Fill Your Husbands Love Cup

 
Updated 2/10/15 (originally posted 11/9/2009). 

As women we are uniquely made to be “encouragers” in our family.   As our home’s Chief Encouragement Officer, the most important person we can build up is our husband.  

We can encourage our husbands by noticing him, appreciating him, giving him attention, and of course, spending time with him.  

As you go about fulfilling your role as your home’s Chief Encouragement Officer, be sincere in your words and rejoice that you’ve been trusted to provide this impactful and deeply meaningful service.  The value you add to your household through your personal acts of kindness will reap rewards in the closeness you feel with your mate, the satisfaction you feel in your relationship and the security and love that radiates within your family.  

Here are some ways you can show affection and strengthen the romance and friendship in your long-term relationship.  Keep at it!

ENCOURAGING YOUR HUSBAND

Smile.

  • Flash your hubby a winning smile when you catch him taking out the trash.
  • Next time you greet him try the “nice silent treatment”.  Don’t say anything at first.  Just meet him at the door, smile hugely and give him a big long hug.   He will instinctively pause and appreciate your sweetness and affection. 


Be playful.

  • Take opportunities during routine household activities to tell him what a fabulous man he is and how excited you are to be journeying through life with him.  
  • In passing, stop to hug him or wink at him.
  • Pinch him! 

Find his uniqueness endearing.

  • Smile when he cutely comes in from chipping golf balls in the backyard.  
  • Notice those dimples he gets when he’s describing something he thinks is truly funny.

Wear something cute.

  • When you have private time, feel free to wear little tank tops and lingerie. Modesty is for when you are in public or around your children.  With him, you can and should relax. 
  • Pay attention to your overall tidiness.  Keep your hair brushed see to it that your clothing is neat and presentable.   Like it or not, most men feel validated by our interest in cleaning up for ourselves and for them.  Why?  Because it communicates they’re “worthy” of the extra effort.  Don’t obsess or be fussy, but do throw away the sweatpants with holes in them! 

Regularly plan time with him.

  • Plan evening time together.
  • Right after dinner, be radical and leave the dishes in the sink. Go take walk with him around the neighborhood.  You can clean when you get back.
  • Engage in rituals like morning chats over a hot cup of coffee or tea.  Relax in your favorite comfortable chairs. 

A SIMPLE EVENING ROUTINE

Spending quality time together doesn’t have to cost anything or be elaborate to make a huge difference in your relationship. Here’s a simple routine you can share with your husband often.

Notify him. 

  • Give your man a heads up that after the activities of the day come to a close and the house becomes quiet, you’d like a little alone time with him 
  • Tell him how important it is and how great it makes you feel.  
  • Take note of any plans he has for the evening and work around them.

Pamper yourself.  

  • Then take a nice, long, leisurely shower.  Leave the pans and lunches for tomorrow.  (Bring the little kids in the bathroom with you, lay down a blanket and let them use the iPad if you have to!)
  • De-fuzz and use a nice body wash (try Victoria’s Secret Very Sexy Hot).  
  • Moisturize when get out and spritz on body mist (try Victoria’s Secret Pear Glace or Eternity perfume, which honestly never smells overbearing, even right before bed).  This not only smells nice on you, but makes the bathroom smell nicely feminine - I just love that!  And I'd bet he does too if he happens to stroll in to get something. 
  • Quickly blow-dry your hair, making sure to smooth the ends with your brush.  It doesn’t have to be perfect, just tidy.  Then spritz some body mist again, this time in your hair, and do a last few swipes with your brush.  Leave it down.

Be sweet.  

  • Get dressed and go find your hubby.  He’s either watching the TV or working at his computer or playing with the younger kids.
  • Give him a big hug and remind him how amazing he is and how great his kindness (in spite of your moods!) makes you feel.  Hint that you love it when he humors you.  (For me, blinking and smiling playfully are our verbal cues, but do what comes naturally with your spouse.  What are your trademark nonverbal signals you give?)

Be upfront.  

  • See if he’s available for your time together.  Be upfront with your timeframe as well…let him know when you turn into a pumpkin!  He’ll come.

Hold up! 

  • On the way back, sneak a change in the thermostat. Comfort is key!  
  • And don’t forget your water.

Ahh!…Bonding time at last! 

  • Turn on some candles and some Norah Jones and then be spontaneous.  (We have 4-5 of those flameless LEDs all over and my husband, who works a very stressful job, really seems to unwind with Norah Jones' first album).  
  • If your man isn’t the chatting type, a trick is to trade chat time for massage time.  Your captive audience will agree if it means his golf shoulder gets worked on.  You can talk about the day, plans for the future, funny things you noticed – really anything that comes to mind.  Of course, steer clear of anything “too-too” weighty on a work-night, as it could keep him up.  Don’t be surprised if he starts to offer what’s on his mind too!  My rather stoic husband gets much more chatty during these times and it's awesome. 

HANG-UPS TO AVOID

Thinking too much.  

A husband, and your entire household for that matter, feels more secure when you are emotionally balanced.  Never avoid issues, but do try to compartmentalize them as best you can.  Everyone experiences a certain number of complex problems that will not have immediate or even long-term answers.  These “unsolvable problems” have too many variables for you to control on your own or predict their outcome.  As a result, you must focus on taking action on things within your control (such as your behavior and your response to situations) and letting go of things you cannot control (such as how other people behave, the economy, world hunger, etc).  For example:
  • “My child has difficulty following rules.  While I cannot control his or her internal acceptance of rules (outside your control), I can enforce practical consequences and withhold privileges when rules are not followed (within your control).”  
  • “I am out of work and the bills are piling up.  While I can’t control how my interviewer thought of me (outside your control), I can control how many jobs I apply to, how professionally I respond to potential employers, and how I follow up on job interviews (within your control).” 

Lack of advance planning. 

You must be proactive.  Mention plans in advance and repeat them as they get closer.  To ensure you get proper alone time in the evenings, see to it then that evening chores are done efficiently and don’t get distracted by the TV, a child’s procrastination, etc.  

Planning longer outings away from home takes coordination.  Arrange with trusted friends, sitters or in-laws to watch the kids every so often so you and your husband can spend several hours together at least once a month.  This is not selfish.  You need to nurture your relationship because it provides a strong foundation for your children and shows them what a healthy long-term, loving commitment looks like.  You want the same for them when they grow up.

My husband is not the “romantic type” so I give up.

Notice the everyday ways he tries to accommodate your womanly desires and then you’ll start to see him in a new light.  For example, notice how he dutifully comes to check out the “awesome new bed set” you’ve just fluffed up with all the extra pillows in your bedroom. You know he really doesn’t care one way or the other how it looks.  But isn’t it sweet that he does come check it out and makes the effort to agreeably size it up?  Let your heart go pitter patter when he’s a cutie like that. 

And keep telling him exactly what you like!   Don’t hesitate to be completely clear because that’s the language he understands the most.  For example, “I need 10 minutes of spooning” or “I need at least 15 minutes of chat time each evening”, or “I need your help with the dishes so that we can both relax later tonight.”  Then follow through with thanking him when he responds. 

I am lucky to have a truly outstanding husband, so it isn't hard to enjoy him.  But I'm busy just like you and sometimes we can take our spouse for granted.  Try tonight to give him that little extra attention and you'll both enjoy it!

XOXO,
Home CEO Maraya

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