How To Have A Good Marriage: Part 3

All photos via here

It’s time for another installation of ‘How To Have A Good Marriage’. In Part 1 I discussed how important it is to find the right partner and make sure you both have an agreed upon plan for the future. Part 2 discussed a very common mistake women, especially newlyweds make, which is always forcing their husbands to talk about their relationship. In part 3 I will examine the difference in how men and women show affection. 

I am a girly-girl and I have had close friendships with women my entire life. I think I know women pretty well. It has been my experience that in general, women like to talk. About everything. We feel loved when we discuss the daily minutia of our lives, our kid’s lives, our friend’s lives, even people we have never met lives! We exchange ideas and opinions, troubles and laughter, and I think women find talking and letting their emotions out a wonderful stress reliever. 

Men are different. They tend to relieve stress by being physically active such as playing a sport or even a video game. They are more cerebral creatures and there is something (which I find baffling) they get out of playing video games that gives them pleasure. Personally, I think it the feeling of accomplishment when they virtually kill the bad guy or get the touchdown. Maybe they can live vicariously through the computer. What ever the case may be, they need tangible actions or achievements to feel less stressed.

So women use their brains to discuss their lives and find meaning amongst their peers and men like to use their brains to achieve goals or solve problems. This makes them feel needed and loved. Here is an example of how men and women might miscommunicate their love: A man comes home to a wife whom had a very hard day. The kids were horrible, her head is killing her, and she need an extra twenty minutes to finish making dinner. So the husband herds the kids outside and he plays with them while she finishes. They all sit down to dinner and the wife asks her husband how his day was. “Fine”, he replies. She tries again, “How do you like your chicken, I tried a new recipe I found on Pinterest”. “Not bad”, he grunts. The wife, who is used to communication to show love thinks her husband is mad at her or being insulting. So she says, “why are you mad at me?”. “I’m not made at you” he replies, “why are you always asking me why I am mad?”. Then they get in a big fight because she thinks he doesn’t love her and he is baffled by the whole situation. 

But look at the scenario again from his point of view. He comes home from a long day and all he wants to do is be with his family. He walks in and instantly realizes his wife had a bad day. So he decides to give her a break and play with the kids. Playing with the kids is an action that he is using to help show his wife how much he loves her. He is just as tired as she is and he also had a bad day. But he is putting his feelings aside to help his beloved. He might not actually say to his wife, “wow, I am really sorry you are having a bad day. I am going to take the kids outside so you can finish dinner in peace”, but to him, the action of taking the kids is how he shows his love, not words. So when she tears into him he just doesn’t understand why she would think he doesn’t love her. Men use actions to show their love, women use words.

Now, obviously women show their love through actions as well. We will cook our husband his favorite meal because we love him. We might even put out even though all we want to do is watch Grey’s Anatomy and go to sleep. And men do talk about their feelings, and use their words to compliment and sooth their wives. But in general, men and women show their love differently.

All photos via 

So the next time you get frustrated with the lack of communication from your husband ask yourself what he does to show you he loves you. I know my husband loves me because he takes out the garbage without asking, eats my cooking without complaint, never gets cross when I order out, gets up with the baby at night, and he still comes home to me every day, even if I have been a total witch to him. I have learned to read his actions as signs of love and for the verbal communication I need I go to my sister, my mother, my friends, and this blog! My husband rarely tells me if I look pretty. But if I put up a picture here or on Instagram, I get instant feedback and usually someone tells me if I look good! I don’t need my husband to say it because I am getting it elsewhere. But none of the aforementioned people take out my garbage, fix my pipes, or kill the spiders. My husband does that for me, and that is how I know he loves me. Knowing how to read your husband’s ways of telling you he loves you will do wonders for your marriage. 
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  1. Lisa says

    I absolutely *love* this series! Thank you so much for sharing it! Each post is well written and full of amazing advice. I look forward to more posts in the future! Thank you again! :)

  2. Bunny Moreno says

    You are SO right! I have learned to notice my husband’s actions as well as signs of love. Although I would rather tell him everything over any other person in the world I have realized I can share every detail with my friends and then give him the cliff notes version hehe He appreciates that much more. I love this post!! xox

  3. Sonia Hinson says

    What excellent advice. My Mother once asked my Father why he never told her he loved her. He replied that every day everything he did was for her. My Mother never asked him again.

  4. Lapetitemort says

    May I just say that I really did laugh out loud at ” We might even put out even though all we want to do is watch Grey’s Anatomy and go to sleep.” because it’s so true, hahaha.
    I will also add that I am super lucky to have a man who does tell me pretty much every single day that I look pretty, even if I am breaking out, bloated and in my ugliest of ugliest of clothing or pj’s. These are the occasions that I call to mind when I want to pick on him for leaving his “shavings” in the sink in the morning when his late for work, or he puts up the dishes and puts one or two things in the wrong place. These are my reactions that I am working on because he does try, and I have weird, crazy OCD on stupid things that don’t matter in the long run. =)
    Love your posts on good marriage and relationships!


