5 ways to be a better husband

5 ways to be a better husband August 1, 2013


We men tend to get our priorities out of whack sometimes. We can be passionately devoted to our work, our hobbies and our favorite sports teams and still neglect the priorities that should matter most.

Being a great husband is difficult. It’s much easier to coast through marriage on autopilot and settle for things being “ok” when our wives and kids need and deserve so much more from us. I’m writing this as a follow up to a post I wrote called How to be an AMAZING wife and I intentionally saved the husbands for last, because I truly believe that most problems in marriage are the husband’s responsibility. I promise I’m not writing this to beat up on my fellow bros out there; I’m writing this is a call to action.

We need to “Man Up” and love our wives and kids the way they deserve to be loved. I’m writing this as a guy who needs a daily reminder of all these things myself! Here’s how we do it…

1. Love your wife passionately and selflessly.

Your wife needs to know that you adore her. She needs to know that she is and always will be your Dream Girl! By your words and your actions, show her your love and commitment. The Bible calls us to love our wives like Jesus loves the Church and in case you don’t know the story, Jesus willingly died a torturous death for His church. If you’re willing to love your wife with that same kind of passionate, selfless love, your marriage will drastically improve.

“For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for herEphesians 5:25

2. Protect your wife.

Your wife should feel that the safest place on earth is to be by your side. She needs to feel safe emotionally, physically and financially. She needs to know that you’ll protect her and honor by the words you speak about her and the words you allow (or don’t allow) others to speak about her. She needs to know that you’re not keeping any secrets from her that would break her trust in you. She needs to know you’d die for her if it came to that.

3. Stop acting like a kid.

Your wife doesn’t need to ever feel like you’re just another kid she’s raising. Don’t avoid responsibility, but pursue it! Stop playing video games, and looking at porn, and knowing more about your fantasy football players than you know about your own kids and making the same adolescent mistakes you made as a teenager. It’s time to be a man. Our kids are watching us and by our own example we are showing our sons how to treat women and showing our daughters what they should expect from men!

4. Communicate.

Communication is vital to a healthy marriage and most of us guys avoid it like the plague. Make it a priority to have uninterrupted conversations with your wife. Turn off your smartphone and talk to your wife! When you listen to her and respond with thoughtfulness and respect, it displays your love and appreciation for her.

5. Create romance outside the bedroom.

Most of us men see sex as our primary need in marriage and romance and affection are things we’ll reluctantly give if we think we’ll be rewarded with sex. You need to change the way you think. Pursue her just because you love her. Be spontaneous, affectionate and romantic and do all the things you did to first win her heart, but do it all with no expectation of sex afterwards. If you do that consistently, every aspect of your marriage will improve (including your sex life). For more on this, check out our brand new video series, “Best Sex LIfe Now” by clicking here.

For more tools to help build your relationship, check out our new book “Marriage Minute: Quick and Simple ways to create a Divorce-Proof Relationship” which is now also available on iTunes for Download on iPhones, iPads and all Apple devices.


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  • Jessica

    Great stuff. Tried to read the Great Wife one and the link is broken.

  • james

    I am reading the wife one to see what i should be doing.

  • Thinktank

    The whole “no video games” deal is bullcrap. Just because you’re married does not mean that you can’t have hobbies.

  • MC

    Hobbies are ok, Thinktank. I think he is advising against making them our focus. Sometimes they turn into a time-suck. Quality time with our wives should be substantive and not secondary. I’ve been guilty of that. Cheers!

  • AFG

    I fall so short of being the husband that my wife needs, but NO MORE!!!!

  • Sarah

    First, How can I get my husband to read this without it being “nagging”. Everything he doesn’t want to hear seems to be labeled as nagging.
    Second, We have gone to tons of marriage conferences that have all said these things in a nut shell, I have been very specific in what i want and need, which makes it all the more painful when he knows and just chooses not to do it.

