Is He The One? 9 Traits a Potential Husband Should Have

Your relationship is clicking along, and you think things are going really well. Sure, he’s not perfect, but who is? Does it really matter that he invites his buddies over to your apartment and expects you to feed them?

You’ll have to do that anyway when you are married. Is it really important that he doesn’t seem to listen when you chat about your day or share one of your life secrets? I mean, he is an important man, and is probably just preoccupied with work. Things will be better once you are married, right?Not even close.

These are red flags. Honest, open communication is a formula for a successful relationship. But not all communication happens verbally. Your guy may exhibit some behaviors that communicate through his actions whether or not he is worthy of your love.

The nine items below are essential for a healthy relationship. If once in a while your guy just has a bad day, that’s nothing to be alarmed about. But if your guy consistently makes you wonder about where you stand in his life, then you may want to re-evaluate where the relationship is headed.

For those of you who are blessed with a good man who exhibits these 9 behaviors, then you are on the right track for forming long-lasting bonds.

You never have to wonder if you are safe with him.

Safety means refers to not only your physical safety, but also your mental and emotional well-being. If there are any indicators at all that your safety may not be his top priority, then he is not right for you. Your perfect match will do everything in his power to make you feel safe.

There is no question that he respects and honors you.

Does your guy naturally involve you in decision-making? Does he value and listen to your opinions? Your perfect match will see you as an equal partner and would never treat you with disrespect.

He shows his appreciation…often.

It’s easy to get caught up in every day life and take your partner for granted. But it’s at those points when a good partner will step up. It doesn’t take grand gestures or a lot of money. Just a heartfelt “thank you”, and an offer share a household chore or three.

He shows you that your relationship is worth the effort.

A quick joke with his buddies once in a while about you being “high maintenance” may not be anything to worry about. But he if is constantly obsessing about how much work it takes to be in a relationship with you, then look at your relationship with fresh eyes. Your perfect match will not weigh your relationship in terms of the amount of effort required to maintain it, but in terms of how much richer your relationship has made his life.

He shows you that he supports you in every way.

This isn’t about material support. As a strong, independent woman, you don’t need someone to take care of you. But you do know that he is going to be there no matter what. When you are sick, does he wipe your brow and bring you soup? Or does he high tail it you his buddy’s house to avoid getting infected? Does he cheer you on that half-marathon that’s been on your bucket list (or better yet, run with you), or does he think it would be too boring? How he supports your interests and endeavors can be very telling about how much he values you.

He let’s you cry on his shoulder.

If your guy makes you feel like he would rather be walking on hot nails than comforting you or listening to your cares, then he’s going to find it awfully difficult to maintain that open, honest communication that is the hallmark of a strong relationship. Feelings, and talking about feelings, shouldn’t scare him away.

He embraces personal growth.

Relationships constantly evolve and grow. A man he thinks he already knows everything or doesn’t care to challenge himself in anyway to grow as a person may be part of the recipe for relationship stagnation down the road. Whether it’s a desire to improve physical health, or to learn new skills, or even to just keep up with current events, a man who embraces growth will challenge you to do the same. Growing towards each other will strengthen your relationship.

He can’t imagine a future without you.

Your perfect match will see the two of you, 50-, 60-, 70-years down the road, rocking away in your chairs on the front porch. It’s cliche. Yes. But consider the alternative. If your partner has no trouble envisioning what his life would be like without you, or if he even seems to desire a life without cumbersome relationship ties, then he is likely not in it for the long haul.

There is no doubt that he chooses to love you.

You may have heard this said before, but love is a choice. A decision that both partners make to grow together. Feelings are fickle. And fleeting. Feelings of being “in love” may guide you to the right person, but what helps your relationship last a lifetime is the decision to love your partner with every word spoke and and every action taken. Anything less than that decisiveness leaves the door open for a divide to grow between you. At some point, the chasm may become too difficult to bridge.;

There are obviously many other variables that will lead you down the right path or lead you astray. This list isn’t a checklist for interviewing the Prince Charming in your life. But it’s a good, solid list of the types of characteristics common in men in successful, long-lasting relationships. You deserve nothing but the best, and your perfect match is out there waiting to give it to you.

