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After a haitus for our son’s marriage, we’re back in the saddle! Thanks for your patience. 

Today is a blog post from Jeremy. The same topic from the wife’s perspective was posted last week by Kari.

It’s sometimes difficult, especially after a long marriage, to remember to do “the little things” that make for a happy wife and a happy home.

We men can become very complacent in long-term relationships. It’s easy to believe the “hunt” is over, and now we can get comfortable.

The problem is, when men get comfortable, women get bored.

Here are five things I’ve not always been perfect at, that have meant a great deal to my wife over the years. You wife may have different needs, or find different things more valuable (and if you don’t know, share this blog with her and talk about your marriage with her).


After a haitus for our son’s marriage, we’re back in the saddle! Thanks for your patience. 

Today is a blog post from Kari. The same topic from the male perspective will be posted later this week.

Think about when you first started dating your spouse. For some of us, we may have to think waaaay back. What did you do that was special for your man that only a girlfriend would do? What did he do for you that made you fall in love with him?

Now ask yourself, do you still do any of those things for your man? Does he still do those little things for you that made you know he was the one?

One of the main reasons people fall “out of love” with their spouse is because they stopped being the person that they fell in love with in the first place. Many people think that once you are married, the “dating” stops. I’m not talking about “going” on dates, although that is one thing you can do.

Jeremy and I went through a time where I stopped being his girlfriend and he stopped being my boyfriend. This was probably the most unfulfilling time in our marriage. We fought a lot and I actually asked him to go to counseling at one time. In the process of discussing this, we started to communicate and realized we were not doing the things for each other that a couple who are dating, do. We decided to change things going forward and have not looked back.

Here is a list of five things I do to show Jeremy how special he is to me. Some of these are things I did when we were dating, and some are new things I’ve learned along the way. You have to decide what will work for you. Better yet, talk to your husband and ask him what he remembers you doing when you were dating that made him fall in love with you in the first place. You might be surprised at what he says.

I tell him that I love him and I’m so proud of him.

I was always pretty good about telling Jeremy that I love him but was terrible about telling him that I was proud of him. Girls, your man needs to know that you are proud of him and that you are glad you married him. I always thought it but was terrible about saying it. Then Jeremy and I talked about it and I found out how important it was to him. This is what makes it worth going out into the work world and killing himself for you and the kids. Trust me, most men do not go out into the corporate world because they like it. They go out there and fight the good fight because they LOVE you.

Just a quick, “Thinking about you,” goes a LONG way.

I text him during the day to say that I’m thinking about him.

Most couples spend eight or more hours a day away from each other at work. If you’re like me, you might have a two-hour commute. Then add in the time we spend getting ready in the morning, putting the kids to bed, cooking dinner, any other after-school extracurricular activities, doing the dishes, and then it’s time for bed. Add it all up, and it’s a wonder if we have time to sleep. Marriage takes work. Jeremy used to spend hours talking on the phone at night until we HAD to go to bed if we were going to get up for work the next morning. This is one of the few times where I am so happy to have cell phone technology. Some days it just makes the world a different place when you receive a text from your spouse saying that they are thinking of you and love you.

I fix his dinner plate and bring him coffee in the morning if I’m up before he is.

This is one that I didn’t do when we were dating, but I’ve picked up over the years. It’s my chance to “serve” my husband. Not because I’m beneath him, but because he’s worth it, and I like taking care of him.

I touch him.

When you’re first dating, you can’t keep your hands off of each other. I’m not talking about sex. I mean touching so you can be close to the one you love. I hold his hand, I come up behind him and give him a hug, I put my hand on his leg in the car. Human beings need to be touched. It’s important that the person who provides that for your husband is YOU.

You don’t have to be a beauty queen to put your best foot forward.

Put forth an effort.

I am far from a supermodel and I definitely have my “dumpy” days, but I try to put forth an effort to look my best for my man. If I know I’m going to be spending the day with Jeremy, I will wear makeup and try to wear decent clothes. I’m not talking about heels and a gown, but I don’t go around in sweats and PJs. I want Jeremy to be proud to be seen with me. This is not always easy, especially if you have little ones at home. But it’s worth the effort. Don’t save the best of you for your co-worker’s at the office, and leave your husband with the tired leftovers.

Ladies, what things do you do for your husband that I didn’t mention? Any here you disagree with? Share your stories in the comments below.

When he doesn’t pay attention

January 29, 2019 | Relationship Builder | No Comments

One of the most common complaints women have about men is, “He doesn’t give me his full attention.”

And it’s true; men don’t often fully disengage from what they’re doing to listen to what their wives want to say to them.

We’re tackling this together (instead of “He said / She said”) because it’s a challenge for our marriage, too, even after 25 years together. We’re sharing a struggle we really do have – this isn’t just blowing smoke.

