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Recently, I skimmed an article called something like, “Five Things Your Husband Needs from You.” And it was fine, it listed good stuff like approval and affection and, of course, sex. And all that is important. But it’s also—forgive me—vague. Yes, your husband needs your approval... however, how do you show that? Which got me thinking. I like concrete instructions. Simple, exact things I can do to bless husband’s life, so I made my own list!
But before we get into it, there’s something you need to know. Actually, some things. These are simple. Pretty much any wife can do these things. And these are not mostly things he will probably thank you for. If you need adulation for everything you do... well, good luck, I suppose. These things are to help him be happier. Not to make you look awesome. And finally, yes, he should serve you, too. Marriage is a continual cycle of mutual service—or it should be. So don’t get your whatever in a twist because this list happens to be for you. OK? OK. Cool. Let’s go.
1. Get or make his favorite snack once in a while.
Actually, I always have popcorn (my husband’s favorite) on hand. But actually MAKING popcorn, like with an air popper and actual butter, that's something I do when I know he needs a special boost. Now, if your husband’s favorite snack is Cheetos, you’re probably out of luck in the “making” department. But this is a time when the thought really will be what counts. So go buy a bag when he’s had a hard week.
2. Take out the bathroom trash.
Kind of a funny one, I know. Here’s the thing though: I’m one of those that waits until the trash is FULL to empty it. It probably has something to do with my anosmia (loss of a sense of smell), so even when I’ve been on a period, I often forget to throw out the bathroom trash until it’s its own mountain range. But gals, olds tampons are GROSS. We all know it. Your husband shouldn’t have to stare at ‘em every time he poops. Do him—and yourself—a favor, and take it out ASAP after (or even during) your period. Because while he probably won’t notice that you did, he’ll definitely be grossed out if you didn’t.
3. Turn the lights off at night.
This is one that I’m good at and my husband is not, and it used to really bug me. How can you not care about the electric bill? And how can you sleep with the lights on? But then I realized that it’s just not a thing for him. I could waste time being mad about it, or I could do such a little service and get them myself. If it’s not lights in your home, apply that same principle. If you’re good at something small, and he’s not, then don’t make it a battle. That will make you both miserable! Make it a service.
4. Greet him at the door... happily.
Yesterday I had a migraine. A really horribly nasty one. And when my husband got home, I kind of wanted to whine about it. But you know what? He'd had just as hard of a day, and no one wants to be met with complaints. So did I tell him that I was medium dying? Of course I did... (He probably could have figured it out since all the lights were off and the TV volume was barely audible, but that's beside the point.) I told him, and when I winced from pain and he asked if I was okay I admitted, "not really." But I ALSO made a point to smile at him, however weakly, when he first arrived at home. I greeted him at the door. (Albeit, in the dark.) Why? Because home is supposed to be everyone's safe place, isn't it? My husband deserve that just as much as I do!
5. Smile at him.
Smiling makes people happier. There are studies about it, but it's also pretty obvious. Getting smiled at has the same effect. You want to make your husband happy? Put on a smile. I'm not saying you should paste it on and lie if you're suffering—that would not be a healthy relationship choice, at least if it were all the time. You should be honest with your partner. But if you're happy, or content, flash him your best grin every once in a while. Don't do it til your cheeks ache... just show him you're happy to be with him. You know?
6. Text him nice things.
I know people who swear by sexting their spouses; that's not what we're talking about here, though. I mean, text him "I love you." Text him, "I miss you." Text him funny quotes from the kids. Let him know you're thinking of him when you see something he would find funny, or wish him luck when you know he's in the middle of a tough day.
7. Connect with his friends.
Now, of course, you never want him to think you're *into* his friends, so figure out his jealousy setting and stay below it. But be nice to his friends (even if seeing them gives you a toothache—as long as they're nice to him, does it really matter if you would choose to hang out with them?) If you're lucky, they'll be your kind of people. If not, suck it up and be polite. Men need friends, too, and you don't want to take that away from him unless you have some VERY good reason. Think of it this way: How would you want your husband to treat your girlfriends? Nicely? Good. Now, go be the kind of spouse you want.
8. Thank him.
I can drive a car just fine on my own... but I'd rather not have to. Every time he drives us anywhere, I say thank you. When he pours drink for me, I say thank you. When he does anything nice for me, I try to express gratitude because I love him.
9. Pause your show.
Sometimes my husband wants to talk to me while I'm super intent on a show. And sometimes, I only half-listen. But when I'm on the ball, I will remember to pause the show so I can really hear. Because you know what? We live in a magnificent age where you CAN pause the TV. There's no need to put your real life on hold for fiction. Your husband deserves better!
10. Say "I love you."
I come from a family where saying "I love you" is the normal way to say goodbye. Not everyone is so lucky. But you know what? You can MAKE your family into one of those families. You can make your marriage one of those marriages. Saying I love you with your actions is important—and it MATTERS. But so does saying "I love you" with your words. And not just after sex, and not just shouted across the room. I mean look into his eyes (and smile) and tell him you love him just because it's three o'clock... and mean it.
I know not everyone has a happy marriage. I know not all husbands do deserve this kind of service. But for those of you who want to make your husband's day a little brighter, try some of these. Maybe not all at once, maybe that's too hard, but little by little you can use these things—or, better yet, make your own list—to show him your heart.