5 Ways to Love Your Wife

 

The state of marriage is one which requires more virtue and constancy than any other; it is a perpetual exercise in mortification.”- St. Francis de Sales

“He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

I married a wonderful woman. She’s beautiful, hilarious, generous, and incredibly strong. (I watched her give birth. Trust me, she’s strong.) The longer I’m married to her, the more I realize how lucky I am to have her.

But as much as I love my wife, I admit that I can still be pretty selfish in my conduct from day to day. In other words, I don’t always show my love like I should—and unless you’re already a saint, you can probably identify.

Because we are by nature self-centered, showing love to our wives takes intentional effort. It takes a daily choice to put her and her needs before our own. That said, here are 5 ways to demonstrate love to your wife in a concrete way.

1. Listen to her - Do you listen to your wife? I don’t mean hear her talking. Do you really try to understand her concerns and her perspectives? I’m going to be completely transparent here. Of all the ways to show my wife I appreciate her, I find this one of the hardest. I am by nature introverted. I love quiet time to read and reflect, and my ideal evening involves mulling a good book without interruption.

But my wife, like most women, likes to talk. She talks about the funny things the kids did, about a bill that needs to be paid, or about something her friend said. Is all of it interesting to me? Sometimes no, and all too often I find myself lapsing into grunts of acknowledgement rather than engaging in a real conversation. My wife picks up on my lack of interest of course, and it is hurtful to her.

When I pretend to listen, but I’m really distracted and uninterested, it’s incredibly selfish. I’m basically telling my wife, “That’s nice, honey, but honestly, I really don’t care.” It’s a slap in the face to this woman who labors day in and day out to make a loving home for me and our children.

Men,  you and I are called to love our wives by listening to her and her concerns. If it is important to her, it should be important to us. Whatever else you want to do can wait. Pay attention to the beautiful woman you have pledged to give your life to and really care about what she has to say. This small practice can make a dramatic difference in your marriage.

2. Help her - Wives and mothers have an incredibly tough job. I always laugh at people who think my wife doesn’t work because she stays home with the kids. I’ll tell you this much—I don’t think I could do what she does. I get to come home from work. She doesn’t.

So as a husband, realize that your wife works hard. Appreciate that, but don’t stop at appreciation. Look for concrete ways you can lift the burden of caring for a home and a bunch of rowdy little humans. Vacuum, do the dishes, take out the trash, or change a diaper. Believe me, there are dozens of small ways you can love your wife in this way. Find some, and do them without being asked.

3. Watch a chick flick – How many of you look forward to watching Pride and Prejudice or Sleepless in Seattle? Yeah, me neither. But guess what, my wife likes those kind of movies, and your wife probably does too. Swallow your pride and show your wife you love her by watching something she likes for a change.

Of course, the type of entertainment doesn’t have to be a movie. It could be something like taking a walk or shopping. The point is, do something your wife likes to do as an act of love, even if you find it completely uninteresting.

4. Surprise her -  Everyone likes surprises, and that includes your wife. Bring her a bunch of roses randomly. Buy her a book she’s been wanting. Bring her a box of chocolates. Take her out on a dinner date for no reason in particular.

In other words, learn what she likes most, and then surprise her with it when she least expects it. You really don’t have to wait till an anniversary to do this sort of thing!

5. Tell her you love her - Most men, except for the romantic poet types among us, aren’t into expressing their love verbally. “My wife knows I love her, why do I need to tell her?” they think. I don’t care if you’re doing everything else right, you’re wife still needs to hear that she’s loved. Tell her frequently that you love her, and tell her what you love about her. Also seek to express your love through non-sexual physical affection. It will give life to your wife to know that you that you care about her for who she is, not what she can do for you.

Conclusion

If you got married for what you can get out of it, you got married for the wrong reasons. Marriage isn’t about taking. It isn’t about how that person makes you feel, what they look like, or what they can do for you. No, marriage is all about loving like Christ—and that means embracing the cross.

You see, real love is all about self-giving, self-sacrifice, and self-denial. It literally means laying down your life for your wife in a thousand daily choices. As men, we are called to follow Christ by loving our wives as he loved the Church and “gave himself up for her.” Is this hard sometimes? Will it cost you? Of course. We are fallen and selfish. But get over it. Man up. Love your wife.

This article is reprinted with permission from our friends at The Catholic Gentleman.

By

Sam Guzman is an author and editor of The Catholic Gentleman whose work has appeared in several publications. He resides in Wisconsin with his wife and two small boys where he is also the Communications Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin.

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  • http://www.commieblaster.com/ Paul Ben

    6 – Give her a break…from yourself!!

  • Gilda J.

