How to love the man in your life

With Father's Day approaching it's the perfect time to evaluate how you love the men in your life.

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  • Father’s Day is nearly upon us. We love our fathers, husbands, brothers and sons. But how do we show them? What do they need? Here are some ideas to help you show love to your men on a daily basis.

  • Physical affection

  • Men need physical affection. It lets them know they are wanted and needed. A hug, even if he resists, can let your son know you love him no matter what. Physical affection for your husband can let him know you love him, despite his grey hair and occasional snoring. Scientists at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center report that children whose parent’s withdraw from them can suffer from failure to thrive. It doesn't change as we grow older.

  • Give him a break

  • It's your birthday and your husband is in a rush to get to work. He gives you a peck and runs out the door. No mention of your special day. You can do three things: 1) Have a miserable day thinking about how unfeeling your husband is, or 2) understand he was in a rush and move on. 3) Start singing “Happy Birthday to me,” loudly with a smile and have a good laugh.

  • Women often focus more on the emotional and feeling aspects of their relationships. Finding ways to love and surprise others is what society and culture raises us to do. Let’s face it. We love a party in our honor. This may not be your loved one's strong point, so give him a break.

  • Smile, or remind him gently, then let it go. Better yet, to avoid disappointment, ask for what you want. Enter important dates like anniversaries in his phone or calendar, then make reservations for what you want to do, what you want, and remind him to get you a gift. Or take turns planning events and start a little competition to see who has the best ideas. You'll both be happier when you realize your relationship is more important than a day on a calendar.

  • Spoil his inner child rotten

  • What boy didn't dream of becoming an astronaut, a scientist, a race car driver, fireman, or professional football player? Give him time to be a kid, be silly, or have silly hobbies. Support him, no matter how strange it may seem. They probably look at our obsessions with scrap booking (art), makeup (dress up), and remodeling (our secret passion to be an interior designer), as just as crazy. Maybe he loved playing baseball in school. Help him find a local league and meet new friends watching his games.

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  • Man's night out

  • Yes, your men do love you, even if they don't spend every waking moment of their lives with you. Give them time to form bonds and relationships with other men. Let them enjoy fishing, hunting, bowling or even video games. Men need some time away from us every once in a while. It's healthy and can be a great time for you to bond with the women in your life, as well.

  • Praising your man

  • As the protectors and supporters of our family, men have a tough job. A little praise can go a long way. Public praise can move mountains or at least trash cans. Let your man know what a great job he's doing. Tell him how much you appreciate the things he does like taking out the trash. Chores may get done more often. If he mows the lawn, tell him how nice it looks, it may get mowed more often. Let your son think he's won a presidential election when he cleans his room. Because of all the fanfare, it may get clean more often. Brag about your men, in front of them.

  • Try a little experiment. After reading this article, praise your husband or partner for five things he does right on the same day and watch what happens. Be sincere and give him detailed reasons you’re happy. It's amazing what a little praise can do!

  • Let him dream

  • Men have dreams that they often give up for a family. If he always wanted to be a fireman (and secretly you did, too) join your local volunteer fire department together. Not only will he be able to do something he is passionate about, you will be doing it together. At the same time, you will set an example of service for your family.

  • Treat him like a man

  • When you talk to, argue with or direct your men, are you treating them like a child? Just like a little praise can go a long way, degrading talk can do the same. If you want your husband, son, boyfriend or brother to act the part, treat him like a man. Let him open doors for you then thank him for it. Let him fix things, even if you can, and praise him for it. Even though you may be able to fix the brakes on the car, rewire switches, and paint anything in the house. Remember to be a partner and share tasks. If he loves to paint, but he isn’t as good as you are, let him paint. Appreciate his plumbing repairs even when the hot and cold water faucets are reversed. This works for sons, as well. Give sons "manly" responsibilities while their dad is away. Show them you trust and love them. Let them practice being fathers.

  • Father’s Day is a great time to evaluate how you treat the men in your life. Today try thanking your man for five things he does. Make a Father’s Day resolution to love more, love longer, love deeper and have more fun with your man. We love them. Let's show them how much.

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Shannon and Erin are a mother and daughter with lots of children and Utah and Oregon roots.

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