Your partner means more than anything to you, and you want to convey that importance through your words and your actions.
Nevertheless, after years of becoming accustomed to one another, you may be at a standstill for just how to go about this process of learning and improving.
Listed below are the top 50 best ways to be a better husband, both big and small.
You can start today and show your partner just how much they truly mean to you.
1. Learn their preferences, big and small
Maybe your partner prefers to process stress or sadness with alone time as opposed to being doted over. Maybe they prefer to sleep in a very cold room with lots of blankets to keep warm. Do they enjoy honey or sugar in their tea?
Or, do they prefer coffee? Learning your partner’s preferences, no matter how large or even “insignificant” they may seem, not only showcases thoughtfulness and attention to detail, but can also help you navigate your relationship by understanding their quirks and methods.
2. Get the kids ready for school while your partner sleeps in
If your partner is usually the one who helps the kids get ready for school, tell them to push snooze and go back to sleep– you’ve got this round.
3. Look your partner in the eyes
You already know that eye contact is important, but how often do you make it, and in what ways? While 24/7 eye contact is definitely not necessary, looking your partner in the eye with a truly meaningful gaze is incredibly connecting. Try to engage this kind of connection with serious and emotional conversations, as well as more casual moments like discussing what will be cooked for dinner; the eyes are the windows to the soul after all, and your partner will feel seen and acknowledged in everything they say.
4. Run an errand that they’ve been putting off
We all procrastinate sometimes, and who wouldn’t want a little help with that? Help your partner out by offering to run an errand that they’ve been putting off. Need to get that baking pan back from the neighbor’s? Check. Need to get that check deposited or that package shipped? Check, check, and done.
5. Make a list of all the things you love about them
Make up a list of 31 things you love or admire about your partner. Maybe it’s the way their eyes sparkle in the right lighting, or the effortless curl of their hair. Perhaps it’s the way they fearlessly conquer every roller coaster, or can’t walk by a single dog without petting it. Think thoughtfully. When you’ve finished compiling your list, transfer each reason to a sticky note, and leave one in a place around the house for your partner to find each day of the month.
6. Wait your turn
Don’t interrupt your partner. Whether they’re simply telling you about their day or sharing their perspective of a serious argument, your interjections can wait. They deserve to finish their side and to feel genuinely heard. Learn to wait your turn, and they should do the same for you!
7. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’ll be the most memorable meal of the day if you surprise your partner with breakfast in bed! You can go all out with the full spread of bacon, eggs, pancakes, and fresh-squeezed OJ, or even just prepare store-bought cinnamon rolls and coffee the way your partner likes. No matter what you prepare, the simple gesture of getting up earlier to make cook something nice is a sentiment that warms the heart.
8. Give one another space
You shouldn’t feel obligated to spend 100% of your time together. Set aside time for being alone and nurturing your respective hobbies, as well as going out with your individual groups of friends and paying visits to the family. Understand that your time away from each other can help you both grow in your relationship as much as being together.
9. Support their career goals
Support your partner’s career goals by always being an honest and encouraging voice. Cheer them up when they’ve had a rough day at work, help to iron their clothes for that job interview, and root them on when they’re filling out stack after stack of job applications. If your partner prefers a stay-at-home position, let them know that their work doesn’t go unnoticed.
10. Spa night, anyone?
Who doesn’t love going to the spa? Even better, who doesn’t love the thoughtfulness and care of getting pampered by their husband? Light candles, turn on some relaxing music (or a favorite television show, if the spa music is too cheesy, and treat your partner to a menu of relaxation: pedicure, manicure, foot massage, face masks, facial massage. This can be an especially welcomed surprise if you know that your partner has had a lot on their plate recently.
11. Share a lunch break
If one, or both of you works, schedule to share a lunch break together. It doesn’t matter if you plan fancy reservations at an elegant cafe or simply bolt through the drive-thru and chow down in the car. The time together will give you both something to look forward to.
12. Make a bucket list
Craft a bucket list together on a rainy day. This can be a literal bucket list, or a more specific one, such as all of the countries you hope to travel to together, the dishes you want to try cooking, or the goals you hope to achieve within your marriage. Keep your aspirations always in sight by sticking the list on the fridge.
13. Let your partner teach you something
Chances are, your partner knows something you don’t. This may be a skill such as cooking, sewing, or tai chi, but it could also be a subject matter, like Renaissance art or astronomy. This will foster rich time and conversations between the two of you, and will also let your partner know that you’re interested in their talents and abilities. Plus, you get to become an expert on a new subject!
14. Wash your partner’s car
If your partner keeps remarking that they need to take their car to the car-wash, surprise them by doing it yourself! Clean the exterior as well as the interior. Bonus points if you leave a sweet note on their steering wheel when you’re done.
