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To make your spouse happy...

What are a few small things that you deliberately do to make your spouse happy? Mine are:

I take great pleasure in making my husband's lunches most days of the week.

BJs twice per month at least...

Mon. Oct 1, 10:31pm

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He loves cookies. It's funny how big a boost he gets when he comes home and finds I've made snickerdoodles or ginger cookies. He's very easy to make happy. In fact, I can really give him a boost with vanilla Tootsie rolls or candy corn. (Yeah--food's a big one. He's also slender, dang him.)

We usually go out on Friday nights. I love going out but he's a bit of a homebody. So sometimes I just say, "Let's get a movie and watch it at home."

Monday, October 01, 2007, 11:18 PM

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my question is you do these things for him, which is great, but what is he doing for you?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 11:28 AM

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I love to give my husband compliments, especially in front of other people. I love the way he beams when he knows how proud I am of him. It is a major ego boost for him, and does wonders for his self esteem.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 11:31 AM

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i have a foot fetish, so i'll usually rub his feet for an hour. And i love giving massages so i'll usually break out the oil and give him a full body massage.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 5:02 PM

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small things to make my hubby happy is I lay his clothes out daily, have the house clean (not that he would care if for one day it were a mess LOL) and have dinner on the table when he gets home ( I am a SAHM so I have time for this) I also try and pick up his fav snacks at the store and give him a little moomoo twice a week LOL

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 5:07 PM

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I go to all his doctor appointments with him and provide nutritious meals for him. Funny, he doesn't see the love in that one.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 5:19 PM

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I don't want to sound harsh, but a lot of the things you all are listing (aside from the obviously sexual stuff) sound more like "good mother" than "good wife"...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 5:28 PM

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Well heck 5:28, why not? We all (ok most) learn to enjoy homemade snickerdoodles as children when mom makes them -- so of course it's a pleasure when someone else makes them and serves them to us as adults! Even more so because we _could_ do it ourselves, but we don't have to.

My Mom used to make me breakfasts and lunches.... I'm capable of doing it myself, but it is _nice_ when my bf does it for me. :-)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 6:08 PM

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to make my man happy I get a job and offer to pay for dinner. I learn something about sports. I play thow with him. I call him at his friends house every 5 minutes and say " i loooove youuuu", so he has to say it back and his friends make fun of him....heeheee he will see the good in that later....

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 6:34 PM

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My husband recently started working out with me (yay!) and I tell him the whole time how sexy it is that he is taking his fitness seriously. Now he asks me when our next workout is! So I guess making him feel confident is what I love to do for him!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 8:46 PM

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5:28 and 11:28, I wish I were surprised by your comments, but I've heard that kind of competitive tally-sheeting and role-defining before.

As an adult, I have the right to do any favor I wish for anyone I wish. I'm sure you both consider yourselves feminists, but what you both are doing is telling adult women that there are limits and restrictions on the ways they ought to demonstrate their love. That some kindnesses aren't okay for a woman to do for her husband, even if she enjoys doing them and her husband appreciates them; that a woman shouldn't do a kindness for a man without keeping some kind of account. You are limiting our choices, not increasing them.

I don't keep accounts with my female friends; I don't evaluate the favors I do for them. I just do what I know they will appreciate. If I want to give one of them a boost, I do whatever I think will lift her spirits. My husband is a very close friend, and he gets the same kind treatment as any friend would get in that regard. So yes, I make him cookies. I've made cookies for other friends, too, but nobody responds like he does. It's fun to see him get such a big kick out of such a simple thing.

Most of the things I do for my husband (and most of the things he does for me) are either about surprising each other with little pleasures, or making each other's lives more convenient. Like another poster, I make my husband's lunch in the morning. I do this because he is busy showering, shaving, ironing his shirt, dressing, etc. so that he can make it to work on time. I don't generally work as early as he does, so by making his lunch, I can take from him the added stress of trying to fit in an extra ten minutes of lunchmaking.

And yes, he does kindnesses for me, too; we both understand friendship and marriage in the same way. He always takes the smallest towel; he sometimes bakes bread; he does laundry and dishes; he brings me flowers; he shampoos the carpet; he runs the kids places when he has more time than I do; he cooks dinner if he gets home first. He does whatever he thinks he can do to make me smile or relieve me of some of the inconveniences that come with a busy houseful. And he's learned in 20 years not to stress over some imposed outsider rules about what he as a man should or shouldn't do for me.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 10:48 PM

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No one's mentioning the obvious - is this a PG13 site or something?

You know the saying, men think about sex every 8 minutes on average. The best thiing I can do for my spouse is be cooking us a nice meal in the kitchen when he comes home, dressed in nothing but my apron and Aromatics Elixir.

