Relationship Advice for Men - How to Love a Woman

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    Guys, do you sometimes feel like you’re in the dark when it comes to how to communicate with your wife or girlfriend? You know you love her, but convincing her of that can feel like rolling a boulder up hill. Why is that? When it comes to really understanding how to love a woman many of us can feel like there must be some secret no one’s told us.

    In light of the confusion many of us feel, here's some relationship advice on how to love a woman, along with some tips on what women really want and don't want from their husbands. These are all complaints I've heard from the women in unhappy marriages that I've worked with in my marriage counseling .

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    How Women Really Want You To Love Them

    Too many of us men take the lazy way out of loving our wives by claiming we're just not very good at being "romantic." We also tend to underestimate the value and importance of being romantic when it comes to the health of our relationships. Romance is often looked as something we had to do when dating and assume it’s not needed anymore once we’re married. But that’s not true.

    Keeping the romance alive in a relationship is a crucial part of maintaining health and happiness in your marriage. These gestures show you care, create a bond, and promote intimacy. And although you may not feel like it’s important to you personally, it actually is – even if you don’t recognize it. And it’s very likely important to your wife.

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    The following are some dos and don’ts when it comes to loving your wife, as well as some ideas we all can do - even the romantically challenged among us. All it takes a little effort.

    Here are a few DON'TS:

    • Don't sign your Valentine's Day card (or any other card) with -"Your Husband, John C. Doe" (or "Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration" - if you're a fan of The Office ). Or with just your name, “me,” or an initial. This is way too impersonal and doesn’t show much effort. Try writing a sentence about how you feel about her, or what you appreciate about her, and then sign it "Love, John."
    • Don't get her flowers and a card only on Valentine's Day, your wedding anniversary, and her birthday. Do it a few times a year when she doesn't expect it. And try giving her something other than the same old thing -- flowers, candy, and a card -- on those traditional holidays.
    • Don't always ask her what she wants for a gift. Try getting her something she really wants without asking her what she wants. You can do this by paying attention to things she says throughout the year and making a note of it so you've got some ideas the next time you need to get her a gift.

    Now the DOS. The biggest of which is to think about what she really wants from you. Not just as a gift, but from your relationship in general.

    Here are some ideas. Which one fits your wife?

    Women have told me what they want from their husbands is:

    • A night without having to care for the kids. This doesn't mean you have to go anywhere, but just that you take care of everything and she has the night off.
    • To come home and have dinner ready for her (home cooked, not take out).
    • Help with the household chores, such as the dishes, laundry, grocery shopping, or cleaning the bathroom.

    CLICK HERE TO MEET OTHERS WITH THE SAME RELATIONSHIP ISSUES

    • For you to talk to her about you, not about the weather, work, or football. Tell her something you've been thinking about lately, such as a concern, problem, or success.
    • To hear you tell her you appreciate her and give examples of how and why.
    • To snuggle with you without it having to end in sex.
    • A random note or text just letting her know you’re thinking about her.
    • A genuine smile, hug, and interest in her.
    • A gift that you put some effort into - it doesn't have to be something big or expensive - it just matters that you thought about her and what she would like when you chose it.

    Chances are your wife or partner would like any one (or combination) of these things.

    What Loving A Woman Really Means

    Seems like it should be simple, right? I think we’ve established that it’s not always.

    Guys, most of us go on autopilot when it comes to a long-term relationship of any kind. Sometimes our wives do too, but women generally tend to be more in tune with their emotions and pay closer attention to ours than we may realize. This means your wife is looking for signs that you love, value, appreciate, and desire her.

    A woman who feels secure in her husband’s desire for her and his appreciation of her will generally feel loved. Of course, this also requires maintaining her trust and respect as well.

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    Each woman is different, however, and each may need something slightly different. It really comes down to knowing your partner and what she values. Really loving her means showing her in the ways that she needs to be shown and will respond to best.

    So, take a minute and think about your wife. Close your eyes and really think about her. Ask yourself what would she like help with right now? What things does she like? What have you done in the past that she really loved?

    Loving our wives takes practice. Sometimes I do something or get something for my wife and it's a home run, other times I kind of strike out. But it's the thought and effort that makes her feel loved, and that I stay consistent and regular with it. Come on men, let's work a little harder at loving our wives they way they want to be loved and give the last minute call to 1-800-Flowers a break.

    Ladies, could you give us guys some other ideas on how to love a woman?

    Editor's Note: This post was originally published Feb 09, 2010 and has been updated with new information for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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