15. Learn how to apologize
This process isn’t always fun, but knowing how to apologize sincerely is a critical gesture in maintaining any kind of relationship. Own up to your mistakes and properly acknowledge them. This will not only display your emotional maturity, but show that you understand repercussions and care about the feelings of your partner as well.
16. Indulge in some healthy competition
A little bit of healthy competition is fun and can bring you closer together! Shoot hoops, pull out the Scrabble board, or go for a night of bowling. Enjoy yourselves, and encourage some playful trash talking. If you want this healthy competition to last longer than just leisure time, suggest competing over who runs the most miles in a week or can leave the least amount of dirty dishes in the sink.
17. Take off an hour from work and surprise them with dinner
Shave off an hour of work and swing by the grocery store to pick up the ingredients for a freshly prepared meal instead. Your partner will be enamored by the gesture, and both of you will enjoy having food on the table a bit earlier than normal!
18. Ask questions that show genuine interest
Show genuine interest in your partner by asking them meaningful questions that add depth to the conversation. Ask them how their day was, and then ask more specific questions: did you get to do anything fun? What did you order for lunch? What kind of projects are you handling? Ask them to explain things to you, or who their favorite character is in the book they’re reading. Be an active listener, not a passive one.
19. Kiss your partner every morning
Lock lips with your partner every morning, and not in the quick, “I-gotta-go” peck on the cheek sort of way. A kiss with intention feels so much more lovely than one that feels rushed and done out of obligation.
20. Praise them in front of people
Is your partner a fantastic chef who’s always whipping up new recipes from scratch? Can you partner shoot hoops like nobody’s business, or, are they a compassionate volunteer for local community projects? If you partner is too humble to say it, say it for them! Casually mention their basketball talents the next time you’re watching a game with the family, or bring up that homemade pasta they made the next time you’re out to eat with a group. This will make them feel like their talents are valued and that you’re proud of them for those talents!
21. Praise them privately
It’s equally as important to acknowledge these things behind closed doors. Get excited about your partner’s accomplishments, rave about something they made, or compliment them on something out of the blue.
22. Make your partner a romantic coupon book
Create a “coupon book” of different services or gifts you can offer your partner. Such services may include a “coupon redeemable for one free foot rub”, a fancy bath, or a pass on cleaning the dishes that night. This is a great and easy gift that’s especially perfect for an anniversary or Valentine’s Day.
23. Hire a babysitter for the night
Hire a babysitter to take care of the kids while you and your partner go out for a romantic evening on the town. Go for dinner and a movie, or something kitschy and cute like ice-cream and bowling. Whatever you do, this night will be just about the two of you!
24. Small chores matter
You should always be thinking of little ways to make your partner’s day easier, and this should be reciprocated back to you. Help lighten your partner’s responsibilities by taking care of smaller tasks. If they usually cook dinner, ask if there’s anything that needs prepping or thawing. If they have a big deadline coming up, offer to make them a drink or iron their clothes for the next morning.
25. Purchase a book you’d think they’d like
If your partner enjoys reading, purchase a book on their wishlist or that you’d think they’d like, and leave it on their side of the bed. Attach a sticky note or handmade bookmark explaining why you chose the book for them.
26. Stop asking, “What’s wrong?” What do you need from me in this moment
Instead of asking, “What’s wrong?”, start asking, what do you need from me in this moment? Explaining “what’s wrong” can be an overwhelming task in the heat of an emotional time. Asking your partner how you can help is a direct way to understand what your partner needs, and it also shows that you have that interests and well-being at heart.
27. Go on a drive to watch the sunset together
What could be more old-school romance than watching the sun go down together? After work, jump in the car with the windows down and chase the dying evening light. Blast your favorite songs and enjoy the beautiful simplicity of it all. Your partner will cherish the spontaneity and nostalgia.
28. Remember to unplug
Turn off the television and put down the phone. Talk or enjoy an activity or dinner together uninterrupted by the stimulation of technology. The most important connection you can make with your partner is the one when you make the most of you’re time together, not the one that connects you to the WiFi!
29. Plan a romantic weekend getaway
You don’t have to save up for a week-long cruise to have a good time! Road trip to a city in an adjacent state for some easy rest and relaxation. While you’re there, explore the top-rated local restaurants, and book something fun, like a spa visit or theatre tickets.
30. Go for a walk after dinner
A simple walk around your neighborhood at dusk is a sweet way to bring both of your days to a close. Hold hands while you stroll and simply enjoy one another’s company. Plus, you can work off the bloated feeling of the dinner you just ate!
31. Remember your manners
Having good manners should go without saying. Nevertheless, one can’t underestimate the significance of simply saying thank-you. Always say thank-you, no matter how big or small a gesture may be. Simple kindness can go a long way in making your partner (or anyone, for that matter) feel appreciated.
