The other day, I had a thought about my wife. I was in my office thinking about a difficult issue we had with one of our kids the night before. As I thought through it again, I marveled at how well she handled it with an amazing balance of firmness and empathy. There was so much grace and wisdom she showed. So I decided to tell her. I was expecting her to smile and thank me. I wasn't expecting her to be so touched she would start crying. It made her feel valued, respected, validated and connected to me on a deeper level. I realized I should say things like that on a regular basis.
Last month, I wrote about 20 things wives hate to hear from their husbands. It was focused on the things we shouldn't say. Today, we are going to look at what women like to hear. Here are 20 things wives love to hear from their husbands.
"So when you say ______ do you mean ______?" It shows her that you are focused on her, and what she is thinking and feeling is important.
"I hear you. I understand." Our wives want to be known. That's what makes them feel close to us. This lets her know you get her.
"I'm really glad you told me that." Whether it is something personally hard for her or a way you hurt her, saying this gives her permission to share. It says you can handle her emotions.
"That sounds really hard. How are you handling it?" Empathy always brings a greater sense of connection. You are letting her know that you are not trying to fix it or dismiss her pain. There are times when our wives want us to fix things, but most of the time, they want us to just walk with them in their struggle.
"I've been looking forward to seeing you all day." It lets her know that when you are away from her, your desire is to be with her. She is important enough to think about throughout the day.
"I'm so sorry." This could be an apology for something done that hurt her which respects her as a person. However, this could also be a response to something difficult she is dealing with. It respects both her emotional response and her ability to solve it without your input (unless she is looking for it).
"What do you think?" It tells her that her opinion is helpful, influential and valuable. You are communicating she is smart with a valid point of view.
"I've been thinking about something you said ..." Again, a statement like this tells her that what she says is meaningful enough for you to deliberate on it. It honors her mind and her words. It affirms her impact on you.
"If you were in my shoes, what would you do?" Again, you trust her opinion and respect her advice.
"For dinner, I was thinking of ________ . Would you like me to make it?" You don't have an expectation that she cook dinner, and you're also taking the initiative. It communicates that you are willing to serve her.
"You have every right to feel that way." This gives her permission to release what she is feeling rather than hold it in. It allows her to be vulnerable and fully herself with you.
"I should have handled that differently." Our wives appreciate when we take responsibility. It lets her know you understand how you may have hurt her. We are also putting ourselves in a position of vulnerability.
"You're really good at that." Our wives can have a lot of self-doubt about their abilities as a wife, a mom, their job, the way they do things and so on. This statement gives them much-needed affirmation and encouragement.
"I'll do that. Why don't you rest; you do enough around here." Most wives do a lot for the family that gets overlooked. This communicates that you recognize it and see it all. In addition to that,
"I don't know how you do it all." With this statement, you are recognizing her abilities and the care with which she operates. It gives her credit for all the ways she serves the family and the value she adds.
"I love you." At the core of every woman they want to know that they are lovable. You can certainly tell her this in a variety of ways, but make sure you do it every day.
"You look beautiful." This is what women like to hear from their husbands because it shows you still value her attractiveness and the effort she makes to look good.
"You're an amazing mom." Moms need to hear this because they tend to compare and then beat themselves up for their shortcomings. Most put their heart and soul into being a good mom. When you say this, it tells her, "I see your love and care for our children, and I am grateful."
"There's no one I'd rather be with right now than you." She is the most important person in the world to you. When it comes to other things you could be doing or people you could be with, she wins again, and again and again.
"I know I don't say it enough, but I really appreciate everything you do." You can't communicate your appreciation for her and her efforts enough. This is another example. Don't let a day go by where she feels taken for granted. When you see it, tell her.
Huddle up with your kids and ask, "What compliment do you like to hear about yourself?"
BJ Foster is a married father of two. As director of Content Creation, he utilizes his experience in the corporate world, politics, nonprofits and over 15 years of working with adolescents.
This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.
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