  • RM

    As usual, the husband is portrayed as some video game playing, porn watching deviant. I read the article about how to be a better wife and it’s just bogus. How about telling my wife to stop playing Candy Crush Saga during all her free time and to stop trying to boss me around and for all women to stop trying to manipulate & mold their husbands into what they want them to be? You supposedly fell in love with us for “who we were” yet once we say “I do”, you do your best to try to change us from what you “fell in love with” in the first place. I recall going to marriage counseling over this stuff, and my wife quit because she felt the therapist was against her; like me and the therapist conspired to make her look bad. Men, I’m here to say that you can do all the things listed here and it can still get you nowhere with your wife because they’re taught from an early age that they’re going to get married and live happily ever after. Nobody dishes out the reality that marriage has it’s ups & downs, good times and bad times, and if you’re not their idea of “Prince Charming”, they’re going to try and change you into that. I love my wife dearly, but I’m speaking the truth.

  • RM

    Oh, and I don’t watch porn, and I don’t have the time to play video games. I spend my time working, and when I’m home, playing with my kids.

  • Scott

    RM, you sound like you’re in a really healthy relationship. Maybe you’re the one that needed to hear this the most.

  • Rdddd

    I feel like I do all of these things, yet my wife emails this link to me out of the blue. At first I was a little teed but I realize she just loves me and care enough to give me a nudge without it turning into an argument. Perhaps I can continue as im doing but take it up a notch.

  • Jennifer

    Sarah, I’m going to tell my husband I found the “how to be a better wife” one and noticed they had a husband one I thought would be great for him to read. Maybe then he won’t feel singled out like he’s the only one who needs improvement. That excuse for me is actually the truth 🙂 but maybe you can go abouts it that way?

  • Missy

    Smart man. 🙂

  • Rod

    I love my wife so much but haven’t been there or put her first, I feel really guilty and do believe its never to late, I have had a wake up call. Never expressed love and tenderness enough, god, what was I thinking (or not) the last 10 years. It makes me feel really sad to think how I have been, just listening more, spending more quality time, we are going to do Latin dancing classes to have some fun. No longer just leaving her to get on with it with the kids, what a selfish fool I’ve been!

  • Richard McConnell

    Man I wish I had this stuff much early, I am finding it really helpful as I am trying to put my marriage back together.

  • kyle

    I totally have not fulfilled my duties to my wife. She loves me unconditionally, and I never appreciate it. I always let work and busyness get in the way. I need to do all if these things. Lord help me.

  • eric

    Well I’m still playing Call of Duty. The guy who wrote this obviously never got into gaming.

  • Gen

    Pray for him! I’m totally serious. God LOVES to redeem marriages. Pray and rest and let God do His work in YOU. 🙂

  • Continually learning

    These are very true. Some replies shocked me, but maybe the reader was in a bad place or his heart wasn’t where it should be.

    I continue to strive to be a better husband. Seems like I get 2 or 3 steps ahead and slip one, but I’m only moving forward. The thing is men, I’m not trying to change to what she wants me to be. I am trying to change to be the Godly husband that God wants me to be. He created us different, missing a piece, that only she can fulfill and vice versa. But that makes it a challenge to grow in life together.

    I find the biggest struggle is to continue to refocus my goal orientation/prize winning need. Men set goals, when the prize, then set a new one. We see our dream girl, woo her, propose, and she has our name; new goal. I have to constantly find new goals in my marriage with my wife so she’s always a goal and priority. It took 12 years to learn that, but it has made the last 2 years much happier ones.

    God bless.

  • Roshanna

    Sarah, your husband sounds like mine. Obviously they’re not ready to receive it yet. I just keep in praying. And my husband knows I read stuff to strengthen us but he feels like these readings don’t pertain to all men cause he’s different from most men. Mine has not accepted and does not feel responsible for anything he does that hurts me. So right now I can’t say much to him. I do hope he gets it together before it’s too late. We been married 10 years, been together 13 total.