32. Make time for cuddling
Who doesn’t love cuddling? Set aside an hour of a weekend morning to simply stay in bed, holding your partner close. Alternatively, make popcorn and hot cocoa and cuddle on the couch while bingeing your favorite movie together!
33. Relish in your partner’s accomplishments
Be proud of your partner, and make it known! Your partner deserves to feel supported and encouraged. Convey this by relishing in each of their achievements, big and small.
34. Set up a movie night
Movie nights are an easy and romantic date night that hardly cost a dime! Rent an award-winning indie film that neither of you have ever seen, or stick in an old classic that you both know word for word. Pick up a few boxes of your favorite “movie” candy and a bag of popcorn and you’re good to go!
35. Be honest and speak up
Communication is key. If something is bothering you, speak up. Your concerns need to be respectfully acknowledged and addressed before they have the chance to turn into passive aggressive actions or arguments.
36. Donate to a cause in their name
Donating to a cause in your partner’s name is a meaningful gesture and shows compassion! If your partner already volunteers for a particular nonprofit, be sure to donate to a cause relevant to their interests like arts education or am animal shelter.
37. Make everything an adventure
Adventure is about attitude, not cost or destination. Show your fun and innovative side by making everything into an adventure! Grocery store errands become scavenger hunts to see who can gather their list the fastest; fast food drive-thrus become loud singalongs.
38. Look at your partner and tell them you love them
Look at your partner and tell them you love them. Not quickly, on your way out the door. Not half-halfheartedly. Look them in their eyes and tell them with intention.
39. Take on a new hobby together
Taking on a new hobbie together means quality and enriching time together. Plus, you’ll both learn something new! Try cooking, geocaching, or salsa-dancing.
40. Leave them a message on the mirror
The writing’s on the wall! Leave a heartfelt message for your partner on the bathroom mirror in lipstick or shaving cream. Just volunteer to clean it off once they’ve appreciated the gesture.
41. Indulge the sweet tooth
Indulge your partner’s sweet tooth by remembering to pick up their favorite candy bar when you’re at the grocery store or gas station. It doesn’t have to be a fancy box of chocolates to make your partner’s day. They’ll appreciate the unexpected treat and smile at the fact that you recalled what their favorite candy is!
42. Handle the grocery shopping
If your partner generally handles this task, lighten their load by taking the shift for them. Simply ask for a grocery list, and tell them you can handle the rest!
42. Plan a picnic
What’s more romantic than a good ole’ fashioned picnic? Enjoy the process of cooking together, or, prepare the whole thing yourself and surprise your partner by having everything ready to go. You can venture to your local park or natural preserve, or, simply have it in your backyard.
43. Pay attention to the little messes
Pay attention to your little messes. Putting your dishes in the dishwasher might be easy to remember, but what about the table where you eat? Do you tend to leave crumbs everywhere? Stray bottle caps? Do you have a bad habit of leaving the toilet seat up? The small things add up, so becoming cognizant of them can make a change that will be noticed by your partner.
44. Randomly fill their car up with gas
Surprise your partner by randomly filling up their car with gas. This is most opportune in the event that you happen to take your partner’s car somewhere. They’ll be delighted to see that full tank the next time they climb into the driver’s seat.
45. Look out for your partner when they’re sick
In sickness and in health, right? Whether it’s merely a headache or a common cold, or something bigger, always do what you can to alleviate your partner’s pain. Sometimes, this is as simple as getting up in the middle of the night to give them tissues and a glass of water when they’re sick with a hoarse throat.
46. Compromise is key
Relationships are about give and take. You have to give a little and your partner has to give a little. Understanding and effectively practicing this allow for balance and fulfillment.
47. Know their order
Pay attention to their order at their favorite fast food chain, or the way they order their coffee. You can surprise them later by unexpectedly bringing home their signature menu item without asking.
48. Create your own special holiday
Do you and your partner reminisce on a memory from a day full of inside jokes? Do you celebrate the anniversary of your first date with as much weight as your wedding anniversary? Create your own holiday together by paying homage to it! Vow that every year on this date, you’ll both take off work to recreate your memory, explore somewhere new, eat cake for breakfast, or whatever it is that your holiday calls for. It’s up to you and your partner to decide!
49. Be open to vulnerability
Some people are more private than others, and that’s okay. It is, however, important to have candor and be emotionally vulnerable with your partner. Opening yourself up to mutual vulnerability allows the formation of deeper trust, and you’ll learn a lot about yourselves as well as one another.
50. Never let your partner forget just how much you appreciate them
All grand gestures aside, the most important way to let your partner know that you love and appreciate them is by telling them. It’s a few simple words that go a long way and remind your partner that their existence is one you never want to take for granted.