How to be a good husband and father

  1. How to Cope When a Spouse Lies
  2. The Importance of Honesty in a Marriage
  3. How to Know if You Want to Stay with a Man Who Has Cheated on You
  4. How to Start an Uncomfortable Relationship Conversation
  5. How to Fix a Relationship After Cheating

Communicate and Work Toward a Healthy Relationship

People lie for all kinds of reasons but when you are on the receiving end of a lie, it rarely feels good. Sometimes people lie because they are afraid of the other person’s reaction, they feel they are not good enough, they are protecting another person’s feelings or they are enabling their own or another person’s addiction. Lying can also be related to attachment difficulties from early childhood. Whatever the cause, learn how to work through the lies in your relationship and move toward a healthier place.

Who You Can Control

The only person you can control is yourself. You are in charge of your own thoughts, feelings, actions and reactions. No matter how much you want to make another person tell the truth, it needs to be her own decision to do so. When your emotions, desire to control or sense of self-worth are particularly tied to another person’s behavior or feelings, it could be helpful to seek out therapy or a support group for possible issues with codependency, attachment or trauma.

Communicate Your Experience

When you suspect someone is lying, it is important to communicate what you know to be true about the situation, as well as your thoughts and feelings. Instead of talking in “you” statements, which place the blame on the other person, use “I” statements to communicate your own experience. For example:

  • “When I found this empty alcohol bottle that was still wet on the inside, then I thought that you had started drinking and I felt afraid that the kids and I would lose you. I feel scared that the future I envision for us will not be possible.”

“When you said you would have no internet service but I noticed you talking with Joe online, I thought that you really just wanted me out of your hair and I felt hurt, rejected and abandoned.

  • “I noticed that you had texts coming in from your ex and I thought that maybe you were still interested in her, and I felt unsafe, hurt and afraid.”
  • Remember to maintain a calm, compassionate tone of voice and keep eye contact. When you talk about your own observations, thoughts and feelings, you make the conversation about the thing that you can control: you. It seems less threatening to the other person, who can choose to put you at ease, or admit to any wrongdoing. He might also get defensive or angry, but remember that his response is his own responsibility, not yours.

    Listen Actively

    Remember that the other person may or may not be honest about her actions, even when you have been transparent and honest about your experience. Listen actively to her response by paying attention to her tone, the emotion behind what she is saying and whether or not the facts line up and make sense to you. Breathe deeply, stay calm and repeat back what you hear her saying to make sure you are hearing what she intends to communicate. For example:

    • “I hear the struggle and pain in what you are saying. It seems like you are afraid that I will be upset with you and not believe you. I can understand your fears. You are saying that you brought Fred home from the meeting to help him sober up while I was out of town and that the bottle is not yours. Is that right?”

    “I hear that you are overwhelmed and were afraid to hurt my feelings by telling me you needed a day off from our conversation. You thought you were protecting me. I still feel hurt, but I understand where you are coming from. Is this correct?”

  • “I hear that you are afraid that I will blow up at you about your ex and that you are feeling ashamed of your behavior. You know it is wrong, but do not know how to stop. Is this correct?”
  • Set Proper Boundaries

    Once you have heard the other person’s response to your concerns, tune in to your own emotional condition. Do you feel angry or are you experiencing overwhelming feelings? Perhaps it is time to set some healthy boundaries to look out for your own best interests. The boundaries to set will vary based on the history of your relationship and whether or not you are satisfied with the other person’s response. If you feel he is still being untruthful and there is a history of lying in your relationship, you might need to set more rigid boundaries than if this were a one-time thing and your partner admitted to the wrong and is committed to making it right. Here are some ideas on how to set boundaries:

    • “As soon as I can talk with Fred to verify that he was here over the weekend, I am willing to let this go and move on. I want to trust you and need some reassurance. Would you like to call Fred, or shall I?”

    “I am still hurting and dealing with feelings of rejection that I know do not reflect how you really feel. I am choosing to stay offline while you are taking your breaks to focus on self-care, so that I do not take it so personally.”

