Most men want to be a good husband. Most don’t think “I want to be lazy, emotionally distant, or unintentional.”
Unfortunately, it happens all too often, and like it or not, there are plenty of wives out there who feel unloved, unseen, and unknown by the one they want attention, affection, and commitment from the most. In the world today, being a “good husband” is incredibly subjective and can mean something different to every single person. It’s important for us to recognize that even if you aren’t causing intentional harm, your lack of intentionality could be doing just as much damage to your relationship.
The truth is that we all experience unintended consequences every single day and at one point or another, we are held accountable for them.
Since the term “good husband” is, unfortunately, so subjective in the world today, it can be challenging and frustrating to know if you are one or not. That truth doesn’t settle well with me. There should be a sure-fire way for you to tell if you are doing well in the role of husband to your spouse. So I came up with one; a way for you to truly know if you could qualify yourself as a “good husband”, and if you can’t, how to start working toward being one.
I truly believe that the question, “Am I a good husband?” should be approached the same way that we arrive at any other solution in an experiment, which is best accomplished through asking direct and pointed questions. So that is exactly what I’m going to do to help you figure out how you’re doing as a husband. I could sit here and tell you all day long WHAT I think that you should do in your marriage, but it won’t be nearly as effective as if you take everything you know about your spouse and then decide what you think you should do. Hopefully, in turn, these questions will help you think through how you’re doing and what you can do to even kick it up a notch and fight even harder to be the man that your wife, your marriage, and your family deserves.
Asking these kinds of questions of yourself can be difficult and sometimes even painful, but self-awareness and truly shedding light on what currently is going on in your marriage is the first and the most important step. You can do this!
1. Do I think and/or feel that I am a good husband?
2. Do I intentionally prioritize my wife each and every day so that she gets the best of me and not my left-overs?
3. Do I ask my wife intentional questions about her goals, dreams, feelings, and frustrations with the goal of being more deeply emotionally connected to her?
4. Do I focus on pleasuring my wife during sex? How often?
5. Does my wife feel that sex is always about me or does she truly enjoy the experience we create together?
6. Does my wife say that I am a good husband, over-all?
7. Does my wife confide her secrets to me?
8. Do I tenderly touch my wife in non-sexual ways to let her know that I love touching her outside of an intimate bedroom-related experience?
9. Do I think about ways to encourage and help my spouse throughout the day?
10. Do I feel sad when my wife is struggling or hurting?
*If you don’t, chances are that empathy is not showing through to your wife and she may feel that you don’t really care about her when she’s struggling. You can feel like a good husband, while she’s feeling like you’re a million miles away.
11. Do I often look for intentional ways to be an active part of the household responsibilities? Do I take care of chores as I see them?
*As opposed for waiting on your wife to give you direction.
12. Do I have a good attitude when I’m around my spouse and family?
13. Do I know what my wife’s love language is and do I actively and regularly do my best to speak to her in that way?
14. Do I own my mistakes and apologize to my spouse when I mess up?
15. Do I hang out with people and participate in activities that sharpen me and make me a better person?
16. Do I look for my own ways to experience joy and happiness?
*As opposed to expecting your spouse to fulfill you and make you happy.
17. Do I take the time to share with my wife where I personally am doing well or am struggling?
18. Do I have a role model or mentor figure in my life who is married and who I look up to in regards to what it means to be a good husband?
19. Do I step in joyfully when my spouse asks me to take over something on her plate? *Complaining is very unattractive. So if you do not have the capacity to help your spouse if they ask you to, the best thing to do is let them know how much you love them and kindly help them understand that you don’t have room on your plate right now for something else, but would love to take something off their plate when you can. This is a core part of being a good husband.
20. Does my spouse feel loved, known, valued, seen, and appreciated by me?
*If you aren’t sure, definitely ask her!
21. Do my kids know that I am available to love, support, help, guide, protect, and encourage them?
*You may be asking yourself, “What does this have to do with my marriage?”, but the truth is, it has EVERYTHING to do with your marriage. If your answer to this is “no”, it’s possible that your spouse feels alone in the parenting world, without her teammate, and if that’s true, there is sure to be some resentment there that leaks out into other areas of your relationship.
While reading through this, if you found yourself mostly answering YES to the questions above, chances are that you are a GOOD HUSBAND! Way to go! I’m proud of you and hope you know that you are making a huge impact on your spouse, your family, and the people around you by your intentional nature, your integrity, and your courage. Since everyone has room to grow, even if you fall into this category of being a good husband, make sure that you check out some of the areas where you may have answered “no” and start thinking about ways that you can step up in that area in your own home.
If you found yourself mostly answering NO to the questions above, chances are that you have some growing to do. But don’t lose hope and don’t feel overwhelmed! You can start turning it around and making changes in your life and in your marriage right now. I would encourage you to look back through the questions above and pick ONE thing to start with. Maybe work on being a present and active listener, or maybe you start by looking for intentional ways around your home to pitch in and help out. Or maybe you start focusing on your wife during sex or sending texts throughout the day to let her know you’re thinking of her and that she’s important to you. It doesn’t really matter where you start, as long as you commit and pick something you know will make a difference. If you’re not sure, try having this conversation with your spouse, “Babe, I read this article today that made me think I’m not the kind of husband to you I really want to be. I want to start making some improvements. Can you help me pick an area to work on first?” This kind of conversation would be a great first step into being a team and showing your wife that you mean business and want to be the best version of you that there is!
So, how do you be a good husband? I think only you and your wife can figure that out.
What I can tell you is that the true key to being your own brand of a good husband is intentionality. Every wife on the planet is unique, which means your wife is like nobody else! That means you can’t compare her to anyone else. Life is an ebb-and-flow of ups and downs, chaos and calm, and since your wife is unique, your goal is to be intentional with the pursuit and the growth-in-knowledge of your spouse (her strengths, weaknesses, needs, desires, fears, struggles, successes, and everything in between) so well that you can jump in and just love her in the place she is at. Whether that means giving her space, giving her a hug, sending her out for some alone time, cleaning the kitchen, telling her what you love about her, etc… or even being humble enough to simply ask her what she needs at that moment… it’s all about being intentional to see her and then to show up and love her, no matter what!