Say it and mean it: 4 things your wife is waiting to hear

Want to improve your relationship with your wife? Start by expressing your heartfelt love for her in everyday conversations.

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  • There are innumerable ways a husband can show his love for his wife: write a little love note on the bathroom mirror, give a hug or massage after a bad day or by taking the kids out so she can have some much-needed "me-time." But probably the easiest — and possibly most overlooked — way a husband can prove his love for his wife is by simply expressing heartfelt words of kindness, validation and appreciation. As her marriage partner, friend and confidant, try to push pass the everyday, "I love yous," and really think about how and what you say to your sweetheart. If you're not a man of many words, let me get you off to a good start.

  • Compliment her beauty — inside and out

  • As women, some of us are taking self-esteem hits on a daily, if not hourly, basis. The fashionista in front of us in the checkout line seems to shout, "Your clothes are frumpy!" while the slender, leggy woman on the magazine cover whispers, "You'll never be enough." We try to block it out. We try to love ourselves despite the stretch marks and the few extra pounds, but sometimes we feel as if we're drowning in a sea of inadequacy in a beauty-obsessed world.

  • As a husband, you can be the voice of love to rescue her from self-deprecation. With just a few words, you hold the power to make her feel valued, cherished and accepted as the wife and mother of your children. Just a little tip: Don't wait until she's all dolled up to compliment her. Some of the most meaningful moments with my husband were when he told me that I looked beautiful with a messy ponytail, no makeup, while sporting a hoodie and sweatpants. It translated to my heart as: "I accept you and love all of you. You're beautiful just as you are now."

  • A good follow-up to complimenting her outer beauty is by expressing your appreciation for her beauty within. Saying things like, "Thanks for being so patient with me," or "I love how talented you are at ...," will not only prove your emotional attraction for her, but also reaffirm that you are her committed and devoted partner for life.

  • Don't wait until Mother's Day to remind her of her awesomeness

  • It's tough being a mom. We're not only trying to tune-out the harsh critic within but we battle not comparing our bad day to the picture-perfect Facebook status of the mom down the street. Some mommies are literally emotionally starving for a little validation and appreciation for the taxing and glorious title of "Mom." Saying things like "I love how you're so good with the kids," or, "You really are an amazing mother and I appreciate all that you do," will do wonders for the guilt-ridden mama.

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  • How can I help?

  • Whether your wife works outside of the home or stays at home with the kiddos, the condition of the household can be a touchy subject. Resist the urge to criticize the toys strewn all over the floor or the stack of dirty dishes. Instead, asking, "How can help? What do you need from me?" will be music to her ears. Communicating your willingness to pitch in will ease her burden and show a "we" approach to tackling the household duties.

  • Share and converse

  • Have you ever seen the phrase "We want to hear from you," on a little survey sheet after sampling a product or service? Many wives feel the same way about their hubbies.

  • From the book Then Comes Marriage, Drs. Ogletree and Brinley share this on how wives feel about communication, "For women, communication is the key to loving and feeling loved ... Women expect love to last forever, and such a relationship is often attained by couples who have learned to reach the deepest levels of human intimacy — physical, mental, spiritual and emotional."

  • I love when my husband shares his day with me — even if it's the funny experience at the gas station or the conversation he had with his coworkers. Little things like that let me into his world and make me feel like he wants me to be there. I feel closer and more connected with him and in turn, am more willing to share my feelings and experiences with him.

  • Don't wait until your anniversary or Valentine's Day to tell your wife how much she means to you — or assume she already knows. Family advocate Thomas S. Monson has said, “Often we assume that (the people around us) must know how much we love them. But we should never assume; we should let them know. We will never regret the kind words spoken or the affection shown. Rather, our regrets will come if such things are omitted from our relationships with those who mean the most to us.”

  • The sooner you express heartfelt love and appreciation for your spouse, the sooner you'll discover a richer, happier marriage and family life.

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Debbie Sibert is a Utah native and mother of three. Contact her at

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