11 Thoughtful Things Every Decent Husband Should Do For His Wife

Show your love through little moments.

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When it comes to sustaining a thriving, healthy marriage, I believe that grand gestures are overrated. In a world of choreographed, flash-mob proposals and Pinterest-perfect breakfasts-in-bed, it’s easy to get caught up in the grand gestures of love, but I think it’s the little things that truly keep the home fires burning.

My wife and I recently celebrated another wedding anniversary, and in reflecting to each other how we both felt deeply loved by one another, some of the things she said caught me by surprise. Either because I didn’t know that those things were on her radar or because I didn’t know how significant they were for her. 


Here are 11 thoughtful things every husband should do for his wife:

1. Move the glasses to the front of the cupboard shelf so she can reach them

My wife is fairly short, and our kitchen cupboards are positioned in a way that the cups and glasses are a bit of a stretch for her to reach. Getting a stepping stool and sliding it around the floor every time she wants to have a drink is a nuisance, so instead, I move the glasses to the front of the cupboard shelf throughout the day, so that she always has a glass within arms reach. You might think that this is a one-and-done thing, but nope, not with our setup. I tend to do this 2-3 times per day, in the morning, afternoon, and evening.


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2. Gather and put away her dirty cups, mugs, and dishes every night

Every couple has a partner who is the tidier one and the messier one (the ‘Oscar’ and the ‘Felix,' if you will). I learned early on in my marriage that Demetra loves leaving glasses, mugs, and dishes around the house. She just can’t help herself. Nor does she need to! Honestly, I find it endearing.

I don’t do this every day because they don’t always accumulate that quickly, but at least every other day I’ll go for a lap around the house and grab several rounds of these dishes from their various resting spots. A mug, two glasses, and a large jar from her bedside table… a plate, and a fork from over there… and then just load them all into the dishwasher. I enjoy doing it, and it feels like a way that I get to accept her exactly as she is and love her actively.

3. Stock her car with things that make her life better/easier/safer

My wife is great at adding things to her life that bring pleasure, beauty, and joy. Far better than I am at consistently prioritizing any of those things. But she doesn’t always place as much of a priority on super-practical things. This is where I come in!


Last year, I started slowly adding things to her car that would make her life better, safer, and easier. Things like healthy, shelf-stable snacks, a backup cell phone charger (that I regularly ensure has a full battery), a titanium spork (spoon-fork), a knife, and a headlamp with batteries in it. (Reminder if you’re new here: we live quite rurally, so some of these things are more relevant in the countryside than they are in the city.) Knowing that she has these things on deck for mild to moderate emergencies warms my heart. And I know that she feels more loved as a result.

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4. Keep backups of toilet paper, tissues, and pantry items available and stocked up

One of my strengths is keeping my finger on the pulse of what I think of as resource reserves. Knowing how much/many of something we need on an ongoing basis is something that I enjoy doing (and that my wife most certainly does not enjoy doing). Early on in our relationship, I took it upon myself to ensure that we always had backups of things like toilet paper, tissues, baking soda, cooking oils, batteries, toothpaste, freezer bags, and food storage bins. For me, it kind of feels like a game. Can I always ensure that we are more than stocked up on all of these things, and have these tasks completely off of my wife’s radar?

Finding opportunities to take something completely off of Demetra’s plate has always brought me joy. Before we bought our home and began living more rurally, back when we lived in an apartment in the city, I felt deeply proud when, after leaving the apartment we lived in for two years, Demetra told me that she hadn’t been to the garbage room in our building even once, because I had always been so on top of it. That news was like music to my ears!


5. Keep the kettle filled up to the ideal level of water she likes to boil for tea

I haven’t been doing this as much lately because it’s now spring and she drinks most of her tea in the winter. But it is a thing I do, nonetheless. To save her just a few seconds before she can start brewing her tea or coffee, I always aim to keep the kettle filled to a sufficient level so that she can make her hot drinks with lower friction. It’s the little things that count, and add up over time.

6. Wash the towels and sheets more often than she would

My wife and I both value clean sheets and towels, but I seem to value it just a bit more, as my ‘It’s been a week and these sheets feel less fresh’ threshold seems to trigger faster. So I make it a habit to wash our sheets and towels every week. If left to her own devices, my sense/assumption is that Demetra might do it every 10 or so days. So instead of turn-taking (boring), I have just taken on this task, and I enjoy doing it for us.

