To gain a better insight on the male perspective of marriage than the usual “more oral, more relations,” I asked the fellas to provide tips that had nothing to do with sex. Although this restriction forced them to take a bit longer to respond, here is a compilation list of what they told me in no particular order…
1. Don’t rush! Surprisingly, despite having almost 30 years of marriage under his belt, one of my friend’s simple advice was “don’t rush.” He didn’t say this to suggest he wasn’t happily married. He merely meant that when the time is right, the time is right and “forever is a long time.” He’s looking forward to spending the rest of his life with his wife; however, he can do so comfortably knowing he had a fulfilling single life before meeting the woman he loves. He doesn’t sit up late at night wondering, “what if” because he knows he met his wife and committed to her at the right time in his life.
2. No kids in bed. Married seven years, another friend said he had to learn this lesson through trial and error. The proud father of two girls, he let his first daughter sleep in the bed with him and his wife every time she asked. This exception soon became the rule. Eventually, as you might expect, their love life suffered, because it’s a little difficult to have sex with your wife when your child is constantly in your bed. When his wife became pregnant again, they decided that the baby would not sleep with them. Establishing this from the beginning, their younger daughter accepted it as normal routine and became more independent sooner than their oldest daughter. I’ll spare you the details, but he says their love life greatly improved. In the end, he said the parents should work together to set the expectations and not be driven solely by the children’s wants. In other words, it’s important to remember that “adults have needs too.”
3. Accept that other women are still attractive. This theme came up a few times. You’re beautiful and he loves you, BUT there are other women in the world he might, from time to time, find attractive. A quote from one friend sums it up best, “space is #1, a good wife isn’t smothering, she’s confident enough to let her man hit the streets and follow Draya on Instagram.”
Let’s be clear, these men weren’t advocating for letting your husband blatantly disrespect you by actively pursuing other women on social media or beyond. Still, you should be confident and trustworthy enough to know that just because he “LIKES” a picture on Facebook/Instagram or RTs some cute woman on Twitter, doesn’t mean he’s secretly plotting to run off with that woman the second you turn your back.
4. Recognize what’s important to him and make sure you’re at least casually involved. As you might have noticed, a number of men were transfixed with NFL playoffs this weekend. You don’t have to be into football. You don’t even have to like football. However, you should respect the fact that *insert random sport you don’t care about here* is important to him and he might be emotionally involved in the outcome of said sport from time to time. Don’t mock his seemingly illogical sports-related commitments simply because they don’t align with yours. More importantly, don’t make him choose between the game he loves and proving his love for you when the game is on the line by asking him to “turn down/off the game” so y’all can talk about window drapes or some other equal non-emergency. Aint nobody got time for that! Recognize he loves you and the game and there’s ample time in the week to show love for both of you – you know, as long as those days aren’t Monday, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday.
5. Marry someone you can laugh with. I’ve often heard that women like a man that can make them laugh but apparently men feel the same way! Almost every happily married man I spoke with referred to having a woman in your life that you can laugh or joke with. In other words, life is too short to take serious all the time. Apparently, having a woman by your side that can keep you in good spirits goes a long way…read more
Ladies, what’s missing from this list that women need for a happy marriage? Fellas, what advice have your happily married friends given you? What personal advice or philosophy do you plan to follow when you get married? If divorced, did you learn anything you’ll apply in your next marriage or would warn/share with others before they get married?