A little while back, I did a short series on How to Love Your Wife Financially (part 2).  I know for a fact there was a decent amount of wives sharing that article with husbands, so I thought I would help the guys out on this and let them share one with the wives as well.  Marriage is a two-way street, and I’m of the belief that both partners can always improve on something!

For the previous series I interviewed Nancy, to find out how she felt most loved in relation to our money.  I got her input on this as well, but since I know what makes me feel most loved, I interviewed myself for this one.

Ladies, here are some ways you can love your men well when it comes to your finances.

1) Respect his desire to provide for the family.

Men have an inherent desire to protect and provide.  We’re wired that way – it’s been our role for thousands of years, and a slight cultural shift in the last few decades is not going to overcome ingrained gender traits.  In fact, it’s a valuable and excellent way that men show love to their families, by providing for their physical needs

Ladies, you can love your man well by respecting and appreciating that God-given desire to provide for you and the family.  You can tell him you appreciate it, call it out, recognize it.  He probably won’t stop and say through teary eyes, “It means so much that you said that!”  But it will give him the morale boost he needs to keep doing his best to love you well.

2) Never belittle his effort or work, no matter how much he makes.

With so many dual-income households, it’s not uncommon for a woman to out-earn a man.  We’ve been in that position for a bit, as Nancy’s business has been responsible for a larger portion of our household income than my work at the church the last few years.  But never once has she made me feel like I have less of a say, or like my work is less valuable simply because it brings less financial benefit to us.  That means so much!

Demoralizing your husband is as simple as disrespecting or belittling the effort and money that he brings home, so be sure to appreciate and recognize the effort he puts in.

3) Don’t hide anything from him.

While this was #1 on the ladies list, it still made the list for men as well.  I can’t imagine working hard, sacrificing, and doing all I can for the financial good of our family, only to find out that effort has been for nothing, because of an out-of-control spending habit or a big mistake.  Transparency is wisdom; openness is best.

4) Be willing to contribute to achieve your goals faster. 

Want to travel more?  Want to get out of debt faster?  What are you doing about it, young wife, beyond nagging your husband about it?  Now there’s nothing wrong with sharing your feelings or voicing your concerns.  But are you willing to sacrifice your conveniences or go earn a paycheck in order to get where you want to be?

Have you picked up some extra hours, or a part-time job?  Have you cut the mani/pedi fund in the budget while he cut back on golf?  Have you figured out a way to save more on the grocery bill or the kids clothing?  Demonstrating a willingness to contribute to the cause in your own way will help your husband know he’s not alone in the journey towards financial wellness.

5) Manage the areas of your finances you’re responsible for well.

In any household, there are going to be certain things that you, wives, will be responsible for, and other things that you, husbands, will handle.  So it is with the finances.  Though both of you should be active in the financial decision making, one or the other of you will handle the lion’s share of grocery shopping, bill paying, kids’ clothes shopping, and other aspects.  Wives, by managing your piece of the puzzle (read: staying on budget), you’ll demonstrate your belief in the cause and actively display your support for the family financial plan.

6) Let him have some fun.

Everyone needs a little spending money, so make sure your husband has some money on a monthly basis (built into the budget) to enjoy himself and pursue some hobbies.  Whether it’s hunting, golf, athletics, reading, craftsmanship, music, or something else, having a little bit of money to pursue that can go a long ways.  When you’re getting out of debt, money devoted for hobbies will necessarily be much less, but it can increase as time goes on and you have some success!

Wives, I hope this information helps you love your husbands better as it relates to your money!

Question for husbands: When do you feel most loved by your wife as it relates to your finances?