Being A Better Husband

by derek on June 25, 2007 · 64 comments

Last night my wife and I had a nice conversation where she expressed her feelings to me that she needs me to help out more around the house. Lately she has been feeling like she has to keep the house running by herself as I have not been involved in helping with the household cleaning or cooking.
As we talked, I realized that I have really been taking all of her work around the house for granted and have been slacking on my responsibilities. Throughout the first four months of the year I was working a good deal of overtime and have been consuming a good deal of time with my two blogs but that is not an excuse.
While I will be making the effort to share more of the household responsibilities, I also realized that I need to make more of an effort to be a better husband to my terrific wife. My wife is an outstanding woman and I admit that I do not always do the best job of expressing that to her.
What Husband Means To Me
As I work on doing more of the cleaning and cooking, even after my near disaster, I have been thinking of how I can be a better husband. I thought I would do something a little fun to explore what being a better husband means to me:
Helping Hand :: With too much of my time being consumed with work and blogging, I need to make more of an effort to help my wife with things around the house. My wife teaches preschool and with her being home earlier during the year and throughout the summer, I have been guilty of expecting her to keep the house running. She cannot and should not do it alone.
Understanding :: There are times when something worries or upsets my wife and I do not provide her with the support and understanding she needs. Often times I will make a comment such as “Honey, don’t worry about it” and that gives the impression that her worries are not a big deal to me. When my wife is upset or worried, I need to share that with her and listen to her feelings.
Special :: My wife is truly a special woman and I need to be better about making her feel special. She never puts herself first in our household so I need to go out of my way to do things for her so she knows how special she is to me.
Best Friend :: We have been together for many years now when you consider our time dating and the (nearly) 8 years that we have now been married. Over all of those years my wife has been my best friend but sometimes I take that for granted and lose sight of the true meaning. I need to make sure that my wife knows she is my best friend every day and my actions need to support that.
Anticipate :: Something that I really need to be better about is anticipating what my wife needs before she has to ask me. She should not have to ask me to clean the bathrooms or cook dinner on a night she has a meeting.
Never-Ending Love :: Since my wife and I have been together, I have never been the type of person that expresses my feelings very openly but I love her with all of my heart. I will cherish my wife and express my never-ending love for her.
Date Night :: Since we have had kids, we do not have too many nights out without the kids in tow. I need to coordinate a babysitter and schedule a regular date night with my wife. With our kids’ schedule of practices, games, camps and many other appointments, it can be difficult to get time together but that is no excuse. We need to share some special kid-free time together away from the house.
Your Thoughts and Experiences
I have been using my crazy work schedule and my efforts to build a couple of successful blogs as an excuse to be lazy with my responsibilities to my wife. As I make an effort to be a better husband, I welcome any tips and feedback from you on what you do to keep your relationship strong and make your partner feel cherished.
Have you ever needed/wanted more from your spouse/parnter? What did you do?

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

Wendy Piersall June 25, 2007 at 5:05 pm

What a beautiful post. πŸ˜€
You’re struggling with what us moms have had to do for a long time – finding work life balance. Don’t get to down on yourself Derek – sometimes the only way to find that balance is when we lose it.
I’ve found that the solution is not perfect balance – but just constant and never ending patience and improvement. Some days will be all about work. Others will be all about that woman of your dreams.
Both are good.
Thanks for sharing this – and for your comment as well. Not only is it wonderful to know I can help you think a little more about your entrepreneurial dreams, but you inspire me to be and do more by showing up with both your head and your heart. Thanks for that. πŸ™‚

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derek June 25, 2007 at 5:18 pm

Wendy, thank you very much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and feedback!
You have made a very good point about not requiring a perfect balance but instead to focus on consistent levels of patience and improvement. Right now that is what I am striving to find for myself and my wife.
Thank you again for providing all that you do with your heart-felt posts and experiences. It is much appreciated! πŸ™‚

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Leo June 25, 2007 at 9:30 pm

That’s cute that you let your wife have a voice and all, but did you let her out of the kitchen again? πŸ˜‰
I guess you can always offer to cook some more and maybe she’ll back off.

