[From the archives of my previous blog, Little Bit of Paradise…]
I recently read an article written by a Catholic woman in which she outlined ways to romance our husbands. I must admit, the article left me more than a little frustrated.
The ideas put forth in the article included the suggestions “leave lipstick kisses on the bathroom mirror;” “take him on a thrift-shopping spree and let him pick out clothes and accessories for you to wear;” “download a love song and email it to him at work;” and “create a crossword puzzle for him to work with words describing his endearing qualities.”
What guy feels extra loved and romanced by a crossword puzzle? Or getting an Etta James ballad emailed to him at work? How many men do you think list “seeing red lipstick kisses on our bathroom mirror” as their fantasy of a romantic gesture from their wives? And the idea that a thrift-store shopping spree would romance a man’s heart is like telling a man that his wife’s romantic fantasy is “Take her to your favorite sports bar and let her pick the beer brand and the basketball game to watch.”
I felt fairly sure the “romance your hubby” activities listed in the article were in fact ideas that appealed to the romantic side of women, not strong, masculine (i.e. normal!) MEN. I read part of the article out loud to my husband, and he just smiled and quietly shook his head.
Several years ago my father gave a talk at a Catholic conference entitled “Are We Talking to Ourselves?” in which he outlined the critical mistakes we Catholics make in trying to communicate the message of our Faith. Often we talk in terms, use descriptions, and give examples that make sense to us, but that come across as foreign as life on Mars to the person we’re trying to reach. While the writer’s intentions were excellent in the romance your hubby article, and I thoroughly applaud her effort, I fear she might have been talking a little too clearly to us ladies.
In a state of disappointment, I grabbed a pen and a legal pad off my desk, and with a baby bouncing on one hip I stood at the kitchen counter and started scribbling down some ideas for how to truly romance the hearts of our husbands.
I started thinking about the things I’ve done for my Hubs in the brief years we’ve been married that seemed to really speak to his heart. I thought of my girlfriends who are especially attuned to the romantic needs of their spouses, and wrote down some of the things they do. I thought of my mother, my aunts, and some of my mom’s girlfriends who have been powerful witnesses in my life of taking good care of their spouses’ hearts: what did they do for their husbands that rocked them at their core?
And it was with these questions swirling in my head that I kept furiously writing on my legal pad. When I was done, I had two pages of single-spaced ideas for how we women can romance our husbands. I then asked an expert – a Catholic man (mine) – to help me shorten the list.
Following is the resulting list of 37 Ways to Romance Your Husband. I believe our spouses desire a deep friendship with us ladies, their life partners. They want a comfortable home. Good food. A wife who takes care of her appearance – for his sake if not her own. They want an exciting, adventurous sex life – and they want their wives to desire the same. They want to be respected. And cared for. And prayed for. And admired. And most of all, loved.
Ladies, here are some ideas for how we can show it.
37 Ways to Romance Your Husband
- Dress up, primp (makeup, hair) before he comes home from work, even if he’s the only adult you’ll see all day. Taking care of your physical appearance for his sake, if not for your own, means a lot to a man.
- Buy a six-pack of his favorite beer and put it front and center in the fridge with a post-it love note on it. (If he prefers dessert, do the same with a half gallon of his favorite ice cream in the freezer).
- Determine your husband’s “love language” and do at least one thing a day for a week that specifically says “I love you” according to his love language (see the book The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman).
- Drop the kids off at a babysitter’s house so it’s just you when he gets home from work. Make him a romantic dinner wearing your favorite apron and his favorite lingerie.
- Go on a “New Fragrance Date” at the mall. His job is to pick out a new sexy perfume for you, and you’ll choose a new cologne for him. Promise to wear it to bed every night that week. (Hint – if new fragrances is not in your budget, ask the salesperson at the perfume and cologne counters for a sample of your favorite to take home. The sample will contain enough scent to last for a week’s worth of bedtimes).
- Go shopping together for new lingerie.
- If your husband loves books and/or music: plan a “bookstore date” where you’ll each pick out a new book for the other, or a new CD. Don’t forget coffee and dessert and relaxing convo in the café before you leave!
- Leave a lacy unmentionable in his gym bag or briefcase so he’ll find it during the day at work.
- Attend his favorite sporting event with him, even if you personally have no interest (or even if you hate it). Buy his team’s jersey with his favorite player’s number on it and wear it to the game. Bet he wouldn’t mind if you wore it to bed that night either.
- Let him sleep in on a weekend.
- Order his favorite sub and have it delivered to his desk at work.
- Always affirm and compliment him in public. Don’t criticize or belittle, even if your girlfriends are doing it to their husbands at the same gathering.
- Let him pick the date, time, location, position. Just make sure he knows you can’t wait. Alternatively turn the tables on him: YOU pick the scenario when he least expects it. Show him that you can’t keep your hands off him!
- Host guy’s night at your house. Make all his favorite guy foods, buy the beer, then disappear. And hold no record in your heart of your kindness.
- Don’t complain when he goes to guy’s night.
- Verbally express your admiration and respect. Often.
- Defer to his decisions joyfully. That means without complaining.
- Choose to spend a night in with him rather than going out with the rest of your girlfriends.
- Text/email little notes and messages during the work day. Sexy ones and “just cuz” ones.
- Hire a babysitter for a long evening, book a local hotel room, and take him, candles, wine, and take-out dinner for a romantic escapade neither of you will forget. The babysitter will never know your secret.
- If your husband likes to work out, plan a time when the two of you can get in a gym workout together, without kids. If your hubby is a runner, go on a long jog together.
- Plan weekly “date night ins” after the kids go to bed. Order take-out. Rent a movie. Play a game. Just sit by the fire and soak in each other. Whatever makes it a night relaxing and fun for the two of you, but especially for him.
- Admire his physique. Verbally express appreciation that he takes care of himself.
- Allow him to play his favorite computer/smartphone/video game “guilt free” (i.e., without nagging from the wife).
- Plan an outing for just the two of you doing his favorite outdoor adventure: kayaking, tennis, hiking, trail running, biking, snorkeling, fishing, etc.
- Let him pick the movie, TV show, or game. Even if it’s one of those action flicks you can’t stand.
- Choose to wear a sexy nightgown to bed vs. the oversized t-shirt and flannels you love so much.
- Celebrate his achievements at work, school, etc. Make a big deal out of his accomplishments.
- Thank him often for being a good provider and taking such good care of you and the kids.
- Make eye contact and give full attention to his response after you ask him “So babe, how was your day?”
- Pray for his intentions, and make sure he knows you’re his #1 prayer warrior.
- Buy a week’s worth of new silky/lacy under things and wear one new item every day for a week. Tell him he has a new surprise to check out at the end of each day. (No Hanes or Fruit of the Looms allowed for this one, ladies!)
- Buy a Groupon for “target shooting practice for two” and spend an afternoon at the gun range.
- Apologize sincerely for something that upset him and ask for his forgiveness. And if he reciprocates with an apology, don’t demand a specific list of what he’s apologizing for. Just accept it. And if you can seal that apology with a hug, a kiss, and perhaps some make-up rough-and-tumble, so much the better.
- Verbalize your desire to try something new/adventurous in the bedroom. Or out of the bedroom.
- Have a “honeymoon dinner” and recreate his favorite menu from your honeymoon. It’s always a good thing to remember how sweet the beginning was.
- Say “I love you” verbally. At least a bajillion times a day.