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WHAT HE REALLY WANTS

You may think cooking his best dish, looking stunning and gelling in perfectly with his family and friends is all he wanted in a wife, well, maybe. But this is not all it takes to make him happy and sustain your union. There are some important things that you might oversee or take for granted which may in turn jeopardize your marriage.

Everyone makes mistakes, so you obviously expected to have a few battles along the way to a lifetime together. All couples do. Unfortunately, a large number of men are still afraid of the therapist’s chair. He may know a guy who had a bad experience with marriage counseling in the past. He may think the problems in your relationship aren’t so dire that it’s time to call in the help of a third party. What he does want is to see results, especially when that means more time in the bedroom together.

It’s a big step in the right direction to express your feelings about what’s not working to him, but it is equally as important to make sure he knows you want to hear him out as well. You simply must step away from the blame game.

MORE SEX

The excuse for this will always be time. The fix? Date your husband! Plan a fun date with your husband every week or two that you will both enjoy. Dress up a little, be affectionate, put away your phone, listen, and gaze into his eyes. Make love. Surprise him by spicing up things in the bedroom, play games and make sex more interesting every day. Trust me despite the issues going on at home, he will be glad to come home to that every day.

TO BE HIMSELF

There’s an old proverb that says a man marries a woman believing she will never change, while a woman marries a man believing she can change him — and both are wrong.

No doubt it’s true that a good marriage changes both partners for the better. At the same time, nothing is more damaging to a man’s psyche than the realization that his wife doesn’t really approve of him the way he is and is dead-set on re-making him to suit her.

A decent guy needs to know that you love him, with his baldness and all. That doesn’t mean he won’t try to make needed improvements in his life. In fact, he’s more likely to set about effecting positive changes if he feels accepted by the woman he loves. Remember, you knew what he was when you married him.

Once you understand what your husband really wants, not only will you be happier, but you can also make him happier and reap the rewards of a stronger relationship. Because, ultimately, the only behavior or attitude you can really change is your own.

HE DOESN’T WANT TO READ YOUR MIND

Mind-reading expectations are often cries for help disguised as frustration or anger. Recognizing the signs can go a long way in helping you learn how to better anticipate and provide the support your partner needs.

TO FEEL DESIRED

More so than complaining about not getting laid, men talk about longing to feel desired and connected to. They want their partners to initiate intimacy, to seek out closeness with them. They want to feel they matter and are appreciated.

TO BE YOUR BEST FRIEND

It’s common today to see wedding invitations that say, “Today I marry my best friend.” This is a good development, I suppose, but I wonder if it isn’t just one of those cute things people say without fully realizing the implications.

Because, once you get married, you really will be each other’s best friend — or else you won’t be friends at all. There isn’t much middle ground. You spend so much time together and get to know each other so intimately, that a strong friendship is necessary if your relationship is going to last. That means mutual respect, genuine affection and a willingness to overlook faults.

As a decent guy, your husband loves that you have other (women) friends. He just wants to be BFF number one, the one you share with the most, the one you turn to most often, the one person you would rather spend time with than anyone else in the world. Be that kind of friend to him, and he will be the same kind of friend to you.

TO UNDERSTAND YOU

It’s a running joke in our culture just how little men know about women — it probably has been in every culture since the beginning of time. I bet Eve had Adam scratching his head with regularity.

Nevertheless, despite the apparent futility of the endeavor, your husband desperately wants to understand you — why you do what you do, what you mean when you say certain things, what makes you tick. If he is a decent guy and a good husband, he is committed to spending his life in this pursuit.

So please, help him out when you can. When you think something is important but he doesn’t, take the time to explain your reasons. Then listen respectfully, with an open mind, to his perspective. Above all, tell him what you want. Don’t expect him to read your mind. It’s written in a language he doesn’t speak.