This question has been asked over and over in a variety of different ways (mostly in conjunction with posts here and here...note that there are a bunch of answers back in this post).
In light of Valentine's Day next week I figured I'd devote this Q & A to putting husbands first. Something we could all work on no matter how great our relationships are. And I'm hoping people will add their own ideas in the comments so we can all be better prepared to show our love next week (and always).
(That shape we're making in the shadow is supposed to be a heart in case you were wondering:)
Some of these things Dave and I do great. Others are things we are really working on. Others are things my sisters and Mom mentioned on that trip the "questioner" for this q&a was talking about.
Here you go:
Go to bed at the same time. (I know this doesn't work for everyone, but it makes a world of difference for us.)
If you go to bed at the same time, you get to have "pillow talk" which leads to belly laughs, which make me happy. (I feel so much more connected to Dave when we make time to really talk about how our day went and what's coming up the next day.)
Find at least a few of the same things to be interested in together. (We're always working on that one because we are so different, but I think it's so important.)
Learn what his "love language" is from this book (I know this may sound cheesy, but seriously, it is a pretty cool concept).
Never underestimate the power of touch. Even just a touch on the shoulder or a on his knee at dinner.
Tell your kids how excited you are to go on a date together with stars in your eyes.
Hug in front of your kids.
Tell your kids what you love about their dad. All the time.
Say you're sorry before he does.
Continue "dating" regularly forever, even if it's an "at-home date" after the kids are in bed.
Drop everything you're trying to juggle some evenings and just snuggle on the couch.
Watch a show you like together while sitting in front of him on the floor...he rubs your back while you rub his feet. (or visa-versa)
Text him love-notes in the middle of the day.
Tuck love-notes in his suitcase when he goes on a business trip.
Make dinner for him.
Dave and I decided right when we got married to keep any complaints or things we were bugged about between us. We promised each other that we would discuss those things and work them out just the two of us, not with our friends or neighbors. We figured it would make us stronger to work through things together and to keep that relationship sacred. And we were right. That's one of the best things about our marriage as far as I'm concerned.
Show that you value his opinion by giving in more often. (Hmmm...I need to work on that one...)
Let him beat you at Quordy here and there :) (that's a Boggle game on the iPhone)
Make an effort to give him a sincere compliment before you go to bed each night...something you noticed during the day. Be looking for the good instead of for opportunities to nag.
Talk about your budget often and make sure you're on the same page with how you spend.
If you're not on the same page with how you spend, re-evaluate. And give-in a little. Make compromises. Finances are one of the biggest stress-inducing things in marriages.
Forgive. And then Forget. Don't hold on to grudges.
If something is important to him, make it important to you. No matter how silly it may seem in your view at first. (That's my favorite one from my Mom and I think about it ALL THE TIME.)
Laugh. A lot. Keep a sense of humor.
Ok, and just to keep it real, here's what NOT to do to make your husband feel like you really care about him:
Chop your hair off in a moment of mid-life crisis even though you know he loves long hair.(But if he's really nice like Dave is he'll still love you anyway:)
Don't you love those nerdy iPhone self-portraits?
Cough all night long with allergies.
Back into your in-law's car.
Forget to warn him about five different conflicts you have in one night early enough that he can brace himself for it.
Text when you're on a date.
But hey, I'm working on those, and hair grows, right? :)
Strong marriages make strong families but take work.
Please add your ideas in honor of Valentine's Day...I know there are so many great ways to show love out there whether they're just ideas or things that are tried and true.