And before you say it, yes I do cook dinner. He does the washing up, and he also does most of the house cleaning. So we have a pretty fair division of labor.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 11:18 PM

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To 10:48 from point is just that if we don't want them to expect us to be their mommies in other ways, like cleaning up after them and being generally taken advantage of domestically, maybe we shouldn't be mommying them in other ways. Sends a signal, y'know?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007, 11:48 PM

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to 10:48 from 11:28

I know from experience and from our former marriage councelor that women get caught up in being the mothering role to their husbands, especially if the husband is controlling.

I have learned over the years that his happiness cannot be my #1 priority. Who am I in life if I am worrying about what makes him happy all the time if i am not happy. The way I see it: when I'm happy, he's happier. when he's happy, i'm happier.

It wasn't a score board--it was a reality check.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 9:11 AM

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hey 10:48--are you from this century or do you still wear an apron while sitting at home cooking, cleaning, doing the laundry, and ironing his underware! don't call us feminists for asking for an equal relationship!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 9:13 AM

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Did I miss something? Is it bad to be called a feminist?

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 10:24 AM

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Oh, for goodness' sake!

Being a feminist is awesome.

Finding the right balance of tasks and kindness within YOUR OWN relationship is something only YOU can do. And everyone's relationship is different -- one person may have been locked into the "mommy" job, while another is reciprocally pampered.

As it happens, the question was, "What do you do for your husband?" I think that "What does your SO do that makes you happy?" is a different question, deserving of its own thread. :-)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 10:43 AM

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well said 10:43!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 11:18 AM

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no, it's not a bad thing, however, when you use the word "feminist" people assume you are some ball busting, man hating, lesbian who has to be in control. it's unfortunate the meaning of the word has become terrible.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 12:47 PM

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Um, doesn't someone have to do the "mommy" tasks? Sure, it can be split between the two people, but those tasks do have to get done.

Someone has to make lunch, and it's easier to make 2 lunches at once than it is to make 2 lunches entirely separately. The laundry, cleaning, and cooking have to get done. Maybe the woman cooks while the man cleans. She is still cooking for him. Why does that make her an apron-wearing woman from another century???

My husband cooks and does laundry more than I do, and I pick up more of the dog's poop than he does. Does that make us ideal to the feminist population? Because, really, I'd far rather be cooking than picking up poo, but it's just how it works out. Though I'd rather do just about anything than laundry. Oh, and we hire someone to clean. So, neither of us do much of that.

Why is it such a concern that a woman cooks, or cleans, etc.? Someone has to do it, and there are only 2 choices.

I make my husband happy by making breakfast while he showers, and walking the dog early in the morning. He makes me happy by making dinner most nights and walking the dog late at night. And when he wants to be sweet on the weekends, sometimes he does the early walk too.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 12:51 PM

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whatever makes him happy, right.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 1:20 PM

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As a man

BJs are my favorite. As is a nice meal or massage. Or a little surprise that shows she cares.

Of course, I love to reciprocate on all of those things. It should be a two-way street.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 7:50 PM

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10:48 here. I didn't call anyone feminists for asking for an equal relationship (I'm not in a relationship with either of the posters so who exactly were they asking?), and I didn't use the word feminist in a negative way. Rather, I challenged a couple of people (maybe one person) who criticized the things earlier posters said they did to make their husbands feel good. Have whatever kind of relationship you want. Refuse to make his lunch even if you're making your own; refuse to iron his shirt even if he's in a hurry; refuse to do anything you might also do for your children for fear of being taken for granted. Keep score and make demands. Or don't. Whatever you like. It's your relationship, as mine is mine.

Just don't tell other women that if they don't do things your way they are stupid doormats or women from another century, and don't make insulting implications in your questions to them.

I do wear an apron when I cook because quite often I cook in my work clothes--it would be kind of stupid not to protect them. It would be hard to SIT at home while simultaneously cooking, cleaning etc, but I do most of the cooking and cleaning because I do the least work outside the home and therefore have more time to do those things. Nobody irons underwear, and I believe I mentioned already that my husband does his own ironing, but you missed it because you were busy stereotyping. I have been largely at home for the past 18 years. It was important to me to raise my own children rather than to pay someone else to raise them, and I was lucky enough to be able to do that. However, I'm a certified teacher and have designed and taught successful formal writing courses, currently teach various subjects in public school, have written for three newspapers and sold a novel.

