Open Letter to Men, No. 3
(This letter is mostly aimed at married men, but single men may want to take note as well.)
When I was old enough to notice my parents as a married couple, I paid attention to the strength of their relationship. I wondered why their relationship was truly successful during some periods and downright miserable during others. There are a multitude of reasons, of course, but here's one I think my dad misses a lot: My mom needs to know she is wanted.
It's easy to recognize why there might be an argument or uneasy feelings when the cause is disagreement. Or when one of you didn't clean up after yourself. Or when someone has an annoying habit. But sometimes there's just no clear reason for the slightly negative tone in the relationship. In my opinion, this nearly unidentifiable reason is that the woman doesn't feel wanted or desired, and it isn't obvious because it's difficult to put into words or even to admit. But take heed, men. Women will be happy as clams, if you let them know you want them in your life, and if they know that, they'll do so many things to make your life pleasant. Here's the third guideline, then:
Let us know you want us around.
Remember when you were trying to date your wife? Remember when you were courting her? You probably were a perfect gentleman. You probably brought her flowers and called her on a regular basis. You probably took her on thoughtful dates. You probably helped fix her car or run errands with her. You probably went over to her place to study together or even to take a nap. Everything you did was to let her know you liked her.
Women love that. To us, it says, "Hey, I want to be around you, and I want you around. My life is better when we're together."
I think it's the most important thing in a relationship -- to let each other know you are wanted. Heck, I think it's the most important message any human being can convey to another. In fact, I think it's so crucial that I initially thought it'd be my last "Open Letter" post -- you know, to build up to that all-important guiding principle. I changed my mind today, though, because I thought it too important to hold off. The earlier you can understand this guideline and implement it in your relationship, the better. So just take some flowers to your wife. Tell her you're glad she's around. Spend five minutes thinking of a way to show you care in her love language. Call her just because. Take her on a planned date. Woo her.
*In case you missed the others, see Open Letter to Men, No. 1 and Open Letter to Men, No. 2.