Be More Giving in Your Marriage—Without Feeling Like a Maid
Research shows people whose spouses did thoughtful things for them were the happiest with their relationships. Here are 11 ideas.
Throw a "Just-for-Him" Item into Your Cart
This could be the extra-hoppy beer only he loves (men tend to have less sensitivity to bitterness than women do), the hot sauce only he can handle or goat-milk ice cream
only he'll truly appreciate (it won't aggravate his lactose intolerance like regular ice cream).
Write Him Secret Messages
Scribble a note on the steamed-up bathroom mirror. It'll fade by the time you leave but will reappear when he emerges from his own shower. He'll be touched by your thoughtfulness, and impressed by your Jane Bond—like cunning.
Don't Pick Everything Up
Leave things you know he'll like—a witty cartoon (bonus if it references one of your inside jokes), an anticipated Netflix DVD, a bottle of wine you received as a gift—out in the open, where he'll feel he discovered them.
Read Him a Story
When it's his turn to do chores and yours to relax, read a newspaper or magazine aloud to him. It will take his mind off washing dishes and allow you to get through that monster New Yorker article.
Send Him to Kauai for Five Minutes
Buy postcards of places on his Must-Visit List and stick them in the books he's reading. Eventually, he'll decide five minutes just isn't long enough, and book a week-long getaway for the two of you.
Forget About His Dirty Socks
Put a pair of clean ones in the dryer in the morning so he'll have something toasty to slip into (you could throw a pair of boxers in, too).
Let Him Finish His Own Dessert
He always orders something; you always have "just a bite"...which turns into four. Once in a while, let him have the whole slice to himself.
Show your support for his dreams by buying or making him business cards (or fake tattoos
) with his fantasy career ("Photographer," "Rock Star," "New Media Mogul," "Ideas Guy").
Offer Favors He Probably Won't Use but Will Definitely Appreciate
For example, sleep experts have found that women usually have more trouble sleeping than men
and tend to sleep in later than their partners (when they can). So offer to let him sleep as long as he wants on Sundays. It's unlikely he'll snooze as late as you would, but if he does, use the time to finish your book.
Get Geeky with Him
Whether his thing is gadgets, graphic novels
or zombie movies, get everyone in the family interested.
Be Nice in Bed
Make sure he gets to choose the sex position at least as often as you do. The same study that examined the role of generosity in marriage
also found that for men (more than for women), above-average sexual satisfaction was an even stronger predictor of marital happiness than having a generous, thoughtful spouse (however, the researchers added that the two are often related).
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