Your wedding, I’m sure, was fantastic! Wasn’t your bride in her resplendent gown, effervescent mood and transcendent eyes, the most beautiful bride in the world? And you. You must have felt dashing in black suit and silver tie. You felt so confident. And so in love.
Every word in the marriage rite enchanted you. Every minute is dreamy. Even if you pinch yourself you’ll not wake up from this beautiful dream. You and your pretty bride have taken the boldest decision in your life. Your marriage is the classic act of optimism.
And the honeymoon, what a blast! Passion! Ecstasy! And so many soft sweet words, so many tender touches. Rising above your sexuality and lovingness, The Holy Scripture was right. The two of you have become one flesh. Every single detail of your bride’s femininity, and every single detail of your masculinity came into full bloom.
Now that your honeymoon is over, your role as husband will unfold. It’s time for awareness, understanding, selflessness and a cheerful outlook to manage your marriage successfully. You must now channel your energy and wit to achieve the best relationships in your marriage.
Devil in the details
The ceremonial pledge “to have and to hold from this day onward, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health” does not operate in an autopilot mode. The wedding pledge may sound like a bill of rights, but to achieve fulfillment both partners must hurdle learning challenges.
Marriage, like all ambitious projects, has a goal and a plan. It’s the devil in the details that are hazards.
As that sweet young thing becomes a functional wife with growing authority, she wants to make changes, like ordering her husband not to squeeze the toothpaste in the middle (honey, from the tip!); not to leave his dirty socks inside his shoes (in the hamper, honey!).
The conflict is not in the earthshaking clause “in sickness and in health” but in the silly details of ordinary everyday neatness.
To the husband, the “for richer or for poorer” promise becomes incomprehensible when the wife keeps buying dozens of place-mat sets in different colors from the tiangge at Greenhills or Pratunam in Bangkok. The place-mat surpluses can’t possibly be used in a lifetime.
“Till death do us part” is not a metastasized cancer; but a nonstop nag to change a habit, i.e. for the husband to wear a silky white butt-hugging brief instead of that loose and airy earth-color cotton karsusilyo, a favorite since bachelor days.
Husband as manager
Clearly the male’s management orientation for single-mindedness of purpose clashes with the female multitasking ability and her expertise in handling details.
If unity and collegiality are to be achieved, the man must, as head of family, manage domicile relationship. After all, he is both theoretical and practical after having been exposed to the best practices in management.
How to be an effective husband is a self-study worth a man’s while. Like any quality performance measurement, effectivity is the name of the game.
Marriage, like any entrepreneurial endeavor, starts with a vision for a bright future, but sure as taxes and death, it will be beset by difficulties along the way. Love and affection are not problem solvers, they are only proof of sincerity.
Having worked in advertising and marketing all my life, and having married twice (widowed in 1984, remarried in 1991) I have proved my insights into what women need and want. I do nothing but sell products to them. They always buy my sales pitch.
I will narrow down what women (wives) really want to three fundamentals: the need to feel young, to feel beautiful and to feel important.
How to love your wife in three easy ways seems simple and doable.
The first thing to understand is that the sweet young beauty you courted and brought to the altar as the most radiant bride in the world will unfold the many facets of her true character the moment she evolves as a housewife and mother.
Young and beautiful
Her youthfulness counts. Wasn’t she angelic when she was sweet 16? A looker when she was a debutante at 18? A ravishing woman in her 30s? It was youthfulness that gave her an hourglass figure and a porcelain smooth skin.
When women feel that the passing years begin to show their age, diminishing their appeal, they turn more to grooming, makeup and pretty dresses. This way they keep their looks and self-esteem.
Men must respond to their wives’ desire for youthfulness by having fun activities by engaging in sports, making honeymoon-type trips, dating for shows, eat-outs and concerts. Most of all, filling life with a lot of laughter by having a sense of humor just like during courtship.
Beauty is a natural desire of all women, no matter how relative it is to the beholder. Most women are horrified to see themselves ravaged by time. But thanks to cosmetics, fashion, accessories, beauty parlor and spas, a woman can always transform herself from drab to gorgeous.
The husband cannot be indifferent when a wife beautifies. A new short hairdo must draw raves. All compliments must be uttered orally. Better still do something that will make her delirious. Give her extra money for shopping.
The importance of important
Comes now her needs to feel important. The sin involved here is men’s presumptuousness and neglect. Women attach emotional meanings to birthdays, wedding anniversaries, the first date, the first kiss, the first jewel gift.
The husband’s memory cannot fail in giving importance to his wife’s cause of happiness. Thank you’s for her beautiful table setting and her squeaky clean kitchen, her floral-smelling bathrooms and, yes, her pretty place-mats. All it takes is a sweet note, a text, a call, nice words.
Never be puzzled by a wife’s behavior, because a woman is different from a man. Respect for a person’s individuality, including nuances and eccentricity, is the better rule.
To understand your wife, don’t make rash conclusions. Instead study her the way psychologists and sociologists study human individual. The studying alone is fascinating, since feminine mystique and charisma always fascinate men.
If nerds find enjoyment in bird watching, I find excitement in wife watching. Believe you me after studying comes understanding, followed by caring. Then doing little things to make her feel young, beautiful and important is a cinch. In management terms, it’s called results-oriented work habit.
Wooing wives means ample rewards. The husband gets wifey service galore, like clean white bed sheets all the time, fresh neat pajamas, favorite breakfast of barako coffee and pan de sal de pugon with Santa Cruz cheese and Baguio strawberry jam, etc., etc. Here God is in the details.