I was talking to a friend recently who told me her husband comes home from work late every day, and not because he is staying late to work. Some days he goes to the gym. Some days he hits a few bars with some co-workers. Some days he stays at work to work on projects he used to work on from home. Her husband just doesn’t want to come back home.
Is he a bad guy? Nope, he’s a terrific guy. My friend confided that home life has been pretty miserable- lots of fighting and arguing over nonsense- and basically her unhappy husband doesn’t want to come home to a warzone every day. They are having marriage problems and even though her relationship with her husband is what she cherishes most, she needs help to have a happier marriage.
So the experts weighed in (and by experts, I mean my group of women friends who have been happily married for many, many years). Their advice is like Christian marriage counseling because they speak from experience and give advice from both a Biblical and practical point of view.
Their happy marriage tips:
Make your husband happy to come home. When your husband comes through the door, how is he welcomed? Do you come to the door to greet him hello with a smile and a kiss? This may sound like retro marriage advice, but it’s actually a basic human need for all of us to feel loved by those we care about. What is better than seeing the face of the person you love break into a smile of joy when they see you?
When your husband comes home, don’t wait at the door with a list of chores, complaints about his mother, or ready to continue the argument you didn’t finish at breakfast. Seriously, he won’t want to come home. He’ll feel like he has to brace himself every time he opens the door. Obviously there are times when you have something important to tell him that can’t wait, but this is the exception. Most days, there is no reason to make his homecoming anything other than something he looks forward to all day. Seeing a happy wife and his precious kids excited to see him would make a good man look forward to coming home.
Make your husband happy to be home. What’s it like being in your home? Can your husband come home and expect to be able to rest after a hard day’s work, or does he fight with his children for the remote, eat heated up leftovers every day, and trip over shopping bags just crossing a room that never seem to be put away? If your husband works hard all day to provide for the family, he should be respected for this, and allowed downtime when he gets home. He shouldn’t wish he were somewhere else where he could get some peace and quiet, and respect.
If you both work, you both need to be able to relax when you get home. Make the evenings a time when the family is together, sharing a meal, and enjoying being together. No drama, no unnecessary stress. He should want to be home. If he doesn’t, and he’s a decent guy, then something at home makes him want to stay at work extra or go to the gym every day instead of working out at home. He probably just wants some peace and quiet, and if he gets it, he’ll likely be home much sooner.
You may already have a warm, welcoming home that your husband can’t wait to get home to. It usually doesn’t matter if the house is spotless, if he has to take out the garbage, or any of those small things, as long as he has a family that is genuinely happy to see him and lets him relax. Doesn’t take much; most men are simple like that (it’s us women that tend to be super complicated) and these are a great start to getting a happy husband.
Here are the Happy Marriage meme rules:
1. You can not be mean to your spouse, speak harshly to or criticize your spouse, neglect your spouse, roll your eyes at your spouse, or in any way interact negatively with your spouse, from sun up ’til sun down.
2. You must greet your spouse sweetly, with a smile and kisses hello and goodbye, and ask about his or her day. You must listen to their answer before interrupting or talking about yourself.
3. You may make your spouse their favorite dinner, bring them flowers, or take them out to dinner (but not mandatory every week).