  • “I hear you saying that you want to stop communicating with your ex but do not know how, and I feel so confused and do not know how to respond. I need some help processing this and I am going to see a personal therapist to sort it out. I hope you will consider coming to couple’s therapy with me, too, but I promise to take care of myself either way.”
  • Once you set a boundary, make sure to follow through with it. Continue your own healthy communication patterns and self-care, regardless of what the other person does.

    Seek Help

    Relationships can be challenging, and lies complicate things even more because trust is broken. Each person in a relationship comes to the table with her own strengths, weaknesses, history and dysfunction. When things feel overwhelming, hopeless, desperate, or you and your partner seem to be going in circles, therapy can be immensely helpful. If the lies in your relationship are putting you or anyone else in danger, seek professional help in creating and acting out a safety plan. When lies are connected to addiction, groups like Al-Anon provide community and coping skills for moving forward. No matter what is happening with you or your relationship, you never have to face it alone.

    All Pro Dad

    Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Sewell used only 1 bat in his 14-year career and struck out only 114 times in 7,132 attempts. He never was convinced that a newer, more sophisticated bat would improve his play. When he was in a slump, rather than blaming his equipment, he took extra batting practice and focused on his swinging mechanics. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more people had that same philosophy towards marriage?

    You can’t control your wife’s actions, but work on you and trust the rest will take care of itself. When things go sour, rather than looking to get a new replacement right away, we instead would focus on what we can control – how we can improve our relational mechanics. How can we be more patient towards our wife? More thoughtful? More loving? You can’t control your wife’s actions, but work on you and trust the rest will take care of itself. Here are 10 tips for becoming a better husband.

    1. Every day, aim one “random act of kindness” at your spouse.

    Plan for it, write down what you’re going to do, then check the deed off once it’s done. Odds are, being deliberate in this way will lead naturally to more.

    2. Talk openly about your finances.

    Money surprises are never good, so stay a few steps ahead and include your wife in an ongoing conversation about the budget. This does not mean monitoring her spending. It does mean that you don’t keep secrets, you value her input, and you make important decisions as a team.

    3. Make the effort to find out more about your wife.

    – Do you know her favorite band?

    – What books did she read last year/is she reading now?

    -Where would she like to go if you had a three-day weekend?

    – What restaurant she’s been dying to visit?

    4. Try some creative/imaginative ways to tell your wife how much you love her.

    Don’t assume she knows. Even if she does know, hearing it from you will spark the fire. Before long you’ll realize that you love her more. Here are some tips:

    – Slip a card or love note into her purse at the beginning of the day.

    – Figure out obscure anniversaries (first date, engagement day, the day we moved into our first house, etc.) and then make a big deal of celebrating together.

    – Leave loving answering machine messages when you know she’s not going to be there.

    – Make the bed and put a single rose on her pillow.

    – Run a bubble bath for her and keep the house interruption-free while she enjoys it.

    – Color a gaudy sign and put it on the windshield of her car.

    5. Plan some fun.

    It doesn’t have to be expensive.

    -A late night walk on the beach

    – Game-night (Scrabble, Monopoly, Apples to Apples) and ice cream

    Use your imagination.

    6. Make note of your TV watching habits, and then cut your “tube-time” in half.

    Use the extra time to do something for or with your wife. Take a look at other media usage too – what does it say about your priorities in terms of relationships?

    7. List 5 things you’re most passionate about and where you spend most of your time.

    If your wife is not number one on that list, then consider what steps you might take to make sure she is.

    8. Confide in some friends.

    Make sure they’re friends who are in a relationship with some “spark.” Ask for their support and encouragement; exchange ideas.

    9. Be deliberate about being positive.

    Take a look at your interactions with your wife: What percentage are confrontational? How often are you fighting? Do you tell one another jokes? What’s the ratio of purely informational dialogue to talking that advances the relationship? Now make a concerted effort to initiate positive, intimate, redemptive conversations. Learn a new joke every day if you have to; the point is to be proactive, not reactive.

