Being a husband is hard. We try our hardest to be the best husband that we can be and we often feel like we're failing. Not all the time, I guess. We have good days and bad days and some downright depressing days. But despite it all, we're still right here by your side trying to make it work.
This isn't really unique to us. Life is hard for everybody. Everybody's trying to make it in life and find happiness along the way. But as husbands, there are unique things that make it especially difficult for us. We might not tell you because there's this unspoken Boy Code we have to live by that tells us we can't express our feelings. We're supposed to, "Be men," and, "Man up."
But underneath it all, there are things that we would like you to know that could really help us. So here it goes:
Here are 7 things we husbands wish our wives knew about us
1. We're not Prince Charming - we're your husband
We don't like it when you expect us to be Prince Charming. In fact, it feels objectifying. Not all of us know how to ride a horse or fight dragons. Not all of us are as dashing or debonair as Prince Charming, either, so don't expect us to be. Some of us would rather read books, work on cars or play video games. That doesn't mean we're defective. It just means we're a unique person. Please love us for who we are.
2. No, it's not just about your body - we really want intimacy with you
We get it. Ever since you hit puberty you got used to boys who don't even know you staring at your chest. We also get that you've had bad dates where all they wanted you for was your body. But that's not us. We're your husband and we love you. We don't want to have sex with you for the same reason that those other boys ogled you as a teenager. Please don't group us with those other guys. Sex is important to us and it helps us show and feel loved in ways we can't show or feel with anyone else.
3. "Happy wife, happy life," is offensive
It's always funny when you hear someone say, "Happy wife, happy life." Or, is it? I got another joke for you: What do you tell a woman with two black eyes? Nothing. You already told her twice! Funny right? Neither is that happy wife, happy life joke. Expecting us (even jokingly) to make you happy so we can be happy doesn't make us feel good. It makes us feel subservient.
4. Please don't expect us to do things the way you do them
We really do hear you when you tell us to do the dishes more. And we try. We really do try. But just because we don't load the dishwasher the same way you do doesn't mean we're doing it wrong. And, when you get on our case because we didn't use the right sponge on the pots, it makes us feel like not wanting to try again. We don't do things the same way you do and that's not bad. Please appreciate us for our differences — don't crucify us for them.
5. We really do have feelings - and you really do hurt us
Every time we get turned down for sex and every time you tell us to, "Man up," hurts us. We might not show it at first but over time we'll begin to withdraw and find other things to do instead of spend time with you. We really don't want to do that. We married you for a reason. Please treat us with the same emotional sensitivity that you'd like us to treat with you with.
6. They're our kids, too - let us parent them, too
No, we don't parent the same way you do. We're more likely to rough house with the kids. We're also more likely to let them jump off the balcony onto the trampoline. This doesn't mean we're bad parents. It just means we're dads. And research shows that our children get a lot of benefit from us doing these kinds of dad-things. So, please, don't get on our case when we don't parent the same way you do. We still love our kids with all our life. And we're just as invested in their well-being as you are.
7. Don't judge our marriage by how well I parent
As a wife, you're more than just a mother and babysitter. And as a husband, so am I. Please don't judge our marriage on how well I do with the kids. Parenting is hard. And sometimes my work and other obligations get in the way. Judging how good of a husband I am by how well I do with the kids is like me judging how good of a wife you are by how well you cook. We husbands are more than just the father of your children. We're your husband. Please love us as such.
Aaron Anderson is a therapist and Director of The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, CO. He is a writer, speaker and relationship expert. Checkout his blog for expert information on how to improve your relationship.