Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How To Improve Your Marriage – A list of things for husbands to do

I found an article online, by Paul Peterson, that listed six ideas for husbands to improve their marriage.  I thought they were pretty good so I will list them and then see if our readers can come up with additional things a husband can do.  We will run a similar post for women soon so keep those ideas in your head.

Here is the list I found:

#1 Date your wife every week.

Just do it. Turn off the TV, say “no” to your buddies, find a babysitter and date that lady! Date her just like you did BEFORE you married her!

#2 Kids in bed by 8 p.m.

Your wife needs you WITHOUT the kids! Kids up after 8 is kids up to late! This is not so much about the kids as it is about you and her! Help her get those kids in bed so you two can make out… or make up… or just enjoy each other as you clean the house.

#3 Teamwork

Teammates don’t go “tit-for-tat”; they work together to win the game! They do what needs to be done. Husband, look around what needs to be done that you can do now… even if she normally does it? Can you run the vacuum? Brush the kids teeth? Fill the dog dish? See what you can do and do it… you’ll be surprised at what happens!

#4 Open the door for her

This is about being a gentleman. When Sherri and I were newlyweds I opened the car door for her (I still do). One time a “friend” said, “Ha! You’ll not be doing that a few years from now.” I wanted to say, “Dude, just because you’re marriage sucks doesn’t mean mine will.” Men, be a gentleman. Treat your wife with honor and respect. Speak well of her and give her the honor a lady deserves. Be a gentleman.

#5 Do Domestic Detail

This is a manly way to say “help around the house.” You can do laundry or dishes without having to check in your “Man Card.” Help your bride around the house. I do all the laundry and clean up everything after supper (in addition to being a teammate and doing other “domestic details” that need attending). Men, a great way to show your wife you love her (in addition to the constant groping and grunting) is to help her.

#6 Do things the way she would do them

Sherri is meticulous. I’m not. She folds her dirty clothes before she puts them in the hamper. I’m lucky if mine hit the hamper. I used to criticize this. Now I realize that it doesn’t take long to do things her way and it makes me a better man in addition to making our home a better place! She has a certain way she likes her dishes put away. I used to fight it. Now I do it her way. The result = the kitchen looks great and my bride thinks I’m sexy (I have no clue how sexy and dishes go together but they do). I’ve just realized that on most things it’s not worth having a conversation about. Just do it her way when you’re helping her!

So there you go. Six ideas that you can start doing immediately that will create a better marriage and contribute to a better world.

How about some ideas readers?

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March 10, 2010 - Posted by | Family, Marriage | , ,

20 Comments »

  1. These are great suggestions. I would say reading these, must have been written during “I Luv Lucy” days. I think any post mid 1990s marriage 70-80% of husbands are / have been doing these things fairly routine, or else they “ain’t Married”.

    Little outdated material here!!

    Comment by 2010 husbands | March 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Husband – instead of finding fault in my list – how about suggesting some things that a husband could do to make his marriage better? If this material is outdated – what would you suggest?

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  2. 2010 husbands, if you read the article it was posted in November 2009. Not sure if that was the original date, but that is when the article was printed.

    Instead of complaining, how about making some suggestions if you think the ones listed are outdated.

    I would add one to the list. How about this

    7) When you go out, go to places she would like to go. Example: go to movies she likes, restaurants she likes, to her parent’s place, etc.

    I cannot wait to read the wife’s list.

    Comment by JR | March 10, 2010 | Reply

  3. I like this list. If my husband did these things, we would have a much better marriage. How about adding this one?

    When trying for romance, think of her needs and her wishes before your own. You might be surprised at the response you get.

    Comment by Mary | March 10, 2010 | Reply

    • Mary – I have suggested this to many husbands – the more you serve your wife – the better the romance…

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 11, 2010 | Reply

      • truely listen to us when were telling them something not be staring off and have to be ask are you listening to me??

        Comment by penny | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  4. I presented the list as a starting place – are there other rules for husbands to follow that would help their marriages? I was hoping to get a long list and the same when we list six things for wives to do.

    Come on readers – name some things husbands could do to have a better marriage!!

    Comment by raymcdonald | March 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. I have two suggestions for you:

    1) “Please” and “thank you” go a long way, even for the things she normally does anyway. A “thank you” for doing the dishes will make her night because you acknowledged that she put effort into loving her family by taking care of them and showed that you appreciate that effort….and believe it or not, I learned this from my very polite husband!

