5 Ways to Love Your Wife

May 30, 2014

“The state of marriage is one which requires more virtue and constancy than any other; it is a perpetual exercise in mortification.”- St. Francis de Sales

“He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5:28

I married a wonderful woman. She’s beautiful, hilarious, generous, and incredibly strong. (I’ve watched her give birth. Trust me, she’s strong.) The longer I’m married to her, the more I realize how lucky I am to have her.

But as much as I love my wife, I admit that I can still be pretty selfish in my conduct from day to day. In other words, I don’t always show my love like I should—and unless you’re already a saint, you can probably identify.

Because we are by nature self-centered, showing love to our wives takes intentional effort. It takes a daily choice to put her and her needs before our own. That said, here are 5 ways to demonstrate love to your wife in a concrete way.

1. Listen to her – Do you listen to your wife? I don’t mean hear her talking. Do you really try to understand her concerns and her perspectives? I’m going to be completely transparent here. Of all the ways to show my wife I appreciate her, I find this one of the hardest. I am by nature introverted. I love quiet time to read and reflect, and my ideal evening involves mulling a good book without interruption.

But my wife, like most women, likes to talk. She talks about the funny things the kids did, about a bill that needs to be paid, or about something her friend said. Is all of it interesting to me? Sometimes no, and all too often I find myself lapsing into grunts of acknowledgement rather than engaging in a real conversation. My wife picks up on my lack of interest of course, and it is hurtful to her.

When I pretend to listen, but I’m really distracted and uninterested, it’s incredibly selfish. I’m basically telling my wife, “That’s nice, honey, but honestly, I really don’t care.” It’s a slap in the face to this woman who labors day in and day out to make a loving home for me and our children.

Men,  you and I are called to love our wives by listening to her and her concerns. If it is important to her, it should be important to us. Whatever else you want to do can wait. Pay attention to the beautiful woman you have pledged to give your life to and really care about what she has to say. This small practice can make a dramatic difference in your marriage.

2. Help her – Wives and mothers have an incredibly tough job. I always laugh at people who think my wife doesn’t work because she stays home with the kids. I’ll tell you this much—I don’t think I could do what she does. I get to come home from work. She doesn’t.

So as a husband, realize that your wife works hard. Appreciate that, but don’t stop at appreciation. Look for concrete ways you can lift the burden of caring for a home and a bunch of rowdy little humans. Vacuum, do the dishes, take out the trash, or change a diaper. Believe me, there are dozens of small ways you can love your wife in this way. Find some, and do them without being asked.

3. Watch a chick flick – How many of you look forward to watching Pride and Prejudice or Sleepless in Seattle? Yeah, me neither. But guess what, my wife likes those kind of movies, and your wife probably does too. Swallow your pride and show your wife you love her by watching something she likes for a change.

Of course, the type of entertainment doesn’t have to be a movie. It could be something like taking a walk or shopping. The point is, do something your wife likes to do as an act of love, even if you find it completely uninteresting.

4. Surprise her –  Everyone likes surprises, and that includes your wife. Bring her a bunch of roses randomly. Buy her a book she’s been wanting. Bring her a box of chocolates. Take her out on a dinner date for no reason in particular.

In other words, learn what she likes most, and then surprise her with it when she least expects it. You really don’t have to wait till an anniversary to do this sort of thing!

5. Tell her you love her – Most men, except for the romantic poet types among us, aren’t into expressing their love verbally. “My wife knows I love her, why do I need to tell her?” they think. I don’t care if you’re doing everything else right, you’re wife still needs to hear that she’s loved. Tell her frequently that you love her, and tell her what you love about her. Also seek to express your love through non-sexual physical affection. It will give life to your wife to know that you that you care about her for who she is, not what she can do for you.


If you got married for what you can get out of it, you got married for the wrong reasons. Marriage isn’t about taking. It isn’t about how that person makes you feel, what they look like, or what they can do for you. No, marriage is all about loving like Christ—and that means embracing the cross.

You see, real love is all about self-giving, self-sacrifice, and self-denial. It literally means laying down your life for your wife in a thousand daily choices. As men, we are called to follow Christ by loving our wives as he loved the Church and “gave himself up for her.” Is this hard sometimes? Will it cost you? Of course. We are fallen and selfish. But get over it. Man up. Love your wife.

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Mark says

    Great article!

