A common complaint I hear from wives, is that their husbands aren’t romantic enough.
They feel date nights are too boring and routine, or there’s no date night at all. Maybe he doesn’t flirt with her the way he used to, or he doesn’t hold her hand anyone. One woman says her husband never brings her flowers anyone, while another says he only brings her flowers when she’d rather he did something else.
Whatever the reason, many wives are unsatisfied with the level of romance in their marriage.
I’m familiar with all of the complaints, because I used to be one of those wives.
I remember crying over a box of chocolates one Valentine’s Day, because it wasn’t what I wanted. I don’t remember what it was I did want; I just know it wasn’t the chocolates.
Another year it was the way the chocolate was delivered that set off the tears. Or rather, the way it wasn’t delivered. He said “There’s chocolate in the truck for you if you want it.” Hrmph. It turned out to be a fifty cent Hershey bar from the gas station. Hrmph. More tears.
I feel your pain ladies. I understand where you’re coming from.
While a gas station candy bar is legitimately not romantic, the truth is we women can often just be hard to please. In fact women are kind notorious for being fickle. It’s a reputation we’ve earned I’m afraid.
Most days I would say my love language is touch, but sometimes maybe it’s acts of service. On other day I might want words of affirmation, or some quality time. And sometimes he just needs to buy me something. Not out of obligation either, (e.g. gas station Hershey bar) it needs to be because he wants to. There is a difference, am I right?
All that to say: if I don’t know what I want, how is my husband supposed to know what I want?
Answer: he can’t. He’s human and he doesn’t read minds. I’m glad mine doesn’t. He’d probably be terrified if he did.
Does that mean there’s nothing you can do? Does that mean you have to give up on romance?
Not at all, but pouting and complaining won’t help. In fact it might make things worse. If he’s really trying, complaining will only hurt him and make him feel like his efforts aren’t appreciated. I deeply regret all of the “constructive criticism” I gave my husband in my efforts to make him more romantic.
But there are actually constructive things you can do.
If you’re looking to revive the romance in you’re marriage, here are five ways to find that spark again.
1. Learn to recognize and appreciate the way he expresses love.
Our default is to express love in the way we feel loved. It’s what we know so it’s what we do. Our husbands are no different.
Observe what he does do. Does he put gas in your car, make the coffee in the mornings, or take responsibility for pulling the kids teeth since it make you queasy? Those are all acts of love.
Maybe it’s getting up every morning and driving an hour in a car he hates, to a job he hates, so he can put food on the table.
Learn to see the value in the things he does, even if it’s not on your top ten romantic ideas list. Take note and you might just get that warm fuzzy feeling you’re looking for. Make sure you let him know you appreciate what he does.
2. Romance him.
There’s no rule that says our husbands are solely responsible for providing the romance in the marriage. In fact if your husband feels the responsibility for romance is all on his shoulders he may burn out, and stop trying all together, especially if his efforts aren’t being appreciated.
Instead of complaining, be the romantic you want him to be. If you feel like holding hands, hold his hand. You won’t be breaking any rules. Your husband might even like it.
Wish he would flirt with you? Flirt with him. He’ll probably flirt back. Unless he’s concentrating on something else right then. Timing is everything.
Instead of waiting for him to plan a date night, go ahead and plan one. Incorporate things you know he likes so that it’s about both of you. Surprise him. It’s surprising how easy it is to run out of ideas when you’re the one doing all the planning. Maybe your creativity will inspire him.
Take turns and make it fun.
3. Adjust your expectations.
Romance changes as our seasons of life change. When you were dating and first married, a night on the town might have been your ideal date.
A few years, and a couple of kids down the road, and the ideal date might be eating junk food in bed while you watch a movie.
Maybe one day when the kids are older, and you have a little more freedom, the nights on the town might come back into the picture. Or maybe something else will appeal to you then.
Learn to love the season you are in now. Embrace it, and make the most of it.
Realize also that life is not a romance novel, and your husband is not Fabio. The hero in an average romance novel or movie is seducing the heroine to get her in bed. Real life romance is meeting each others needs regardless of what we get in return. Which is pretty much the exact opposite.
4. Meet his needs.
Marriage is not just about having our own needs met. It’s about seeing that out husband’s needs are met.
It’s not our job to make sure they know what we need. It’s our job to find out what our husbands need and want and do that. There’s nothing wrong with lovingly letting him know your needs, (See number 2.) but do it in a way that doesn’t devalue what he’s already doing. (See number 1.)
Meeting our husband’s needs should be our primary focus. Whether it’s keeping the kids quiet on a Saturday morning so he catch up on his sleep after a long workweek, or stocking up on his favorite snack foods. Maybe there’s something he’s been putting off doing that you could do for him.
Or it could be just making sure to keep up with his laundry. Nothing says, “I love you” like clean undies. My husband would tell you I’m not very good at the laundry thing, but I’m trying. I promise I am.
When you see him smile because you made his favorite meal, you’ll get those warm fuzzy feelings again.
5. Realize he can’t meet all of your needs.
Our husbands are human just like we are. We can’t meet all of our husbands needs, and they can’t meet all of our needs. The only one who can meet all our needs, and satisfy us completely is God.
One thing He keeps reminding me of, is how thoroughly and completely he wants to meet our needs. He created us for companionship, and He wants to be our number one companion. All other relationships flow from this primary relationship.
If we’re walking with God, and letting Him water our souls, we’ll be able to pour some of that life giving water back into our relationship with our husbands.
Don’t rely on your husband to supply what only God can.
While none of these tips will guarantee a perfect marriage, applying these truths will go a long way toward making you both happier. God intended marriage to be picture of His love for the church, but it can only be that if both husband and wife are willing to put the other first and let God take care of their own needs.
A Godly marriage takes the power of the Holy Spirit. And to have the power of the Holy Spirit we must give our lives to Christ. If you would like to know more about that you can contact me, or click here.