42 Sweet Ways Men Can Become Better Husbands (That Require Very Little Effort)

It's the little things that matter.

Last updated on Feb 25, 2023

ways to become a better husband Jessica Rockowitz on Unsplash

The first step to becoming a better husband is to, well, try to be a better husband. It’s as simple as that. 

Marriages thrive when partners play active roles in the relationship, paying mind to everything from the daily maintenance of the marriage to personal care in hopes of understanding yourself better for the other. In other words: It’s all about making an effort. Do the work, and you’ll be rewarded.


Want to start? Well, there are a number of small, nice things that all of us can focus on to be happier, more present, and more attentive husbands and partners.

how to be a better husband

RELATED: 6 Incredibly Simple Ways To Be A Better Husband Every Single Day

42 ways to become a better husband: 

1. Talk about your feelings honestly.

When she asks you how your day is, tell her about something that made you upset or annoyed. Don’t just say your day was “okay,” and leave it at that. Respond. listen. repeat.


2. Take over for the evening.

Don’t announce it or plan it ahead. Once the kids are bathed, brushed, dressed, read to, and in bed, tell your spouse they’re ready for a good night kiss.

3. Ask your wife about her day.

Have at least one follow-up question. Then, tell her about yours. And answer her questions with more words “fine” and “eh.” Make this a habit. 

RELATED: 5 Things Every Truly Great Husband Knows About His Wife (& Why They Matter)

4. Make a constructed effort to interrupt her less when she’s talking.

Chances are you do it more than you realize. A good tactic: If she seems like she’s in between two thoughts, give her five seconds. If she doesn’t say anything, then speak.


5. Clean that thing you know she hates cleaning.

You don’t even need to tell her you did it. She’ll notice.

6. Do the dishes.  

Even when it’s “not your turn.”



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7. Stay in good shape.

Part of the gig is trying to remain attractive.


8. Go to the doctor.

Part of the gig is not dying.

9. Be nice to her friends.

For no other reason than they’re her friends.

RELATED: 18 Ways To Be A Better Husband Every Single Day

10. Be honest even when it’s hard.

Confrontation is not always bad. It’s critical to moving forward.

11. Explain why you’re excited about the things that excite you.

Don’t keep her on the outside of the things you like. Also: excitement and passion are blue-chip qualities.

12. If someone is rude to her in a social situation, ask for permission to be rude back.

If granted, go to town.

RELATED: 6 Qualities Of A Good Husband That Make Him 'Marriage Material'

13. Give good foreplay.

We’re all adults here.


14. If she seems like she wants to be left alone, don’t take it as a referendum on anything.

Just leave her alone.

15. Listen to and empathize with her problems.

Say: “That sucks. I’m sorry.” Don’t try to fix the problems unless she asks for your advice.



RELATED: The 8 Most Common Complaints Unhappy Husbands Have About Their Wives


16. Does she like SMPDA — that is, social media public displays of affection?

Then post about her earnestly on social media every so often. Even if it’s a photo of her with the heart-eyed emoji, it may not be your thing, but because it’s not it will mean more.

17. Don’t hold back small seemingly insignificant compliments.

If she really impressed you by parallel parking, her lunch order, or how she deescalated a toddler tantrum, tell her.

18. Be the keeper of your love story.

Get nostalgic about your relationship, from time to time. Reminisce about how you met. Bring it up with friends.

RELATED: 4 Small Things Husbands Stop Doing Once They're Married— From A Guy Whose Wife Divorced Him


19. Write down the things you’re upset about before vocalizing them to your spouse.

The exercise might help you see some of the things bothering you are not worth complaining about.

20. Don't treat your wife as your therapist.

If you are struggling, and she’s the only person you lean on, think about going to therapy. Therapy rules.

21. Leave nice notes.

They don’t have to be long or saccharine, they just have to be original.

RELATED: My Wife Divorced Me Because I Left The Dishes By The Sink

22. Take over some of the emotional labor. 

Make decisions and plan some of the important tasks that make up the running of your household.  

Plan things that she doesn't have to think about. Emotional labor is taxing and taking charge of some of the daily tasks can mean everything to your partner. 




23. Be kind.

The world is mean, your marriage shouldn’t be.

24. When you introduce her to your friends or coworkers, mention one of her accomplishments.

That is, be a fan of hers.

RELATED: 4 Big Mistakes I Made As A Husband (Psst! I'm The Ex-Husband Now)

25. Make an effort to look presentable. 

Shave or clean up your beard regularly. Dress nice. Don’t be a schlub. No one wants to be married to a schlub 24/7.


26. If you make yourself something — tea, a sandwich, a stiff cocktail — offer to make her one, too.

It will mean the world that you thought of her without her having to ask. 

27. Take her side in family squabbles whenever possible.

If you sense a family squabble might happen, discuss it beforehand to get on the same page. Then, talk about how you’ll mount your defense together.

RELATED: Married Couples Who Actually Stay Together Do These 7 Things Every Single Year

28. Keep your promises.



29. Talk to her about what she likes in bed.

Don’t assume that you know. If there’s a thing she’d like you to do more? Do that thing.


30. Give her the benefit of the doubt.

She’s allowed to be in bad moods for no reason.

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31. Take some tasteful nudes.

If that's your thing, of course. 

32. When you become impatient with her, take a few deep breaths.

Walk away if you need to. Remember you love her even when you don’t like her.

33. Get rid of your unreasonable expectations about who you think she should be.

Your partner is the person they were when you met them. We’re all striving for personal improvement, but expecting your partner to fundamentally change aspects of their personality is unrealistic and unhealthy.


RELATED: How To Love A Woman — From A Man Who Lost A Good One

34. Call just to say hi.

Don’t text. Don’t Facebook chat. Call her.

35. When she asks you to go on a run with her, go, even if you hate it.

Especially if you hate it. She’ll know you did it just because you love her.

36. When your wife talks about a sexist thing that happened to her that day, don’t give the man in the story the benefit of the doubt.

Help her through it. Talk crap about him with your wife.

RELATED: 3 Magic Words That Keep The Best Couples Together Forever

37. Be enthusiastic about her favorite TV shows, even if it’s bad reality TV. 

Get into it. Make fun of the contestants. Ask her who her favorite person on the show is. Root for someone.


38. When your wife asks you how she looks in something, and if she doesn’t look great, tell her about another dress you like.

Provide an alternative. Tell her you love her in it.

39. When you get in a fight, use “I” statements.

Don’t put your anger on her. Make sure she knows it’s about how you’re feeling.

RELATED: 7 Reasons Women Start To Hate Their Husbands

40. If you don’t know where something is in your house, actually look for it before you ask. 

You are not clueless. You are her partner.

41. Don’t ever stop trying to do better. 

Be generous. Be thoughtful. Say “thank you” more than you already are. 

42. Tell her — and demonstrate often — that you love her.

She comes first. Make sure she realizes that. 




RELATED: 17 Easy Ways To Become A Better Husband For Your Wife Every Day (& Improve Your Marriage In The Process)

Lizzy Francis is the News Editor at Fatherly, where she edits news and reports on relationships, marriage and the public policy that affects the day to day lives of working parents.