7. Keep wood chopped and stocked up so she can have fires whenever she wants

In the fall/winter seasons, we aim to primarily heat our home using wood. My preparation for this begins in the spring when I either have to ensure that we have sufficient kindling and firewood for the winter or, if we have the wood, that it is sufficiently split into small enough pieces to fit into our wood stove through the colder months. So this is kind of a three-parter. Source the wood, make sure we have a sufficient amount that is cut down to size, and continually restock the indoor reserves of kindling and wood to burn through the winter. Again, this is something that Demetra hasn’t had to think about or manage in the slightest, and we both like it that way.

8. Thank her for every meal that she makes us (even if it’s months-old leftovers that were reheated from the freezer)

I am fortunate in that I adore my wife’s cooking. But when we first started dating, it was a secret that was completely kept under wraps. For our first few months of dating, I made all of our meals. Eventually, it came out that she was nervous to cook anything because a previous partner had been less than kind to her about her cooking abilities. The first time she made me a meal, I was blown away. I loved her cooking so much (and still do)!


Today, she handles most of the cooking and meal planning, and I handle most of the grocery shopping and dishes. And at the end of every meal (that she makes) I thank her for the delicious meal. I do it because it is honest and because it is the right thing to do. It is also something that my father modeled for me (he always thanked my mom for dinner, in front of me and my siblings) so it feels like a natural behavior to carry forward for our children to witness.

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9. Tell her every day that I think she is cute/beautiful

It is a good thing that my wife is so cute because I don’t even have to think about this. Just seeing her exist in the world … the way she walks, the way she talks (both her word choices and her voice), the decisions she makes … I just love her. So this one doesn’t require any effort or intention. I just do it because it’s how I feel whenever I’m around her.


I say, ‘Good morning cutie’ when I first see her emerge from the bedroom. When she has messy/dirty hair and is wearing sweatpants and a coffee-stained tank top I will tell her how beautiful she looks. Again, not a thing I feel like I should do. It is just a naturally emerging thing. It slips out without thought. I hope that you find (or are in) a relationship with someone who registers to you as just the cutest person on the whole planet.

10. Move the laundry over (between machines) when she forgets

Demetra often forgets that she has started a load of laundry. Which is great! As it gives me another opportunity to step in and support her. To her credit, one of the reasons that she loses track of when the laundry is done is that she turns off the song that it plays at the end of the cycle because I find it grating. So there’s an example of her doing a thoughtful thing on my behalf. So when I notice that the laundry is done and it’s sitting soggy in the washer, I’ll take the clothes and move them into the dryer, and then fold them when they’re done.

11. Keep hair ties in my car in case she needs one

I’ve never had hair past my shoulders, so I don’t know what it’s like to have long hair. But, early on, it seemed to me that Demetra was often asking for hair ties. "Have you seen any of my hair ties?" My answer, 8 times out of 10, was no. So eventually I noticed the pattern and just bought a pack of hair ties and stuffed them around like a hair-tie-hoarding squirrel. I have hair ties in my car, in my laptop bag, in my bedside cabinet, and often, in the front pocket of my jeans. They’re quite small and compact, so they’re easy to hide around. Now when she asks me if I have seen any of her hair ties, I can simply produce one from within arms reach. Win-win!

I almost didn’t write this article, because it felt like it could seem self-indulgent. Is this guy writing an article about how awesome of a husband he is? But then I recently had someone in my online community tell me that he took inspiration from how well I loved my wife. So I took that as a sign to go ahead and post this anyway.


One final note that I will end on is that, over the years, there has been a percentage of women who will say things like "Can we clone you?" and "Where are all the men like you in the world?" And I truly cannot impress upon you enough how wrong of a question that is. Why? Because the focus is off. The desire should not be "How do I find a man like this," but rather, "How do I become a woman like that who can call in and be with a man like that." The difference may be subtle, but it is significant.

I do all of these things, yes,  in part because I am this kind of man. But I primarily do them because Demetra is so easy and fun to love. She receives so graciously and is so open to the things that I bring to her daily. Let me put it this way — Let’s say that you enjoy cooking. Who would you rather cook for someone who takes a bite and goes, "Hmm.. yeah, it’s alright… thanks," or someone whose face lights up and is blown away by the quality of your culinary gifts?

I had partners in the past who explicitly told me that my sensitivity and emotionality were turn-offs. Who told me in no uncertain terms that the way that I loved them was too much and annoying. Do you think that those people got the best out of me? Of course not. But today, with how open and receptive Demetra is, it is incredibly fun for me to lavish her with love and attention. So I’ll end with that. Ask not "Where are these types of men," but rather, "How do I become the kind of person who can let that in."

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Relationship coach and writer Jordan Gray helps people remove their emotional blocks and maintain thriving intimate relationships.