In Connecting with Your Partner, Featured, Thoughts from Roxann, Time to Make Your Marriage Dance, Wounds

Here’s a cautionary tale for our male readers. While there are many things a man can do to make his wife feel loved, he should also be careful not to walk into landmines. For example, he might not think a statement is offensive if another man said it to him, but his wife will take great offense if he says it to her. My good friend shared this story with me. She will remain anonymous to preserve her husband’s anonymity. 

Husbands, watch your words.

My friend’s husband is older. His feet hurt and sometimes burn. She has studied advanced massage techniques. In the evenings, she massages his feet for him.  He reclines in a Lazy-Boy; she sits on an exercise ball so she can get close enough to his less-than-manicured feet to do the job.

After a particularly thorough treatment, he commented: “Oh, that felt good. You know, I ought to hire a real professional to give me a foot massage on a regular basis.” Guys, you might not be offended if your friend said that to you, but I promise, your wife will be. In these situations, she’s not only giving you her service, she’s giving you her heart. Don’t dismiss her heart and then wonder what happened when she explodes.

My friend responded that the only difference was a professional would have charged him the going rate. He peeled $20 off his money clip and handed it to her, and she told him it was a good start.

Wives, be careful too.

Wives, too, often blunder into male landmines when they insist on asking directions over and above their husband’s objections that he’ll find the location he’s looking for on his own. Or they ask a friend’s husband to fix the leaky sink. To many men, this is an affront to their abilities and akin to telling them their wife doesn’t believe they can do the job. If husband and wife have an advance agreement and the husband has given his blessing, that’s different.

What are the landmines in your marriage? Telling a friend about something stupid your spouse did? You think it’s funny, but they feel like a nincompoop. Explaining to them what they really believe? Committing them to doing something they didn’t agree to do? Asking your spouse a question about something they had just answered (proving you hadn’t been listening)? Not noticing the special things they do just to please you?

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. We hope you find wonderful ways to express your love to one another. And, beware the landmines!

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