Top 10 Ways to Become a Better Husband

I don’t know much about much, but after being married for over thirty years I can definitely say that doing these ten things will make any man a better husband.

1. Embrace your wrongness. In the course of disagreeing with our wives, what many of us men fail to realize is that, invariably, we are wrong. We just are. We’re trying to be right, of course. But we’re failing at it. We can’t help it. It’s the nature of things. Men are bigger, hairier, stronger, and wronger. It’s a fact that we should just get used to. God knows our wives have.

2. Stop fidgeting while your wife’s talking to you. It really is rude—and you know it. And if you don’t stop doing it, then one day, when your wife starts talking to you about something, you’re going to distractedly begin looking at a magazine, or fiddling with your cell phone, and suddenly she will shriek and stab you in the head with a fork.

3. Remember that your tone does too matter. You know how when arguing with your wife you always think that if she would just focus on what you’re saying, instead of on how you’re saying it, then she’d see how right you are? Yeah, that’s never going to happen. She needs to know you still love her as you’re hollering at her. Women are funny like that.

4. Actually have opinions. Women like men who are clear on what they think, and why they think it. Men, though, enjoy ever waffling. Well, waffles are for kids. Stop it. Commit to thoughts, ideas, and decisions. Sure, you’ll be wrong about whatever it is you decide to think. But you’ll be attractively wrong. Wrong, but studly. That’s the American way.

5. Give her presents. Women love to receive gifts. But men don’t like to give gifts, because doing so takes time, money and trouble. Plus, you can never really figure out what to give a woman anyway—and the idea that you have to give, say, a Valentine’s Day gift, automatically invalidates the very reason people are supposed to give spontaneous gifts of love in the first place, which actually makes such gifts a manipulative insult. And those are your choices: either do what she wants, or be right. And what have we already learned about you being right?

6. Stop being so hormonally crazed. Well, at least try to stop being so hormonally crazed. Okay, try to be less hormonally crazed. Okay, forget it. Just try not to get arrested.

7. Stop complaining about your job. Guys love to talk about—and especially to complain about—their jobs. Women, though often seemingly infinite in their patience and empathy, do have their limits. You’ll know you’ve reached your wife’s when, as you are telling her about your day, she begins distractedly looking at a magazine or fiddling with her cell phone.

8. Get okay with being late. Women have an internal guide that tells them which things it’s okay to be late for, and which things it’s not. Unfortunately, that guide is written in ancient Venusian. You don’t read ancient Venusian. You don’t read any Venusian. So you just have to wait. And that is why God invented cell phones that play movies.

9. Tell your wife how to behave in public. Women love this. It makes them feel like you’re watching out for them, like you’re helping them understand things about themselves that they should be aware of. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to explain this very point to my own wife as she was resolutely walking away from me.

10. Don’t keep bugging your wife to give you some good ideas for a “Top 10″ list you’re writing when she’s trying to get ready for work. Trust me on this one.

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About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • snowhite197

    I am so excited about the Jones carbonated candy I can't even begin to tell you! WooHooo!!!

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    This is just so sad…

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Nis: Thanks for sharing my stuff.

    Snow: Get to work. I don't see YOU selling any of my books. (And actually, do let me say that I, too, am inordinately excited by the carbonated candy. Every day, I yearn–YEARN, I say–for the Return of the Fizzie. Dare I hope?)

  • nisperos

    Well, of course, you can get Fizzies through the web (like from the Vermont Country store, for one), but they are not the original Fizzies. Still, this would be close to a perfect beverage on a hot summer's day to sip in your Adirondack chair on the patio of your mid-century home. Ice cold water, naturally — if you haven't drunk it all straight out of the water bottle in the frig and then left the water bottle sitting on your counter-top unfilled.

    Either that, or perhaps ice tea or lemonade out of jewel tone aluminum glasses which really keep drinks cold.

    Later, after the work is done, comes the BBQ on the Coleman Road Trip Grill LX (the one with the wheels) which some were lucky enough to purchase on sale before the price goes up. Steaks, a micro-brew, and some friends…

  • nisperos

    This was funny…

    In fact, I even shared it with my guests (printed it out) who are going to look your site up when they get home and check out your books…

    But # 10 says it all…

    Nisperos’ dictum about marriage:

    (Naturally, aside from the hormonal stuff…)

    The thing which you most like about your partner and which attracted you to them is the very thing which will make you want to scream and run away when you push the envelope to the Nth Degree…

    P.S. Tea tree oil tooth picks really help with the fidgeting. (For any smokers or ex-smokers out there, I now know 2 guys who used these to quit smoking — finally, for good, after other methods failed. +/- $3 at many health food stores.)

    P.P.S. Jones Soda Company now has carbonated candy in 6 flavors — taste like Zots if you know what those are — and they make great containers for carrying said toothpicks.

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  • snowhite197

    what's a fizzie?

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Oh, you're young, then. Good for you! But, alas, it means you're unlikely to ever know the horrors/joys of a "Fizzie." It was these tablets you used to be able to buy in, like, the late '60's–and they were, like, flavored Alka-Setzer: You dropped them in water, they fizzed like crazy, and presto-hey! A regular glass of water becomes cherry-flavored, or lemon-lime, or whatever.

    Kids used to DARE to put them directly into their mouths, though. Not that you could ever put a whole one in your mouth; it was extreme enough just to snap a little piece off the whole (they were Alka Setzer size), and put it in your mouth. The key, right away, was to not start immediately crying as the thing threatened to burn and "fizzle" a whole right through your tongue–and then jawbone. Instantly, your whole HEAD was filled with ever-exploding foam. They were awesome. Tasty! Terrifying! Insanely sour! Pretty much what every kid wants in a snack treat. I think they only sold them for a couple of years, at most. Even we knew it was only a matter of time before they discovered that they were completely deadly. It's not like we couldn't just TELL that they were. I think that's part of why they were so popular.

