Romancing my husband is at the tippy top of my list of priorities…at least, I want it to be. Life is long and marriage is hard, and there’s nothing I want more than to make him feel loved and happy and respected in our relationship. That’s what in turn makes ME feel loved and happy and cherished.
For the past several months I’ve been keeping a “Romance My Husband” running list, jotting down ideas as they come to me. I think I might start sharing some of those ideas here, in hopes you’ll share your feedback and your ideas with me, too.
Do What He Likes…Because You Like Him
A year or so ago I was at a summer backyard gathering of friends, and one of the women remarked on her choice of purple nail polish for her new pedicure. “I checked with my husband first and he said he didn’t mind my toes purple, so I went ahead with it” remarked my girlfriend.
I must admit that some deep seated feminist monster reared it’s ugly head inside me when she made that comment. I don’t know where or when I became thus indoctrinated, but my initial reaction was “SO WHAT if he doesn’t like purple nail polish? They’re YOUR toe nails and you should be able to paint them any color you want!!!”
There’s clearly at least two ways of looking at my friend’s purple toe nails comment, isn’t there? As time went on, I actually thought about those purple toe nails many times. Because on the one hand, I was right: those toe nails belonged to her and she could paint them any way she saw fit.
…But on the other hand, my girlfriend in her wisdom and experience had perhaps learned an important truth that I, in my immaturity, inexperience, and feminism-drunk mindset, had missed.
I missed the SHEER JOY of doing things that your spouse likes and admires…for the pleasure it brings your man, and in turn brings to you.
When I was dating my husband, there was nothing I wanted more than to dress in a way that would please him. I truly, deeply wanted him to admire me – yes for things that really matter like my heart and soul and personality – but for the more frivolous stuff too, like what I wore and how I looked.
I don’t know why the years of marriage bring a laziness or distracted-ness in this department, but now that we’re covenantal partners for FOREVER, there’s never a more important time than RIGHT NOW to put time, thought, and effort into visually pleasing my spouse.
So I started paying more attention.
I started listening more closely to his compliments, to the admiring winks and glances. And you know what? I learned a lot!
He likes my hair blonde. At least blonde-ish. When we were dating and newlyweds, my hair was blonde. Thanks to three pregnancies in three years and the luck of the hereditary draw, my hair went WAY dark brown postpartum(s). I also prefer my hair blonde, but had let it stay dark brown because it was just easier, and cheaper. I was shocked to discover that he’s happy to let me spend the money for highlights at the salon. This spring I went blonde again, and I absolutely love it. And so does he.
He likes it when I wear big earrings. He calls them “Nefertari earrings” (reference to the ancient Egyptian princess) but the louder and crazier the better, in his book. If I hadn’t started paying attention, I would never ever have guessed that my crazy big earrings are his fav.
He loves it when I wear this one tshirt. It’s a team shirt from his graduate school, and it’s the softest, comfiest, most casual tshirt ever. And every.single.time. he comes home and I’m wearing that shirt, he compliments me on how nice I look. Finally one day I asked him “is it just that you really like this shirt?” and he told me “it just looks really good on you!”
Well score one for the mama team, because it’s comfier than almost everything else in my closet!
I could go on and on, but the point is that the more I listen, the more I’m learning what he likes, and truly, it’s such a joy to dress in a way that gets a few extra winks or appreciative looks from my man. I don’t think this is vanity, I think it’s romance. What I do and what I wear (or don’t wear) romances his heart, so it should be high on the list of important things I can focus on.
Girlfriends, start listening more attentively. And you’ll see – you’ll learn pretty quickly – there are certain things that he likes and especially likes. There are probably things he dislikes as well.
Doing those things or wearing those things he likes doesn’t make you any less your own person, or a slave to his whims. Quite the contrary! It’ll make your love and romance grow, and that makes you MORE your own person, especially considering you’ve become half of a very significant whole since the moment you took your wedding vows.
And Guys: the same goes for you! There are certain things in your closet and dresser she loves extra much. Listen, and you’ll figure it out. And you’ll make her smile.
Trust me, there’s a reason he still gets military hair cuts. His large cologne collection? Not an accident. And that black shirt I gave him long ago with the sleeves that are just a tad bit too tight around his biceps…
Yeah. It’s a happy marriage thing. ;o)