    • Stitch says

      haha, I’m just like that! Especially with the clothes washing. We’re due to marry next summer, but recently things got a bit tetchy between us, because things like him leaving the sink in a mess, or putting the cutlery in the rack wrong, got to me and we’d have arguements over the bizarrest things! However, things are sorted now, but reading your blog has definitely helped me realise a few things I’d been doing horribly wrong! He doesn’t need to ‘tell’ me I look good, cos his expression shows it, or my step-son (6) will randomly tell me i look beautiful, even first thing in the morning with smeared eyeliner and bed hair! It’s definitely the little things that count :)

      Thank you ever so much for writing this blog, i love it!

      Stitch <3

  5. Jessica Cangiano says

    I do believe this is my favourite post in this excellent series so fae. Though I’m very blessed to have a husband who is often an excellent communicator, at the end of the day, he’s still very much a male, and we certainly fall into the descriptions of the sexes you outlined in this post. Fortunately, because we’re both big on being open and sharing our thoughts, we run into infinitely less of these types of arguments than I ever did in my past relationships.

    In fact, I knew that when I got married, it had to be with someone that I rarely (at least as much as I could judge this point in the here and now) fought with (sure we have little spats, but thankfully they are few and far between), as I grew up in a wildly dysfunctional family where fights were the norm and I vowed to break that cycle. Thank heavens, after nearly eight years of marriage, I can safely say that I (we!) have.

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Clari Emeli says

    I happened to come across your blog while looking for tips on being a good hostess- and I’m glad I did because I ended up finding so much more!
    It was so refreshing to read your clear and sensible description on us women… It really made me think about how hard I can be on my husband and how most of the time I expect him to react like a woman and not like the man he is… If that makes any sense!
    Thanks for the great advice!

  7. says

    I love these posts! You are very well-spoken.
    This actually reminds me of an article I read once about relationships. The author compared a love relation ship with friendship. A person often has different friends for different settings and occasions. For example, you might have a friend with whom to talk endlesly about fashion. Another friend is great to go to parties with and a third friend is the best shopping partner. So if you have different people for different things in life, why would you expect a partner to fullfill every role? The conclusion was that while you should definitely look for a partner with whom you can share a lot, you shouldn’t expect him to fullfill every need you have.
    Very sound advice, and I’m glad I read it. Your blogpost makes an excellent addition to the article.

  8. Janice says

    Wonderful post. Although I’m one of those (few?) girls who have very few female friends, most of my friends are guys, and when I’ve come home from a hard day I usually just want to sit home, not talk about it, and play video games lol.

  9. says

    Thank you it really open my eyes!
    Now I know my husband love me so much even though I think he never said it after we’re married but because he rub my back and prepare warm bath when I had PMS, drive 9 hours to my parents home town, fixed the air conditioner, pay my credit card bills, help my brother to get a job and million other amazing things that he done for me.

  10. Gabriella says

    I understand what you mean to say with this post, but I can’t help but cringe a little bit from the generalizations. Brains don’t really work by “male” or “female”, it’s A LOT more complicated than that; there are certainly a lot of thought processes that women do that men may not, but this are not definite factors. I’m a female, enjoy my life as one, and I don’t tend to talk about my feelings-actually, a lot of the time I don’t talk a lot. I’m more the reserved type and that’s ok, and there are a lot of women like me that feel inadequate because we don’t behave like most other women. The same goes with men that are a little bit more flamboyant and talkative that most. I am definitely not trying to throw this at you, it’s a general social thing and I really like your writing as well as the rest of your stuff.

    Apart from that, the pictures in the post are just breathtaking. I really do love your blog.

  11. Rosa says

    Thanks for this series. I absolutely loved it. I will be getting married inroughly twelve months, and I hope my fiance and I have a long happy marriage.

  12. says

    You are spot on. My partner and I have been together for almost 18 months (we are both older) and when we first started going out he mentioned how he can not say those words but he will do everything in his power to show that he loves me without actually saying it. And he does, every day! That said, when ever he is a bit “tipsy” he will whisper those lovely words and I hold them in my heart. He may not be perfect, but as you said about your hubby, he is perfect for me.

  13. Rachel Ward says

    I have to say, I half thought that this post would be about farting because I sometimes wonder if that is how men show their affection! If not then what is the excuse? If you can resolve this for me then you really are a marriage guru, lol! J/K Love these posts :)

  14. Zia says

    Thank you so much for sharing your 12 (now 14) years marriage experience. Not many would. If you have thought about writting more instalmensts of this serie, I would appreciate if you can write about when one of the spouses has to travel for work for long periods. Amazing blog!

  15. Kristina says

    Came across your site via another friends’ pin on Pinterest – JACKPOT!!! Although my guy and I aren’t married, we are headed that direction and your series has opened my eyes. I want nothing more than to show him how much I appreciate all that he does for me and you’ve given me some inspiration :). Kudos!

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