Regularly, a group of friends and I have lunch. While two of us were waiting on a couple of the others to arrive, I asked the wise woman with me (who mentors women) what she thought were the most important principles to communicate to young wives about what is important in growing a great marriage.

She said two things that you regularly hear in WSO. One was get rid of the emotional turmoil (she put this in her own words, of course) and two, was to make the physical intimacy part of marriage “fun” for him. Then, she added a new phrase that I like. She said, “Husbands want you to ‘tend’ to him.” I like that word. Let’s talk about what “tending” looks like.

“Tending” to a husband could be that we notice his glass is empty and we refill it. It could be that we know we will be gone for the afternoon, so we make sure there is a sandwich prepared for him in the fridge. It could be that we notice that he has had a busy week, so we make plans where he can relax and regroup, instead of scheduling an event that we want to do. “Tending” to your husband is nothing more than noticing him, thinking about what he is going through, demonstrating concern, and giving him attention.

The common projectile in marriage is for the wife to be consumed with the children/her events/her goals and to take the husband for granted. The norm is that “he can fend for himself since I’m so busy and overloaded”. But a little “tending” is huge to men. Bringing him a treat to eat, getting his briefcase out of the car for him, being on time when you are going places together, remembering that he likes to play golf on Saturday mornings so you don’t schedule a meeting then, standing up and going over to kiss him hello when he comes home, asking him about his day, then deeply listening…there are endless situations where we can be mindful of what attention and “tending” he would like.

So many women “ignore” these little acts of kindness after the “newness” wears off. Wise wives “tend” to their husbands until death do them part. They show their concern and respect through thousands of little daily gestures.

Men love their wives to “tend” to them and give them attention. This never changes. Never.