    I happen to have had a chat with my Parish Priest on this subject a week ago. He had several great ideas on how to have a successful Marriage, but the thing that he kept coming back to was to give yourself fully to your Wife. I am far from mastering this, but the little changes I have been able to make have done wonders.

    The five points made in this article are very concrete ways in which this can be accomplished. I plan to review them often and to try to get better at each.

    Thank you for taking the time to write and post!

  2. marcusjosephus says

    A “Bang On” post!

    A wise, long married man once told me that: What a man needs from a woman is… Tokens of Respect. What a women needs from a man is: Tokens of Affection. My Brothers, You can not buy her affection and love but the sacramental symbols, The incarnation of your unseen and unexpressed love is what she LONGS for. Anything from the unsolicited flowers to the unsolicited touch, that is totally free of expectations, is what men need to give.

    Tonight, on the way home for from work, I purchased less then $10.00 in flowers from the grocery store. That small amount of money “purchased” a great deal more than I can tell you. (married 31 + years).

  3. geekborj says

    Great post. It’s truly difficult for us gentlemen to what we should be for our wife.

    One fine point though: I do not particularly like the idea that “we are by nature self-centered”. I would like to argue that we are made to be God-centered and our we, by our weakened nature, has become self-centered. I think there is a big difference there.

  4. noelfitz in CE. [Noel Fitzpatrick] says

    [Article read in Catholic Exchange]

    I love the articles by Sam Guzman. Like the best articles here and elsewhere they are provocative and make one think. They are not full of bland meaningless platitudes, thus they go beyond asking us to love “Mom and apple pie”. But they also raise questions and merit thought.

    Where are the saints of the modern Church? Well, recently more saints have been canonized than ever before. For hundreds of years, from Pius V to Pius X no pope was canonized, now it seems the standard for every pope and if one is not, questions arise. Under St JP II huge numbers were canonized, they were usually founders of small religious groups and unmarried. Most of them are unknown to most Catholics.

    I am worried by the fact that many are called but few are chosen. This implies most of us are damned to hell for all eternity, or does it? How does this agree with an all-powerful loving God?

    If we reject the values of the world, does this mean we reject learning, modern culture, sport, business and technology? To call one a crusader now is often seen as an insult. Life is strange, but one knows what Mr Guzman calls us to be, good Catholics.

    Basically thank you so much!!

  5. M. says

    Hi i’m german and i LOVE your blog! Thank you very much! What i’d most like is translate some of your awsome articles into german…

  6. Kevin says

    “Wives and mothers have an incredibly tough job.”
    True, but coming home after a workday with the all-to-often frustrations that come with that to do a bunch of chores and provide a break isn’t a cakewalk either! Just a different aspect of the tough jobs we’re all assigned.

  7. Sam Ahn says

    I know that baptism, confirmation, and ordination leave an indelible mark on the soul. I have not heard that what you view does too. Are you sure?

  8. Joe Longo says

    I’ll have you know I enjoy watching Sleepless in Seattle! I also enjoy, as the men in that do, Bridge Over the River Kwai

  9. Dave (@mmmerf) says

    In terms of helping your wife, my rule is ‘Work as hard as she does, for at least as long as she does, if not longer.’ In short, If she’s chasing the kids all day while you’re sitting in an office chair, then tell her to put her feet up after dinner and you put the kitchen back together. Be her hero.

    • Not Amused says

      That’s a brilliant way to show love to your wife and you are a lovely man to do that for her! Fair play to you and God bless you and yours!

  10. erica omeara says

    Really Great article. I am a wife of 11 years with two young children and a small baby. our marriage is loving and strong. So much so that we renewed our wedding vows last year in the church we were married in. Hubby shows his love in the usual ways including bringing home little surprises/ treats ect. But OH – the brownie points my hubby could earn if he realised occasionally that I wasn’t watching tv because I was changing our baby, doing dishes, emptying the dryer or doing a last clean up before bed etc. It is the small things that make the biggest difference. If I don’t remind him; I should have and if I do, I’m ordering him around. My husband thinks I’m grumpy if I’m busy. I’m not. I just sometimes feel invisible or unappreciated. This article is very gently explaining how simple it is to show love to wives/partners.

