Today’s guest post is from my friend Mandy Rose. Mandy was a guest on The Happy Hour in December and if you haven’t listened to her share her story of her wedding and early years of marriage you are going to want to go and check it out! Listen HERE.

Hands up if you can actually remember the last time you praised your husband or did something extra to make sure and show him just how much you love him.

Anybody’s hands up?

Ya, mine either.

It’s easy to just flat out “forget” your husband. I mean, I remember him, yup, we got married… but with three kids, it gets crazy over here.

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By the end of the night, I am OUT. Done. Over it… Like a case of “please don’t talk to me – I need silence”…

When you check out of motherhood and marriage, you are setting yourself up for hardship. Trust me, like I said, been-there-done-that-and-then-did-it-again.

Instead of checking out, we should be searching for ways we can improve, as wives and as women.

Here’s what 10+ years of marriage has taught me…

Your man matters. More than your kids (dare I say it!)… more than your workouts… more than the laundry… more than all the things you’re stressing about.

At the end of all this, our kids will move out and it will just be us again.

So how do I make this crazy season count and as a wife show my husband I haven’t forgot about him too?? That is the ultimate question, right?!

I often wonder how in the world my husband puts up with me.

I’m bossy, impatient, need lots of attention, stubborn (oh how I am stubborn) and not near as affectionate as I should be. I’m often quick to make judgment on his “big ideas”, I’m skeptical of everything and anything, including his choices on dinner plans, and I love to argue.

I think I should have went to law school.

When it comes to being a “wife”… I don’t always measure up.

Of course, there are things that I do well (cooking isn’t one of them – ahem), but there are also a whole lot of things that I could improve on.

If I were all of those things I mentioned above and unwilling to admit any of it? I might consider myself a bad wife. But one thing I am willing to do…is recognize areas I could improve on and then be committed to making sure I genuinely work on them.

I am human, just like you. I make bad choices, I’m selfish at times, quick to anger and slow to forgive. But, I’m working through all of those things with Jesus on my side.

Ladies, grab a pen – or bookmark this on Pinterest (the 20th century way to take notes) as a reminder of things that will help you keep your man happy and your marriage from failing while the kids are young and you’re exhausted.

3 WAYS TO PRACTICE

I’ve got just 3 ways for you to practice showing your husband he matters…

I think we can do this ladies!

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Our expectations of our husbands are that they SHOULD help do the dishes. They SHOULD take out the trash. They SHOULD help with kids bedtime routines. They SHOULD drop us off at the door of a restaurant.

They SHOULD, they should they should.

And I’m not saying they shouldn’t, but I AM saying they deserve a little praise every now and then for the little things.

My husband took my minivan last week to put gas in it. I thought to myself…”that was sweet.” And then I never shared with him how appreciative I was. Not only do men like to be patted on the back for their thoughtfulness, but it’s also HUGE incentive for them to do it again.

He told me that he had no idea I even cared about him putting gas in my car, but now that he knows it means something to me? He will do it more often.

Praise your man – even for the small things!

SHOWER HIM WITH AFFECTION

If you think your man doesn’t like a sweet peck on the cheek, an unexpected bear hug or for you to tackle him on the couch and shower him with kisses?

You are wrong.

I know it’s hard to believe ladies, but men do actually care about other things besides just sex. It’s true.

I tend to have the mentality that men should always be the one to initiate affection. I want him to come home from work and greet me with a kiss. I want him to grab my hand and hold it during church. I want him to cuddle up to me before bed “just because”.

So many times I sit back and I “wait”. I wait for him to be affectionate. I wait for him to make the move. I wait, wait, wait and I never go first.

He is always telling me that he wishes I would initiate affection more.

Men want to feel loved just like us and even though, they feel loved by different things, a hug and a kiss are a universal way to show affection no matter the gender.

So, if you constantly wait around for you hubby to make the first move (I’m not talking bedroom move – just affection in general)…stop waiting.

Go first.

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I live with four boys. Everything in this house revolves around sports, sports, and more sports.

And dirt. Because boys are dirty.

Example: Ahhemmm. Need I show you more?

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I often grumble at the thought of having to watch another NFL game on TV. Ugh.

Last summer my husband (and my three boys) decided they wanted to take a two week RV trip and travel 3,500 miles.

A little known fact about me: I’m a girly girl. I like hotels. With room service. Not campgrounds and disgusting bugs.

However, I decided that I was going to “man up”, as I like to say, and take the adventure with them with a smile on my face.

Not only did my husband absolutely love that I went out of my comfort zone…he adored that I actually made an effort to do something that interested him.

And now this summer he’s taking us all to the beach (which is my ideal vacation). See, show interest in his interests and he will return the favor!

What other things did I miss? How do you strive to be a better wife?

We would love for you to check out our Marriage More podcast where we share the realness of what it takes to stay happily married. We even have a free Love Habits worksheet you can download for free to help make your marriage more!

We hope that the stories and struggles we share will help you design your perfect marriage.