Last Monday, I shared how I never believed it when my husband said he was happy.
I wanted a pretty little list of improvements to make, to make him happier. But my husband was contented. And I struggled with that.
Then a few days ago, I get it. You can read the post here.
I asked for your thoughts, if your husband is similar to mine, and your general thoughts on husband happiness.
A few of you wrote back and today I want to build on that and share a few more on thoughts on “husband happiness.”
1. It’s okay to ask him if he’s happy
After the post published, I asked my husband how he feels about me checking on his happiness-meter. Because I got a little touchy after laying my heart out there and I wanted to confirm I wasn’t sending wives on a big wild-goose chase!
Tommy affirmed my thinking; that it’s important to ask. There’s nothing wrong with asking your man if he’s happy or if there’s anything he’d want to see more of or less of.
Communication is important in marriage and seeking his heart, going below the surface to clarify things will have a positive effect on your marriage.
In her new book 9 Thoughts That Can Change Your Marriage (which I’ll am reviewing later this week!) Sheila Gregoire says
When you stop assuming that staying close is natural, and realize it’s drifting that is natural, then you’ll be more intentional about staying together. But being intentional doesn’t always require huge changes. Sometimes just making a few tweaks in how we do life can stop that drift
Asking “Are you good, honey? What (one or two things) would you like me to improve on or change?” is one of those little things that can make a big difference in your marriage.
2. Seasons change
My husband is happy with the way I am right now (because he’s contented, not because I am perfect 🙂 ) . But it doesn’t mean he’ll never need me to improve or change.
Marriages go through different seasons and each season has it’s unique needs.
When we moved from Kenya to United States four years ago, some of my husband’s needs included understanding and support. I did not fare well.
If your husband is at a good place now but a few weeks later seems to change his mind, that’s okay. Different seasons bring out different needs.
3. Live for God
It’s not my husband’s job to keep my heart in line. Sure, iron sharpens iron, but it’s my primary responsibility to keep my own heart growing.
While my husband does help when he points out areas in need of depth or maturity, I should not make him my sole instigator.
God calls us to mind our own business, with the help of the Holy Spirit and to live poured out to Him. When my husband chooses not to see all the specks and flecks, God still does. And He wants me to keep growing.
In other words, don’t let your husband’s glowing recommendation get into your head. Keep working on yourself, keep growing.
4. Look for non-verbal cues
Contrary to popular thinking, guys have feelings.
But they don’t always know what those feelings are. Unlike us girls who can differentiate between twenty types of emotions, it can a while for a guy to figure it out (and that’s the easy part since once he figures out what he feels, he has to decide what to do with it).
So be observant. He might not have the words do describe exactly how he feels or what he likes but you can help by keeping an eye on his delight meter.
A reader said she’s made a point to notice what excites her husband and she tries to take her cues from that.
Words are great, but that’s not the only way we communicate. Purpose to become a better student of your husband.
5. Be ready to take the truth
Do you really want your husband to tell you how he feels/thinks about you? Or are you asking so you can feel good about yourself?
Guys don’t like to make their wives mad. So they’ll work hard to stay out of trouble, even when you are gunning for answers – think about the satirized “does this dress make me look fat?”
So if you are asking your husband what areas to grow, be ready to take the answers. If you are not ready, chances are your guy will pick on that and he’ll become very economical with truth.
6. Sometimes saying he’s okay does not mean he is.
Just because he says he’s happy doesn’t necessarily mean he’s happy. He might be a little passive. Or he doesn’t want to hurt you. It could be a number of things.
If you know your marriage is not at a good place, or you know he’s struggling with something (about you) and he shrugs and says “I am okay”, you know he isn’t.
Don’t settle for a surface relationship, do whatever it takes to bring back your marriage to a good place.
7. It depends on the marriage
A reader brought up the issue of personality. That a melancholy or choleric type of person might be more verbal and eager to point out improvements for their spouses.
But a people-pleasing personality (like the Sanguine person) or an introverted passive personality (Phlegmatic) might not be as forthcoming. (Check out this post to understand personalities)
It made a lot of sense.
But my husband is a high melancholy and I am a high choleric!
So my husband, who happens to have big ideas on how to change things would have big ideas on how to change me (and being a dominating pushy personality I’d be fighting it..lol)
So I am still trying to figure it out but I do believe that generally it will depend on the season the marriage is in.
If your hearts are happy and content, the marriage is in a good place, even the naturally critical person might not have the magnifying glass out.
8. And if we flipped the question…
One husband introduced the other part of the conversation.
Wives want their husbands to figure out what they like, instead of coming out and saying it plainly. I think many wives think “if I have to say what i need, where’s the romance in that?”
Thing is, romance is a very practical intentional thing for most guys! They can’t read minds, they can’t navigate a gazillion emotions and hopes. They appreciate it when their women speak up.
So this husband thought a list from his lady would bless him because
1. She will be happy because he will tick off the list.
2. He will be more creative the next time he ticks off the list.
So ladies the ball is in our court! Your husband is happier when you are happy. But it’s hard to make you happy when he doesn’t know what makes you happy.
Are you an imperfect girl married to an imperfect guy? Vexed because your husband won’t change? Wondering how to draw closer to God and your husband? My book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After in the Early Years might help. Learn how to positively influence your marriage, one intentional choice at a time. Click here
J Parker of Hot Holy Humorous blog is running a series called “Feel Beautiful 2015”. I love this post titled “Is your husband a liar?” If you have ever struggled to believe your husband, check it out!