Fellas, if you only read one post of mine, make this be the one! I’m going to break it down for you real simple so pay attention. Some of these tips will require hard work and some will be second nature. The key is that you actually DO THEM. Some would argue that I’m turning in my “man card”, but I contend that this is the way to earn your man card. Let’s get to it.
This post was inspired by my wife’s summer with the kids. Here are the stats for some context: 5 kids, 3 months, moving to a new house, running 3 businesses – all while breastfeeding and caring for an 18 month old. Not to mention – me calling every afternoon asking “what’s for dinner?” Most women reading this are saying “Wow, I’m over it already.” My poor wife was like a dried up hibiscus in a forgotten corner of the yard. When it was time for school to start, I realized she needed to be nursed back to mental and emotional stability and I would have to be intentional about it. These tips explain how I did it:
1. Make a list of her favorite things
Yes, I have a list of things my wife likes. I call this my “Rules of Engagement” list. When we started dating, the “schmoopy” meter was pegged to 11. We stayed up all night on the phone and brought Google’s servers down with chats the size of the Old Testament. We sent music videos to each other, funny blog posts, dream houses, lists of things we want to do, etc. It was AWESOME! We had so much in common and we couldn’t wait to see if “we” would work out. Being a list man, I created her profile in a Google doc with important details such as: shoe sizes, dress sizes, favorite flowers, favorite food, favorite restaurants, movies, and some things she doesn’t like.
This list is the most important tool in my bag.
2. Follow her on Pinterest
Seriously, you need to create a Pinterest account. The misconception here is that Pinterest is for women, but if you believe that you are 100% wrong. Men have invaded the Pinterest world and have collaborated with women to build an idea superhighway that will point you where you need to go for gift ideas. My wife has what seems like thousands of Pinterest boards. Each one has a different theme. When you access the one called “Things I Like” or “Clothes Mamma Wants”, you have struck gold. All you have to do is create an account and follow her. So many times I’ve waited till the last minute to shop for her gifts and Pinterest helped make it easy for me to order something and have it delivered to our doorstep. The best part is this: if you have her shoe sizes in your list from tip #1, you can get her exactly what she wants. There is no mystery and you will be the man! Click here to create a Pinterest account. If you’re overwhelmed, you can go here to learn how to use it.
3. Sign up to receive Groupon emails
If you’re planning to pour your efforts into your wife, you need to be conscious of how much money you are spending. This could get crazy expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Groupon will send local restaurant deals to you via email. Most of the time they will be in the 40-50% off range. Download the app, purchase the deal, and voila – the voucher is on your phone. All you have to do is tell the waitress you have a voucher before she rings you up. This will help keep your costs down. One more thing, remember to tip on the amount you would have paid for, not what you are actually paying. Here is a link to Groupon. If you want a link to the current best deals and verified codes go here: http://verified.codes/Groupon
4. “Ease her pain”
Yeah, I took that from Field of Dreams, but it applies here. Ask yourself, “what specifically has been wearing my wife down?” For Karen, she was home all summer with the kids who were eating parts of our house and fighting with each other. I had to put my agenda aside and really focus on what was happening because she was losing her mind. I can’t really go into details of how you fix this because every woman is different. Just listening to what she says without offering solutions is probably the most effective way to accomplish this.
5. Thoughtful Gifts
Slipping in a card is very easy to do. Just think of every time you’ve passed an aisle of gift cards when you’re in the grocery store or gas station. Next time, grab one of those puppies and do your best to write a short, heartfelt note to your wifey. For some women, this is more effective than cooking dinner for the family. It shows her that you were thinking about her while she was taking little Joe Joe to the ER for stitches on his ear. Or better yet, while she was cleaning baby turds out of the bathtub that she had just cleaned an hour before. This tip is one that I recommend you insert into your daily routine, not just to help reset your wife.
6. Attention with no intention
Plain and simple, don’t do nice things for her with the expectation that she will have sex with you. She has to know that you are genuinely concerned about her in order for any of this to take root. Putting the moves on her after you fold the laundry undermines the whole operation. It would be like eating a steak before you cook it. You will pay later. HOWEVER, you should definitely be prepared for her to initiate the intimacy. In that case, get to work my man!
7. Don’t overwhelm her with all of it at once.
Keep this thing going for a little while. After all – she didn’t get systematically beat down in one day. This will take time and finesse. Extra attention to your wife shouldn’t be rushed, but rather like a football team with a good ground attack. Chew up some clock and keep the momentum. I will give an example: Tuesday, buy a card. Friday, bring home flowers. Saturday, let her go do her thing while you watch the kids. Monday, cook dinner. Thursday, write her a note. Saturday night, take her out on a date. That’s 2 weeks of dispersed doting that will begin to draw her away from the funk. (I’m giving you guys gems here. AMEN!)
8. Take a look at what you’re looking at.
Take a look at your wife daily. Not just what you see, but what you hear her saying to you and to the things she is doing. There are things she deals with regularly that may not seem all that bad, but when she mentions it to you every day with increased angst, that’s a red flag. This tip is a lot like #5 and can help prevent a lot of issues from taking root. Don’t leave the door open for the enemy to steal the marriage God designed for you.
9. Keep updating your list.
Keep your list going. You should know by now that what she liked a year ago may not be the same today. Invest time to make the list today and it will be easier to update as you go. You will only need to make minor changes or additions along the way.
10. Spiritual input.
Karen and I are Christians and we believe in God’s design for marriage. This is how we set our relationship concretely before we got married, and this is how we will roll forever. There is nothing that can come close to infusing my wife with the word of God and worshipping together. This is where our strength comes from as individuals and as a married couple.
Your wife is a gift, and should be treated as such. Be vigilant in your pursuit of her and you can’t go wrong, fellas.