I want to start off by saying that I’m not saying I’m the best husband or I’ve found the perfect way to deal with marriage. But in my quest to constantly improve on the old me I have come up with ways that, in my mind, are great building blocks to help out. No one is perfect. No Relationship is perfect. There is always room for improvement. So with that in mind, here we go, the 5 rules to operate to be a better husband, fiancé, or boyfriend.
1. COMMUNICATION IS KEY
This guideline goes beyond romantic relationships. This is for EVERY SINGLE RELATIONSHIP YOU WILL EVER HAVE WITH ANYONE. But let’s keep on the romantic side of things. If you can’t communicate well, that relationship is going to have a hard time flourishing. Not conversing about every topic possible with your significant other or avoiding the topics all together is only going to lead to problematic situations down the road. There should be no topic that’s out of bounds.
The important thing to remember is that when having these discussions, there can be no judgment. It doesn’t matter if what they are saying goes against a life rule you have. You should be taking that opportunity to better understand where your partner is coming from because you may not be looking at the picture from their angle. It also is important to make sure that you are not only working on your ability to communicate effectively but also just letting it be known that you are open to listening as well.
For example, what if they are struggling to bring up a certain topic because they are worried you are going to judge them or get angry at them? This lack of communication could build up inside and turn into something bigger than it needs to be, especially if it’s an important topic to them. If they could have come to you right away it could have avoided a lot of future headaches on both sides.
Yes of course this goes both ways but I’m only talking from the guys perspective right now. You can only control what you do and how you present yourself. So make sure you are doing the best you possibly can so that the opportunity for good communication is known.
It’s also important to note that the communication you are going to have is not always going to be easy to hear or deal with. If it is about areas in your life that are particularly important to you, the discovery that your partner may disagree with you or have something “bad” to say may hit you in a tender spot. i.e. What if you found out that you’re not satisfying your wife or girlfriend sexually but you think your king ding-a-ling of sexy time? That’s going to hurt your ego quite a bit. But it’s something you need to hear about because chances are it’s a simple fix for you to get her satisfaction up. Or what if you found out the way you parent makes you look like a jackass to the people around you but you think you are excelling at being a dad? Again it could be a simple fix. It could be something that she sees and has picked up on and could offer you some advice to change a minor detail that results in big change.
It also doesn’t mean that you have to implement the thing she is saying because maybe she isn’t understanding your perspective on that particular issue. But if you are open to the dialogue than it brings up a better understanding between the two of you to help things move forward.
I cannot stress this enough but communication is the most important part of your relationship. It’s the basis that helps every other area in your relationship. And yes this goes both ways, as she needs to be good at communicating too in order for success to really be had.
This is very simple to do but quite often does not happen very well on the guys side. Just listen with your full, undivided attention. You can’t be listening to her if you’re doing something else that is taking up your attention. Put down the controller, turn off the TV, stop what you’re doing, and be ready to listen. You should know what these moments feel like because there are certain cues, both verbal and non verbal, that your wife/fiancé/girlfriend will be giving off that she needs a listening ear to air out what’s on her mind. Really try and pick up on these cues because it will help avoid a stupid fight. I know I struggle with this as I often have a TV show or music playing and I quite often don’t catch everything I need to. So now when I see that a time for me to listen is here, I opt to turn off whatever I’m doing because than Mama Bird gets my full undivided attention
Now I can feel some of you thinking, “Well she is always interrupting me in the middle of me doing something important” or “why can’t she wait till I’m done or have a free moment”. To any of those types of concerns I will refer you to Rule #1 up above. If you feel like this is a problem with how these talks get brought up or you feel she is not taking into account what you’re doing, then you need to address by communicating it to her. This means calmly talking, no getting mad, raising your voice, being condescending, or any other negative remarks that will escalate the situation.