Best Way To Communicate To Your Man So He’ll Listen

OK, ladies. How many times have you tried to talk to your husband or your boyfriend about something really important, and it’s like the shutters immediately close, and he is battening down the hatches?

For instance, you need to have “the talk” about how you don’t like it when he doesn’t return your text within seconds of you hitting the Send button. Or, you have to remind him, yet again, how inconsiderate he is when he shows up five minutes late without calling to let you know. Such discussions are often met with stony silence, or worse yet, he may simply walk out of the room.

How do you get your guy to listen to you?

Your man does not try to purposely tune you out, nor does he find it enjoyable to make you angry. However, nearly every guy seems to have this built in defense shield that activates whenever he feels backed into a corner or attacked. Rather than lash out at you, he may just shut down.

Consider your approach to these types of conversations. Have you ever stopped to consider that how you frame a problem may get different results? No one likes to be constantly nagged, and the more you do it, the less effective it becomes. Going in to sensitive conversations with guns blazing, and a take no prisoners attitude may backfire on you.

First, men use their own frame of reference when deciding how to behave. Their guy friends wouldn’t fly into a rage over a less-than-timely text, nor would the world come to an end if he doesn’t call his buddy to say he is running a few minutes behind. It’s not done to deliberately hurt you. It just doesn’t seem like that big of a deal.

Except it is a big deal. To you. You have your reasons for wanting, no, expecting, certain courtesies from your guy. But does your guy know what those reasons are? Or did you expect him to read your mind? Men aren’t, and never have been, mind readers. In fact, they will try to stay out of a woman’s mind as much as possible, because it’s scary in there! They don’t intuitively understand. You have to spell it out.

All too often, women have expectations, then feel disrespected or slighted when those expectations aren’t met. For the guy, though, it’s like being handed a math final without first getting a study guide. They need you to communicate what your expectations are BEFORE they fail to meet them. Communication is a two way street.

No one is perfect, even your perfect soulmate. There will still be times when you may need to consider gentle reminders about what you need or expect from him in certain situations. Women have an innate skill of being able to verbally skin a man alive, and some practice this skill often. If you want your guy to respond better to your gentle reminders, going in with your verbal guns blazing will likely send him running for the hills and looking for cover.

Here is an approach to try: tell him how his actions make you feel, instead of pinning him to the wall with accusations. Your man is with you because he loves you. He cares about your happiness and wants to live up to your expectations. He wouldn’t deliberately hurt you. It’s OK to feel hurt and angry, but be honest with him about how it makes you feel, rather than trying to punish him. You may get better results, because you address the behavior and the results of that behavior, rather then using personal attacks that may prick his self-esteem or cause him to withdraw from you emotionally.

Here are a few examples:

  • Bad: You are so disrespectful when you make me wait two hours to answer my text!
  • Good: When you don’t text me back as soon as possible, it makes me feel like getting back to me isn’t important to you.
  • Bad: You are so rude! If you are going to be late, the least you could do is let me know!
  • Good: I feel worried when you are late. I worry that maybe you were in an accident or something bad happened. It would make me feel better if you would let me know when you are running late.
  • Bad: You never listen to me! All you ever want to do is play on phone!
  • Good: When you play on your phone while I’m trying to talk to you, it makes me feel like you don’t think I’m important.

You can still get the same point across with a slight change in how you approach the conversation. Your man will appreciate not being attacked, and you are much more likely to get the results you desire if he knows that his behavior has hurt your feelings or caused you pain. Communication like this is essential in an honest, open, caring relationship.

9 Ways to Show Your Man You Love Him

You share chores. You have children together. You keep the house relatively clean (hey, no one is coming over, right?). You have sex. Occasionally. What more could your guy really want?

The truth is, we all need a little nurturing. Even that stoic man that has trouble showing his emotions needs more tender loving care than you realize. So what can you do show your man you love him? Here are a few ideas.

Listen

First and foremost, the hallmark of a good relationship is communication. But it’s more than just having a conversation. Sometimes he doesn’t need you to talk back, or try to give him advice. He just needs you to listen, to be a sounding board, but be a shoulder to cry on if necessary. But listen. Without your smart phone in your hand, without the TV on. Just listen.

