Keep Dating Your Wife: 25 Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her

4d1e67704b2331fb85c191a22b9d2c28In college, I got to know an elderly couple who took a real liking to me, and they would often have me over to their house and take me out to dinner. While they were nothing but kind to me, their relationship with each other was incredibly hostile. Every conversation would turn into an angry shouting match, and they could barely relate to one another without harsh words or bitter criticisms.

While I don’t know this couple’s history or how they came to interact this way, the relationship they had is sadly all too common. Marriages are crumbling, and the divorce rate is creeping above 50%. And while the Church has always defended the indissolubility of marriage, it is a tragic reality that Catholics are civilly divorcing at essentially the same rate as everyone else.

The causes of this breakdown of marriage are many, but really, the solution is simple. We who are called to the vocation of marriage must love our wives. Let’s face it, we ultimately can’t change anyone’s marriage but our own. In the face of marital collapse on a massive scale, our Catholic marriages must be a prophetic witness of joyful life, fidelity, and love.

So with that said, here are 25 ways to tell your wife you love her. There are hundreds more!

  1. Listen to her and care about what she has to say
  2. Show her physical, non-sexual affection
  3. Surprise her with flowers
  4. Take her out to dinner (without the kids)
  5. Buy her a book she’s been wanting
  6. Write her a love note
  7. Wash the dishes
  8. Check something off your honey-do list
  9. If you have babies, change a diaper
  10. Let her go out with her girlfriends sans kids
  11. Open the door for her
  12. Pray with her and for her
  13. Apologize to her when you sin
  14. Forgive her when she sins…never hold a grudge
  15. Ask her advice
  16. Pay attention to her pet peeves and avoid them
  17. Take her shopping
  18. Fast for her
  19. Understand and comfort her fears even if you don’t share them
  20. Talk to her about life
  21. Compliment her specifically
  22. Kiss her in public and in front of the kids
  23. Hold her hand
  24. Give up something you want to do to do something she wants to do
  25. Don’t criticize or complain…praise

In short, keep dating your wife.

Once upon a time, your chief preoccupation was winning your wife’s heart and securing her affection. Remember? Yet, many men stop doing this the minute they say “I do.” This shouldn’t be. Your mission as a Catholic husband is to become a life-long student of your wife. Study to understand her hopes and dreams, her fears and practical concerns. What does she love? What does she hate? What makes her happy? What’s her love language? Learn what delights her heart and then do it.

Men marriage is a sacrament, just like confession or the Eucharist. A good marriage can literally give us spiritual life and grace. Isn’t that amazing? And yet despite this fact, many of us treat our spouse casually and irreverently, as a nuisance, or worse, as an enemy. How sad.

The saints tell us that we receive more from the sacraments if we receive them well. The more prepared our hearts are, the more graces we receive. Why then, do we who are called to the sacrament of Matrimony so often neglect our marriages and ignore our spouses? Your wife is a sacramental sign to you. Treat her like one.

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40 Responses to “Keep Dating Your Wife: 25 Ways to Show Your Wife You Love Her”

    • To clarify, when I say kissing, I don’t mean making out in an inappropriate fashion. Anyway, kiss in front of the kids because children need to see that their parents love each other. This simple gesture is far more important than many imagine, in an age when parents are more likely to yell at each other in front of their children than show affection.

      Kiss in public because the world needs to see evidence of lifelong, loving marriages, rather than just marriages of cool toleration. “Experts” are actually starting to say that monogamy is impossible, and that we need to give up on the idea. We need to prove them wrong.

      The other day I saw an elderly couple, probably in their 80s, walking near our house hand in hand. It was a silent witness to the loving bond they shared. Shortly after that, I saw another couple, probably in their mid-60s, kissing and hugging like they were a young, college aged couple newly in love. Again, it was a witness to a faithful marriage—a witness the world desperately needs today.

    • I’d say that it’s important to be a public image of Christ’s love for the Church, which is what marriage is, the sacramental, visible sign of the invisible reality of Christ’s marriage to the Church. This is most striking in St. Louis IX, who was a great Catholic leader, particularly on the battlefield. However, he was criticized by his generals for being so incredibly affectionate to his wife because they thought it unbecoming for a great military leader. He didn’t listen to them, knowing it was more important to be affectionate to his wife.

