My husband has been feeling terrible for days. He never complains, but I see him dragging himself out of bed each morning and wrapping in afghans on the couch in the evenings. I hear him shaking ibuprofen from the pill bottle before he leaves for work. I feel the warmth of his cheek when I kiss him goodbye.
Still, this morning followed the same routine. He groaned himself to his feet and got into the shower. The dog sat on the edge of the bed waiting for “Papa” to take him for his morning walk. It was 20 degrees out. I thought, Wouldn’t it be a nice idea to offer to take the dog out so my husband wouldn’t have to? But did I? The covers were warm and he was already dressed and a dozen other excuses kept me from opening my mouth and saying, “Here. Let me.” And I had missed a golden opportunity to offer a generous gift to my beloved.
What does he want?
Do you know what your husband wants? Well, obviously he wants THAT. But our husbands have other needs, too. I like to think my husband is different from most men, but I don’t know many men intimately. So I apologize if the title of this article is deceiving, but I can’t name 10 offers your husband can’t refuse. They may be entirely different from the ones that would express love and appreciation to my husband.
I know many women will think such a list is sexist. But just because society’s agenda has changed does not mean people have changed. Here are 10 offers your husband can’t refuse if he happens to be like my husband:
- Time to read, to write, to paint or just to sit quietly and think: If your husband has a creative soul like mine, those activities are vital. It’s easy to dismiss them as irrelevant. But to him they are critical to his well-being.
- Appreciation of his taste in music: This is a big one for my husband. He takes it personally when I dismiss his music or criticize a band that has been important to him throughout his life.
- Peace and quiet after a long day at work: I work from home, so I’m alone most days. But he is out in the retail world dealing with employees, customers, problems, and complaints. He does not want to come home to be bombarded with more of that.
- A gesture that shows I am glad he is here: Confession—sometimes I do not get up from my chair when he comes in the door. But when I do, when I greet him with a smile and a hug, I can see the appreciation in his face.
- Reciprocation of his affection: My husband once compared kissing me to passing a water fountain. When you see a water fountain, you can’t help stopping to take a drink. This is true for him 30 years later. But it is discouraging to him if I wince or continue working when he leans over for a quick kiss or tries to put his arms around me.
- Absolution for past mistakes: Nothing is more discouraging to a husband than reminders of the times he disappointed his wife.
- Recognition that he does not think or react like a woman: One of the most important gifts you can offer your husband is not expecting him to be your girlfriend. My husband is not going to gasp at my shocking stories or fume at my indignations. And he can’t read my mind. But that’s okay.
- Respect, especially in public: We made a commitment early in our marriage to never fight in public or treat each other with disrespect around others. Have you ever watched a woman berate her husband in the grocery store? It’s ugly and embarrassing for both.
- Companionship: Sometimes he just wants me to sit next to him while he watches a movie or documentary about something that holds absolutely no interest for me. I can leave the room and find something else to do, or I can offer my husband the gift of my company.
- Gratitude for his offerings to me: This may mean letting him sleep a little longer on his days off. It always means remembering to thank him when he washes the dishes or scoops the cat litter. Sometimes he makes the bed very badly, but it is his offering to me.
Your list of offers your husband can’t refuse may be quite different. Your spouse may want back rubs or time to play golf or nights out with his friends. These are not interesting to my husband. The summary of any list may be making little sacrifices because often it doesn’t take much to make someone happy. It may take a little soul searching. Or it may take a moment of shame like I had on this cold morning when I sent my sick husband out with the dog. But I’ll bet you can think of some offers your husband can’t refuse.