  11. JMJServantToo says

    I’m glad to hear how wonderful person your wife is. Contrary to your relationship you have, my wife is probably the exact opposite… greedy, selfish, bad tempered and lack of empathy towards others.. She wasn’t like that before we got married. I think it was a mistake letting her know how serious I’m in the relationship because I think that maybe made her fearful to show her true self during courtship. Now I think that she may have been worried of not finding someone. When I proposed I told her I’m ready to lay my life down for her and the future of our family… but she’s changed for the worst and I have to keep reminding myself the vows I made less than two years ago to stay strong. She doesn’t care and doesn’t listen to others opinions and I liken her attitude to a young spoilt teenager.. All of a sudden we have little to nothing in common.

    It’s much harder to love your wife if she was the complete opposite of what you described… I honestly can’t say that I married a wonderful woman. Far from it.. So please teach me how to love her unconditionally, or please keep us in your prayers.

    We have a six month old baby boy too.. Please remember us in your prayers.

    • SoulSearching says

      JMJSERVANTTOO … i feel exactly what you feel. Your story strikes so close to home, it sounds like mine exactly.

  12. Reedinthewind says

    JMJSERVANTTOO and SOULSEARCHING… I understand your emotions. I’m married 9 years and have two sons, 2.5 and 7.5. And my wife’s behaviour is getting more and more un-Christian. The devil seeks to destroy families, especially Catholics. He attacks couples that he knows would be powerful against him if they loved each other and stuck with each other according to the vows of Holy Matrimony.

    About a month back, I realised that I seriously had to do something about my dead prayer life and read a few articles that reminded me of my fervent prayer life many years ago, and I decided to pray the rosary every day. – Note: Please watch videos of Fr. Donald Calloway on YouTube. – Soon after I started with my daily rosary and spiritual study, I noticed my wife doing things and watching stuff on TV that she normally would not watch, stuff that she knows I find extremely un-Christian and depraved. One thing led to another and one day we had a difference of opinion which quickly escalated into her abusing me with words that I am at a loss to describe, and then she said she wants a divorce. She has not spoken to me for a couple of weeks as of today. I hurt in the core of my being, but I love her and I am praying for her and for our marriage. I understand that it is the devil’s doing. Also, I have been helping a cousin cope with her troubled marriage for the last few months, urging her to persevere in faith and to keep the family together regardless of her husband’s behaviour. So the devil is furious and is taking it out on my marriage. As of now, it is only faith, hope and love and my frequent Mass, daily Rosary, and Bible that keep me going.

  13. Demetrio says

    I have been married for 23 years. Was not married in the Church. My wife is not Catholic and were married by a JoP. We have 3 kids, 22, 18 and 15. We have had struggles And I am at a point where I’m not in love with my wife anymore. I care about her and her well being. I have my own faults and maybe did not approach her like I should have early on to make our marriage more complete or however you want to put it. I tried in ways I thought were right in trying to build a relationship built on trust and communication. Early on we have terrible financial problems and many time throughout the majority of those 23 years my wife was not honest with me about us failing to pay bills and letting things get out of hand. She even pawned a ring diamond ring I gave her as a gift, which I felt was a symbol of my love for her, because we needed the money. I didn’t find out the truth about what happened to it till 8 years later when I asked her about it. I feel if I hadn’t had asked her she wouldn’t have told me. She always was afraid that I was gonna be mad and disappointed in her because of these incidences. I was never abusive in any way with her and she even told me I was always good to her and our children, which I love with all my heart. We fought over this constantly and she withdrew from whenever I would ask her about it. She would tell me she always thought she could handle things without having to tell me because of fear of me being mad or disappointed in her. I told her I might get upset but never disappointed. But I always expressed to her that I was willing to work on those things to help us to be more open and transparent with each other. I can only speak for myself to say I failed at doing some of these things to be more attentative tonher needs but at the same time I didn’t receive a lot of input from her to help me do that. After 23 years and some personal issues with my family I crumbled under the weight of many things and ended up in a emotional relationship with another woman. And I’m having a hard time getting over that. But even if I do I don’t know if I can reconcile my marriage or if I want to. She’s as selfish as I am and there has to be compromises from both of us. I’m not sure I can spend another year or 23 years to fix that. A lot of it is resemtment on my part and I don’t lay all the blame on her for me not loving her like I should. I’m lost.

  14. Not Amused says

    As a woman,wife and mother,I am deeply impressed with this and must tell you you have in absolutely spot on! If all men did these things,hardly any of their wives would ever want to leave them and not only would their marriages be better, the kids would be happier and our societies would be better, safer,more honest and decent and caring as well!
    Your wife is a lucky lady but like attracts like so you are too.


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