Not long ago, Jason and I were on one of our weekly date nights when we met up with a group of his guy friends. Some of them are married, some aren’t. I was the only woman in the group (which isn’t necessarily unusual but it’s good for you to know). We had been there for about 10 minutes when one of the married friends got a text from his wife and started complaining about how his wife is always nagging him “to just stay home with me”.
As soon as he said this, my focus left the conversation and I became instantly irritated. I wasn’t sure exactly if it was because he didn’t want to be home with his family or because I felt the need to sit down with his wife and tell her, “give him something to want to come home to!”
It probably was both!
I despise conversations like the one above. They make me sick to my stomach. Literally.
One of the reasons I instantly cringe when I hear conversations similar to the one of Jason’s friend is because I’ve been on the other end of the marriage spectrum where I was miserable in my marriage and life, too. I’ve been the wife whose husband was out with friends while I was home with 4 small kids and lonely. I was stressed to the max, my marriage was hanging on by a string, I had friends who were encouraging a divorce and friends who were completely against divorce. My life was in shambles…
After going through that mess, I would never wish it upon someone else.
Luckily by the grace of God, I’ve learned a lot about myself, marriage, and relationships from going through that horrible time. I hope by sharing some of my past mistakes, what I’ve learned and what others have shared with me, you will benefit from of the marriage secrets I’ve gained along the way.
I haven’t learned it alone I’ve had great friends, raising small kids and their husbands were never around! I’ve seen my own parents marriage crumble. I’ve seen a good friends marriage overcome infidelity and I’ve been guided by a few wonderful mentors along the way.
So are you ready to learn some of the secrets of intentional wives?
Here are 20 secrets of intentional wives:
- Intentional wives don’t run to others to help them when their marriage is a mess. They run to God and to their husbands. They don’t broadcast their problems on social media. They don’t go to the bar trying to drown their sorrows. They don’t believe the grass is always greener on the other side. They grab their marriage by the horns and intentionally work on it- with their husband. Whether it’s attending a marriage counselor (be careful if you do this, there are a lot of REALLY bad counselors out there as well as many good ones. If you attend church, I would start there to see if there is a pastor that can meet with you both or seek the advice of an older mentoring couple who has a marriage worth modeling after.)
- Intentional wives are loyal to their husbands. You made a vow to your man when you got married. You need to guard your heart and your mind when it comes to infidelity including Facebook friends, texts, social media, and at work. If you are having trouble, get out of the situation and get help from a counselor. If you aren’t sure the behavior is ok, imagine your spouse doing what you are doing, it will probably answer your questions very quickly.
- Intentional wives are respectful. Intentional wives don’t complain and belittle their husbands in front of others. Intentional wives build up their husbands. They don’t tear them down. Intentional wives are appreciate their husbands. Intentional wives understand that if you want your husband to lead your family, sometimes you have to shut your mouth and let him do it…even if it’s not exactly how you would have. You can save that conversation for later behind closed doors and approach it respectfully instead of criticizing.
- Intentional wives want to meet the needs of their husbands. I want my husband to be happy, well fed, and look forward to coming home.
- Intentional wives are present. Do you greet your husband with a smile when he gets home? Do you ask him about his day and actually listen to what he says? Do you kiss him hello and goodbye? If you want to be part of your husband’s life, you need to show up and be present, even if it means watching football or playing golf and you would rather not. By spending time together, even if you don’t enjoy the activity you can grow as a couple.
- Intentional wives put their husbands before the children. I know…some of you are gasping at the thought. Guess what, if you don’t put your husband before the kids, your marriage is going to crumble. It’s a lot harder to be a mommy and daddy when you are divorced. I know. Yes there are certain circumstances with abusive relationships that you need to put your kids protection as a number one priority. However, there isn’t a better gift (besides teaching them about God) that you can give your kids than showing them through your marriage how it should work- full of mutual respect, love, and family.
- Intentional wives are good moms. If you want your husband to be respectful and proud of you, take pride in raising his babies. Do you have time in your schedule free of kid activities so you can be a couple? If not, you might want to find some quickly! There are many, many husbands out there that are so proud of their wives and love their families.