    2) Cuddle, hold hands, give hugs….most women (there are always a few exceptions) crave physical contact, especially if it doesn’t involve baby drool or food covered hands :-)

    Comment by Jen | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Good suggestions Jen – thanks for sharing…

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  6. How about these

    1) snuggling without expecting more
    2) no public arguments which includes in front of the children
    3) discussing things with me like I am a real partner
    4) praying with me, a man who would pray with me would have my heart
    5) thinking of my feelings and desires

    sorry is these sounds negative, I am just very tired

    Comment by Tired | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • I like these Tired – they are good suggestions – all husbands should read them for sure…

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  7. Two things I have always done is, first in the morning before I leave for work I give my wife a cup of coffee in bed. Second is I bring her flowers for no reason. Things that small still show that you love her. Even when money is tight coffee and flowers can always fit the budget. It is like doing things when we first started dating. One more thing after 27 years I still go out of my way to do things for her parents and brother. And not asked for things in return. Small things mean more than big things. Also things unexpected are huge.

    Comment by Tom Hopkins | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • Coffee in the morning would be nice for sure – or whatever they drink in the morning. Thanks Tom for the ideas. Doing the things you did while dating would be good too.

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  8. As expected I got darts thrown @ me, usally typical though.
    Well I have been doing all those things on the list ever since the ring was placed on. I see what needs to be done & takes care of it before I even get asked. I create my own “honey-do list”. But that’s just me and I’m just saying.
    I’m a rare husband in that area of life. We all are given different gifts.

    I’m simply making the point, for most men that ARE that clueless Re the list needs, then they shouldn’t be married in 1st place and/or won’t be married for long any way.

    My Advice – “Man-Up” and do what you would need to do for yourself, if you didn’t have a spouse to do it for you.

    Comment by husband 2010 | March 11, 2010 | Reply

    • No one threw darts – lol – just wanted to hear what you thought men should do instead of simply saying the list I found was outdated – thanks for your comments.

      Comment by raymcdonald | March 11, 2010 | Reply

      • Based upon, I’d think a good past 15-20yrs, w/ most folks 2-full time dual earner incomes and both folks having multiple responsiblities,it be difficult to imagine, each spouse is not jointly handling many of the things listed on the list. Therefore, I equated that as being “out-of-touch” w/ current times. I guess it depends, on what age you got married in life, and what your spouses employment situation was like upon marrying, therefore you knew upfront what was expected of you. Also if a male has any personal sense of duty/self-respect, he should step-up-to the plate and take care of business @ hand. Those who don’t know these things, to me show themselves to be insecure and weak. I guess some females enjoy more of the “white-knight flowers & romance novel fantasy” vs the man who gets the daily job done. But different strokes for different folks- lol!

        Comment by husband 2010 | March 12, 2010 | Reply

  9. Thanks for the ideas readers. Here are a few more.

    1) see yourself as a partner – in everything – talk about sharing the home responsibilities – decide together what is fair.

    2) always be ready to communicate with your spouse – not the buddies on the golf course (or wherever you and your friends hangout). your spouse will appreciate that you think her opinion is valued.

    3) praise your wife whenever the opportunity arises – no mater how trivial you might think it is – she will appreciate it

    4) never hide things from your wife – honesty is always in vogue.

    5) say “I love you” at least once a day – but more often is OK too

    6) pray with your spouse – prayer is always the most intimate thing you can do with your wife

    Are there some more ideas out there?

    Comment by raymcdonald | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  10. These are some really good ideas in this thread. I only wish I could say I have done them all. There is always room for improvement I guess. I am trying to be the best husband I can be, and that is the truth.

    Comment by JR | March 13, 2010 | Reply

  11. I have the best husband in the world. He gives me a kiss good-bye every morning. It may seem trivial but I once mentioned that I really like that ritual and he has made sure he has done it everyday since. The point is, it was a very simple thing to remember but he did and that meant more to me than the kiss itself.

    Comment by Molly | March 28, 2010 | Reply

  12. Here are two more things for your list: 1.) Keep your word. If you say you are going to do a thing, do it yourself or get it done by someone else. 2.) Take care of yourself. Most women live at 5-10 years after their husbands die. Those are very lonely years, usually spent in poverty.

    Comment by Helen | January 6, 2011 | Reply


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