    • Your wife needs to feel she is elevated and you are UNAFRAID to show the whole world your devotion to her. Public affection sends the message that this girl has captured your heart and puts the whole world on notice that no one had better mess with this precious lady.

  1. Restless Pilgrim Reply

    > Why do you specifically say to kiss your wife in public and in front of the kids?

    I’d suggest that it’s important for children to see their father express affection to their mother.

    • I wanted to affirm this comment and also add an insight to give some perspective: In situations of domestic violence where men/husbands abuse their wives, in almost ALL cases they have either witnessed their fathers doing the same thing or been victims of abuse themselves. We learn as children how to behave and relate to others, and then we grow up to replicate the behaviors we observe.

      Kiss in front of the kids… all the way!

  2. Here’s another tip: when she is complaining about something, don’t try to fix the situation. Just listen! Men are problem-solvers by nature, but most times, wives just want to vent. My wife and I have been married almost 17 years and I’m still trying to learn this.

    • This is such a great suggestion. My wife and I had this conversation over lunch. She always says I don’t want to hear her complain. I said I do but I don’t know what you want from me. She replied I just want you to listen. I don’t want you to fix it just listen. We have been married slightly over 2 years.

  3. If you’ve never experience this you wouldnt know the volumes it speaks. Much respect to the husbands who read this article and actually action all the points (you can als print incase you forget a few points). Thank you for posting this life changing article. remain blessed 🙂

  4. I think one of the main reason for divorce is infidelity. I would put in n.1: don’t watch porn, this has become extremely common and it is adultery, how would your wife feel about it.

  5. Thank you for such a wonderful post. I’ll be sending the link to my husband, although I’m proud to say that he does many of these things for me. And yet we were just talking this past Sunday about how different our relationship is now (5 years into marriage) than it was when we were dating. It does seem appropriate that a relationship continues to evolve and change over time, and yet I am nostalgic for the excitement and fire of our dating days. This was a helpful synthesis.

    I also happen to believe very strongly that THE BEST thing we can do for our children, and indeed the most important thing, is to keep our marriages healthy, holy and strong. Thanks again for affirming that.

  6. Don and Madonna Fantz Reply

    Throughout our 55 years of marriage, we have always shown genuine affection to each other in front of our children and now to our grandchildren. We had that same example given to us by our own parents. We were told how important this is for young people to observe and to realize that a display of affection is not necessarily tied to only something sexual…but is an exchange of genuine love between husband and wife.

  7. and you better do these things, men, or she’s gonna divorce you and take your money and kids. Wives, don’t get fat, insolent, or divorce-minded (the vast majority of divorces are filed by women).

  8. This list is spot on! I actually teared up when I read it… All of the things that you mentioned would most certainly be seen as tremendous acts of love for a woman. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  9. All wonderful ideas and reminders. Unfortunately some husbands would never want to do any of this …how I envy the wives whose husbands are not afraid to show love for their wives doing these simple, but loving gestures

  10. My understanding about that 50% statistic is that it’s for all marriages (including second, third, fourth, fifth, etc.). I believe that the divorce rate for first marriages is substantially less than that (unless the states have changed wildly in the last few years). I think if you look at the stats for first marriages that didn’t involve co-habitation before marriage that the divorce rate is even lower.

  11. Lovely lovely script. Very helpful. How I pray that my marriage gets better with time with Gods Grace and mercy.

  12. Sam, I facilitate Theology of the Body at my Parish. I highly recommend every adult to attend this series. If it is not available at your local Catholic Church, talk to your Priest about ordering the series, Theology of the Body by Christopher West.
    If at all possible, husband and wife should go together.
    There is a series for teens, they too need to attend the series.

  13. My husband & I have been married for 31 wonderful years. Second time around for both. We try to honeymoon every year, we show appreciation to one another, we kiss in front of our Grandkids & kids. One of our Grandsons asked why we do that, we both sat down & explained we love each other & how important it is to show our love. He now shows his love more than ever. We don’t think he sees it at home, so we talked to his parents, not sure we ever got through. When we’re are with the Grandkids, they get & all show more love. We keep trying with their parents, but can only do so much. Thanks for sharing this article, so many people need to read & understand the importance of showing & sharing their love.

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