    • http://farfromthisshore.wordpress.com Don Whitt

      Fizzies made the worst soda ever – like root beer-flavored alka-seltzer, They were just a novelty like Jiffy-pop popcorn (which inevitably under-popped or burned but was fun to watch) or space food sticks (which I adored – especially the peanut butter flavored ones).

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    I loved them, by the way. I mean, I was INSANE for them. Every kid was. Having a Fizzie on you–much less a pack of them–was like having gold dubloons on you: You immediately were King of Your Friends. There was just nothing like them. They were the greatest things in the history of … disgusting saliva. That you’d swallow, of course: they were absolutely delicious. Just … deeply terrifying.

  • snowhite197

    hmmm. so they were like the godfather of both pop rocks and warheads.

    Did you ever put them in soda? Or put one in your mouth and then drink soda? LOL!

  • nisperos

    Of course, I wholly think that Fizzies were not about holes or "a whole right through your tongue" — duh, that's for a piercing…

    I really think Fizzies were a secret way to hook you so that when you grew up (impossible, never) you would drink down your effervescent Airborne with vitamin C, antioxidants, electrolytes, and herbs. Those are yummy and they do help a bunch with colds and allergies…

  • snowhite197

    That's exactly what i was thinking. if you had a lip piercing, and put a fizzie in your mouth with some seltzer… oh wait nm.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    No, we never thought to do that. We were a simple folk, back then.

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  • http://matchingsocks.wordpress.com matchingsocks

    hahaha.. your top tens are funny! accurate and real, but funny!

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  • http://johnshore Ken

    Listen !

  • Bill Carey

    Thanks for this list. It’s a good balance in terms of sensible points plus some humor thrown in. I’ve been married to my beautiful wife for 35 years and keeping your comments in mind will help me stay on my toes.

    Keep writing please.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      Thank you, Bill. It's great comments like that that sometimes KEEP me writing.

  • Rem

    I really appreciate the pointers that you have presented in your blog. I am about to get married I have made decision to being student of marriage and be the best I can be as a husband.

    I have learned to be better that you have understand women better and their sensibilities.

  • Curt Russell

    many of these, I've learned the hard way… trial & error. I will pass these onto my sons, maybe it will their transition into married life easier. HaHaHaHaHa!

  • Angie

    Hilarious!! I'm passing this along to my husband just in case he needs ideas … or reminders! Oh wait … now he's going to see my comment. Oh well. Hello there, dear.

  • Angie

    That was supposed to come with a cheshire cat grin at the end, but the web site must not like my arrow brackets. HTML and all … I know.

  • http://none Don Rappe

    If I could just learn to stop fidgeting.

  • http://blueberrypancakesfordinner.wordpress.com blueberrypancakesfor

    sharing on facebook!

  • Chellee

    John……YOU ARE AWESOME! By that, I mean FUN! A word I seem to favor! lol

    My hubby (of 26 years) and I read this one and the one about what things to look for in choosing a wife (I hope I didn't just slaughter that!) and laughed our buttons off! That felt good! THANKS!

  • Dan

    Hey man i like your top 10 list! My wife and i are having a lot of problems right now and i guess I should just pay attention to #1 and #4, but man thats so hard. Am i doomed to always being the idiot who is always wrong for real though man?

  • SB Edgewater

    Funny stuff! I’d be laughing out loud if I hadn’t done all these things and more, with the result being in all likelihood a divorce!

  • http://rdmlorisgoretownhorrycoscusaearth.blogspot.com/ Robert Meek

    Would you were older and could have knocked that into my late father’s head, John.

    Seriously.

    I would add to the “Give her presents” to make sure one gives ones that are not merely habitual. Break force of habit and put thought into it. Father got stuck on shoving the same lady’s cologne at mama year after year because she once said she liked it – Tabu. By the time I was 16, or so, she was crying because he hadn’t thought about it. I dashed out, with my Sears card the family had given me (for emergencies only, and I never used it otherwise), and found her Billy Graham’s book “Angels” she’d been wanting, paperback edition. Yup, in Sears. Handed it to her, said “Happy Birthday, mama, from father!” and he and I GLARED with rage at each other, silently.

    Re the card, when they got robbed and had to have cards replaced, Sears accidentally gave them 3 cards, he elected to give me the third one in case of emergency. Whatever that meant. I think that was the one and only time I ever used it.

    Don’t know why he glared. It was about 5 bucks in those days, that book. Not a lot. But the point was simple, she’d been mumbling she wanted his book for weeks, and weeks. All he had to do was LISTEN.

  • Allen

    Nine and Ten are my favorites. A surprising number of these translate pretty directly to gay husbands, just so you know, especially the part about not understanding Venusian, I think that is a Universal Truth.

  • Donald

    Can you expand on some examples of the top 10 lists?

  • Mary Wisner Miller via Facebook

    A classic!

  • Christine McQueen

    The only one I’d disagree with is number 9. I learned ‘how to behave in public’ years before I ever met him and him attempting to tell me these things in public would have infuriated me.

    • Michelle P.

      I think that one was sarcasm. : )

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.maynes Charles Maynes via Facebook

    Oh sweet Jesus…. I am so surprised we didnt grow up together John….. that is a CHAMPION, Olympic class bit of writing there….

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    What a sweet thing to say. Thanks, Charles Maynes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelly.withee.1 Kelly Withee via Facebook

    hysterical! Thanks. :-)

  • ed

    i’ll try but i don’t think it will work. she is afraid of my ideas for progress. i can’t do it so i’m very frustrated!


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