7 Things Husbands Shouldn't Stop Doing After They're Married

marriage mistakesBlogger Serge Bielanko never expected to end up divorced after his third child was born last spring, but that is exactly what happened. In a poignant essay for Your Tango, he talks about the four mistakes he says he made, the things he stopped doing in his marriage, that led to divorce.

Anyone who has been married for any length of time can relate. Once you seal the deal, so to speak, you start to slide into a comfort zone that can be more toxic to your marriage than just about anything else. We already wrote about the things women stop doing in marriage, but what about the men? What are the things THEY stop doing?

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Bielanko says these are the four things he stopped doing after he got married:

1.) Walking beside her. This is something that drives me insane in my own marriage. My husband is 6'3" and his legs are much longer than mine. This (he claims) is why he constantly walks about three steps ahead (sometimes more). It gets old fast.

As Bielanko puts it:

Guys, whatever you do, don't walk ahead of your lady, or drift back behind her; it's a tiny, silent 'EFF YOU!' to the person you're strolling with. Especially if that person is your wife.

2.) Opening doors for her. This one doesn't bother me with my husband. He never really did it in the first place, and honestly, it kinds of weirds me out when other men do. After all, women don't open doors for guys, right? Shouldn't ALL people open doors for each other? That said, it is a sweet gesture and a way of putting the other person first -- and if it works in your marriage and then it ends, well, that's bad.

3.) Taking her away. In a good marriage, couples take time for weekends away. It's just a fact. If you stop doing that, it's not a good sign. As Bielanko says: 

Women want to believe you're thinking about them even when you're shoving another slice of pizza down your jaw next to her on the couch. They want be swept off their feet every once in a while by the fact that you planned a trip, just the two of you, to a place (any place really) where a married couple can walk around/drink some wine/hold hands/open doors for each other and maybe kiss up against the elevator door like strangers in the night.

Yes. Yes we do.

4.) Holding her hand. It's so simple, but so, so important. When my husband takes my hand (and he often does), it announces to the world that we are a unit and inseparable. It tells me he wants to touch me, which makes me happy. Most of all, it reminds us of the early days of our relationship where we simply could not get enough of each other and thought even an hour was too long to be apart.

Yes, it matters.

But there are more. We asked both women and men about some of the things they no longer do now that they're married, and the answers were surprising. Here are three more:

5.) Buying little presents for her. Not every marriage has a gift focus. Mine doesn't. I couldn't care less what my husband buys me, so long as he listens to me, cuddles me, and holds my hand. But the few times he HAS brought home a little trinket here or there -- candy, flowers, a piece of jewelry -- have been such nice surprises, I was always thrilled.

"There is nothing more boring than knowing your partner's routine. So keep your partner guessing," says relationship expert Dr. Heavenly Kimes. "Do things to keep the spice alive."

6.) Acknowledging holidays. This is something my husband and I need to get better about. We hate giving gifts for holidays, but then we do NOTHING for each other on major anniversaries and birthdays. It needs to stop!

It's the little things that end marriages, right?

7.) Saying "I love you." In the beginning, it's so simple. You say "I love you" because you really, REALLY do. You're so caught up in each other. He is everything to you. But as time goes on, that changes. Don't forget how much words mean.

"Uplift your partner," says Dr. Kimes. "Show her you love her with words of affirmation. Give him compliments in front of others as well as when you are alone."

A little bit goes a long way. Do it before it's too late!

What things do you think men need to continue doing from your dating days?

 

 Image © iStock.com/TatyanaGl

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