Ask him for his opinion or for his help

In the modern age, women don’t really need men to take care of them. Many have careers and money of their own. Women born after 1970 have been groomed to be strong and independent. And rightly so. But at the same time, your marriage is a partnership, not a one-woman show.

It’s OK to ask for advice. It’s actually helpful to get a different perspective sometime. It’s OK to ask for help once in awhile. It makes your man feel needed and appreciated, like he has a purpose in the relationship other than to change the oil in your car and grill your steak.

Give him permission to be a guy

There is a lot of pressure on men nowadays to be in touch with their feminine sides or to push themselves to be more sensitive. And no matter how uncomfortable it might be, they do it because they love you. So the best thing you can do is to give your man opportunities to just be a guy.

Push him to go out with his friends to hang out or invite the gang over for the big game. Just don’t hover with the plate of canapes or tofu. You’ll be a rock star if you just have some pizza delivered and suds on ice.

Practice basic thoughtfulness

This advice goes both ways in a relationship, but it’s often one of the most overlooked principles of basic manners. If you are pouring yourself a drink, why not offer him one, too? Of you know you are about to run out of his favorite coffee creamer, don’t use the last of it.

If he is down to his last two energy bars, replace them before he runs out. Noticing these little things and being thoughtful sends a clear message that you care. Likewise, doing the opposite sends a less-than-pleasant message.

Don’t mother him

We all know spouses like this. The naggers. The ones that question every decision their spouses make, or that constantly harangue on this or that. Your husband doesn’t need a mother. He has one of those already. He doesn’t need a boss. He has one of those, too.

He needs a wife and partner. He needs someone to share and be equals with. He needs a friend who loves him in spite of faults, who builds him up and has faith in him. As tempting as it may be, the constant lecturing will change the equilibrium in your relationship, and not for the better. Constructive feedback is OK, but learn to give it with kindness and respect. And once the feedback is given, back off and let me make his own adult decisions.

Show appreciation

This goes back to the idea of basic manners and thoughtfulness. If he has gone out of his way to do something thoughtful for you, or even if it’s just one of those every day little acts of kindness we take for granted, be appreciative.

Thank him for mowing the lawn and keeping the yard looking so nice. Thank him for picking up the kids after practice, so you could get some alone time. Don’t just say the words, but show him with loving gestures and affection.

Let him dream

We all need those secret little wishes that we nurture and protect. If your man chooses to share those hidden dreams with you, the worst thing you could do is belittle them or laugh them off. Chances are, it’s not some fanciful whim that he cooked up on the drive home, but something he has harbored and cherished since childhood.

You wouldn’t stomp on a child’s dreams, so why stomp on the dreams of the child inside the man? Let him know that you want to help him achieve his dreams, however, impossible they may seem.

Be intimate

OK. I know the thoughts going through your head. But bear with me for a moment. It’s not just about the sex. Well, yeah, it partially is. Your guy wants to be close to you, and this is how he expresses himself. It’s not just about the release for him, even though that’s what women want to think. Men are physical beings. They define intimacy through physicality. Women are wired differently, but you can’t put all the blame on him.

If your needs aren’t being met, and that is holding you back, then when was the last time you had a frank discussion about it? Communication is a two-way street, and you can’t change things for the better in your intimate life without having the courage to be frank and honest with what you need. If he is willing to listen, and that leads to greater intimacy for both of you, then you both win.

Search your heart for other ideas

You know your man best. Be observant and thoughtful, and listen to him with your heart. By doing so, you will find your own creative, unique ways to tell your man you love him, tailored to his specific needs. Hopefully this list will get you started down the path, but don’t let it be the end of the journey.

How To Save Your Marriage After Separation

Every marriage has its ups and downs. Many couple’s that are struggling but not wanting to take the drastic step of ending their marriage in divorce, often make the choice to separate.

Separation has many negative implications however it does not guarantee that your marriage is over. There have been times that separation has allowed a couple to see the importance of working together as a team as well as given partners an opportunity to clear their mind and focus on what changes really have to be made to create a healthy relationship.

In many cases being without your partner can lead to the realization that you don’t want to be without them at all. If you and your spouse have separated but you are not ready to give up, here are a few tips for you to remove the line of demarcation and reunite your household as one.

Identify the underlying problem.

