#1 — Never criticize, demean or humiliate her.
You love her, and your wife is the one you made a commitment to and said you would spend your life with forever. If all that is true why would you criticize her? I hear people describe when their husband said something demeaning at a party about their wife with her standing there. Really? So now we have a combination of being critical and demanding. Your goal should be the opposite- to compliment her, make her feel good about herself and make her feel great about the fact that she has a charming and loving husband.
#2 — Never withhold positive comments.
Look I will admit this, I give my wife compliments every day. Yes, that is right, I tell her she is beautiful. I tell her she is funny or cute or smart. I think it is sad when I hear women say, “I just wish he would say he loves me now and then.” The guys always say, “Uh..she knows I love her, I don’t have to tell her.” It doesn’t mean she doesn’t want to hear it! If you think something positive about her, for god’s sake, just say it! Tell her she looks great. Tell her you appreciate how hard she works, or how great of a Mom she is. Tell her she is damn smart. Come on, everybody wants to hear compliments. Sadly some husbands give their dog more positive feedback than their wife. What is wrong with that picture?
#3 — Never stop being a gentleman.
When you were dating her, you poured on the romance. You opened doors for her. You sent flowers. You carried the bags when you went shopping. So here is a question why did you stop opening the car door for her and why? If she is your wife now and not your girlfriend doesn’t she deserve more respect? I hear women say all the time, “ I remember when he used to…” please don’t stop.
#4 — Never stop showing your wife the ways that you love her.
Find small ways to show you love her. Leave her a love note in the morning. On the way home from work, buy her favorite bagels. Wash the dishes. Let her sleep and get the kids off to school. Text her during the day and say you are just thinking of her. In your vows, you said, to “ love, honor, and cherish.” Show her how much you cherish her.
#5 — Never betray her or be disloyal.
OK you have many teams you are on. You have 1) your wife 2) the kids 3) her family (meaning her parents and siblings) 4) your family 5) friends. So in case you don’t get it let me spell it out. She is #1- and you should protect her above all others. That means you don’t let your kids smart mouth their Mom. They will show respect to her. Any relatives that treat her with disrespect- you must always have her side. If your Mom or Dad says anything or does anything disrespectful then you need to handle it. She needs to know you always have her back. Never betraying her also means never betraying any of your vows. Ever.
#6 — Never say the D word.
If you are married and want to stay married and want to have a great marriage, then the divorce word needs to never come out of your mouth cowboy, unless you actually plan to divorce. This is the equivalent of having one foot inside the door and one foot out. It is a threat and shows lack of commitment.
#7 — Never miss a chance to celebrate you and her.
Make her birthday an entire weekend birthday celebration. Every year I take my wife on a long weekend for her birthday celebration. She does the same for me on my birthday. Our anniversary is something very special, and we always both take off work to celebrate. If you love her, please never overlook a chance to celebrate her.
Why do all this? As Gordon B. Hinckley once said, “If every man would make his prime concern the comfort and well-being of his wife and every wife make her chief concern the comfort and well-being of her husband, we would have very little divorce in the land.”