Not everyone who bakes cookies for her husband or makes his lunch is a Stepford wife. And not every husband who comes home to the smell of warm cookies or goes off in the morning with a good lunch he didn't make is a controlling bastard.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 9:52 PM

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If it quacks like a duck...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007, 10:55 PM

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To 10:48pm

I am a feminist and I agree with what you've said. I don't keep score with my husband. Doing lots of nice little things for him makes him feel good and it makes me feel good. Much as it makes me feel good when I do something nice for anyone. My husband reciprocates whole heartedly and beyond the annoying argument here and there, we're very happy together. He makes my life even more wonderful than it was. Why not return the favor?

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 12:56 AM

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i love to make my husband happy in every way, including cooking for him and pampering him. and he does the same for me, only in a different way.

and i've been a member of the national organization for women for over 15 years, marched in front of the white house, and consider myself a feminist.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 7:42 AM

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Hey 10:48

I just gotta say: YOU GO GIRL!!
After reading this thread and the slams you got I am proud that you shared more details about your marriage. I am sure your husband appreciates all that you do for him. And I bet you are alot happier than most of the posters that posted on this thread.
I have been married for 10 yrs and I know that when we are the happiest is when we are doing things for each other. And the more time that goes by the less you think about it. Thanks for the reminder that putting others above yourself has not died. And I will proudly wear my apron right beside you!

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 8:20 AM

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To 10:48

I'm not keeping score with my husband, nor am I "REFUSING" (as you so ignoranty put it) to make his lunch or iron his shirts. However, I choose not to fall into the mothering roll with him. My husband already has a mother. He doesn't need another one. And if he wants a maid to iron his shirts, he can hire one. I am his lover, not his mother or his maid. I choose to keep them seperate.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 8:47 AM

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*sigh* OP here. Interesting turn this conversation took :) When you love someone and they love you, the "doing special things" thing just...happens. Love motivates giving. I'm lucky to have a husband who takes pleasure in making me happy as well. I heard once: in a relationship, it's not 50/50. It's 100%. You each give your all. Wouldn't the world be a better place if we all lived this way?

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 9:52 AM

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Amen OP! I think 100% is exactly it!

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 4:53 PM

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10:48 here:

8:47, that's fine--I wasn't telling you or anyone else what to do or not do for your husband, if you recall. Someone else was doing that. Someone said they made a lunch, someone said they made cookies, and from those two things it was assumed that those women were mothering their husbands and the challenges began.

My husband's got a great mother; evem if he didn't, I don't have any interest in mothering him. I do love to surprise him now and then, and the way things work out around here we both do some of what needs to be done--including sometimes doing something for each other, like washing laundry we didn't wear or cleaning the car normally driven by the other. We can't afford a maid, so we split the household chores in the way that makes the most sense to us. We don't want others raising our kids, so we arrange the full-time parenting in the way that makes the most sense to us as well.

We've been married 20 years.

My 11-YO just came in to tell me it's time for dinner. My husband made spaghetti. I need to eat quick because I'm going to a rehearsal for The Messiah tonight while he hangs here with the youngest of the kids.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 8:45 PM

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This is a very interesting thread.

I enjoy doing little things for my husband as well, such as taking his car for the day so I can get the oil changed while he's at work. I do this not because I feel the need to mother him or control things, but because I have the time to do things like that and it allows us more time together - around the house, or to take the kids camping, or whatever - when he's not at work because he doesn't have to deal with the mundane task of getting the oil changed.

I do also do 95% of the cooking, all of the cleaning, laundry, ironing, and running around after the kids - not because he's a controlling bastard, but because he works 60-65 hours a week compared to my 15-20 and provides our family with much more of our income than I do. It comes down to the simple reality that I work part time and have a bit more breathing room in my day to do errands and household chores. He does reciprocate - he makes sure the yard gets mowed, pays the bills and keeps things in good repair around the house - all of which I don't like or want to do.

We don't do these things to keep score on each other - we do them because at this point in our lives, this system of give-and-take and division of tasks keeps our home running smoothly.

Thursday, October 04, 2007, 11:56 PM

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Any more men's perspectives out there on this topic?

Saturday, October 06, 2007, 2:22 AM

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Sorry, I'm another female. The debate about whether our primary role is lover or mother is interesting and all, but thought I'd add a few of my own. BTW, I've been with the same guy since I was a teenager and it's been a ridiculously blissful experience.

I have sex when I'm tired because I know it's a big deal for him. I try to look good whenever we go out together, even if it's just the grocery store. Ok, a lot of that is for me but at least some of it is for him. He does all kinds of housework, but we seem to have different priorities, so I've given up trying to change him, but just do whatever I think is a priority and be grateful for his contributions. I hug him a lot. I let him sleep in (no wonder I'm tired at night!).

Sunday, October 07, 2007, 8:28 AM

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