If your spouse has made the decision to leave, it is important to get an understanding of what has led to this decision. Some people separate due to infidelity and some for emotional neglect.

Whatever the issue there were times prior to separating where you both dropped the ball. Instead of calling and begging your partner to return home, take some time to gain understanding through inquisitive conversation for the sake of becoming a better person.

Self-reflection is the best way to understand the role that you played in the disconnection and your partner can give you feedback. You are already aware of your partner’s role and you have most likely pointed it out and made it known to them.

This is a time to look at your role and take control of the only person you have control of…….yourself. Focusing on what you can improve about yourself as a partner and individual allows you to learn from the current circumstances in your relationship. Even if your spouse decides to never return, you can reflect on what you can do differently if you make the decision to try love again someday.

Focus on what you can control.

When love is not going the way we hoped it would, sometimes we tend to try to make it go our way. What you want to avoid is telling your partner how wrong they are and how they will never make it without you.

This will only influence them to desire to live independently from you and prove you wrong. Respect their need for space and suggest seeking professional couples counseling to help the two of you process what would be best for your relationship.

Try not to pressure your partner or attempt to manipulate them to come home. This can be difficult to avoid when feeling afraid and desperate to save your marriage. However, applying too much pressure could cause more damage than good.

Focus on controlling your actions and instead use resources such as prayer, meditation, exercise and/or attending an intensive marriage counseling weekend.

Suggest setting a deadline.

Let’s face it, separation is certainly not ideal but it is not a divorce. If the two of you can come to an agreement to attend a couples counseling intensive, discuss a possible agreement to reconnect with conditions.

For some people this will work with the assistance of a professional counselor. For others this may not be so simple. If you and your partner have separated before and trust is continually broken, you will have your work cut out for you.

The key here is to be realistic about your circumstances. If your marriage has gotten to a point where the two of you can no longer be under the same roof, understand that this could take time to mend. Your marriage did not get here over night and just like a deep wound takes time to heal, so does matters of the heart.

Sincerely Apologize as well as forgive

No matter what the outcome of your separation, purpose in your heart to forgive your spouse as well as offer a sincere apology for whatever hurt you have caused. Being sincere is quite different from saying whatever you think your partner wants to hear.

Sincerity is not manipulative or dismissive. Consider your spouse’s heart, their past, present and hopeful future. Remember why you fell in love and remind them of the plans and goals you planned to achieve as a team.

If you can visualize the hope and the love that was promised you can be sincere in not wanting them to hurt or be traumatized. Forgive your partner completely, understanding that neither one of you have the handbook to perfecting marriage. Forgive them for times that they fell short and caused you disappointment.

Marriage is no easy task. Conflict and disappointment are guaranteed to come. If you are separated and looking to reunite, try the tips listed above to assist you with re-connection. There can be reconciliation and healing even in the midst of separation.

Everything You Need To Know About Becoming a Better Wife

In today’s society there is a lot expected of women.  We are supposed to be attractive, financially suave, business oriented, a gourmet chief, a nurturing mother, housekeeper, nurse, vixen in the bedroom, Bible scholar, and still make it to the gym 5 days a week to stay physically fit.  It can get pretty difficult to juggle all these hats.

Some women accomplish this with seemingly no struggles while the other 98% of us just want to figure out how to maybe sort of accomplish 3 of these tasks a day.  With all these expectations a woman can start to be pretty hard on herself and question her capabilities.

The Super Woman syndrome is what I like to call it when a woman feels as if she has to conquer the world in one day and without any assistance.  Often times we take on the responsibility of fixing everything for everybody but pay very little attention to our own self-care.   There is no way to get rid of all the things a woman has to do in life.  However, there are ways to help ease some of the stress and anxiety of attempting to be 100% perfect in every area.

(1) Team work:  Understand that it is okay for members of your household (children and husband) to assist with keeping your home organized.  I have recently taught my 6 year old to fold laundry and my 3 year old vacuums and clears the table after eating.  My husband helps with cooking meals and folding laundry. He also gets the children ready for school in the morning while I am headed out the door to work.

We no longer live in the day where a woman has to do all the work while her husband reads the paper in his lazy boy and the children make messes that mom hurries to clean up.  An added bonus to everyone lending a helping hand around the house is that it allows you to have more energy for mommy/daddy pleasure later on and family activities as well.  It also highlights the fact that two is better than one. We can get a lot more accomplished when we all pull together which frees up time for family fun.

