How to keep your husband -- and you - happy? Ideally, marriage is supposed to last for years, even decades. Anything that goes on for that long is bound to hit a few rough spots, some valleys between the peaks. But that doesn't mean you can't make an effort to keep things upbeat and happy. Here are five things that turn a man on after marriage. Try these and see if things don't brighten almost immediately.
1. Stay connected with him. If he's working and you're a stay-at-home mom, or if you're both working, you're going to have many hours each day when you're not only apart from each other, but doing very different things. Don't let this keep you apart more than it needs to.
Send e-mails or text messages during the day, or make phone calls if possible. Make sure when you see each other at the end of the day that you ask how his day was and genuinely listen to his answers. Schedule at least one night a week as an official "date night," when you get rid of the kids and spend an evening alone -- home watching a movie, or out to dinner, or something else enjoyable and relaxing. All of this lets your husband know that all the hassles and pressures of daily life haven't made you forget about him. And you'll see he hasn't forgotten about you, either. 2.
Surprise him. Variety is the spice of life, right? Every now and then, do something he'll like that he knows is against your usual patterns. If he's always hinting that he wishes you'd have dinner waiting for him when he gets home -- but it's not feasible because you both work the same schedule -- then get off early sometime and surprise him with dinner. If he loves bowling but you hate it, then why not suggest it one night? He'll be touched that you made the effort for him, and you can still have a good time being with him, even if the activity isn't your cup of tea. 3. Keep the passion alive.
Everyone jokes about how marriage is the cure for sex, and there's good reason. Within a few months, the passion usually dies down and couples fall into a rut: the same old sex in the same old positions at the same old times. Unfortunately, the husband's sex drive usually stays the same as it ever was; it's the wife's that diminishes. Never "force" yourself to be intimate with your husband, but do what you can to keep the mood alive. Scented candles or lingerie can work wonders -- men really are very easy to please -- and can keep that spice alive even if the sex isn't quite as frequent as it used to be.
4. Be positive. Nagging is most men's #1 complaint about their wives. Don't become a stereotypical wife who complains constantly to her husband. All people, men and women, respond much better to positive reinforcement. When something is amiss, bring it up in a way that suggests calmness, rationality, and analysis.
Don't say, "We need more money." Say, "What can we do to stretch our budget a bit further?" When there's something that doesn't have a positive angle -- like a leak in the roof or a furnace that's on the fritz -- tell him the news in as sympathetic a way as possible. You're in this together, remember. So saying, "That cheap furnace you bought has quit working" isn't going to be productive.
Even if it was a bad purchase, and you did tell him so, there's no sense bringing it up now. 5. Laugh. This can't be overstated.
Laughter is the key to happiness in marriage. If you're laughing at each other, it means you're able to affectionately tease and play together. If you're laughing together at something else, it means you share a common sense of humor. It's a bonding experience. Of course, men and women often laugh at different things. The lowbrow movies he guffaws at might leave you cold, while he despises the "chick flick" romantic comedies.
You know where you can find common ground? TV. TV comedies are usually neither lowbrow nor romantic, but more mainstream and middle-of-the-road. They're meant to appeal to everyone, and the good ones do. Try to find something you can watch regularly together that makes you both laugh.
And don't forget live theater, too. Not only can you find a funny play to enjoy in your community, but it's an evening out of the house, too. Husbands and wives can drift apart over time without even realizing it's happening.
Communication and compassion are vital. Let him know you love him as often as possible and always look on the positive side of things. Make home a happy place for the two of you, a refuge from the world.
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