The rings have been exchanged. Now what does a man need to know about making his bride happy in their marriage?
Neil Chethik, the author of "VoiceMale: What Husbands Really Think About Their Marriages, Their Wives, Sex, Housework and Commitment," offers three pithy points:
First, “carry your weight around the house" (husbands, keep reading, it comes with a surprising payoff!)
What does that mean? It means creating a fair environment, he says. In other words, the division of labor needs to be equitable and something you both can agree on. That doesn't mean that he can't do the laundry and she can't run the lawnmower, but the work of running a household should be shared.
“Be sure that your wife does not think that she’s in charge of cleaning and laundry and all that other sort of stuff," he said.
So what’s the payoff? Chethik finds that “the more satisfied she is with the division of housework, the more satisfied she is with their sex life.”
Second on Chethik’s list is: “Do little things; write notes, brings gifts, offer constant reminders of how much you love her.”
Both Chethik and psychiatrist Scott Haltzman, who drew on his experience as a marriage counselor for his book "The Secrets of Happily Married Men: Eight Ways to Win Your Wife's Heart Forever," admit that leaving notes and buying presents doesn’t come naturally to most men. But there’s a payoff here as well. It’s these kinds of things that keep the romance alive.
“What I’ve discovered is that one of the key differences between men and women, and one of the things that so often leads to difficulties in marriage, is that when a man and a woman stand together at the altar, a man thinks, ‘OK. She’s picked me. We are now bonded together as one. I’m ready to move on now to my job and I don’t have to court her anymore. So he shifts his focus to safety and security," Haltzman said.
"When a woman puts on that ring, she feels the same way — until the end of the day! The next morning, she gets up and wonders, ‘Does he love me? Will he respect me? Will he be there for me?' And she’s looking for evidence that those things are true. Even the next day. And she’ll keep looking for them for many, many days and years after that.”
Finally, Chethik shares this thought with husbands and husbands-to-be: “Be an involved and loving father.”
This is probably the easiest of the three tips he offers to men, but he notes it’s probably also the least appreciated.
The author also cautions that a new father may need some guidance in this area because some men just don’t know exactly how to do it. Unlike many new mothers, a man may never have changed a diaper while growing up.
"We’ll walk around with our deer in the headlights look until we get it down. But then we can get pretty effective,” Chethik said.