    10. Try counseling.

    OK, I know this sounds intense, but think of it as a 30,000-mile tune-up. Tell your wife you’re looking for ways to be a better husband, and that you want to work on moving forward all the time. This could involve a few weekly appointments, a marriage enrichment seminar, a couples group at your faith-community, or any number of other intentional interventions.

    Sound off: What are some other ways to be a better husband?

    Huddle Up Question

    Huddle up with your wife tonight and ask, “What is one simple thing we can both do better to improve our marriage?”

    How to be a good husband and father

    When a man enters into a covenant relationship with his bride, he commits to the responsibilities of loving, honoring and cherishing her. As a Christian husband, the strength I (Joe) need in order to carry out these responsibilities ultimately flows out of my relationship with God. It requires a moment-by-moment dependence on God’s Spirit. It takes time and discipline to maintain, especially with the many obstacles that cross our path – in my case, raising a child with special needs.

    The vows we shared included “for better or worse, in sickness and in health.” There was never a thought about the possibility of having a special needs child, nor any discussion of how much stress and strain such a situation would put on our marriage. And in the midst of life’s challenges is another: being the husband and father God calls us to be.

    We can’t let the obstacles of life get in the way of building a strong marriage. When we fail to sacrificially love our wife as Christ loved the Church (Ephesians 5:25), we begin to compromise this most cherished relationship. As a husband, and as the father of a special needs adult child, it’s a daily challenge to stay focused when the challenges of caregiving collide with the needs of my wife and other children.

    Raising a child with special needs, while at the same time nurturing my relationship with my wife, requires that I make time to communicate with my wife every day. What I need to communicate most is my love. In our situation, I went off to work while my wife stayed home and cared for our children. When one or more of children have special needs, you can be certain that a wife’s daily responsibilities have been full and challenging. Recognizing that fact was the first step toward realizing that no matter what kind of day I had, my wife “had a day,” too!

    When our children were small, it was great when she gave me a bit of time to regroup from my day. We had dinner together as a family, and then I would give her a break from the children. I’d take the kids for walks in nice weather or play in the backyard. As the kids grew, my time with them might include helping with homework, playing video games or just talking. Cindi appreciated this time alone without worrying about the needs of the children; time alone to think without the noise and commotion that she’d endured all day long; time for an evening out with friends to simply “get away.” Taking care of the kids was a way for me to serve my wife, letting her know that I was committed to her and cherished her. As a result, we were able to demonstrate God’s unconditional love and grace to each other and to the children, and become an example to those around us.

    In addition to my role as a husband, one of my greatest titles is “Dad.” Christian fathers are to sacrificially love our children. We demonstrate to our children that we care for them by making them a priority. Cultivating relationships with each child requires time, discipline and intentionality. When so much time is spent caring for the child(ren) with special needs, it’s easy to lose track of our other children’s needs. It is a challenge to spend both quality and quantity time with the other children. Each one needs to know with absolute certainty that we love them. Spending time with them goes a long way toward making them feel protected and loved.

    I was intentional about “dating” my two girls. Our regular dates included restaurants, local events and festivals, the zoo, walks, jogs, movies, ice cream and other fun things. Our dates were also opportunities to talk, ask questions, and sometimes just to listen to them. These are some of my fondest memories of their childhoods, and we continue to enjoy our special times together (even with one daughter married and the other in college).

    We invested time in teaching all of our children God’s Word. We’d discuss current topics of interest to each and used these opportunities to guide them. These teaching moments may not have connected with Joey in the same way they did for the girls, but we included him as much as we could. Without question, Joey required a different kind of time and attention.

    As a dad, I once dreamed of playing sports with a son – maybe even coaching – but because that wasn’t to be, I found other ways to “connect” with Joey. He spent a lot of time doing repetitive therapies in his early years, but as he grew older, he and I began to connect playing video games. We have learned to play sports together … through video! He excels at baseball and my forte’ is football, but we still connect and have fun together!

    Yes, it takes time. But if we want to pass on our faith and impact future generations for Christ, we must spend quality and quantity time with each of our children. When we leave a godly legacy, we can look back with great satisfaction.

