Dear Neil: I was wondering if you have a Wife 101 column to go with your Husbandry 101 column. What are the equivalent rules for women? —Committed Lady in Australia
The following are a list of “rules” for women who are committed to being the best wife or girlfriend they can be. If you do your very best in your relationship day in and day out, you’ll be a happier woman, you’ll reduce the chance that he might cheat, you’ll increase the probability of the two of you staying together, you’ll be a great role model for your children and you will have achieved something that very few have accomplished. Here are some of the rules for women who are in a committed relationship:
Make sure that you communicate positive, kind, supportive, friendly, empathetic and compassionate messages to your man far more than critical, negative, angry, judgmental and unfriendly messages.
Give to your man more than you take. Form the habit of giving, serving, pleasing and nurturing. You cannot take more than you give, or you risk drying up the reservoir of good will.
Be more fun. Find one or two fun things to do every week that the two of you can do together. Kids can join in, but not all the time. A couple needs some alone adult time to simply enjoy each other’s company.
Be physically affectionate every day. Use touch, hugs, kisses, holding hands, caresses, cuddling and comforting. Physical contact will help him feel closer to you, because he’s male—and that’s how men tend to feel close to a woman. Touch is no doubt how the two of you got close in the beginning of your relationship, and touch is what will keep your relationship close, connected and intimate today. Affectionate touch is the aphrodisiac that men crave.
Express your love sexually. When women use the word “romance,” they’re usually referring to love. When men use the word “romance,” they’re often referring to sex.
Listen more, talk less. The heart of whether a man feels valued by you is whether you are responsive to what he says matters the most to him. Therefore, if he says something is important to him, make it important to you also if you possibly can.
Let your man know what he does right. Most of us are superb at letting our partners know what they’ve done wrong.
Ask your man: “Are you getting your needs met in this relationship? If not, what would you like different?”
Tell him what you like and love about him. What character traits does he have that you respect or admire? Is he reliable? Trustworthy? A good father? Is he considerate? Affectionate? Is he fun? Romantic? Good looking? A great dresser? These are the reasons you chose him. Don’t keep it a secret. Tell him—or write it in a love letter and give it to him.