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Derrich June 26, 2007 at 12:00 am

:O

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TCOSTELLO April 11, 2008 at 1:11 pm

My your situation is so different than mine. I was thrown out of the kitchen. My wife and I and our childern came together as a blended family, Both being single parents for years, we both did everything. I would annoy the hell out of my wife by trying to cook dinner with her. We are starting to find a balance but it is hard. these days I try to stay out of her way when it comes to the kitchen , though I really do like to cook at times. It’s hard to let go. We have a hard time communicating , mostly me, can’t say what’s on my mind until the full plan is thought out while my wife will go onand on about things that to me seem unrelated to the topic at hand. i need to wait for it to come around to the topic we started on and hope that I can follow her logic all the way through.

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chris June 26, 2007 at 1:41 am

Why do you imagine this is of any interest to anyone? Your ability to post on the internet doesn’t give your life or thoughts any particular value. In fact it suggests a fair amount of conceit on your part. Put into practice what you think you have learned, shut up and get on with your life like the majority of the planet’s inhabitants.
I mean this in a caring way.
Don’t feel you have to email me back unless of course you are really mad.

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derek June 26, 2007 at 9:34 am

Chris, I’m sorry that you did not find any value in the post but the beauty of the Interweb is that there is a wealth of information to suit all interests. While this post did not hold any value for you, there is a chance that it does hold some value for someone else.
I’m not mad with your comment at all because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and share yours.

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chris June 26, 2007 at 10:58 am

I’m sorry but your comment makes my stomach churn.

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Wendy Piersall June 26, 2007 at 11:01 am

Well, Chris, I have to say your comment did the same for me. Just because you lack the ability to see the value in Derek’s work doesn’t mean that the rest of us can’t find tremendous value in it. πŸ™‚

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chris June 26, 2007 at 11:03 am

Oh praise be!

Derrich June 26, 2007 at 11:19 am

Then I succeeded…troll.

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Derrich June 26, 2007 at 10:47 am

It’s called a blog, chris. Top to bottom, left to right. Put words together to make a sentence. Derek can write about why he likes picking his belly button for lint every night before he goes to bed…and if it’s of value to him…if it interests him, then he should post it.

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chris June 26, 2007 at 11:02 am

Of course he can. The failure is in thinking that it is has value. It lacks insite, wit and a few other things I can barely drag myself to think up. Derrich (is that really how you spell it or is it one of those internet things?) Go and be nice somewhere else.

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Derrich June 26, 2007 at 11:20 am

Yeah, man. That’s my stage name.

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Leo June 26, 2007 at 12:22 pm

Don’t bother feeding the trolls.

TCOSTELLO April 11, 2008 at 1:15 pm

you folks always this nasty to each other?

Leo June 26, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Derek,
I like your blog and continue to check in from time to time. While I don’t agree with you letting your wife out of the kitchen and practicing your “new age mumbo jumbo” by giving her a say in what goes on in your household, I can honestly say that your value systems are sound. By actually allowing your wife to believe that her opinions matter you probably have created a loving environment for you and your family πŸ˜‰
Being happily single, giving me a little insight into your family life maybe gives me a little hope that life won’t end after marriage.
Nah, I just like poking fun at you πŸ™‚
Keep up the good work, it’s YOUR blog, write anything you want. If I don’t find value in anything you write, another site (and millions more) are just a few clicks away.
Opinions are like assholes, everbody’s got one (some tighter than others). The funny thing about assholes is that while they love to share their opinions with everyone else, they almost never want to hear the opinions of others.

