In many areas of my life I am SO NOT TOGETHER. Like I’m a total hot mess. I’m always a day late and a dollar short when it comes to doing things as perfectly, gracefully, or beautifully as I’d like.
But I managed to somehow get one thing right. I married the right man. I have a husband who is incredible. We have a marriage that is pretty unique. He’s basically a man unicorn. Manicorn?
I know how lucky I am to have a husband who is attentive to my needs, a hard worker, an exceptional father, and just a great human. I literally have nothing to complain about. I don’t sit with the girls and complain about how I have to nag my husband to do things around the house. We don’t fight- not kidding. We don’t. Honestly. We work together to create the life we want for ourselves and our children.
Yes, I’m lucky. Yes, he’s a unicorn. But it also helps that he’s my best friend in the whole wide world. Like legit… he’s my best bestie. He knows me through and through. And our friendship is 99.9% of what makes our marriage successful.
So… I thought I’d share with you 10 ways to make your husband your best friend. Try them… I bet they work.
DO WHAT THEY LIKE WITH THEM
I pretty much hate video games. I always think of all of the other things I could be doing with that time. Then I wonder… who cares what is happening to digital people in a digital world. But my husband on the other hand… he LOVES video games. He’s a hot nerd. And he’s proud of it. Early on in our relationship I spent lots of time sitting with him playing games, I had no idea how to play or had any desire to play. But I learned to love that time together. Because we laughed, talked, yelled at the TV and sat closely on the couch. He would take my controller when it got too hard for me and win the battle. And he let me do all of the mushroom houses in Mario because I was super good at matching the spinny wheel thingy. And to this day 15 years later… sometimes I sit down with him and play his games.
Do something with your husband he enjoys. Golfing, the gun range, hunting, yardwork… whatever it is. Set aside your own despise of the activity and invest in being with him doing what he likes! What happens? Usually he’ll come around to trying something you like. It works that way.
DON’T MAKE FUN OF HIM
Husbands are a strange sort. They like weird things. Weird things for us women at least. My nerdy husband has taken to collecting Transformers. A toy from his childhood. He’s filled several shelves and boxes in the garage and I often find them propped up and posed in weird places in the house. The kitchen window, his night stand, on the bathroom vanity, on the entertainment center in the living room.
It’s weird. But he loves them… and it doesn’t hurt us financially for him to enjoy this one little thing. So I leave it alone. I don’t tease him about what he likes or tell him I think grown men shouldn’t be playing with toys. As a matter of fact. I make room for it in our lives. Sometimes… I even play back by positioning the characters in “exciting” ways… just to get his attention.
Now, the same goes for your husband and his favorite thing. Does he collect samurai swords? Does he like to get pedicures? Is he a Brony? Making room for your husband to enjoy something a little off beat only makes it easier for you to get the same respect when you find yourself with a hobby or activity that he thinks is a little strange or unnecessary.
SHARE YOUR INTIMATE THOUGHTS AND NEEDS
We somehow have no problem sharing our deepest secrets with our best girlfriends. They know all of those things you would never tell your husband. But the beauty of sharing these things with your husband, is that you create a place of safety and acceptance. He becomes your safe place and you become his.
Want to try something new in the bedroom? Want to tell him how sometimes the things he says or the way he acts hurts your feelings? Need him to understand that by leaving you alone at a social event, it makes you feel abandoned or lonely? Need him to want to touch you or love you in a different way?
Don’t assume that your husband does not have the capacity to understand your needs! If you try to explain things or you share a fantasy or thought that he doesn’t understand, keep talking about it in different ways until he can understand.
What happens when you begin to do this is that your husband will begin to feel safe sharing the same things with you. He’ll tell you what he needs to feel loved and accepted by you. He’ll share with you his deepest insecurities and thoughts. You’ll be strong enough in your marriage to hear the tough things from him without getting offended or surprised.
You’ll become the safest place for him. A place where he can show all of himself without concern that he’ll be judged or rejected.
When your girlfriend tells you about her new Mommy business venture you always pull out your wallet and buy whatever do-hickey thing she’s decided to sell. Whether you really want one or not. You do that to support her and show her that you care about her dreams and ambitions.
The same thing goes for your husband. It doesn’t matter how far-fetched the idea is. If it isn’t hurting your family, support it. Even if it fails. Support him. Right now, my husband is sitting beside me finishing his college coursework. This will be a second bachelors degree… but this time in a field that is better suiting to him.
Working full time, raising a family, AND going to school… it’s hard. Sometimes I stand beside him as he moves forward. Sometimes I walk behind him as he leads. Sometimes I’m in front of him pulling him through. Either way… I’m with him. Supporting him. Even though it means he has less time for me. Even though it means the yard doesn’t always get mowed. Even though it means more debt. I’m standing beside him supporting him.
So what’s happened in return? I get laid off of my job and my husband says… absolutely… please build this business and see what happens. It’s not financially stable… yet. But he’s standing beside me. Supporting me. Because I’ve shown him that I’ll support him too.
LISTEN TO HIM
About a year ago now, I was at the height of my weight loss journey. I felt awkward in my new body. I wasn’t sure how to feel about all of this loose skin and that I didn’t look the way I had always imagined I would look when I lost weight. As a result, we were having a rough go of our intimate time. One night, things ended poorly, and in tears we began discussing what was going wrong. My husband looked at me and said “I used to be able to make you feel sexy. And I feel like I can’t anymore.”