    It’s been my observation that many men are overwhelmed by the responsibility of being the husbands and fathers God has called them to be. Yet we have this assurance: that “nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). As we ask God to empower us as men, we can give our children not just an inheritance, but a heritage. And we can give our wife what she needs most – to be loved, honored and cherished.

    Matt Wells

    Matt Wells is a husband, father, Business Technology Specialist, and creator of the video series Basic Dad Stuff. Matt Wells is currently enrolled in the Mastermind program at the Dad Edge, and is applying those principles to his life today with his video series Basic Dad Stuff. He coined the term from the creator of Basic Dude Stuff, and turned the series into short clips that talk about basic things that dads deal with every day. Through his humor and wit, Matt paints a picture of how fatherhood is meant to be humorous and fun, not a chore. Matt claims his two passions are being a father and helping other men be present and devoted dads.

    As fathers, it’s important that we are intentional and present with our children, especially as they grow into adults. When you make the time to be a part of their lives and interests, you connect with them and build your relationship with them. Being present even in times of busyness is crucial to developing that bond with your child, so they can feel comfortable coming to you with anything. However, making time for your wife is just as important as making time for your kids. It’s easy to go all in with your kids, but sometimes, you fall back on your sword and your marriage suffers as a result. Having a strong marriage is the foundation to raising a strong family. Being a legendary father is all about balancing these relationships and making sure you’re giving it your all in each one. It’s definitely not the easy route, but it’s necessary on the path to living legendary.

    What You’ll Learn:

    Matt talks about his videos and the inspiration behind them.

    Matt talks about the funniest things he has said aloud to his children that he never thought he’d say.

    Matt talks about the best lessons he’s learned in his 13 years of marriage.

    Matt talks about how he keeps the spark alive in his marriage.

    Matt talks about how Basic Dad Stuff came to be.

    Matt talks about what it means to be a sheepdog.

    Matt talks about his hope for Basic Dad Stuff in the future.

    Matt talks about what he will be celebrating from his life when he’s on his deathbed.

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    This article was co-authored by Collette Gee. Collette Gee is a Relationship Coach, Certified Violence Prevention Specialist, the Author of “Finding Happily… No Rules, No Frogs, No Pretending.” Focusing on creating meaningful romantic relationships, Collette uses her experience having worked in the mental health industry as a psych nurse to conduct relationship coaching, online courses, and workshops to help women and men find lasting love. Prior to Collette’s coaching business, she worked in the mental health field as a psych nurse which has helped inform her practice to create and sustain happy, healthy meaningful romantic relationships. Her work has been featured on TLC, London Live, the Huffington Post, and CNN.

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    So you got married and became a man of vows. All those promises you made to your spouse really mean something now, so it’s time to start walking the walk. Fortunately, being a good husband isn’t impossible. It’s about following your heart, your conscience, and acting on your love for your spouse. These simple steps, if taken seriously, can help lead you and your better half to a brighter future.

    How to be a good husband and father

    The father-son relationship can be fraught with communication problems and anger. Here’s how to improve your father and son relationship.

    A mother writes, “My husband and our 16-year-old son have difficulties in their relationship. Our son complains that his father is always judging and criticizing him. My husband complains that our son is mocking and evasive. In my mind, the problem is the two of them can’t stand each other because they think the other is so different but, in fact, they really are very similar. Any suggestions?

    Father-Son Relationship Struggles

    The struggles between fathers and sons are legendary. In the minds of some fathers, a son holds such promise, offering them an opportunity to relive an “improved” version of their own childhood. Conversely, in the minds of some sons, being fathered means carrying the weight of responsibility to satisfy a father’s dreams and destinations. This makes for quite a combustible mixture; especially as the autonomy of middle and late adolescence kicks in, leaving dreams and destinations in the dust.

    Generations might divide fathers and sons, but personalities slice through communication and relationships. Similar personality traits, such as tendencies to be self-centered, judgmental or stubborn, can be the staging ground for verbal wars of attrition, wherein no one wins and the father-son bond is the casualty. To establish a more positive momentum one of the combatants must stop and see the bigger picture of what’s at stake. The job of taking heed to consider future implications falls upon the adult.

