18 Ways To Be A Better Husband Every Single Day

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husband and wife cuddle on a couch together

For any man who's a husband, there’s a good chance you've upset your wife at some point. For some of you, it was just this morning.

And, at some time, you may have heard, “I don’t feel like you love me,” or, “We don’t do anything anymore." Your wife may ask for more affection, more romance, or even just more of your time. 

Being a man does not come with a manual — and neither does learning how to be a good husband. Being good to your wife is just one part of the equation, but it's a big part.

In order to figure out how to be a better husband, let's start by looking at what makes a great husband tick.

What type of man makes a good husband?

When you think of a good husband, what do you imagine? Maybe Charles Ingalls from Little House On The Prairie or Coach Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights, James Evans from Good Times, or any other classic TV show? 

Lots of people even remember Gomez Addams being an ideal (though spooky) TV husband. 

Those TV role models can be great, especially if you didn't grow up seeing your father act like a good husband. Each has their own downfalls, too, just like we do in real life. 

So what do all these fictional husbands have in common? They are all good to their wives.

Nobody teaches men how to be good to their wives or how to make a woman feel special, which is why we need to be able to role model for one anaother. 

Good husbands are providers, but that's not exclusively intended in the financial sense. They provide love, wisdom, and a safe place for a spouse to share their feelings. 

These are the qualities of any great partner, no matter the gender. But husbands, in particular, feel a lot of pressure to always be stoic, never be emotional, and to always be the strong one in the relationship.

But in reality, to be a better husband you have to know when your softer side should come out.

A good husband needs to deal with his own grief, come to terms with his past traumas, and cultivate his own emotional wellness so that he can be a healthy, happy partner. He can't be afraid of his emotions or what other people think of him. 

Great husbands are also the independent type, but not too independent. A good husband feels like his marriage and family are his "home base" so that even when he's gone, part of him always excited to head home and spend quality time together.

A good husband is proud of his marriage and of his wife. He's not afraid of public displays of affection, because he's proud of where is in life. 

The truth is, there isn't one "type" of man who makes a good husband. Being a good husband is a frame of mind, a mentality. It's about growth and commitment to the well-being not just of yourself, but of your marriage and family. 

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What are the qualities of a bad husband?

Bad husbands aren't always easy to spot. Often, a bad husband will put on a show so he seems like a good guy, but when he's home he takes all of his bad feelings and frustrations out on his partner and kids. 

One of the hallmarks of a bad husband is a wandering eye. Unless he's in an open relationship, a good husband never cheats. It's just not what a good husband does. Bad husbands, however, are always thinking about where the grass is greener and how he can get his needs and desires fulfilled — without ever considering how his behavior might affect his partner or family.

Bad husbands, even if they are faithful, tend to put themselves and their own interests first. They see their marriage as an accessory, or something to serve their needs, instead of a true partnership where every member of the family haas their needs met. 

Bad husbands will stay out late, never worrying that someone might be worried about them. These types of guys will also lie or withhold the truth about where they've been or who they've been with. Bad husbands often are very dishonest people who'd rather spend more time alone or with their friends than at home. 

A great marriage is one where both partners build a strong foundation together. A bad husband sees that foundation as being solely for him, and he may even see his spouse as part of that foundation instead of an equal partner on it. 

A bad husband is rude or cruel when he's in a bad mood, and will refuse to do any work to grow or become a better man. 

Abusive men, of course, are the worst husbands, and nobody should ever have to live through emotional, physical or any other type of abuse. Abuse isn't a trait that a man can just grow out of, and it's not something that can be cured with promises to do better. 

If you're married to an abusive partner, please know that you deserve better and take the warning signs of abuse seriously and reach out for help! There are truly great men in this world who would never, ever harm someone they love. 

If you want to be better husband, there are some things you'll want to make sure you're doing — all of which will result in a happy marriage.

RELATED: A Great Husband Will Do These 4 Things (Without Being Asked)

18 ways to be a better husband and be good to your wife. 

1. Develop a moral compass.

Every man needs to have his sense of morality anchored in some philosophy of life or some faith.

Whatever yours may be, make sure your wife and you agree. And then ground your marriage in those beliefs, as well.

When in doubt, practice the golden rule — in life and in your marriage. Treating others as you wish to be treated is a great place to start. 

2. Believe in yourself.

One thing we are good at as men is being confident in our careers, and confident husbands are considered attractive by their wives. Yes, being in love will build your confidence, but it has to start from within you.

Be confident in how you love her, provide for her, and support her in your marriage. Believe in yourselves as a married couple, too.

3. Know yourself.

No man is perfect. Therefore, no husband is perfect, no matter how good of a husband he is.

Take inventory of your strengths, weaknesses, bad habits, and unrealistic expectations of marriage. And although you aren’t perfect, recognize that you can still strive for excellence and that the effort will serve you better in the long run.

4. Know your wife.

Just like you have to take inventory of your stuff, you have to take inventory of your wife’s good and not-so-good baggage brought into the marriage.

Be confident that you both have “blind spots” that need to be addressed to make the marriage better, and work on understanding and addressing them together.

Being honest with one another and accountable for what each of you bring to the table is a great way to improve your marriage.

5. Be a student of love.

Having a fulfilling and happy marriage comes from the ability to know that your spouse needs to feel loved, appreciated, respected, and supported. And know that learning this is a life-long experience.

Listen to her and her needs with the intent to understand her on a deeper level, and become a better lover. Your marriage will improve.

One way to do this is to understand social psychology, which, according to Wikipedia is, "the scientific study of how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, and implied presence of others."

