Getting your husband to the altar begins a relationship in which you and he often lack the necessary tools to meet each other’s emotional needs and keep the home fires burning, suggests Dr. Gary Smalley, relationship psychologist and author of “Hidden Keys to Loving Relationships.” Learning the skills to meet his needs will keep him attracted to you and inspire him to meet your emotional needs.
Admiration and gratitude combine to fill one of the primary needs of a man, according to Dr. Willard Harley, Jr. in “His Needs, Her Needs.” Before you were married, you probably gave him plenty of compliments. Those compliments boost his self-esteem, recognize his past accomplishments and motivate him to reach for more, states Harley. The opposite side of this, nagging him, only drives him away. Find things you honestly can compliment him on and make him feel appreciated. Not meeting this need yourself can allow him to look for it through a co-worker or other woman in his life, who can become a rival. When he can’t find what he needs in the marriage, he will look outside it, according to licensed marriage and family therapist Susan Mandel, PhD.
Take time to be playful and attend recreational events with your husband. It’s sometimes hard to find the energy to be playful after work when you need to do things at home, such as make supper, do laundry and care for the kids. Hire a sitter and take off to watch him play ball with his friends, watch a game in person or join a couples league and play together. If you’re concerned about what won’t get done, ask for a little help to get out the door quicker or to work on the chore list together on another day.
Remember those days before you were married, where you agonized over what you were going to wear to see him. Turn the clock back and dress for him, making him the envy of his pals when they see you decked out for him. It’s easy to fall into a slump and dress for comfort when you get home, especially if he does. However, most men want an attractive spouse that makes them look sharp, says Harley. You don’t have to do it every day, but take time to put on fresh make-up and touch up your hair before you come in the door from work or before he arrives home from work. Encourage him to join you in a date night and include activities where you can dress up.
Sexual attraction is a high emotional need for most men, and you want to be the object of his attraction. Add some play and sizzle to your time together using date ideas from “1001 Ways to Be Romantic,” by Gregory Godek, “10 Great Dates to Energize Your Marriage,” by David and Claudia Arp and “52 Fantastic Dates for You and Your Mate,” also by David and Claudia Arp. Suggest getting away for the weekend or make the arrangements and "kidnap" him, once you know the weekend is free. Leave the cell phone at home if you can, so you can focus on your relationship for a few days of fun and enjoyment.