  • Roshanna

    Well RM I can’t speak for all women, but I would love to have an imperfect man that atleast goes by these in the reading. No one is perfect and I don’t expect mine to be. Shoot I’m no where near perfect but one thing my husband cannot say is that I don’t give him 100%. I do play candy crush and he loves to ride his motorcycle all the time. Everyone has a glitch but if he says he wants me to put the game up. It’s never a problem, no questions asked. Now let me ask him to spend time with me one day rather than riding with his bike club. I get accused of imprisoning him. So I think this read is for men that take advantage of having a good woman and I haven’t read the woman one but I’m sure we take advantage also.

  • Janelle

    I love these stuff…i know and admitted to my husband I have faults too. These pages has helped me to do that and is now helping my marriage. We both read these together every night. We do supper and put the kids to bed and in our couples hours before bed, as our quality time we both read these together and talk about them. We believe that we can uplift our marriage with just us working together as one along with God

  • Brock

    Wow … Seems like I need to rethink everything I thought I was doing … Never helps to be reminded of things that you may/may not need to change!!!

  • Lonelywife

    I wish I could set this in the bathroom for him to read. It’s likely he would read it…but then he’d wipe his arse with it. Pretty sad that all of these tips pertain to my life yet he doesn’t see it. If I die today, I will go never really knowing what it’s like to feel true love. I’m sad that my kids see me hurting and although married, I’m alone.

    Best wishes that to all of you that it helps.

  • Erin D

    I think this is good advice for all. Men and women both should take time out to talk to their spouse. Put down the phones, games, and whatever else is distracting you and give more time to your spouse. I also think it is important for women to be spontaneous and do something nice for their husbands once in a while, and visa versa. As well as a man should never speak ill of his wife or allow others to, a wife should never speak ill of her husband. There is a difference between talking to a friend about a problem for advice, and bad mouthing him. There is too much pointing fingers and blaming in marriages, which fixes nothing. I think when both sides give their all to fix whatever is wrong in a marriage, thinks work themselves out, rather than one side being bitter.

  • Samalama

    Video games are definitely a hobby but most of the time it becomes more than just that. They can become highly addictive and men do tend to make it their escape route. Which too can cause a riff with a relationship. Rather than talking out a problem with a significant other they bury their face into a game. I’ve had my own experience with this situation.

  • Ashley

    My husband and I play his video games together. And we have a lot of fun and really bond. I think the main idea of that statement was that video games and porn are two juvenile acts that men commonly do that take their attention not only away from their women but everything else. And that would make us women feel less important than games and other naked woman… Now with having those feelings, the relationship will pop up with several problems and prevent and closeness.

  • FreedomRider

    I don’t think you can even try to put video games and porn into the same category! I know firsthand the addictiveness and dangers of looking at porn for many, many years. Porn destroys marriages and is akin to mental adultery. Playing video games is harmful only if a guy devotes several hours a day, every day to it. I have yet to hear of one marriage that ended due to video game usage, but know of many that ended due to porn. I am very fortunate that my wife was willing to give me another chance after my porn addiction came to light for a SECOND time.

  • Gal

    My marriage almost ended due to my husband’s video game usage, and I know we are not the only ones who have been thru that experience. We’ve been thru counseling about it. He would stay up late playing, and he’d play right after work, ignoring me and our kids, even when I was pregnant and on bed rest. I was so alone because he was addicted and he let screentime come before everything. He was fired from his job, and then spent weeks just playing video games. I would try to ask nicely for his help, if he said he’d be there soon, the minutes would turn to hours. If i unplugged it, he became hostile, yelling, breaking things and he incredibly even began to be violent to me. I was basically a fool in love and some (if they’d known what he’d done) would think I was a fool at that point for staying married to him. I am not recommending anyone stay with their spouse if they feel in danger. But I prayed, and by God’s grace, my husband saw how wrong he’d been and he said he would not have screentime anymore unless I was okay with it. It was not easy and he would slip up now and then, like times I ran errands and came back to children unsupervised because Daddy was playing games, resulting in huge messes and even injuries because Daddy was oblivious, basically in another world in his games. My husband is responsible about it now. Dave Willis is just telling guys to not let games get in the way of the important things. Thankfully my husband doesn’t look at porn! I know how to check online history and all. I partially credit it to my giving him sex even at times when he didn’t ‘deserve’ it. I have had imperfect behaviors too, but one thing I will testify to is that sex can help in a major way to save a marriage, in part because it meets his need, and also it provides moments for intimate conversation about important things that my husband might’ve been much less willing to hear about just sitting around a table.

