After providing marriage counseling in Grand Rapids for the past ten years, I’ve noticed a trend in things women find lacking in relationships. Below are four of the things that bug women I encounter during counseling. These are things their husbands or long term boyfriends tend to neglect. If you can get back to doing these things you may find you relationship improving dramatically.
Top 4 Things That Bug Women about Men
- Stop letting her make all the decisions. One complaint I often hear from wives is that their husbands start relying on them to make day to day decisions. For example, “where do you want to go for dinner?” Husband: “Wherever you want to go is fine with me.” This means she has to make the decision. It may seem like a small thing, but wives make decisions all day long and appreciate not having to make so many decisions.
2. Taking her for granted. While many husbands appreciate all the things their wives do for them, sometimes they forget to show it. One thing I ask at the beginning of marriage counseling is ask each spouse what they like about other person. Not just practical things, but personal things like specific things about her personality that they like.
Both men and women are often “all ears” when their spouse starts listing things they value about them. It’s often the first time they’ve heard these compliments in a long time. There are valid reasons why we do this, but many women have commented it’s nice to hear it. Quite often, they aren’t sure if they are still a priority for their husbands or not.
3. Letting her do all the family obligations. Wives are usually the first person who gets calls from school and they make all the appointments for the kids. They take them to doctor and dentist appointments, pick them up from school if they’re sick, and go to parent teacher conferences. Many wives I talk to would like their husbands to take the initiative on things like this. This includes planning vacations or time with relatives such as at holidays. Your wife may want to continue doing these things because they often are more organized than husbands. If this is the case, see if there is something else you can take off her plate to show your gratitude.
4. Not paying attention to her world. Many times wives tell husbands about things that husbands promptly forget about. It can be annoying for her to remind you about something you agreed to a few days after discussing it with you and you tell her you don’t remember talking about it before. It makes her feel like you don’t listen. Not paying attention suggests you don’t care. If she asks to talk about something, make a point to turn off the TV or put your phone away and give her your full attention.
Write things down if you agree to do something and don’t rely on her to remind you about it. If you don’t have the ability to give her your full attention at a time when she asks to talk to you, make a point of telling her you are in the middle of something and that you will get back to her shortly, when you are able to give your full attention. Then make a point of seeking her out at a designated time. But don’t wait too long.
These are just a few things that bug women about men that I have uncovered. Your wife may have different concerns, but it’s important to try to meet her part way and share the load.
There is also a useful tool from the book, “The Five Love Languages” that can help you both learn about your own love languages. The author asserts that there are five different ways we like to give and receive love. Knowing your own and your spouse’s love language can help you learn the best ways to show love and appreciation for your spouse. You can look up the Love language quiz and take it online. This also makes for good dinner conversation.
Gary Watson is a Solution Focused Therapist in Grand Rapids Michigan. He provides counseling for couples, teenagers, and adults. He can help with anxiety, depression, stress, college and work stress, relationship problems, and more. For more information, please visit the website at www.turnaboutcounseling.com.