5 Things To Do For Your Husband Today.

Often we rely too much on someone telling us what they want. And not everyone knows what they need, how to express it or that you can help. Same goes for your husband or live-in-partner. However close you are and however much you ask, there will always be things to do to make his life better that he won’t ask you for, but will appreciate immensely.

In my personal experience and from observation, here are five things you can do to make his day nicer that he wouldn’t even consider asking for.

1: A massage.

A staple of stereotypes and jokes, massages are really great. And I’ve found that men tend to be more likely to offer a spontaneous massage and women are more likely to request one than the other way around.

But everyone benefits from a good rub down once in a while. Start by waiting until he is sat down and relaxing and begin at the shoulders and neck. Work your way down his upper arms, then back up and down his back. Massaging his legs and feet are also options. Try and mix up the massage techniques. Men have fewer nerve endings near the skin surface than women, so a deep tissue massage where your knuckles are really digging in can feel very pleasant to them.

2: Pudding.

Everyone loves treats and most people enjoy a treat after dinner. However people turn to unwholesome foods more often when there isn’t something better on offer.

With a few minutes, some cream and some fruit you can make an ice cream, with a little extra time and a pastry recipe you can make a pie. Think of his favourite pudding and surprise him with it tonight.

3: Wash his outdoor clothes.

Many men enjoy spending time outdoors or simply have to for their job and chores. Does your husband do the gardening, go jogging, walk the dog or collect firewood? Then he will have some designated outdoor clothes he uses for them.

It might look like his tatty old jacket, muddy wellington boots and dusty overalls are meant to be that way, but as long as you don’t accidentally break them, many men appreciate coming home to the holes in their jacket patched, their boots mud-free and their overalls washed and dried.

Just because he likes his old clothes doesn’t mean he wants them to look old all the time or fall apart entirely.

4: Find/buy him something to enjoy together.

Your husband likes you. That means he likes spending time with you, seeing you smile and enjoy yourself and sharing his hobbies with you.

Look into a few of the things he likes that you weren’t all that interested in. Maybe he’s an avid gamer, a fan of a certain comic, interested in music or fond of gardening. Then, find something you think you would both enjoy and plan to do it together.

You don’t have to actually do it today or to surprise him with it. The fact that you took the initiative to learn about one of his hobbies and want to spend time joining him will make him incredibly happy.

5: Have some quiet time.

However much of an extrovert he may be, however much he adores you, everyone likes a little bit of quiet and men seem to want just a touch more quiet than women. It’s possibly even a biological difference, just like women need a bit more sleep than men.

But this doesn’t mean you need to be out of the room whenever he wants quiet. He still loves you and wants to spend time with you. Just make a point of putting on his favourite show or leaving a book on the table for him and cuddling up as he enjoys it. Make a drink, get something to do in silence and just sit there together.

And those are five things you can do today to make him happy and show him how much you love and respect him.

What do you do to make your husband or wife happy? How do you try and make each day special? Please share your advice and anecdotes with us!

TTFN and Happy Hunting!

Being Loved the Way You Want to Be Loved.

When we speak of relationships we tend to think of one sort of love. Early love. The light, airy head, the butterflies of neophilia, the strange conflict of socially approved lust and impressions of purity, the fascination of their mystique, the euphoria that comes with feeling like all of the future is an open possibility.

Due to a combination of popular media and the fascination with retaining our teenage experiences as long as possible, this is almost the only acceptable form of love to pursue and discuss.

Which is unfair on almost everyone, because nobody’s love is quite so contradictory. Human love is multifaceted. There are, arguably, three faces to romantic love and each of them has its own spectrum.

We have affection. This is the sort of love that, on its own, is also accepted as love in our world, though many people would not consider it enough for a romantic relationship on its own. Affection is clean, pure, basically born of simply liking someone or something. It includes sweetness and tenderness, respect, a desire for the other to be well. It’s basically the sort of love everyone seems to aspire to, as though it were a complete romantic love on its own.

But there are two other faces to romantic love that need to be there to make it complete. And these faces are often seen as impure caveats to affection, rather than natural, decent forms of love.