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derek June 26, 2007 at 4:26 pm

Thanks Leo. I’ve been staying away from your site the last couple of days because I saw you had a post on the Pulver vs. Penn UFC fight and I haven’t watched it yet so I don’t want to ruin the experience before seeing it.
BTW, if I didn’t let my wife out of the kitchen then she wouldn’t be able to take care of things in the laundry room or bedroom. πŸ˜‰

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Chris Gray June 28, 2007 at 8:58 pm

I also enjoy your blog Derek…you seem like you have your priorities straight…don’t let the haters bring you down. I also couldn’t agree more…write what you want, it’s your blog after all!

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derek June 29, 2007 at 12:34 am

Thanks for the kind words Chris. Most of the time my priorities are in order but every now and then they need a little adjustment. πŸ™‚

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ms danielle June 26, 2007 at 1:11 pm

derek, your wife is very lucky that you’re expressing these things both to her and to your readers. even acknowledging that there is more that we can all do is a start. i think one of the most important things in a relationship is understanding. without understanding, there is no compromise. just don’t burn your house down in the process πŸ˜‰ i kid, i kid…!

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derek June 26, 2007 at 4:27 pm

As with most things in life, I believe there is always room for improvement in our relationships and I am now making that conscious effort.
I’ll do my best to keep the house intact. Thanks Danielle. πŸ™‚

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Patrick June 27, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Hey don’t ruin it for the rest of us fellas with this sensitive stuff. I can’t make my wife read your post, whe may want to divorce me! Nice post though but my wife isn’t reading it!

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derek June 27, 2007 at 9:42 pm

Lol, thanks for the feedback!

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Armen June 28, 2007 at 9:40 am

I really enjoyed reading this post Derek, and it has been a reality check for me.
A sincere thanks!

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derek June 28, 2007 at 10:20 am

You’re welcome and thanks for the kind words Armen!

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PrettyLady June 28, 2007 at 11:07 pm

What a beautiful post. I have been married 18 years and the most important thing is to make sure the lines of communication are always open and I see that they obviously are with you and your wife. πŸ™‚

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derek June 29, 2007 at 12:36 am

Congratulations to you on 18 years of marriage! You’re absolutely correct that open communication is essential to long-term success.
Thanks for the feedback!

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nueva york June 29, 2007 at 4:57 pm

Thanks for the tips, I will consider it for when i marry, hehehe

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Kelli July 3, 2007 at 5:12 pm

Derek,
Just wanted to let you know that I happen to “StumbleUpon” your website and thought that your article was wonderful. If more husbands were as caring & considerate, more wives probably wouldn’t nag so much (as you guys put it). Anyway, it takes two to make a marriage work and two to make it fail. Keep up the good work!

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derek July 3, 2007 at 9:00 pm

Kelli, thanks for taking the time to stop by and share your thoughts! I truly appreciate your kind words and am in complete agreement that a happy marriage requires effort and open communication from both people.

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Shana Albert December 21, 2007 at 9:50 pm

Wow, what a wonderful post, Derek. Thank you so much for sharing it. Your wife is a very lucky woman. I am sickened by a few of the comments here…. I’m glad that despite the comments you stuck to your guns. πŸ™‚
Shana

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Jazz Club Los Angeles January 2, 2008 at 10:43 am

Being a better husband can often involve all the things you have mentioned in your article. here is something I found out along the way.
Do not take yourself too seriously. If we take ourselves too seriously then we end up being “no fun” remember “girls just want to have fun”.
Be nice, but not “too nice” if your too nice they will run all over you
Don’t play the “I love you – I love you more Game” (ugh,need I say more)
I have found that if I set up my time and split each day up into several mini days I get my work all done and have more time with my wife.
I lay out each step of my day, and while in each step I do NOT let anything else interfere with what I’m doing while I’m in that step. example; during phone call time, I wouldn’t try to do anything else. during reaserch time for the blog, That time is only for researching material.
During the time I set up for business meetings, that is all that happens.
The time set aside for family is the time set aside for family (closely guarded)
The time set aside for my wife,(even more closely guarded).
Don’t forget to set aside time to be alone. (without loving yourself you cannot truly love another)
this has helped me maintain a respectful and loving marriage for the last 15 years. James

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Johnnie@Auto Insurance June 19, 2008 at 4:00 pm

See, that’s why i’m going to stay single for as long as i possibly can. Yes being married has it’s advantages, but so does being single. And since i ‘m still trying to “make it” in life, i dont need a wife that may cause me unwanted stress. If i sound a little “bitter” it’s because in some of my past relationships, the girls did a 360 with there personality traits once things got serious…lol.