  • JA

    I spend most of my time with my head in school books, my wife spends hers complaining at how bad of a father and useless of a husband I am. She acts as if she’s been perfect this whole time. She hasn’t but I really don’t care. We are human and priorities do shift. She has been wanting to take her sweet time “improving herself” but I’m existed to turn a leaf that moment. We have a hard time listening to each other, I tried to get a counselor, but she thinks they will be against her. I dont see where she could send me this link, ignore the one for wives, not even try it, but expect me to attempt what this article has to say. After 10+ years, I still cant get her to draw the line and keep her mother out of our marriage. That should be listed on the better wives page. Coming from her, this is a pot calling the kettle black article and she should have stayed off of her high horse. No marriage falls because of one spouse or the other. It takes two hands to clap people, never forget that.

  • Ian

    Wow! it seems God is certainly working in you because I have been having some issues and this definitely stepped on my toes and I’m thankful for it. Keep allowing God to work through you and you’ll keep helping people like me. Thanks!

  • tjc

    You can do all of this, and still be told you’ve been being cheated on, then kicked out, then served divorce papers…marriage is not easy, it’s a constant uphill battle. It takes two to make, and two to break.

    I’m not saying I did everything perfect in my ten year marriage, but neither did she…

    If only one person wants to try to fix a marriage by any means possible, it’s bound for failure. It takes two people who want nothing more than a Godly union to make married life work.

    No one is perfect, we all fall short on a regular basis, but no one deserves the hell I’m going through right now…

  • Brenda

    RM, I’m not married but I’ve been with my partner for four years and we have a seven months old daughter. I would be beyond grateful if he worked and played with the baby. Shoot, I’d be okay if he just held her and played a video game as long as he’s here. He will disappear for a few days and not even once ask about how our baby is. I found out he was cheating on me nonstop, and then he started physically abusing me because I got upset over the cheating and him practically abandoning our family. He comes around and thinks that just because he told our daughter hi that means I have to automatically get naked and jump in bed with him. I left him and he still feels if he spends five minutes with her than I owe him sexual favors. Its not always about changing the man but trying to preserve who they were or trying to get them to stop mistreating you.

  • P

    You are not alone, beloved of God. I’m praying for you. Don’t be afraid to seek out help.

  • PMT

    We’ll, all I know is that my wife and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage this Wednesday. And I can clearly say that when I have put these suggested tips into practice, they have strengthened our relationship tremendously. And when I haven’t, we both can tell a huge difference and we experience an emotional disconnect. As the leader of my home, I am responsible for setting the tone for my family. There can be great peace and stability when I initiate servant leadership daily. Thanks for the tips, Dave. I enjoy your blogs regularly.

  • erica

    I truly love this. These 5 things are the things I’ve always stressed to my husband. And to think I needed to read this this morning. Awesome. I cannot stress enough how much I love this.

  • Jsmith7300

    If you’re the type of person who needs to go to marriage conferences, who gets relationship advice on the Internet, or who needs to “pray” that your spouse will read posts like this and see the light, maybe you’re in the wrong relationship OR maybe the problem is YOU!!! Society seems to perpetuate this idea that the purpose of life is for all people to get married and have kids, even if it makes people miserable. So called “experts” teach that relationships are difficult and require a lot of effort, but being with someone you’re truly in love with shouldn’t be that hard. Ladies and gentlemen alike, stop living in stereotypes and just be respectful of each other. If it’s something that you have to “work” at then ask yourself if it’s really what you want. I’m not saying that you throw in the towel after the first argument or obstacle in the road. I’m saying that if you’re “problems” are all focused around minutia, then maybe you’re not in the right relationship. Stop trying to force it.

