Do you value your husband’s masculinity? Modern American culture tends to downplay the value of men and masculinity. And although most of us try to reject the negative influences of our culture, the reality is that entertainment, the media and other cultural influences affect us. We’ve all seen television shows and read articles that portray fathers as incompetent buffoons or husbands as insensitive louts.
The reality is that we can’t escape those kinds of influences completely. But we can minimize their effects on us and our marriages by choosing to focus positively on our husbands as men and to consciously appreciate their masculine qualities. The goal is to value both men and women, masculinity and femininity – both were created by God and are critical to a happy marriage!
(And no, I don’t think that masculine and feminine are rigid characteristics. I believe they can play out differently in different individuals and different marriage. But I do think that men and women are different, and that we should enjoy and appreciate our differences.)
Here are a few ideas for valuing, appreciating and enjoying your husband’s masculinity:
• Let your husband do things for you. Most men like to take care of their woman, so let your husband do what he wants to do for you! If he wants to take you out to dinner, let him take you out to dinner – and enjoy it! If he wants to handle the children’s baths after dinner so you can rest, let him. If he wants to lock up at night and handle security for your home, let him do it!
My husband takes total responsibility for keeping my car safe and in good running condition – and I am thrilled for him to do it! He even likes to fill it up with gas whenever he can, even though he knows that I’m perfectly capable of putting gas in a car. And I let him know that I appreciate it.
• Don’t try to control and handle everything. Women often take on too many responsibilities for the home and family, especially after they have children. Obviously, women play a tremendous role in caring for a family and home, but they shouldn’t be responsible for everything. When they take on too many tasks, it creates tremendous stress and fatigue, leaving them feeling frustrated and exhausted.
And, it can leave their husbands feeling as if they aren’t really needed. But husbands and fathers are needed! So let go of some things, and ask your husband to handle them from now on. He won’t do them exactly the way you would, but that’s okay. In the big picture of marriage and family, it really doesn’t matter.
• Take care of your husband, but don’t “mother” him. Of course you want to take care of him, to do things to make his life easier and more pleasant. But you don’t want to do everything for him. Remember – you’re his wife, not his mother.
If you’re doing something for him because you want to bless him, that’s probably good. If you’re doing it because you feel like he’s another child you have to take care of, or because you think he’s not responsible enough to do it himself, that probably isn’t. If you find yourself thinking, “I have four kids,” when you only have three, something needs to change. It may take a change in the way you approach things, or a heart-to-heart conversation, or both. Either way, let your approach be to treat him like a man, not a boy.
• Give your husband the freedom to enjoy being a man. Men enjoy lots of different activities and pursuits – there’s no single list of “man activities” that all men have to do! But, some things are true for almost all men. Most of them need some “free time” every now and then to enjoy their own activities – anything from sports to art to cars to music to hiking to woodworking. They like to have a space to call their own – a den, a basement, a workshop.
And they don’t want to feel guilty every time they enjoy one of those activities or retreat to that space. So give your husband the occasional gift of time and space to put aside his responsibilities for a while and just enjoy being a man. (And yes, you deserve time and space for your interests too!)
• Trust him. Some women have a tendency to second guess almost everything their husband does or decides. If you find yourself in that position, unless your husband has made some seriously bad decisions, give him the benefit of the doubt and trust him. This isn’t to say that the two of you shouldn’t discuss important decisions – you should. But when he makes a decision, if at all possible, let it go.
Also, trust him when he’s in charge of the children. Again, unless he’s doing something extremely unwise with them, trust him to be their dad – the slightly more adventurous parent who likes to rough house and doesn’t always make them eat their vegetables!
• Appreciate and enjoy your husband’s sexuality. Our culture tends to come down hard on men’s sexuality, and it’s easy to accept that cultural norm and downplay (or outright ignore) our husband’s need for sex and intimacy. But here’s the thing – our husbands aren’t “bad guys” if they enjoy sex and want to have sex with us – they’re normal men and that’s the way God made them! In addition, sex is often the door through which they enter into a truly intimate relationship with us – the kind of relationship most of us crave with our man.
If you tend to put off sex because you’re too tired or just not interested, think about changing your approach. Seek out resources that present married sex in a positive light and offer ideas for enjoying it more – the articles and resources listed below are a good place to start.
And don’t buy into the lie that sex is only or primarily for your husband. It’s not. Fun, exciting and enjoyable sex is as important for you as it is for him. So if it doesn’t seem that way, take some time to figure out what you can do to make a change.
(If sex is a very difficult issue in your life or marriage, please consider counseling or other professional resources that can help you address it.)
All of these ideas can benefit both us and our husbands. If we share responsibilities, trust their judgment, enjoy intimacy, and generally allow them to be who God created them to be, we’ll be more relaxed, less stressed and less resentful.
Enjoying Sex and Intimacy in Your Marriage
- 15 Ways to Connect with Your Spouse – When Life Gets Crazy
- You Deserve a Great Sex Life Too!
- 5 Ways to Feel Sexy this Year
- Essential Oils for Sex and Intimacy
Sharing at Family Fun Friday.