Here’s how it typically happens:

Jeremy is doing something. Anything.

Kari enters the room and starts telling him something. Anything.

Jeremy kinda/sorta listens, inserts a lot of “Mmmm hmmmm” and “Yeah” into the conversation.

But after 25 years, Kari immediately knows he’s off in “Wherever Land” and isn’t actually paying attention to what she’s saying.

Usually, Kari interrupts Jeremy’s distant psychic adventure with the always curt, “What did I just say?”

(Hubby side note: one time, Kari didn’t bring me back to attention in the usual way. She just started to make the story she was telling to the absent me more and more bizarre until there was no WAY I could say I was listening. Things like, “I hope you liked the cat I made for dinner. I had to chase it down and kill it with my bare hands.” I said, “Yeah.” I was caught.)

~ Jeremy

It happens to the best of us. Every single marriage has this issue. And it’s basically human nature.

Women want to talk. Men drift in and out of conversations all day.

Actually, it’s likely a matter of biology at work. Men and women are just… different. Men are instinctively hunter / gatherer types, worried about the “big picture” items like are we fed, warm, sheltered, and safe? And the details generally are irrelevant.

That’s why, after a man gets the general thrust of where a conversation is going, they don’t need or want a lot of details. They hear you had a disagreement with a coworker, but men won’t usually need to hear exactly what was said or why. They probably won’t remember the details, anyway.

The other thing a man’s mind will immediately do when his wife tells him about a problem or concern is to immediately try to find a solution (this is another blog post entirely). His mind is pretty simple, ladies: “

“Wife has a problem, summed up as XXXXX. Solution to XXXXX is YYYYYY. Problem solved.”

As soon as a guy’s brain latches onto the gist of her story and his mind finds a solution to her problem, he will begin to tune out on specifics they don’t believe is vital to the situation at hand.

But to a woman, tuning out the details means tuning her out (and again, not to jump to a future blog post already, but women don’t always want their problems solved for them, guys). A wife is wanting to share with you, the complete issue at hand, including how it made her feel.

Men aren’t instinctively wired like that. Where men are chainsaws, women are scalpels. Women are inherently much better at picking up small details and hints that a man would ever be able to. Again, it’s just one of those wonderful differences between the genders.

To a woman, the details and nuances of the story MATTER. And that’s what men have to remember. And paying attention to what matters to her tells her that SHE matters.

We know this will be a serious bone of contention for many couples, because even as we’re writing this, we’re getting crabby with each other over this subject. A lot of raw nerves come out. Kari would say she feels disrespected when Jeremy doesn’t give her his full attention. And Jeremy would say that of course he respects and loves her dearly; it’s just that what she was talking about that moment wasn’t holding his interest.

So what does a couple do about this? We have a few pointers, for the ladies and the gents, that have worked for us over our time together:

  1. Ladies, if you need his full attention, ASK FOR IT BEFORE YOU START. Sometimes a guy is engrossed in something before you walk into the room, and it’s not as easy for men to shift gears or multi-task as it is for women. Do him a favor and give him a few moments to wrap up what he’s doing before you start your story. You’ll get a more attentive husband if you didn’t just pull him up from the football game or the morning paper for what he thinks will be a sentence or two, so he didn’t disengage what he was doing before you started.
  2. On that note, ladies, be self-aware enough to know if what you want to talk about can wait until a later time if he’s busy with something else. If he’s working on a car, or reading a book, or answering work emails, can it wait until a little later, when he’ll likely be less distracted? Remember that men can’t shift gears as readily as a woman can. It takes real effort to completel shift from one activity to another in an instant.
  3. Men, as difficult as it is to sometimes stay tuned in to all the detail and subtlety of her story, it’s her story. She’s sharing something of herself and she values your input. Communication is the lifeblood of women, and you are the biggest part of her life. Take the time to focus on her story, because you’ll score the points of showing her you’re focusing on her.
  4. Men, if you say you are giving her your attention, then do it. Don’t half-ass it. Wives always, always, always, always know. Don’t kid yourself that you can be half-in and half-out of a conversation.
  5. Men, you need to be self-aware, too. If you realize you’re drifting away mentally from the conversation, stop yourself immediately and tell yourself, “No, stay focused on her.” (Jeremy has to do this often working with clients as a financial planner, too. Sometimes people just need to talk; even if they, by his standards, aren’t saying much.)

It’s not something we think a couple can ever make perfect. We’ve both had to work on this a great deal, and we sort of ebb and flow in our success at doing it. But it can be done.

Guys, remember: she’s sharing with you because you’re her best friend. Don’t take that lightly. We may not always care about all of the details. But we must always care about her.