I was on the phone with my mom shortly before Valentine’s Day. She asked me what I had planned and specifically if I was going to get her a gift. I told her I wasn’t sure. That’s when she gave me some advice. She told me I should get her a nice piece of jewelry. It was a good idea and, honestly, I’ve never gotten my wife a single piece of jewelry so it would be a pleasant surprise to her. I thought about it for awhile and then a different idea hit me when I heard my wife say a day later, “I wish I had my teapot back.” My wife loves her tea and so she used to have a top-of-the-line teapot. Unfortunately, that teapot was ruined a couple of years ago.
I went with the top-of-the-line teapot. You’re probably thinking what my mom thought. When I told her my decision, she said, “Ugh. You did not get her that.” Yes, I did and when Valentine’s Day came, I brought it out for her. Her reaction was exactly what I predicted. She cradled it like a mother holding a child and got teary-eyed. She would have loved the jewelry, don’t get me wrong, but the teapot swept her off her feet. I know, it’s weird, but that’s why I love her. I know my wife well and what will make her happy. It makes me feel special that I know things that touch her heart that others don’t. It took some work to get there, but it has been well worth it. Here are some thoughts on how to make your wife happy.
Know What is Important to Her
This is what I just talked about. How well do you know your wife? You have to pay attention to the little things she says. Your wife will give little hints about her desires. Look for those revelations and then store them in your mental library. If your mental library doesn’t hold a lot of information then write it down. Being observant takes training, concentration, and energy. In the movie Spy Game, Robert Redford plays a CIA operative training a younger agent played by Brad Pitt. When teaching him on the importance of observation, he says, “Every building, every room; a snapshot. I’m sitting here talking to you. I’m also checking the room, memorizing the people, what they’re wearing. Then I ask the question, ‘What’s wrong with this picture? Anything suspect?’ You need to see it, assess it, and dismiss most of it without looking or thinking. It’s like breathing.” Well, it’s like breathing after you spend a lot of time practicing. My wife muttered to herself that she missed her old teapot. I was out of the room and only slightly overheard. Five years ago, I would have missed it, but this time, I was looking for it.
Pinpoint Her Love Language(s)
It’s important to know how she receives love. Gary Chapman lays out in his book The Five Love Languages that people receive love through words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, and physical touch. Do you know which one or two are your wife’s love language(s)? The biggest mistake people make is loving a spouse in the same way they like to receive love, only to end up frustrated when it misses the mark. Identify her love language and speak it often.
Founder of IMOM, Susan Merrill makes sure her husband feels loved by her intentional flirting. Take a note from Susan’s playbook, make sure your wife feels special through your words and actions. Download our Q & U app for questions to ask her.
Know when the trouble spots are coming. For example, my wife is a flight attendant and I have come to learn that the day before a trip is an overwhelming and emotional day for her. So I gear myself up days in advance to heighten my sensitivity, hone in on the things she is feeling, and clear my schedule to help her prepare as much as possible. Make mental notes of the things that cause her the most stress. Our tendency is to try and eliminate the things that cause her anxiety. That’s fine, but sometimes it’s just a matter of empathizing and giving her the encouragement she needs to face it.
Huddle up with your wife and ask, “What do you need most from me when you are stressed?”