    Don’t ride on her spirit of sacrifice – ask her what she would do if she had all the time and means to do it. You’d be surprised – she may say she’d like to quietly mull over a book without interruption, while you listen to your children’s funny things all day. Or perhaps she would like to return to her studies or passions, and divide housekeeping and child rearing in half. Sure, she won’t tell you that, because of her spirit of sacrifice, her wish for peace in the family, and to protect your ego. I find this article reminiscent of the 50s. I believe your wife gave you the approval, but she might have written it differently, if she knew you’d never read it. And to put Pride and Prejudice, a masterpiece in one line with Sleepless in Seattle….:))))))))) Well, God bless you — this article needs MUCH more real life research. There’s one way to love your wife: as Christ loved the Church — don’t take her sacrifice, give it also.

  • Timothy Johnson

    Hi Gilda, I have to respectfully disagree with a couple of things in your comment. First, what the author said about what women like does not come from any one era, Modern women today have the same attitudes. Its about respecting what a woman is that a man needs to be aware of. She thinks differently than men do (viva la difference), I know I came away with some things that I can use to better my relationship with my wife. Secondly, I don’t think the author compared Pride and the Prejudice with Sleepless in Seattle. They were just cited as examples (although I agree, Pride and Prejudice is a superior movie.). And I do agree with your statement “love your wife as Christ loved the church.”

  • Rose Marylove

    I never believed in love spells or magic until i met this spell caster
    once when i went to Africa in may this year on a business summit. I
    meant a man who’s name is DR ABIZA he is really powerful and could help
    cast spells to bring back one’s gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic
    money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I’m now happy & a
    living testimony because the man i had wanted to marry left me 3 weeks
    before our wedding and my life was upside down all because our
    relationship has been on for four years. I really loved him, but his
    family was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this
    spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of
    things to him. At first i was undecided, skeptical and doubtful, but i
    just gave it a try. And in 8 days when i returned to UK, my boyfriend
    (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that
    everything had been settled with his mom and family and that he also got
    a new job interview. I didn’t believe it because the spell caster only
    asked for my name and my boy friends name and all i wanted him to do.
    Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and
    my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His
    email is {DRABIZASPELLTEMPLE20@HOTMAIL.COM} you can also contact him for
    help.

    Vera Williams.

  • Tim Nolan

    Tell her she looks beautiful, even if you have to lie.

  • Jeanette

    Here’s a secret for making self-giving/self-sacrificing love easier. Discover the JOY in it! People make this harder than it needs to be (no doubt to give ourselves an excuse for not doing it), by viewing this as a cross to carry or a burden to bear. Whether it’s in marriage, or in caring for other family members, or in helping others generally, our attitude should be that it’s our privilege to serve and we should be grateful that God has enough confidence in us to give us the opportunity to do so. While sacrificing for others helps them, of course, it also makes us better people which is a blessing to us! The closest and best marriages I’ve seen are the ones in which the spouses do not make the huge mistake of taking each other for granted. They’ve discovered the secret that even though love is a sacrifice, if it’s real love, it doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice because they WANT to do it. These spouses actively find ways to serve the other and to put a smile on their face. It’s a joy to see.

  • Maria

    ‘ Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ ‘ is the passage that starts the verses that deal with marriages in The Word ; a life long focus on that part from both would be the love both owe each other ; that focus could include much , in the realm of recognising and battling any / all areas that the enemy might have also taken a claim one way or other ;
    even the reluctance to engage in conversation might have its roots as far back as The Garden .
    It is interesting that when The Lord is asked about the blind man and if it was from his sin or of his parents , The Lord does say ‘neither ‘ , yet proceeds to make mud with spittle, as though to remind us of that first scene of creation and thus to tell us how far the roots are and even the need to go that far , to undo problems / alienations that can creep in .
    One of the very best means of engaging in meanigful conversation might be reading the scriptures together , discussing same briefly along with family prayer – invoking the authority of The New Eve , into our lives , so that the submiiting to The Lord would be one of joy and gratitude for His merits for the sake of each and even our family lines !

  • hgvbiu

    Good point Jeanette!

  • Michael J. Lichens

    That is a good word, Jeanette, thank you so much for your comment. Joy in serving. It’s difficult to achieve, but so important.

    There’s a great story of Mother Teresa, that I’ll paste:

    One day, a cameraman was filming Mother Teresa for a documentary, while she was caring for some of the most wretched of the poor of Calcutta. As she cleaned the sores of one man, wiping up the pus and bandaging his wounds, the cameraman blurted out, “I wouldn’t do that if you gave me a million dollars.” To which Mother Teresa replied, “Neither would I.” (from http://catholicism.about.com/od/dailyprayers/qt/Daily-Prayer-Of-Mother-Teresa.htm)

    I think her example of giving in joy is a fine one. One I try to imitate, not always successfully. :)

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