There’s so much talk around the duties of wives and what she should be doing to keep her marriage going. There’s always one blog post or the other; one Pastor or the other; one Counselor or the other preaching, shouting, finger-pointing at wives to get their act together to make their marriage work. That’s immense pressure! It really gets annoying sometimes that enough focus isn’t also placed on men and being better husbands. It’s true that there’s a whole biblical chapter dedicated to wives being virtuous which to me takes amazing grace to even accomplish, but there are also several verses for husbands which hardly anyone focuses on.

I may not have been married for five years to be giving ‘marital’ advice ( it seems 5 is the magic number for this)  but as a woman first, a girlfriend second and then a wife I am confident of knowing what every woman’s needs are as a wife. These needs are far too often ignored by today’s husbands .

Marriage they say isnt easy. No husband is perfect. No wife is perfect. But making your marriage work as a husband takes deliberate actions everyday to be a better spouse.

The below are some things every husband out there can do better in 2017:

1.     Continue The Chase

How is it possible that you did everything in your power to ‘chase’ your girlfriend ( now your wife) back when you were a bachelor but after marriage you slow down your pace to a trot? Remember the sexting messages you used to send her? They still matter in marriage to keep the desire and passion lit. The restaurants you used to go as a dating couple didn’t shut down after marriage. Surprise her with private reservations and go the extra mile to buy her a seductive dress you would love to see her in. Trust that your actions will not go unnoticed.

2.     Ask. Listen. Ask

Some say women love too much attention. True? Or is it perhaps that women don’t get the right attention? If in 2016 you weren’t asking your wife questions about what’s going on in her life ( career, business, spiritual, health) for her to open up then 2017 is your chance to. Asking questions tells her you are interested in knowing what is going on in her life and you are ready to listen as well. When she opens up, put your phone away, turn off the TV and give her your undivided attention. When you aren’t clear on something, ask her what she meant so there’s clarity and mutual understanding.

Improving communication in your marriage is also your responsibility as a husband. Make time and talk to your partner. Questions you can ask her aside “How was your day?” are “How can I make you happy tonight?”. When you procrastinate on conversations which can freshen and deepen your marriage, issues will build up and eventually cracks will start appearing in a marriage which you thought was ‘perfect’. Too often husbands get caught in all kinds of meetings that they forget the crucial meeting with their wives.

3.     Amp Up Sex In Your Marriage

How is sex in your marriage? Is it exciting or rusty?

Imaginative or monotonous? It’s not up to your wife alone to discover ways to make sex in your marriage exciting. As a husband, you should learn more about what will give your wife multiple orgasms.  Learn more about her body, after all you are having ‘legal’ sex in the eyes of God so why not use the time to explore? The female body is filled with hidden erotic zones and a lazy selfish husband who just jumps on his wife expecting her to be ‘ready and juicy’ will have the surprise of his life.

Take time to ask her if she likes a particular position or what turns her on. Be intentional in your lovemaking instead of rushing through with the process. There are sex toys and games to familiarise yourself with (Google it) to make your days and nights more anticipatory. Why not role play? You would be surprised to learn a new side of your wife during one of these sessions.

4.     Be Better At Resolving Conflicts.

Conflicts will come into your marriage at one point in time or the other. There will be little irritating things you may notice about your spouse, financial issues that may crop up every now and then but how you choose to handle these occurrences can set you up for a rise or fall.  Ignoring conflicts as they happen can lead to a gradual increase in resentment and mistrust in the relationship.  Instead of retreating into your mancave to brood, be able to sit with your wife after the storm to talk things out. Pray and ask for grace to become a peacemaker in your home to resolve conflicts. Talking things out not only clears the air but also creates a loving environment for a deeper sexual and loving relationship with your wife.

5.     Don’t Hold Back on Positive Affirmations

Women feed on positive affirmations and loving words. A lady friend once complained that her husband always downplayed her dress sense and rather fished for compliments when he was done dressing up. Affirm your wife with words of positivism. If she has dreams of starting her own business, encourage her continuously , don’t just say you will support her and do nothing . Give her the wings she needs to fly.

Show appreciation for the things she does in the home. It’s easy to take for granted the meals your wife cooks for you. It will not kill you to say ‘thank you’ for the everyday things she does for you.  Heard of the Give to Get principle ? The more you give to make someone happy, the more you get back.

6.     Make Time

We live in a time where technology and social media have slowly but surely eaten into our productivity time and now in our relationships. Wives & Husbands are both constantly on their phones during dinner dates, whilst listening to sermon in church, during bedtime, checking Whatsapp, Twitter and almost every notification popping up on their screen. As a husband, take time away from social media and spend some quality cuddle time instead of screen time. When you make time in your marriage, you build strong intimate and friendship levels.

7.     Show Respect

Love and Respect your wife as much as you love yourself. Respect in any relationship is earned and not demanded. Honor your word and stop breaking promises. If you can’t promise then don’t say anything to prevent disappointment and mistrust. Honor your wife and respect your vows to her. Flirting with other women on whatsapp, sliding into DM’s on Twitter, sending side chicks nudes of your D are all disrespectful and not manly. A real man/husband respects his wife.  Be deliberate in speaking the truth because lies are not only sinful but disrespectful to both your wife and your marriage. Unless of course you don’t respect either.

These ways are sure to knock the socks of your wife! The trick is sustaining what you began in January through to December and the rest of your life. Dont forget that the more you do, the better you get at it.

Dear Husbands, Which other ways do you think you can be a better husband in 2017?