, and will be a gift.
1. I’M SORRY
When asked of a couple, married for over 50 years, what their secret to a happy marriage is, they answered without hesitation; “Forgiveness. Be the first to forgive. Offer it freely.” It is so utterly important to be humble enough to say “I’m sorry” and take responsibility when you’ve done something to upset or hurt your spouse.
Nobody’s perfect, and you’re going to make mistakes, but what’s more harmful to your relationship is when you refuse to acknowledge your mistakes and become defensive, or make excuses, or worse, get angry.
2. DON’T BE KINDER TO STRANGERS
I remember the one day after our visitors left, my husband told me I am nicer and kinder to others than I am to him. WHAT? That’s not true! I’m your wife! We have sex! 🙂 But as the truth dawned, I saw how quickly I offered our guests something to drink, jumped up to get them a refill, cleaned the whole house before they arrived, anticipated their needs and bought their favourite treats to make them feel seen, appreciated and important. I listened to their stories, laughed at their jokes, and gave them the biggest piece of cake.
I am married 13 years this year, and by this time, I know my husband likes a cup of coffee after the kids have gone to bed. So kindess; I make him his coffee. Sometimes he still beats me to it, but the smile I get when he walks into the kitchen and already sees his favourite mug out, and the kettle boiled…
The person you choose to spend the rest of your life with, deserves more kind words and actions than strangers.
3. PLEASE & THANK YOU
If you want to deepen your relationship with your spouse, be nice. You say please and thank you to everyone you come across on a daily basis, so your spouse should hear those words from you as well. Wouldn’t you rather have your spouse say, “Babe, can you please take the dog out? I’m on a call. Thanks, I appreciate it” than “Why haven’t you taken the dog out?” The love of your life will know that you truly value them and their efforts.
It might seem like such basic words or small act, but saying “Thank you” for acts he does on a regular basis, makes the biggest difference. Just last night, after supper, my husband put his arms around me and said, “I know you do this every day because you have you, and I don’t say it enough…But thank you for making us great meals every day.” MELT.
4. I’VE GOT IT
We all need help at times, just like anyone else. Often, when my husband expresses a concern or states a need of his, I give him a rundown of my schedule and all the reasons I can’t get to it. But remember, you and I were created to be our husband’s helper (Genesis 2:18) and sometimes you show him love simply by helping him with things he can’t get to right away.
By saying the words “I’ve got it”, you are reassuring him that what is important to him is important to you. When you let him know you’ve got it under control, he will have one less thing to worry about. Those are the words and actions he will see as a gift.
5. YOU’VE GOT THIS
There are days your husband does not believe he can accomplish half of what you believe he is capable of. Whether he is doubting his ability to tackle the project in front of him, score a sale on the presentation at work, or land the promotion he is up against, he craves your confidence in him.
When you say “Go get ‘em, Babe,” or “You can do this!” or “I believe in you”, you are being his cheerleader as well as giving him your approval and your confidence. A man’s belief in himself is often directly proportional to his wife’s belief in him. (Read that again.)
6. I’M PROUD OF YOU
Your husband really wants to be your hero. He wants you to not only notice the risks or sacrifices he makes for his family, but he wants you to admire him for it, too.
Letting him know you are proud of him for certain things that he does, or simply for who he is, is not stroking his pride, building his ego, or making him vain; rather, it is assuring him that his wife notices the efforts he has been making and appreciates him for it. More than just a “thank you,” saying “I’m proud of you” builds his confidence as a provider and as a man. (Even if it is working late 4 nights in a row. Make him feel strength and pride in the fact that he is working hard to provide for your family.)
7. HAVE FUN!
Men need meaningful time spent with other men, which is how they forge their friendships and establish new ones. But some husbands feel that asking their wives for time with the guys will hurt their wives’ feelings or even worse, raise suspicions about their motives.
The last thing your husband wants to say to you is “Honey, can I please go for a drink with Mike tonight?” or “Can I go paintball this weekend with my brother?” And the last thing he wants to hear from you is “When will you be home?” or “Do you think it’s safe?” or “I’m afraid you might get hurt.” Don’t mother, smother or hover. Let him retain his dignity and independence by letting him know you want him to have a good time.
There’s a reason the Nike slogan “Just do it!” resonates with men. When you tell your husband “Have a great time” or “Just go do it!” he will appreciate the challenge and knowing that every decision he makes doesn’t have to be approved by his wife. My husband often encourages me to have some “girl time”. I want to him to have that same freedom and privilege, knowing we’re OK and to HAVE FUN!!
8. YOU LOOK HANDSOME
Just like we, as women, like to hear that our husband think’s we’re beautiful, they also want to know that we think they are handsome and attractive as well. Everyone, no matter what gender you are, wants to feel attractive. Let your husband know how incredibly handsome you think he is and what you find so attractive about him. And wink. It will make him feel so good.
9. I RESPECT YOU
Every person in the world wants to feel respected. You may think your husband knows that you respect him, but does he really? How would he know that? Make sure you tell your husband how much you respect him as a person, his ideas, and his beliefs. It’s important for your spouse to feel like the most important person in their life respects him the most.
As a side note, when you tell your husband you respect him, most likely he’ll ask why. Have a reason.
10. YOU’RE SUCH A GOOD KISSER
Let’s be honest, it’s hard to be physical with our husband every single day. Kids, work, and life get in the way and it can be hard to find the time and energy to be intimate. When you do find those few moments through out the day to sneak a few kisses here and there, tell your husband that he’s a great kisser.
People often say kiss your spouse as soon as you wake up. But… I’m not awake even after I get up most days. Also; morning breath. But as soon as hubby walks into the kitchen in the morning, I make the effort of slowly putting my arms around him, and kissing him good morning. And tell him, “Oh, I still love kissing you every day.” Make sure he knows that you still enjoy the little romantic moments you share and that you want to and enjoy kissing him.
Men so desperately need their wives to love them, support them, and tell them how much they mean to them. Just like we, as women, love hearing our husbands tell us these things, they too want and need to hear them. HERE are another 100 ways to say it.
As soon as you wake up tomorrow morning, lean over and whisper, “I love waking up next to you, and I look forward to waking up with you every day for the rest of my life.”
What a way to start the day!