Then we have purpose. This is the sort of love that results in altruism, child-rearing urges and nestmaking. Some purpose is instinctive, like a woman’s urge to hold a child. Some purpose is cultural, like a person’s desire to provide for their partner. Purpose covers anything where you are neither acting out of lust or affection, but out of a sense of duty to the other person. This sort of love is devalued because it is seen as lacking genuineness. It is a noble thing to give someone money or even kill yourself for someone out of pure affection or even out of lust. It is shameful to do the same because you feel it is your responsibility to do so.

Then we have lust. This is the sort of love that is born of the desire to procreate. It is arguably essential to human romantic love. And it is also demonized. It needs to be compensated for with affection, otherwise it isn’t good. For example, your romantic love is supposed to be born of affection and develop into lust. Which is odd considering that is rarely the case. We are attracted to someone biologically before we feel bonded to them. Lust is purely superficial.

But just because purpose is cold and heartless and lust is superficial and selfish doesn’t mean they are kryptonite to romantic love. They are as necessary in love as affection is. A love free from lust and purpose isn’t better by virtue of innocence. Neither is it more likely to last.

Rather, all three need to be combined just right to make a relationship durable and enjoyable.

How To… be supportive.

I’m not claiming any authority on the subject here, but I couldn’t think of the next “How To…” and Jon felt this would be a topic I could shine some light on. Here are his reasons, as dictated:

“Being able to leave me alone when I am mega-ill and having people around is annoying, but still bring up teas. Understanding that sometimes I have to give in to my knees when they fuck up but other times I will try to power through it. Letting me decide what the problem actually is and how bad it is. Knowing when to shut the hell up, when it’s a problem that can’t actually be solved immediately. Not overtalking big or distressing problems.”

So, how do I do my best to be supportive?

1: Think of them first.

All too often, people seem to think they’re being helpful and supportive when in reality they’re only thinking about themselves. Discard all concerns such as “How will each eventuality impact me?”, “What would I do in this situation?” or “What would I find the best thing?” You don’t necessarily have to put yourself in their shoes (the heavens know some of us can’t do that), just discard any idea of helping yourself and any idea that they are like you. Instead, listen to what they want and look at the situation objectively. How can you help them get what they say they want?

2: Wants vs Needs.

You have determined what their situation is and found out what result they want or what they want to do. Now is the time to work out whether their course of action gives them the result they want, or whether what they want to do will harm them. Sometimes it is necessary to be that second voice mentioning the outcomes they hadn’t considered and the necessary evils they dare not face.

3: Avoid smothering.

But even when you’re sure that you’re acting in their best interests, don’t smother them. Be the voice offering counsel, not the nag. Be the person bringing tea and snacks, not the one looming over their face. Be the assistant, not the effective captain. Give them their space to deal with their own issues.

4: Prevent patronizing.

The next step is to make sure that you don’t patronize them either. Making yourself scarce when they have accounts to do, an interview to prepare for or some rest to catch up on is good. Treating them like a stroppy toddler rather than an adult with real problems is not good. Make sure you aren’t always checking their work for them, criticizing their approach, telling them off or being dismissive of their ideas and concerns. They are adult. They know best how well they feel, what their job entails, what they’re applying for and how serious their problem is. You aren’t being helpful by making light of it.

5: Build them up.

But, even though you don’t want to patronize them and make light of their condition or situation, you don’t want to indulge it either. You don’t have to be dismissive, rude or critical to know and show that their state is not permanent. You don’t have to pander to their state and make them feel like they will be forever chained down by it. Make sure to build them up. When they have a crisis of confidence, remind them of their original idea or direction or motivation. Go through their plans with them and work towards the goal they want to reach. Offer to do anything in your power to give them the time, space and energy to make progress. They won’t be like this forever and it’s your job to help them out of it.

Using steps one and two, look at what you can do to help them through your actions. Using steps three and four, make sure you’re not being rude or inconvenient. Using step five, do anything you can to help them move away from whatever trouble they’re facing. When you’re not sure what you can do, ask them how you can help or what they need you for. And that is how you can be supportive.

When have you had to support someone? What do you wish you had done better? What advice would you give to someone who wants to support a loved one? Feel free to share your anecdotes and advice in the comments.

TTFN and Happy Hunting!