3 Timeless Secrets for Building a Better Marriage (Vintage Marriage Advice)

As a busy mom, I know firsthand how easy it can be for love and romance to fade away in marriage. It happened to me at first! But, as a lover of vintage fashion, old-fashioned advice, and mid-century homemaking, I’ve found the wisdom of the past to be successful in rebuilding a high-value marriage. 

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3 Timeless Secrets for Building a Better Marriage

It is not uncommon for couples to struggle with maintaining a healthy and loving relationship, especially as time goes on. But what if I told you that there are some timeless secrets that could help you win your partner’s deepest and tenderest love?

You can learn the secrets of becoming the kind of woman your man loves and respects by obeying the unchanging feminine arts that arouse and sustain a man’s love and tenderness. A woman either wants to make a marriage work or she doesn’t. But she holds the key to a beautiful, fulfilling marriage.

These secrets are old-fashioned, but they work. And let me tell you a little secret of my own: your man does not need to know anything about it. In fact, it’s far better that he doesn’t. It makes you even more mysterious in his eyes, more fascinating, and more delightful!

Secret #1: Accept Your Husband as He Is

One of the most important steps towards a successful marriage is to accept your husband as he is. Don’t try to change him. Why?  Because by trying to change and improve our husband, we are telling him that we are not satisfied with him as he is. His sensitive male pride is wounded. As women, we know how painful it is to be told we aren’t good enough. Why should we inflict that on someone we claim to love?

Don’t Try To Change Him

When you try to change him, he feels just as you would feel if he told you outright to your face that he didn’t love you any more. That’s why men sometimes become angry for what seems a trivial reason to you. They may go out and slam the door and not speak to you for hours. They may respond by trying to hurt you back. The quieter ones just clam up and withdraw. It lessens his love for you. It saps his self confidence and his manhood. And it also breeds resentment.

Instead, focus on his good side. You need a way to appreciate him, and your marriage, before you can build up the mindset to choose to improve your marriage. When you stop trying to change him, it doesn’t mean that he won’t try to become a better man on his own! Believe me, he already knows his weaknesses. But he needs you to admire his strengths, not draw attention to his weaknesses. Your husband needs your admiration like you need his love.

If you are having trouble remembering why you wanted to marry him in the first place, it helps to make a list of all your husband’s masculine virtues and read it every morning and night. If you do this until you have committed that list to memory, you’ll find it easier to focus on the good than the bad. (By the way, this tip works with problem children, too!)

Forgive Him For Not Being Perfect

Forgiving your husband for past hurts is essential for a healthy and successful marriage. Holding grudges and keeping track of past mistakes can lead to resentment and distance between partners. Instead, forgive your husband for past hurts and ask for forgiveness for your own mistakes. This will help you both move forward and strengthen your bond.

Obviously, this can be incredibly difficult. Forgiving your husband in your heart for all the times they have hurt you in the past can feel impossible, especially if you are holding on to the hurt. You may feel like . Ask God to help you if necessary.

Don’t Make Him Feel Trapped

Allowing your husband his freedom is another important step towards a successful marriage. You have been conditioned by postmodern feminism to remain in control of a relationship, and to condemn the men in your life as childish or inferior. And that attitude will lead you to try to control his behavior, his friends, and his interests through nagging, judgment, and disapproval.

If you do this, he will feel trapped. At best, he will insist that you surrender or leave. At worst, he will become the toxic, mother-pleasing child you didn’t want in the first place. Encourage him to pursue his interests, and show interest, but don’t pursue them with him.

Secret #2: Admire Your Husband As A Man

Accepting your husband as he is and appreciating his good qualities is an essential step towards a successful marriage. However, it is not enough to stop there. In fact, admiring your husband’s masculine qualities and never wounding his sensitive pride is just as crucial.

A man’s greatest need is to be admired for his masculine qualities. It is important for a wife to understand that her husband desires to be respected and appreciated for his natural characteristics that make him unique. When a husband feels that his wife admires and values him, it provides a sense of security and happiness in the relationship.

It’s essential to acknowledge and appreciate your husband’s manly characteristics, whether it be his strength, his intelligence, his sense of humor, or his ability to provide for your family.

Never Wound His Sensitive Pride

A man’s deepest misery is being belittled by his partner. When you are trying to be a respectful, and loving wife, you must avoid any actions or words that may wound his sensitive pride. Criticism, sarcasm, and belittling comments are harmful to a man’s self-esteem and usually lead to resentment or hatred. Remember that a man’s pride is directly linked to his sense of self-worth and identity.

