Mark Twain once said, “I can live for two months on a good compliment.” I think this is especially true in marriage. When you are knee deep in children and half of them have the throw-up bug and a toilet just overflowed, a good, honest compliment from the one who sees the dark, weary circles under your eyes will get you through the battle. A sincere, timely compliment can be a powerful difference maker for days.
It’s not easy, this crazy busy life. Encouragement can make it sweeter. We only have so many days and opportunities to say something to compliment our husbands. And compliments for men, or at least for most men, don’t have to be complicated. In fact, there are basically five kinds of compliments for men that your husband needs to hear.
Compliment how he treats you and others. This type of compliment starts with observing your husband. Note when he shows uncommon kindness, generosity, courtesy, or patience with you or anyone. Say something like “I really admire how kind you were to the people in that crazy, crowded store.” Or “You are really good at making me feel supported.”
Compliment the way he handles your kids. If he works, he can feel less connected to your kids. Your husband is more aware of his parenting mistakes than his parenting strengths. You can help him see what a positive difference he makes in your kids’ lives.
Compliment his ability at a task. It’s important to let your husband know that you admire his abilities, but don’t just compliment an extraordinary skill. Let him know you appreciate all the things he does by saying, “Thanks for cleaning the kitchen . . . I was tired and I really appreciated you doing that” or “Thank you for mowing the lawn.”
Compliment his handling of a difficult situation. If you see your husband navigate a hard situation well, let him know that you noticed. Tell him that you see how he helps you and your family. Perhaps say, “I know the last few days were unexpectedly difficult, but we couldn’t have made it through without your steady hand. Thanks for keeping us calm.”
Compliment the impression he makes on you–his looks, his haircut, his outfit, his muscles, anything at all. Mark loves it when I just notice him. He is like a little boy. He just unabashedly puffs up. If it’s been a long time since you’ve complimented your husband, unprompted, about his appearance, do it this week.
Sometimes the best compliments for men are written ones. Like a love letter that lives on and on because he can read it again and again. Here are tips for writing one straight from your heart. As you work on bettering your marriage with compliments, keep these 6 “R” words in mind.
This post was an excerpt form Lists to Love By for Busy Wives.