7 Easy Ways To Become The Best Damn Husband On Earth

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bride and groom posing together at sunset

I often travel as a trainer and a consultant, and it continues to amaze me how often I hear people complain publicly about their husbands.

In a recent training program I was conducting, I was talking about communication skills, and a woman said, “Yeah well that is a great idea — and I sure wish my husband was here to hear this one.”  She said this with a great deal of hostility and frustration, and she said it publicly in front of 30 other people.

So why is it that I hear so many who are frustrated irritated and angry about the person they married, that person at some point they thought was the love of their life?  If you ask them they would still say that their husband is the love of their life, but they would say it with a wistful expression, and with a longing for things to be the way they once were.

I'm going to share some tips on how to become the best damn husband in the world. Why would you want to be the best husband in the world? Because the title is cool — who wouldn’t want their wife to describe them as the best husband in the world?

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But there are some other reasons. Because the person you’re married to — the love of your life — deserves to be married to a great husband. Because the person that she married is not the person that she’s living with now. Because instead of reading a romance novel, her life with you should be a romance novel.

You may legitimately ask what’s in it for you. Here is the deal — if you strive to become the best damn husband in the world I guarantee you that the rewards will absolutely astound you, because when you try to be the best damn husband she will try to be the best damn wife in return. I guarantee you, she wants to be married to the best damn husband. And who doesn’t want to be married to the best wife?

Here are 7 easy ways to become the best damn husband on earth:

1. Ask her how you can help her

Often at the end of a long and trying day, a wife will talk to her husband about a problem that she’s having at work or at home. The husband then goes out of his way to try to solve the problem. That is not really the best answer.

The best answer is to ask her with all sincerity, “So I understand the problem, what can I do to help?” In that particular case, she may or may not have something in mind that you can help with. But the fact you are offering your sincere help is extremely touching and shows her that you love her.

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2. Serve her

Not to brag, but this morning I was working from my home office, and as my wife was getting ready she realized she was going to have to stop for gas on the way to work. I voluntarily got dressed, put on a winter jacket, drove down the street, and filled up her car with gas. That meant she could leave the house and not have to stop and get gas.

But keep in mind gentleman this was not about the act of getting gas or filling up the tank. This was an act of love that said, “I love you, and I want to show you that I love you, so I’m going to fill up your tank with gas.”

It’s not in the act it’s the meaning of the act that counts and will warm her heart. So ask yourself what you can do to serve your wife to make her life easier.

3. Don’t berate, motivate

When your wife is standing in front of the mirror and says, “Gee, I don’t like how I look, I’ve put on some weight,” don’t say, “Yes, you’re right, you sure need to lose some pounds,” say instead, “You’re beautiful and don’t worry you’ll take it off. I know you can do it.”

In a marriage, the object is to make your wife feel better about herself and to help her believe that she can do anything if she puts her mind to it. That is the difference between berating and motivating. One tears someone down and the other builds someone up. You want to be around motivated positive people, well guess what, so does she. I find it ironic that some husbands give other women better compliments than they give to their own wives.

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4. Create romance

Some men believe that it is up to the woman to create romance and to light the fire of love. Well, those men could not be more wrong. It is just as much your responsibility to be romantic and to keep a spark in your relationship.

Surprise her by buying her flowers and a card for no reason. Fix a candlelight dinner when it's least expected.

Some men say “I am just not a romantic person.” Well, so what? You do have the capability of taking actions that will be perceived as being romantic, whether you’re romantic or not just know this- she so longs for you to be romantic. I often hear men say, “I don’t need to tell her that I love her, she already knows that.” True, she already knows that but she longs to hear it. 

5. Open your mouth and communicate

Tell her what it is that you want, tell her how you feel, tell her your problems, your challenges, and yes, your fears. When you are willing to be vulnerable you will share with her a part that some men never share.

Don’t be the strong silent type — be the strong communicator type. If you have a problem or an issue with something about your relationship, tell her. She is not a mind reader and she doesn’t own a crystal ball so she can’t change something unless she knows what it is.

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6. Don’t yell

I often see couples having loud arguments in public places and yelling at one another. I’m not sure what this is supposed to solve, or how it is supposed to help, but the reality is that yelling at your wife is verbal abuse. If you verbally abuse someone long enough by being loud and mean, eventually it will extinguish the fire of love that she has in her heart for you and you won’t understand what happened.

If you feel like yelling, leave the room, delay, and defer your response. Later you will be glad that you did instead of apologizing because you acted like a moron.

For god sake, please don’t use the excuse that you just have a hard time controlling your temper. You can’t control your temper because you decided that you can’t control your temper, but meanwhile, your temper is destroying people around you. Why would you yell at the person you love? Won’t you support her and be her advocate and her knight in shining armor, whether she asks for it or not?

7. Always have her back

When she knows that you will be her protector, then she will absolutely feel totally loved. Maybe on a snowy day, you drive her to work because your car has more solid footing in the snow, and you pick her up after work because you want to make sure that she is safe.

Commit acts that show that you have her back, and actually tell her, “Hey babe no worries I’ve got your back, and I always will.” It is a simple statement but a statement of total and complete commitment. Remember those vows you said at your wedding to love honor and cherish? Were you serious?

In case you’re wondering, I wrote these tips based on 34 years of a successful marriage. You can choose to ignore them. You could decide to read through them and make the small changes necessary to go from being a husband to being the best husband in the world. The choice is yours.

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The Good Men Project is a glimpse of what enlightened masculinity might look like in the 21st century.