How do we improve in our partner's presence? How are we triggered? What does marriage and love do for you, for your partner, and your couplehood?

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6. Be a teacher of love.

Conversely, you need to communicate to your wife what things you need in order to feel loved, appreciated, respected, and supported. Although she may be great in a lot of ways, she will need you to tell her what you need in this marriage.

Opening these lines of communication and having talks (sometimes difficult ones) will increase your marital bliss for years to come.

7. Develop your emotional vocabulary.

To be a more effective teacher of love, you will need to develop the words that resonate better to your wife’s ears. In other words, we have to expand beyond phrases like, “Whatever you want, babe,” or, “I’m good,” or, “I don’t wanna talk about it.”

She'll be forever grateful and feel closer to you when you're able to "speak her language", so consider studying the love langauges and then talk them over with her. 

8. Make your relationship your top priority.

You don’t have to think about your wife the entire time you’re at work or while you’re having drinks with the fellas.

But prioritizing does mean that every decision you make about your life (i.e., cussing out your boss, flirting with other women, drinking until you pass out) should be made based on the influence it will have on your marriage.

Still, be true to yourself, but also be aware of the deeper consequences your choices will have before you act on them.

9. Embrace your interdependence.

In marriage, the only things that are his and hers separately are the wedding rings. Life stresses, mental health challenges, substance abuse issues, financial stresses, difficult kids — these are shared issues.

So, communicate your struggles and challenges openly with your wife so you both can face them head-on as team. After all, with unity comes power and healthy relationships are powerful.

RELATED: Why Healthy Relationships Are Based On Interdependence Vs. Codependency

10. Date your wife all over again.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Whatever it took to get her is what it takes to keep her.”

You used to think of ways to make her smile and have fun with her (i.e., dancing, comedy shows, concerts). Don’t make it easy for her to think the good times are over.

Keep your spark, and her passion and admiration for you, alive by continuing to court her long after your wedding date. Inspiring her to fall in love with you in your daily life is what will make her feel good, and keep her committed to you.

As trite as it sounds, scheduling a date night really helps. Make it a proirity and be creative when making plans.

11. Show some passion.

Just like you have passion for your favorite sports team or favorite video game, show some passion about being a great husband.

Be passionate about making her smile, giving her “me” time (i.e., buy her a spa treatment, make her a bubble bath), and spending quality time with her. Make eye contact with her, hold it for a few seconds, and smile. 

12. Fight for your marriage.

Wives like to feel desired and needed, even when they are upset about the marriage.

Just because she says she isn’t happy, that doesn’t mean you just give up. Instead, a good husband fights harder to make the marriage work.

Find a couples therapist, and do the real work to be a better husband and give your wife the benefit of the doubt any chance you get. That's how you show someone you trust them!

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13. Choose assertiveness.

You can choose to be passive, aggressive, or assertive — and being assertive is the key to a successful marriage.

The passive guy is the one that feels he has no voice in the marriage, makes no decisions, and goes along with every decision his wife makes.

The aggressive guy is the one that speaks too much and too harshly, intimidates his spouse, and makes it hard for his spouse to make a decision.

And the assertive guy is the one that is confident, communicates effectively with his spouse, and respects their differences of opinions.

This approach to your relationship is the way to go. The others will only lead to cracks in your marriage's foundation.

14. Be humorous.

You don’t have to be Chris Rock or John Mulaney funny. Just be able to laugh at yourself, laugh at life, and laugh with your wife. I’ve never met a woman that says, “My husband makes me laugh too much.”

And, besides, a little laughter in her day will make both you and her happier, and therefore more willing and able to connect emotionally, romantically and intellectually.

You may also be surprised at what it does for your sex life!

15. Show your wife you appreciate her.

Showing appreciation can be as simple as saying “please” and “thank you.” You want to sprinkle these displays of your appreciation into your daily conversations with her.

Some examples of moments to show appreciation include after she cooks a meal, spends quality time with you, goes grocery shopping, or when she wakes up with the crying baby in the middle of the night.

These little gestures go a long way in maintaining long-term happiness.

16. Do your fair share of household chores.

If one of you is working outside of the home, it can be hard to strike a balance when deciding what that "fair share" is. But no matter what, you can be a better husband by doing more housework.

It's not fun, but it's part of life, and women tend to do a disproportionate amount of housework — even women who are the primary breadwinners!

Resentment often builds because of this, and many wives are afraid to bring it up, fearing it will cause an argument.

Just remember, you live there, too. They're your messes (and your kids!) too. Your wife is not your employee, she's your partner and the love of your life. Treat her as such and don't assume she'll happily clean up after you.

17. Compliment her often, genuinely, and unconditionally.

Compliments are both a form of appreciation and a form of admiration. Allow your wife's sense of beauty and value to you to be influenced by your verbal expressions.

Make this a part of your daily routine. Every person on this planet could use a little feel-good compliment to brighten their day. And by sharing your love with her in this way, she's likely to return the favor.

18. Practice patience.

Marriage is a journey. You are constantly growing as a husband just like your wife is constantly growing in her role as your spouse.

Be patient with her as she is patient with you. Enjoy the here and now of your marriage versus comparing your relationship to someone else’s.

Having a successful marriage starts and ends with holding yourself accountable for your actions and their impact on the marriage.

You can’t take any shortcuts without some consequences.Adopting these traits will produce a better version of you, which is an investment in a happier wife and marriage that will keep you feeling fulfilled for years to come.

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Dr. Eric A. Williams is a counselor and marriage and family therapist, specializing in both interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships. Visit his website for more.