Somehow I had been blaming him for the issues we were having. For not taking the time I needed. Or for being awkward. Or for going too fast. I thought the problem was him. It wasn’t until I really listened to his heart that I understood that the real problem was me. I created the awkward by how I was feeling about myself.
It was hard to hear those words from my husband. As I’m sure it was hard for him to say them. But when we really open our hearts to listen to our husband and hear what he’s trying to say to us, we can understand him in a different way. We can go to level of friendship in our relationship that many couples don’t reach because they aren’t listening to each other in a deep and understanding way.
What happens when you begin to listen to him is that he also begins to listen to you. Mutually beneficial understanding of each other through listening only leads to infallible friendship inside of the marriage union.
SET ASIDE GENDER ROLES
This one particular thing is what makes our marriage quite unusual to other people. We don’t have specific male/female tasks. He doesn’t always take out the trash. And I don’t always change the diapers.
Setting aside gender roles in a marriage allows for a whole different kind of friendship to form within. It means that you both understand how monotonous folding giant piles of laundry is. You can share in the pain of washing the dishes only to have your 14 year old bring a pile of dishes from his bedroom to the sink- two seconds after you pushed the start button on the dishwasher. You can tap each other on the butt while outside doing yard work together and get frustrated together when the neighbor kid rides his bike over your flower bed. You can roll out the trash cans to the curb or enjoy time together while he teaches you how to fix the fuse in the ceiling fan.
When we do this we not only create a deeper level of understanding of each others responsibilities, we also create an equal playing field. So that one person is not carrying more or less of the familial load. You create a work together attitude that is the core of most friendships.
PRAISE HIM TO OTHERS
I quite often when in social situations with women hear more complaining about husbands than building up. What if instead of saying… oh yeah my husband is like having another kid… we say something like… he’s such a great partner, or he’s a hard worker, or he’s a great support system for me.
Even if at first you don’t have a lot of great things to say… I promise you that when your husband hears you praising him to others he’s going to want to hear more of that. So he’s going to do what he can to earn your praise.
We don’t stand around and bash our friends. That makes us a bad friend… it’s also called gossip. So why is that acceptable to do with your husband? It shouldn’t be. Be his best cheerleader… even better than his mama! Make sure the words that come out of your mouth lift him up to others and praises him for the great things that he is. And then watch him try to get you to say other good things too. And… he’ll likely say great things about you to his company too.
ASK HIM FOR ADVICE
Men are problem solvers. We all know that. And sometimes you want them just to listen to you ramble all of your feeling without offering any kind of advice. [If that’s the case… be clear about what you want].
But just like in our friendships, we turn to them for advice as to how to handle situations, how to fix problems, what to write about in your blog posts, or even what shoes to wear with this outfit.
Ask your husband for advice just like you would ask a friend. You don’t always have to agree with them. But you never know what they might come up with. For example, I asked my husband to help me write this article. He came up with several of the points above. Things I didn’t even realize I was doing as a friend to him.
Listen to your husbands advice. I bet you’ll be surprised at what you hear. And then when he needs advice. Guess who he’s going to think of first.
The best marriages are the one’s where the couple can be totally and completely ridiculous with each other one minute and sign a mortgage the next. A friend tells stories of playing dinosaur around her house late at night with her husband. My husband and I laugh at the most ridiculous things and even have these silly persona’s we call Gary and Margaret.
Our best friends are usually the one’s we can be the most silly with. The one’s who accept us even when we’re totally stupid or completely ridiculous. That can be found in your husband.
The more vulnerable and silly you become with him… The more things you laugh at together … The more ridiculous your times together are… the more memories you make. The more you show him you trust him to love you and stick around even though your an off the wall goof ball.
Fall in love with his kind of weird. He’ll fall even more madly in love with yours if you do.
CHOOSE HIM FIRST
You just bought the best new pair of shoes. Or a great new purse. Or you got good news from your boss. Or you just had a girl tiff with a co-worker. Or you broke a nail… All things you would text to your best girlfriend. Right?
Well what if you didn’t text her first. What if you told your husband first? What if every time you had something to say that you thought he wouldn’t care about… what if you told him instead? This means that you give him the opportunity to share in the ups, downs, and in betweens of your every day life. This means that when you get home from work he doesn’t get the major dump effect. Or what if you said to him… I love sharing these parts of my day with you.
Guess what will happen? He’ll start choosing you first too. I bet you’ll start getting texts and calls and messages about stuff you didn’t before. Because he thinks to choose you first now too. Because you’ve shown him you like to share those parts of life with him.
When I set out to write this article… I hadn’t realized something pretty pertinent to these tips. I hadn’t realized that in order to make your husband your best friend it requires that YOU take action. You’ll see every single one of the above tips requires that you change your current actions and behaviors first… showing him that it’s safe to be your friend too.
Isn’t that what real friendship is like too. It’s not one-sided. One person doesn’t do all the giving. You stay in a friendship because each of you are giving something beneficial to the other.
So start creating the changes you need in your friendship with your husband. And I bet you’ll see the results… and then you can have your very own Manicorn too.