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For many men, women are a mystery. But if you happen to be married to one, what you don't know could be hurting your relationship. Even if she doesn't ask for much, there are a few things your wife requires from you on a regular basis. Meet these needs and you might just find yourself the lucky half of the happiest couple around.
What's trust got to do with it? Well, just about everything. Your wife is your soul mate, your partner in crime and your life partner. If your relationship is lacking trust, you're not experiencing a true partnership. Focus on the Family advises: "There is no such thing as a white lie. Being honest with your spouse includes telling the truth about where you were, whom you talked to, what you said and where you spent money. Many marriages have been saved because both spouses committed to being honest, even if it involved painful truths." If you're less than an open book around your wife, it's time to focus on trust.
Your wife isn't a child, but she still needs your permission - to take risks, take a break or to simply be her imperfect self. If you're not sure how to start, listening goes a long way. Let her talk about her feelings, frustrations, fears and desires. Encourage her to pursue her goals and dreams - even if that means picking up the slack at home. Let her know you love her for who she is right now - flaws and all.
And that's not just between the sheets. Your wife needs a daily - if not more often - dose of hugs, kisses and good, old-fashioned hand-holding. Not only will this help you both keep the spark alive, physical affection is also known to increase relationship satisfaction, lower stress levels and blood pressure, and simply make you feel good, according to Psychology Today.
And no, looking into her eyes during halftime doesn't count. You two have a lot going on in your lives, from jobs to kids to a home, hobbies and friends. But that doesn't mean you can't spend a few minutes every day giving your wife some undivided attention. Put your phone down, turn the TV off and focus on your wife.
If conversations with your wife are usually limited to discussions on kids' school schedules, family dinner menus and leaky faucets, your wife is probably wishing for more. Sure, you'll still need to arrange carpool schedules and weekend plans, but try broaching a topic that's important to your wife - like how her yoga class went that day. Without personal, meaningful conversation, it's easy to fall into a marital rut. You know your wife better than anyone, but it's never too late to get to know her better.
A good time
Life is short, and marriage is filled with obligations and responsibility. Remind your wife how fun your relationship can be. Daily life can be monotonous and even mundane, so make sure your marriage is anything but. Treat your wife to silliness, humor and fun on a regular basis. Carve out time for a miniature golf session (even better if you're terrible at it) or a fun night on the town (stress on the word "fun").
Women are pretty amazing creatures. From ruling the board room to caring for children to mastering yoga poses, there's nothing your wife can't do. That said, if it's been a while since she's taken some time to relax and pamper herself, you might need to step in and make sure it happens. Give her a day to herself to get a facial, body scrub and just relax at a spa.
Kristen has a journalism degree and has experience writing in a variety of fields, including art and culture, health and fitness and financial and real estate services. Kristen has written for USA Today, SFGate and the Knot.