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10 Pieces of Advice for Husbands

10 Pieces of Advice for Husbands

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After giving this advice to a young man who was about to get married, I shared it with a few of my wife’s friends. Their response was unanimous: “Would you share this with my husband?”

I am sharing it in the hope that it will be helpful to someone.

  1. When your wife does or says something hurtful—and it will happen—just move on. Yes, your wife gets emotional and irrational. Just forget about it. But don’t expect this to work the other wayDoes it really matter in the long run? around. Never assume that she will forget anything you’ve done wrong.
  2. Before you criticize her, ask yourself if it really matters in the long run. Are you better off letting things slide?
  3. Be ready, and happy, to go to counseling. This is especially true in the first year. You will be grateful you do. Better to deal with a small issue now than a huge, unfixable problem later. Simply put: What makes sense to you sounds silly to her, and vice versa, because women think in a totally different way than you do. Counseling will help you understand each other better.
  4. Find ways to make her laugh every day. It doesn’t matter what you do, even small funny things. She will appreciate it.
  5. Never raise your voice. It will trigger an instinct to flee and protect herself. You will have a hard time getting back to normalcy after shouting. You might not realize that men tend to raise their voices a lot. We yell to make a point. Women yell only if they are angry. And so, when your voice is raised, they register “he is angry at me.”
  6. Compliment her every day. Find things to compliment. It could be something she did, or something she is wearing. Let her know that you notice her and value her.
  7. Buy her flowers. Flowers say a lot. They say “I like you.” They say “I am thinking of you.” They say “I appreciate you.” They say “You are beautiful to me.” They say “Although I’m a guy, and flowers that will die in a week are the biggest waste of money and make absolutely no sense, you are still more than worth it to me.” If you are low on cash, buy one flower, or even better, pick some wildflowers.
  8. Ignore statements such as “You don’t have to buy me a gift for my birthday.” Buy her a gift.
  9. Treat her with respect. Do chivalrous things. Open the door for her. Help her with her coat. Help her into her seat. Bring her tea in a pretty cup, and sit with her and listen. Make herFlowers say a lot feel taken care of. Make her feel like a princess. Of course, you won’t be able to do it all the time, but do it often enough that she knows how you feel about her.
  10. When she gets dressed up, take a moment to notice and tell her how pretty she looks. She spent a lot of time and energy getting dressed. Let her know that you appreciate her. Learn these words:

Pretty
Elegant
Classy
Amazing
Gorgeous
Exquisite
Stunning
Breathtaking

Try to use the right word.

Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz—father of seven, husband of Dina, and spiritual leader at Chabad Jewish Center in Temecula, Calif.—has been rendered immobile by ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Unable to speak or type, he uses his eyes to write heartfelt thoughts on the weekly Torah portion.

Please support the Hurwitz Family Fund.
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Anonymous July 25, 2017

Great article! Thank you!
Now, we need an article on how to be a good wife...
Thank you for such a helpful post! Reply

Jan T. AZ July 24, 2017

I loved this article! I have been married for 51 years and sure wish this advice had been available then! So smart!!! Reply

Anonymous yerushalayim via chabadberkeley.org July 22, 2017

Many of these sound totally off to me. If I say I don't want a birthday present, I mean it. I'll refuse to accept it, and be angry that you don't listen to me or believe me. Don't give me flowers. Be careful with compliments. If it isn't true, don't say it. On the other hand, the article was right. Don't yell at me.
I guess not all women are alike. Reply

ebyjeeby SLC, UT via jewishutah.com July 21, 2017

24 years too late, LOL, I need to go over this list daily. Reply

Anonymous July 21, 2017

I wish to have read this article before I got married. But I would have probably not understood the wisdom of it. I missed out in so many points and I hope I will start to apply them from now on. Reply

Anonymous July 21, 2017

I wish to have read this article before I got married. But I would have probably not understood the wisdom of it. I missed out in so many points and I hope I will start to apply them from now on. Reply

Anonymous July 20, 2017

My husband of 12 years does none of these, what should I do? I think they are all good advice, but I won't see the majority of husbands doing these. Reply