3. And After You Listen Don’t Try To Always Fix It
This is probably the one where men and women differ the most, in my opinion. When a woman is airing out a grievance of any kind, it’s our nature as men to offer a fix to the situation. “Well maybe you should try this” or “If you did it this way, it would’ve been better” are typical answers from men after hearing a problem from the women in our lives. We hear the problem and want to fix it and most times probably think that we can fix it (ok, let’s be honest, we think we can fix it all the time…but we can’t haha). Most times I don’t think women are coming to talk about these situations to get a solution to them, it’s just a to air it out. If you apply Rule #2 and listen, most times you will find that in the conversation you are having there was no point where she asks, “How can I fix this?” Or “What do you think I should do?”. It’s just a whole lot of story that she needs to get out for her to clear her head.
Although it’s really funny it’s completely true and if you don’t react right in this situation you can cause stupid fights. Because it’s in our nature to want to fix things, once that’s not an option, it’s like we tune out because we think who cares. Bad choice! You need to just listen and respond and have the conversation about whatever it is that she wants to talk about. Don’t offer solutions, don’t try and fix it, just listen and respond.It’s really quite simple. Just do it.
4. Understand What Quality Time Means
This is the simplest rule on this list. Quality time is time that makes the two of you feel close to one another, it’s not just time together. Everybody defines quality time differently so you need to use Rule #1 to find out what she defines as quality time versus what you do. You might find out there are discrepancies between the two of you that you were unaware of.
To give you an example from my own relationship, at one point early on in my relationship with Mama Bird, this topic of quality time came up. She had mentioned that she wanted more quality time. I was confused because we just spent the last 4 nights binge watching a new TV show, so I mentioned it. Come to find out that she didn’t equate watching TV to quality time. And yes there is a BIG difference between ‘fun hangout time’ and ‘meaningful quality time.’ Differentiating the two is the key to a successful relationship. So simply asking what quality time meant to her brought out many more options for us. She wanted more board or card game nights, or walks together. It didn’t mean that she didn’t want TV time but that there was other ways that made her feel more close.
So find what those are within your relationship. You might be surprised to find out what quality time means to each of you.
5. Understanding Intimacy and Sex
Do Intimacy and sex go together? Can you have one without the other? Sex is the physical act while intimacy is taking off the mask to your most vulnerable and deepest desires. You can definitely have one without the other but linking them together is also fantastic. I’m sure there is probably lots of couples who struggle with the concept of sex without intimacy and intimacy without sex as well as linking them together. I think it’s knowing which is necessary in that moment and whether to link them or keep them separate.
Sex without intimacy: While sex is probably the most intimate act you can do with another person, sometimes it doesn’t have to be. We all have urges and sometimes you need a release. Most times it’s the men in this situation. But women get those urges too and then it’s just the physical act that needs to be completed to satisfy the urge.
Intimacy without sex: Intimacy without sex is easily achievable. Anytime you are being open and vulnerable with your wife, fiancé, or girlfriend you are being intimate. Without that intimacy your relationship can feel too casual. You need to express your thoughts and feelings with your significant other or you’re going to run the risk of the relationship feeling lifeless.
Intimacy and sex: Bringing them both together can create feelings of closeness that is unlike anything else. It can create greatness between the two of you. Taking the most intimate act you can do and being the most vulnerable you can be during that act opens you up to not only knowing your partner a whole lot better, but also elevating the sexual experience. If your wife is feeling her most comfortable in that moment it creates a connection between the two of you that only deepens your love.
To create something like this though you need to be really good at Rule #1. Open up and communicate in a judgment free environment and see what it can do for your relationship.
So there you have it, my 5 rules to help you be a better husband, fiancé, or boyfriend. Again I want to state that I’m not saying this is the perfect way or the only way to create a better relationship, it is merely my take on the situation through my own experiences. But now I pass the question off to you, what do you think? Did I leave something off the list? What ways have worked for you? Let me know in the comments below.
- Papa Bird
Thumbnail photo taken by Ashley Toon of First Glance StudiosSparrow Family Blog RSS