Learn to Be Humble Before Him

Humbly apologizing to your husband for your past mistakes is a sign of strength and a crucial step towards building a successful marriage. Acknowledge your mistakes and ask for forgiveness. If you are looking for a place to start, try saying the following to your husband, laying your hand on his forearm or hand as you do so:

“I’m glad you’re the kind of person you are. I haven’t always appreciated you in the past, and I’ve made some silly mistakes. I’m sorry, and I’m glad you haven’t let me push you around. I’m glad you’re the way you are. From now on I’m going to try to be a wonderful partner for you.”

(Feel free to rephrase this statement with words that come naturally to you, but make sure the impact is the same.)

Before you can be a better wife, you MUST humbly apologize to your husband for your past mistakes and commit to being a deferential and respectful wife going forward.

How To Show Your Admiration

  • Tonight, before your husband goes to sleep, praise one of his masculine qualities. 
  • Initiate a conversation with your husband that requires long, thoughtful answers. Listen attentively and avoid interrupting him with your own thoughts. 
  • Try to have him talk about a past achievement or a future dream for at least five minutes. Give him admiration and respect throughout the conversation.
  • Every second day, sincerely tell your husband how much you admire him for one of his masculine virtues that you listed in the previous assignment. Touch him and smile as you do so. 

You, as a wife, build a strong, loving, and successful marriage by respecting and admiring your husband’s masculine qualities, and by avoiding any actions that may wound his sensitive pride. Remember, a strong marriage requires effort and commitment, but the rewards are immeasurable.

Secret #3: Make Him Number One in Your Life

One of the most critical pieces of advice for a successful marriage is to make your husband number one in your life. You need to understand that he has a heavy responsibility to provide for you and your family, and he needs your support to carry this load.

You have to let part of yourself go. The part of you who is adamant about always doing things your way, the part of you who has learned that men and masculinity are toxic, the part of you that is fiercely, stubbornly independent – that part is not compatible with a good marriage. You cannot treat him as an inferior, or act like you think of him as a child. You cannot rebel against his leadership when you make him Number One in your life.

Here are some ways that can help you apply this advice in your own marriage:

Welcome Him Home

At least twice a week, welcome your husband home with a smile and looking your feminine best. Make your home quiet and organized, and make him feel comfortable. Keep the children quiet and busy elsewhere, while you give him your full and undivided attention for a little while immediately after he arrives home. Make him comfortable. Listen to him if he wants to talk, but don’t speak about your day or your concerns until after he has eaten.

Appreciate His Responsibility

Your husband has the great responsibility of providing for you and for the family. Find ways to let him know that you appreciate his efforts and that it must be a big load to carry. Using the 5 Love Languages to acknowledge what he does for the family is a good place to start. For example, you may have your children make him “thank you” cards by hand expressing gratitude for a new toy or a favorite activity.

Make Him Your Priority

It isn’t enough to tell your husband that he is most important. You need to act like it, too. Here are ten ways to actively demonstrate respect and deference to your husband:

  1. Avoid speaking negatively about your husband in front of others, especially your children.
  2. Listen to your husband with full, undivided attention whenever he speaks. Don’t allow others to interrupt or divert your attention
  3. Give your husband the final say in important family decisions, and pleasantly accept his as the deciding opinion.
  4. Show physical affection towards your husband in front of others, but always act as though you enjoy his physical affection as well.
  5. Encourage your children to respect their father and follow his rules and decisions, even when he is not immediately present.
  6. Support your husband’s hobbies and interests, and encourage him to take time and resources to pursue them, even if they are different from your own.
  7. Speak respectfully, appreciatively, and admiringly about your husband to others, expressing gratitude for his efforts and contributions. Acknowledge her husband’s strengths and accomplishments in front of others, expressing pride in him and his achievements.
  8. Ask your husband’s permission or input before making plans with friends or family, or making big purchases.
  9. Avoid correcting or undermining your husband in front of others. Never ever do this.

Comfort Him Tenderly

Another valuable piece of vintage marriage advice is to comfort your husband tenderly when he is tired or discouraged. Show him your appreciation, and let him know that you are there for him.

Surprise your husband with an act of kindness or a small gesture of love. This could be a surprise dinner or a thoughtful gift. Let him know that you love him and appreciate all that he does for you.

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How to help your husband get ahead in his social and business life, by Dorothy Carnegie, 1953