"If you don't pick your husband as number one, the favor will, sadly, be returned"~The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, Laura Sheschlinger, p. 35, Chapter 2
If you talk to a young woman in love, there is no need to advise her to make him top priority in her life. She already does it. She thinks of him night and day. In fact, it’s hard to get her to think of anything else. Right? She will seem like she’s always on othe phone with him or at least texting. It might even become annoying how much she is preoccupied with the man she adores.
Why does that special feeling not last for so many after marriage? When does it start to fade? I hear women all the time complaining about their husbands and how he lets them down. Is she even still in love?
There is a tendency, over time, to take each other for granted. It starts so slowly it’s hard to pinpoint. If you want to help your marriage, first make and keep him number one.
To keep your husband top priority requires constant loyalty, dedication and appreciation of him on a daily basis. For your romantic marriage to flourish, he needs to be top priority in not just your heart but in your life. Not just with words but also with actions. He is in your thoughts, your prayers; the first consideration in your day and at the end of it. He is the love of your life, your everything. If you want to be everything to him, he must be everything to you first. If you don’t, he may look for someone who does.
Louise* was a young mother with 3 children. She had been married about 8 years when her husband, Francoise* was killed in an accident. She had a stable marriage but already, they had begun to take each other for granted and their closness was dwindling. She complained about the long hours he worked and was irritated that he didn’t always hang up his clothes or help her with the children enough. He snored and was sometimes grumpy. If you had asked her if she still loved Francoise, she would have said yes but they were growing apart. Suddenly, her life changed forever when he died.
Louise couldn’t believe the grief she felt over her loss. She was devastated. All of a sudden, she realized how much she loved and appreciated him. His faults were no longer important. She missed him terribly, his sense of humor, his concern for her, the kids and her security—all of it. She was so grief stricken she couldn’t bear to give away a single item of clothing or shoes still left in his closet for over a year.
As her life went back to an uncomfortable normal, she sometimes heard other women complain about their husbands. It hurt to realize that’s how she had been. If she could only have him back, she said she would never take him for granted again. She wished so much she had appreciated every day with Francoise and admired the many wonderful qualities he had.
For most of us, we still have a chance to appreciate our men now, faults, morning breath and all. Unless you are married to a man who has changed substantially in the worst way, you will find, just like you, he is part virtue, part vice. If you find you are having a bit of trouble, think back on how you felt about him when you first fell in love. Imagine him walking toward you as your heart skips a beat. Remember how you looked at him? Felt about him? You don’t have to have the regrets Louise did.
Putting our men first in our hearts and lives isn’t hard. We simply must consciously appreciate and find specific qualities we admire and love about him. Constantly; not just once. You could write a whole list of once or you wouldn’t have married him. Make a habit of putting him first. This is the first step in understanding men and inspiring masculinity.