(2) Enlist help:  I have learned that the wise woman asks for help.  Whatever the issue may be you can usually find a friend with suggestions or an article about improvement that can assist you with information.  A woman should improve her financial wisdom, spend quality time with the kids and have a hobby of her own.

Look for people that are successfully doing these things and find out how they balance it all.  If it is in your budget you can hire help for certain areas such as: occasional help with organizing your home, child care, cleaning and meal preparation to free up some of your time in order to focus on specific areas and career goals.

(3) Have fun with your family: If your day to day life is getting in the way of your family intimacy and fun time, let the not so important issues take a back seat to the very important issues. We often place too much value on everything being in order in the house but forget to create a home and keep that in order.

Folding the laundry one day later is acceptable when your husband needs your attention and your kids just want to cuddle or read a book with mommy. There are helpful websites such as www.theconfidentmom.com that can assist with prioritizing chores and meal planning. It is important to prioritize what you invest your time in.  Everything is relevant however some things are simply more important in the long run.  Make sure you are creating a home for your family and not just a perfect house.

  • Make time for yourself: I cannot stress the importance of self- care enough.  It is impossible to pour into others when you do not take time to refill yourself.  If you have nothing left to give than you are operating in the red when it comes to caring for others.  Set aside time for prayer and meditation, read a good book, exercise, and connect with a good friend.  Whatever rejuvenates and replenishes you, make time to make it happen.  Taking care of yourself will make you a better wife and mother and your family will thank you for it.
  • Practice balanced living:  Focus on creating health and prosperity in every area of your life.  This may sound like a tall order but balance is key.  There are five areas that usually require some fine tuning when life is hectic.  Your spiritual, social, psychological, physical and financial health all come in to play when things are out of balance.  Each of these areas require attention and care in order for you to thrive and be the best mom and wife for yourself and your family.  Taking time to address these areas is essential in creating balance.  If you pay attention to only one or two of these areas the others will be out whack. Make a list of how you can address each of the five areas daily.
  • Be realistic: Many of us are our own worst critic.  Remind yourself that you are only one person and that you are human.  Although I truly believe that wives and mothers really do have superpowers, we tend to also be the supplier of our own kryptonite.  Rome was not built in a day. Go easy on yourself and positively affirm yourself daily.  Look in the mirror every morning and say, “I am capable, able and strong. I have the ability to take control of my day without letting the day get the best of me.”  You are equipped to build your family up with encouragement and you have to do the same for yourself.  Be forgiving when you fall short of your own expectations and be realistic about what those expectations should be.

There are a lot of demands placed on women today.  We wear a number of hats and are expected to add a cape to our wardrobe as well.  Taking time to give special attention to the needs of our family as well as our selves is imperative.  Keep these six key steps to being a better wife and mother in mind as you set goals for your household.

How To Get Your Husband Back

The overwhelming sense of loss that accompanies a crumbling marriage is nearly impossible to describe. It’s so much more than just the loss of love and companionship, but also the loss of trust and respect, an abdication of dreams held close.

You wanted to be that couple. The couple that everyone talks about: married sixty years, devoted until the end, surrounded by loving children and grandchildren.

When a spouse walks out, it’s a betrayal of that dream. Carving time up like a melon so that the kids can shuttle between each parent isn’t what you had in mind when you said “I Do”. Giving up when things get tough isn’t part of the sacred vows. But here you are.

Can You Get Him Back?

First, putting aside for a moment any religious or family expectations, you need to ask yourself if you really want him back? Because getting him back is going to be hard. And despite your best efforts, it still may not work.

Women leave a marriage for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they don’t feel like they love their spouse anymore, or they feel they are missing something in the relationship.

For men, they don’t leave to “find themselves.” They leave because they have already found what they were looking for. And they don’t want to give it up. Coming back means risking losing something they don’t want to lose. It’s a difficult battle. Not unwinnable. But you have to be sure that this marriage, and this person who left you, is really worth the fight. Does he possess good husband qualities?

Assuming the answer is yes, here are some things to think about.

