Dave and I have certainly had our ups and downs in our almost 18 years of marriage, but I can honestly say that I love him more today than the day I married him (I know, I know, gag, right?). But really, I love him more because I know him more, and we have worked through our challenges together.
Sometimes, the more we know about our spouse, the more we dislike, especially during a less than romantic, tough season. That “man smell” your hubby gets after a long run is suddenly just really stinky and the farthest thing from sexy, or your wife’s high-pitched, cackling laugh with intermittent snorts, that you once found so endearing, hits your ears like nails on a chalkboard. We might even notice that our husbands seem more irritated with us and less willing to give us his attention or affection. Before we know it, we can find ourselves in an exhausting daily grind with our spouse, and many times we just want to escape instead of engaging with the one we love. We spend less and less time together, we stop talking except for “business purposes,” and sex, well, it becomes just another chore on the list. We become bored with our spouse. It’s during these times, more than any others, that we need to turn things around before one of us does or says something that we will forever regret.
Whenever Dave and I are facing an exceptionally crazy or life-sucking season-when romance is prone to becoming an afterthought-we both strive to keep the romance alive. My sweet husband created a list of what a wife can do to romance her husband, so I decided to create a list for husbands.
Here are three ways a husband can romance his wife (in no particular order):
1. Remember what made you want to say “I do,” and tell her.
When we were engaged, Dave sent me the sweetest love letter through our college mail. The note included a “Top 10” list of things that he loved about me. I know it sounds downright cheesy, but I still have that letter and look at it from time to time. To this day-after eighteen years of marriage–he still reminds me that he sees me as all of those things and more, and it makes me feel so loved and appreciated. Sometimes, he writes it down in the form of a little note. Other times, he looks deeply into my eyes, smiles, and embraces me when I least expect it. It doesn’t have to be complicated or formal. Kind words, loving glances, and little moments of affection let her know that you’ve still got it for her. It’s harder to stay angry or build up resentment towards our spouse when we replace our negative thoughts with more favorable ones, like what we love about each other. It also goes a long way to draw our hearts closer and keep the fire burning.
2. Be your wife’s #1 encourager with your words and actions.
It is amazing how Dave’s affirming words can lift my spirits and help me to know that we are in a good place. I can see a huge improvement in Dave’s demeanor when I greet him with a smile and an encouraging word, even when he has had a rough day. We have the power to make each other feel adored and respected simply by our choice of words and ability to be present and show our support, and I am thankful that Dave chooses to encourage me and support me time and time again (Romans 15:5). When he encourages me, I feel like we are true partners and our bond is strong.
3. Show your wife that you are committed to her, your marriage, and your family daily.
Can a healthy marriage exist without commitment? Absolutely not. In fact, I believe true love–the kind of love that God wants us to have for our spouse–can only exist when a husband and wife are entirely committed to one another. That is why we publicly state our vows on our wedding day. Husbands, you can show your wife that you are 100% committed by actively listening to her, spending time with her, and being completely honest with her. This is the first step to true intimacy. Real, lasting romance is birthed out of mutual trust, time together, and continuous commitment, and it all starts with an open and honest conversation. I love how Dave is always willing to listen to me, sometimes for hours. He makes our weekly date nights a priority, and I know this because I have seen him arrange his work schedule or time with friends to make our date night a reality. It’s also fun to be creative with what we do on our dates. Keep it fresh and exciting! We also have the same passwords on devices, so we share every detail of our lives with one another. As a married couple, we don’t want to have any secrets between each other so we can maintain trust and intimacy in our marriage (Hebrews 13:5).
Husbands, the sexiest thing you can do for your wife is to show her every single day that you are 100% committed to her, attracted to her, and longing to be with her no matter what season of life you are in. That is the key to romancing your wife, whether you are a newlywed or you’ve been married for fifty plus years. Never stop pursuing her. Never stop investing in your relationship with her. Never stop praying for her and your marriage. Never stop seeing her as the blessing from the Lord that she most certainly is.