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Richard December 2, 2008 at 3:11 am

I’m a guy and I do all the household tasks, for the last 10 years now. I also drove the kids everywhere and I worked from home.
I still got divorced and love when women say that men don’t understand what women have to go through with running the house.
Richards last blog post..Tip’d Out Of Beta

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derek December 2, 2008 at 9:47 am

Richard, thanks for sharing your feedback. There is a guest post for my blog, The Man Page, somewhere in your experiences that I think a lot of guys might find interesting.

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Kelio Washington February 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Apparently it is lost on everyone what a wife is….
Washing, Ironing, Fuc*@ing, Etc….
Lighten up….it takes two.

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voip33 March 2, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Wow, I hope a lot of men have read this article. Even if they are not yet husbands to any woman, they certainly can pick more points in becoming better boyfriends initially…
voip33s last blog post..VoIPYourLife

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Priss March 9, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Something that I’ve learned as a wife that shows my caring to my husband and in turn motivates him to do the things that let me know he cares are small physical shows of affection. I brought two daughters into the relationship, and they didn’t see this between me and their father. My youngest (our son) doesn’t know any different. To the girls, there is the side benefit of showing them what a positive relationship looks like.
A kiss on the head, taking interest in something seemingly small, but important to him when he brings it up (I don’t have to participate, but listening does help a lot).
Sure, things are busy. Even when he was gone for three weeks (we live in Kansas, he was in Alaska for work on the north slope), we still found time in the evenings to talk and did little things while we were apart to show each other love once he returned home. I’m a hobby crafter, and I make useful items for him for work or just for here at home. He takes time to find items that he knows I’ll love to work with, and thinks of different projects we can work on together when he’s here.
Small things work. When I’m feeling rotten, he will take care of the kids and pets and coordinate cleanup, and make sure the house is quiet enough that I can rest. This is not asked of him – he just does it. Little things that need to be done – putting toothpaste back in the cabinet, wiping down the counters, running the vacuum over a small mess on the floor. Makes things easier for me, where I can manage larger tasks around the household, and not have to do a bunch of the small things that eat up a lot of time when they’re all combined. He also stops to hear me when I start talking. Tuning out can be a big issue with couples. (Of course, I am not a nagger about much, so that helps.)
If she likes flowers, you might arrange a day of relaxation just for her away from the house. Either work on a bed she might have wanted to work on, or create a small container garden that she can have inside, near a sunny window space. Making small sanctuary spaces helps a lot. Creation of something special and meaningful that she might not have time to do herself (or that she believes she doesn’t have time for) can do wonders for her stress quality.

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Kellyg March 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm

If you’re working harder than she is, I don’t see why you have to do more chores. Yeah you can do a few, but don’t feel guilty about her working the household. You are a terrific husband as is and should not feel pressured to do more than your job.

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Halimi June 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm

TQ for sharing … I dont know if Im a good husband or not … Better ask my wife bout that … πŸ™‚
Halimis last blog post..Its Good To Be True …

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Engel@background check September 17, 2009 at 1:36 am

What a heartwarming blog especially when you hear a husband doing some effort in making the relationship work better. We usually hear wives doing this but it is truly very manly to see a husband make that move. I haven’t been married but I’ll do the same by the time I already have my own family. Anyways, a relationship should be give-and-take and not one-sided, right? Nice blog.