Avoid being Clingy/Needy

I know this is hard. It’s an emotional time, and you are feeling desperate. But the worst thing you can do is turn on the helpless woman routine. If he already has one foot out the door, he’ll quickly step all the way out to avoid dealing with your emotional crises. No, he doesn’t want to hurt you. But if he is already nurturing feelings for someone else, or enjoying his new-found freedom, he won’t want to risk losing these things in order to jump back into the emotional turmoil.

Now is the time to show him how strong you can be. Avoid emotional breakdowns when having conversations with him. Don’t beg or make promises. Role play with a friend if you need to do, but do whatever it takes to ensure that any interaction with him is mature and emotionally stable.

Reflect and Work on Yourself

It may be a bit of a cliche, but “it takes two to tango” is an apt description. While you are not the entire cause of the failure in the relationship, now is the time to work on those areas that have contributed to the vicious cycle you have been on.

We all carry with us destructive habits, behaviors, or baggage that can infect a relationship. It’s very common for people to leave a marriage and remarry, only to find the same issues coming back around to bite them. Seek the aid of a marriage coach if needed, but if your marriage is going to succeed, then you must find and eliminate destructive behaviors.

That said, now is NOT the time to start listing for your straying husband all his faults you think HE needs to work on. You’ll just remind him of why he left in the first place. The time will come. But for now, give yourself this time to work on you, and become the strongest, most confident you can be.

Make Connections

Find ways to have pleasant interactions. This will help remind him of the good times and the positive things he is leaving behind. However, don’t make it sound like you are inviting him over “to work on your marriage.” He will automatically resist and pull the other direction. Just keep it light and natural.

Find little things that you can agree on to help forge those connections, and then build upon them. Again, this is not the time to pepper him with your list of things to fix the relationship. In some ways, you are starting over in finding those connections, the commonalities that attracted you to one another.

If you have kids, then this presents a lot of opportunity find commonality, but you can also connect over a number of other areas as well. Keep it light, positive, and be supportive of him in these areas.

Communicate

Avoid having heart-to-hearts about your relationship too soon. Take the time to build the connections first. If you try to dive right into communication, it’s going to just look like desperation. This process takes time and effort, and it will take enormous strength and restraint on your part.

When the time comes to communicate, don’t just schedule a sit-down with the purpose of talking about your relationship. Don’t schedule date. Men communicate much better when they are doing something they enjoy, and the conversation can just evolve organically.

If they feel threatened or backed into a corner, they will just resist. If you take it slow, building up your connections and let the communication naturally evolve, he may start to wonder why he made the decision to leave in the first place. This is what you want.

Avoid the pitfall of initiating, or letting him initiate sex at this point. It’s too soon. You have more work to do. He will also be struggling with himself a bit. Once men make a decision, it’s difficult for them to backtrack.

They are afraid of looking weak, and they may also have their buddies, family members or perhaps a love interest advising them that nothing will ever change, and going back is a bad idea. Good solid communication is important, but you aren’t out of the woods yet.

Build Opportunities to Cooperate

Like connecting, cooperating together toward a common goal is critical in reminding him of the many positives in your relationship. And if you struggled in this area prior to the break-up, hopefully the work you did to reflect and eliminate your own destructive habits may help him see a new side of you, to see the work you have done to improve yourself, and recognize improvements he may need to make in himself.

Couples who cooperate and support each other build strong foundations that make it difficult for either to leave the relationship. Again, if you have children, you have some built-in areas where you can build cooperation between the two of you, but you can also look for other areas.

Now may also be the time that you can broach the subject of reconciliation. It’s not about going back to the old relationship, but forging a new one, based on the new connections you have build and work you have done to eliminate destructive cycles. He may be open to couples counseling at this point, but don’t push.

Be Patient

The above steps obviously take a lot of time. You can’t fix in a day what took years to undermine. You must be patient, rational, supportive, and positive. You cannot rebuild your relationship if it’s based on insecurities and fear.

You must be strong and patient, and you must understand that still may not work out. If that is the case, at least you have done the work on yourself to help ensure that your next relationship isn’t prone to the same pitfalls as this one.

If you do succeed, your relationship will be stronger and more secure than it ever was. If this man, and this relationship is worth fighting for, then they are worth the effort and the patience.

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