In a viral Reddit post asking men what one thing their wives could do to make them happier in their marriage, both men AND women flocked to the comments to share their desires, or in the case of women, to share what their husbands said after these wives had asked them the question. And I’ve got to admit: I rolled my eyes HARD before reading, because I had a pretty good idea what most comments would say, and it all felt a little too Seventeen Magazine to me (“How to Attract and Keep a Man! See page 6!”).
The results? I’m happy to report I was mostly wrong. Pretty much the most popular comments all said the same things. And the responses were not unique to any particular gender or sexual orientation either, by the way, because I’m pretty sure any human being wouldn’t mind more “me time,” more physical contact that doesn’t necessarily lead to sex, and more self-love:
Our relationship didn’t work well and we were at the point of divorcing until I started to take more time for myself. I started telling my wife sometimes: “I want to be alone.” In the beginning I included that it’s not because of her but that I just need this. Now it’s a natural part of our relationship, I don’t need to tell her anymore. This has saved our marriage, together with us trying to change ourselves instead of trying to change the other. We have a happy marriage now.
More random physical contact. A quick brush on the arm, a hug from behind while I’m cooking, etc.
Give me “me” time and not take it personally
Love herself more. She’s such a bundle of anxiety and self doubt. I love her and wish she could see herself as I see her.
See herself the way I see her. I think she’s incredibly sexy. She does not.
Be ok with myself having “me” time and even spending time with guy friends every once in awhile (watch a football game at a bar etc)
Stop being insecure. I like you for you.
Other, less popular comments, though, were more specific and even humorous:
Change the roll of toilet paper instead of just putting the roll on top of the empty roll.
Just because I have a day off, doesn’t mean i am free that day. Do not make plans for me.
Stop crashing the car into other parked cars or other stationary objects
Pick a restaurant.
Just occasionally show interest in something I’m interested in.
This post has started a good convo between my wife and I. One thing my wife does that is really good is she asks me often “anything you want to talk about?” I’m not a big talker and this makes me share and open up more than I would.
Make plans. Initiate anything.
Don’t, for the love of god, ask me what am I thinking about. I am thinking about nothing, honey.
Of course, there were also those commenters who wanted more sex, more blowjobs, more initiation of sexual acts, etc. I KNEW IT.
So, to recap, allow our partners more time alone. Give them more unsolicited shows of affection. Love ourselves more. OK, not so bad.
Ask how they’re doing, but don’t ask what they’re thinking. Don’t make plans but do make plans more. Feign interest in their interests. Choose where to eat. Quit driving like a maniac. Change the toilet paper roll (get the kids in on this action, too, amirite?). And do more sex stuff. OK. Sure. Got it.
All comments (both helpful and bizarro) aside, there is a takeaway here. And that is regardless of what kind of relationship one is in and with whom, it’s probably a good idea to just, you know, ASK your significant other what the relationship could use, if anything. And have an open line of communication. Be attuned to their needs.
If nothing else, coming across that thread has inspired me to be more mindful of my own actions, of initiating communication, and of keeping tabs on being an equally loving, responsible partner to my husband.
Of course, if people are not similarly inspired, they could always just continue to talk to strangers on the internet about it, I guess. Whatever works.