- Intentional wives talk less and listen more. I am not saying that you should never talk or voice your opinion. What I am saying is that when you have a conversation with your husband listen to what he is saying. Watch his body language. Ask him questions. He’ll appreciate it.
- Intentional wives treat their husband better than strangers. This sounds harsh but I’ve heard many couples snipping at each other coming into church and as soon as they walk in the door the fake smiles come on with happy greetings to whoever is the greeting everyone that day at the door. Who just got treated better, the person greeting everyone or your spouse?
- Intentional wives forgive their husbands and ask forgiveness. No one is perfect. In order to be forgiven we need to ask for it. If it is your husband who hurt you, forgive your husband and move on (obviously there are times this is far more difficult to do such as extramarital affairs…for those instances seek professional help with a marriage counselor. I’m talking about not holding a grudge because he forgot to take out the trash or pay a bill on time.) Letting things simmer inside you with no forgiveness ends up hurting you and your marriage.
- Intentional wives know how to compromise. You aren’t always going to get your way. Period. Sometimes you have to go do things that you don’t want to. Marriage is a partnership. He makes sacrifices for you. You need to make sacrifices for him. Marriage isn’t 50/50, it’s 100/100. Tell the truth! If you are asked where you want to eat for dinner and you are craving Olive Garden, don’t say, “I don’t know…” If he says that sounds terrible, give your next option. My husband once reminded me that he is not a mind reader. If it’s important enough to you that you will be angry later if it doesn’t happen, you better let him know about it to begin with.
- Intentional wives make an effort with his family. I am very blessed to truthfully say I love my in-laws. I know many of you aren’t blessed with that same feeling. A wise woman who doesn’t particularly like her in-laws once gave me some great advice. “Holidays happen a few times a year. Put on a happy face and be nice. It’s only for a few hours and your husband will appreciate it. He deserves a holiday with his family just as much as you do.” Now if they are particularly nasty to you, do your best. Play a game or bring a puzzle to complete with the kids. Your husband will appreciate your effort.
- Intentional wives do not argue with their husbands in front of other couples. Not only is it disrespectful to your spouse, it’s uncomfortable for those who are with you. Save it for when you are alone.
- Intentional wives encourage their husbands. Have you asked him what his goals are for 2015? How about for this week or what can you help him with today? Sometimes a back rub and a kiss are all that he needs. When he’s sad his favorite cookies or dessert might help!
- Intentional wives date their husbands. Whether it’s a special dinner at home or going to a movie, it is important to keep the spark in your marriage. One way is by dating your husband. Remember when you started dating? You probably wore something nice, put on some perfume, make up and had butterflies in your stomach. How often do you dress up for your husband now?
- Intentional wives keep it hot in the bedroom and pursue their husbands. If you need some advice on this The Dating Divas have a ton of ideas to keep that spark! Other ideas are to send a spicy text to your hubby, stick a note in his lunch or on the steering wheel of his car.
- Intentional wives understand that being right isn’t always the best solution to the argument. Does it really matter who called the plumber last week or if your child is dressed perfectly? Why let silly arguments cause strife in your marriage. Let it go.
- Intentional wives make big decisions with their husbands (and intentional husbands make big decisions with their wives). I recently found an antique cupboard that I fell in love with for our home. I knew I could afford it but because Jason and I are a team, I sent him a picture and a text asking him what he thought. My response was, “That’s perfect for what you were looking for. Go for it.” I had no guilt purchasing the cupboard and it actually made it more exciting because he understood exactly what I was looking for. The reason I think this is so important because the decisions are made on mutual trust and understanding. No one feels like they weren’t aware of a purchase or that the other wasted money.
- Intentional wives have their own hobbies, too. It’s important to love being with your husband, doing things together, and having your own things you love like sewing, reading, or whatever hobby it is you love. We all need balance in our lives and it’s not our husband’s job or our job to be fully dependent on the other.
- This is one of the most important so I left it for the last point. Intentional wives pray for their husbands. If you need help, my 31 Days Of Scripture To Pray For Your Husband is a great place to start!
Have you enjoyed what you read here today? Do you have friends or other women you know that could benefit from this resource? If so, please do me a favor! I have included the links below to share with other intentional women! They’ll be glad you did!