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nicole@background September 23, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I really love this post! I myself been married for 5 years. Despite of the fact that i knew my husband love me, i always wanted him to tell me how much he love me, how much he appreciate all im doing for him and thanking me for being a good mother and wife which he always do. I strongly recommend this article to be read by all husbands out there.

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Shannon May 27, 2010 at 9:14 am

Being a single parent with 2 adorable kids I can only wish that I had similar problems. You seem like a good husband Derek, eventhough you might not help out with the household as much as you’d like. πŸ™‚ Good luck with your marriage!
.-= Shannon hopes you will read… Response cached until Fri 28 @ 13:29 GMT (Refreshes in 23.89 Hours) =-.

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vibram August 6, 2010 at 8:08 am

thanks for your post.I know more about how to be a good husband in the further.

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Adam Haver - Utah Graphic Designer September 9, 2010 at 11:29 am

It’s a real balance of roles isn’t it? Work, family, etc. I especially liked the section you titled “Special.” A good reminder for me as a husband.

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Traci S Campbell@ Top Teen Advocate October 20, 2010 at 6:52 pm

The best thing you can do is help around the house and keep track of your time.
Develop a schedule and find things you can cut to fill in with others things you would like to do with that time and you could always hire a maid to help around the house giving you and your wife more free time.
As far as cooking goes it is ok to go out and eat every now and then, but don’t just make it a dinner date with your wife you should bring the kids with to because then you are getting two for one doing something with your family and having the cooking done all in one step.
I hope this helps.
Traci

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Meg at Demanding Joy February 7, 2011 at 12:49 pm

I’m so happy I Stumbled Upon your site! –
I wrote a post awhile back about how to take excellent care of a husband. I have caught a ton of crap about being subservient, a 50’s wife, a damsel in distress – none of which are even remotely true.
This post is lovely and your wife is a lucky lady. Keep up the good work!

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balance February 19, 2011 at 2:30 am

Remember to teach her how to operate the lawnmower, leafblower and chainsaw, this is after you have learned to operate the microwave, oven and vacuum cleaner. then budget a number of “productive hours” each (say 100 per week) and count off your paid employment and hers, then divide the jobs out, so you might cook breakfast on saturday while she stacks the wood or scoops the leaves from the gutters, you can vacuum while she services the cars, thats fine, no problems.

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Gerry at Window Blinds March 28, 2011 at 11:08 am

It’s well written and I am 100% sure any wife would love to hear and learn the husband’s doing the above things. But, can we really keep up? It’s hard. I know, because I tried some with the wifey. But it kinda last for a few days, then back to work again. Then, the same recollection comes back. It’s like history repeating itself for me.

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Elle April 29, 2011 at 8:13 pm

I need you to talk to my husband! That probably wouldn’t go over very well. I will have him read your post maybe. That is a wonderful post and I’m glad you understand the value of a good wife.

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Tim@Best Home Shredder July 26, 2011 at 9:37 am

Wow this is great. I’m going to bookmark this site so I can reference it later. I also sometimes take my wife for granted, I know shes does so much around the house.
“Date Night” thats funny because I just watched that movie the other day.

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JohnRiggs@ Web Design Miami November 24, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I think Date Night is a big one…. once you stop having quality time together with your wife things start to get messed up… you need to have time alone…. Great post man….

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Jean @ Used Tires January 5, 2012 at 9:05 am

Very nice of you to be taking these steps, Derek. The women in our lives do so much that we sometimes take for granted without us realizing it.
-Jean

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derek January 5, 2012 at 4:07 pm

It hasn’t all been roses…there have been times where I need to revisit this and remind myself of what is truly important. The good thing is that I have this post to turn to when I need it, and hopefully others can utilize it as well.

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Jean @ Used Tires January 9, 2012 at 12:48 am

Indeed. We need to remind ourselves about it from time to time. And it applies to other family relations too in some ways. I see far too many young kids these days disrespect their parents while completely forgetting how much they love them and do for them.
-Jean

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