  • Angie

    Or ask her which if the areas she feels needs improvement. 🙂

  • Susan

    Finally someone knows exactly what women need and what men need and how they think. It took me and my Bobby, about 30 years to figure it out. After 36 years of marriage I lost the one true love of my life and I am truly thankful for each minute, no each second we shared together. Please read and reread this short article and know it is absolute fact. Love is the most beautiful experience we can have. It is not easy but so very, very much worth it!

  • jameson

    I definitely made the mistake of video games becoming more. I shut down and only did that. It became such a problem I almost lost everything! Will never make that mistake again. Got my priorities straightened out.

  • phil

    This post has helped me greatly tonight me and my wife have been haveing issues due to theirs time i lose my way and get caught up in other things like work.i love my wife more than anything and will do anything to save my marriage.i praise god for this post this is truely a word from god and i recieve it and claim it and i will change my actions daily and treat my wife like the queen she is

  • Nunia Bizness

    Not exaggerating, this could have been for woman. I’m the one that wants and desires these things while my wife has a HUGE problem with communicating her feelings and setting priorities within our marriage. In fact, I don’t know of too many marriages that this couldn’t be used for woman rather than men.

    I think the trap lies within the typical “womanly duties” (just trying to give it a title). It appears woman fee overwhelmed at times and maybe even a little trapped; therefore, they may feel somewhat alone in the family unit. However, a lot of woman create their own prison.

    Please love your husband PASSIONATELY (don’t just lie there and do nothing), communicate, stop acting like a little school girl or cheer leader that never grew up, let your husband feel safe near you, cherish him, and show desire for him, create a sexy atmosphere.

    At least show some enthusiasm as if you would anything else you may be passionate about.

  • fedup

    I have been trying to get my husband to do these things for years. I have supported him with his career, tried to be more pleasant and have the house picked up when he comes home, talk to him calmly about any issues that arrive,make meals he wants, inntiate sex, plan date nights, and am going to counseling alone. Then find out he wrote e-mails to an ex-girlfriend telling her that he didn’t care about a lot of people, but that “she was high on his lists and to let him know if there was anything she needed”. And were talking about our marital issues with her. He tells me it is his business who he talks to and that he didnt do anything wrong.The end of my straw was when he told me a month before our anniversary that he had everything planned, just to find out I’m not even worth making a dinner reservation for. I love my husband , but it is very obvious he doesn’t feel the same. I am completely disconnected from him and tired of putting in all the work along with doing everything from yard work, bills, cleaning, cooking, laundry, taking care of our 3 kids and him saying that because he works (I’m a stay at home mom) he doesn’t have to help me. I am ready to let go. So, hopefully the man/woman that reads this can see their ways before it is too late and a family is destroyed…

  • Casey

    My husband is the same way. No matter how I present it, he will be offended and turn it around on me. Everything in this article is what I have been trying to tell him but it all goes in one ear and out the other. Then to add insult to injury he twists it all around and turns it into me saying I don’t want to be with him which isn’t true.

  • that guy on a bike

    Thank you glad someone mentioned that on here. While these are good ideas. I’m not going to lose myself to trying please my wife. I’ll do what it takes to keep her happy, but im.also going to continue to do the things that keep me happy and sane.

  • Tim

    Unfortunately most of the things you mentioned my wife does. The smartphone and avoiding talks being the biggest violators.

  • Marie

    My husband and I enjoy playing golf games together on XBOX. He’s not a hard core gamer, though. Play together once in awhile. Just a thought.

  • Sugarbush43

    It’s a new phenomena, which is why you don’t know of any that ended due to video games. This is one of the biggest problems nowadays. I had to give my husband an ultimatum years ago after our first child was born. Video games can be just as bad as porn. Porn is not always mental adultery and MMOs can lead to adultery. You’d be surprised.

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