Raymond Bastarache NB Canada July 20, 2017

It boils down too.... men like to be respected by their wives...it builds their ego? And women like to be loved and cherished by their husbands....gives them security and joy. Eve was to be a helpmeet (not a slave) for Adam. when men get together they talk about work, fishing hunting...come see the big buck I shot? Women talk about children, relationships, friends... what did you wear last night? OH! that looks good on you....blends with your hair? I must go make lunches for the kids...send them off to school on time? Husband says: " Honey, where did you say? my socks are?(the blue ones?) Wife: "I told you in the wash.".....you are not listening!" to me? Reply

Anonymous b July 20, 2017

thank u Rabbi Yirzi, refua shleima.
what i find the hardest is not to raise my voice when irritated.does someone know a Technic or a helpful suggestions.. when i don't agree i raise my voice, without noticing. wish someone can help to read off the terrible but percipient character treat Reply

Amos Lexington July 20, 2017

The trick is to do it so that it does not look and sound like you are doing it because you feel obligated. Reply

Anonymous Vancouver, Canada July 20, 2017

10 Pieces of advice Amazing that the comments to this post are so positive. Each of these "suggestions" contains a sexist remark. Your wife is emotional and irrational? Maybe next time use the word "spouse". Most of your accusations could be about male partners. Why the "me big and perfect, she childish and easily bought off"? Reply

gerald Florida July 20, 2017

after 23 years...now you tell me. Good advice. Reply

S U.K. via chabad.org.uk July 22, 2017
in response to gerald:

It is never too late Gerald Reply

Anonymous manchester July 20, 2017

Everyone needs to work on themselves As a marriage counselor I find the following troubling in the above article: I shared it with a few of my wife’s friends. Their response was unanimous: “Would you share this with my husband?”

What does the question from the wives imply? The meaning seems to be that my husband needs to understand these things and change for us to have a better relationship. I did not see any implication from the article that these wives asked "we also need 10 Pieces of Advice for wives"??? I think that the advice in the article is very sound and good advice but each partner in the marriage need to be looking to work on themselves and not how to correct their spouse. Reply

Myrna Solganick middleton July 20, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I am also a psychotherapist and I do not find this disturbing at all. Any women's magazine or self help book will have oodles of advise for women; there is a huge imbalance in our culture in the amount accorded women, when men are given a pass. I think men NEED advise on how to be good husbands; if their fathers were abusive or cold and indifferent, then this is what they will become. In any case, this is an article from the rabbi to husbands. Nothing wrong with that. Reply

Debbie Australia July 22, 2017
in response to Anonymous:

I agree, as a wife, I would love to read an article on 10 pieces of advice for wives, I would love to know how to connect with my husband better, what I find romantic, he finds very hard to understand. What he does I see as common sense and not a huge romantic gesture. How to connect the dots would be wonderful. Reply

Anonymous Chicago July 19, 2017

My husband and I really enjoyed reading your article. We got a big kick out of discussing all the work that my husband needs to do! Keep on writing... we look forward to your next article. Reply

Myrna Solganick Middleton WI July 19, 2017

Yitzi, what great advise! I hope men read your wise words and apply them. It is one thing for a woman to tell a husband these things; it is another for it to be said man to man. Very wise. Reply

Anonymous Canada July 19, 2017

This is the best "top 10" list I have ever read! Reply

Leonard B. Illinois July 18, 2017

B'H
Rabbi Yitzi
this is amazing, i thought i was a good husband, but those i call them 10 commandments for men, puts me to shame , a lot of lessons for future improvements. . Wishing u a refua Slaiyma, i'll try to read all your writings
May Hashem give u Koyach to continue Reply

Anonymous Overland Park, KS July 18, 2017

So right on. Reply

Kerry Brown July 18, 2017

I think this is beautiful. You should turn it into a book! It is truly universal and could help so many families. Thank you for sharing your wisdom. Reply

Anonymous yerushalayim via chabadberkeley.org July 22, 2017
in response to Kerry Brown:

Not universal. Not all women (or men) are alike. Reply

Chaim David ben Fishel NY July 18, 2017

NOW you tell me?! :)
Seriously, Yasher Koach and thanks for this great info - one of the things I found amazing reading about the Rebbe's life was that he and the Rebbitzin - both of whom had enormously busy schedules of course - would spend quality time with each other each and every day. Reply

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