    Ways to Resolve Father and Son Conflict

    Fathers, here are some ideas to reach one of your most critical destinations: a more positive and nurturing relationship with your child:

    Soften up the criticism so it sounds more like a suggestion and feels less like an incision. Fathers shouldn’t be expected to always withhold their opinions but just to be more sensitive about sharing them. Resist the urge to label behavior, such as calling it selfish or idiotic, since such words leave a stinging imprint on the relationship. Take context and timing into consideration since the best feedback might be dismissed by the insensitivity displayed in delivery. Make it a habit of prefacing your comments by mentioning the positives before the negatives. And last but not least, take pains to avoid embarrassing your teenager or you will certainly live to regret it.

    Balance debating with validating so you don’t always come across as the opinion adversary. Some fathers have a habit of often taking the opposing point of view when their adolescent’s express themselves. The goal may be to help kids consider alternate points of view or learn how to assert themselves but the result can make fathers look like verbal bullies. Overlooked is the fact that teenagers still require praise and validation from parents. Just because they might be as tall as us doesn’t justify our relating to them as we might our adult friends when a point of contention is debated. Deep down there’s still an ego under construction, strengthened or weakened by the words that flow from mothers and fathers.

    Find common ground topics and activities immune to judgments and criticisms. Positive, bonded relationships require plenty of time for mindless fun without editorial content. Make sure you spend time together laughing at Adam Sandler movies, reminiscing about a favorite vacation, or doing something completely out of character for you but totally enjoyable for your kid. Turn off your “critical voice” during these times so that your teen can perceive you as a regular person who enjoys them and not someone assigned to critique them.

    Keep an open mind to spousal feedback. Of the people most qualified to comment upon your fathering, your wife may well rank near the top. She sees you at your best and your worst and serves as a sounding board to your teen. This probably means that she has more knowledge of what’s wrong in your father-son relationship than you do, and what contributions are yours alone. She may also have some suggestions for how to build a more positive bond since she has faced the same challenge and probably learned a few things in the process.

    by Mike Bennett

    Husbands and future husbands have a wonderful blessing—and a great responsibility. How can we do a better job in this essential biblical role?

    How to be a good husband and father

    Disclaimer time: By writing this article, I’m not claiming to be a great husband. As my wife and I near our 30th anniversary, I marvel at her patience and support and endurance through my mistakes and quirks and sins. I also know that I need to continue to improve. Hence this Bible study.

    As far as the hokey acrostic spelling out HUSBAND, well, the Bible used acrostics as memory aids, and maybe this one will help me remember these seven points.

    So, what does the Bible say about husbands and becoming a good one?

    Honor her

    “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, emphasis added throughout).

    Showing honor is important in all relationships (

    Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

    “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

    New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson “>Exodus 20:12). Honor is especially important—and difficult—in the marriage relationship. It’s easier to show honor to someone you rarely see. But when we see our mates at their worst state and when our little quirks and differences begin to grate on each other over time, it is more difficult to always show honor and respect.

    God made us men crave and need honor. So by the principle of the Golden Rule (

    Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    The same goes for help. God made women to help men (

    And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

    New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson “>Genesis 2:18), and He would expect us to help our wives as well. Helping our wives is another way of showing them honor.

    Understand her

    Men often joke that this can seem like an impossible task. Physics genius Stephen Hawking has pondered the secrets of the universe, but says that women “are a complete mystery.”

    But the apostle Peter instructs husbands to “dwell with them with understanding” (1 Peter 3:7).

    The NKJV Study Bible explains it this way: “A Christian husband should be intimately aware of his wife’s needs, her strengths and weaknesses, and her goals and desires. He should know as much about her as possible in order to respond in the best way to her.”

    God created sex to strengthen the marriage bond. It is part of making two people into “one flesh,” and it is intended to be a pure, honorable relationship with no shame (

    Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

    Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge.

    We must build a strong, unbreakable bond with our wives. This doesn’t mean we should be inflexible. In fact, this strong bond requires the utmost flexibility and gentleness. Our wives must know that we will do nothing to hurt them or cause them shame. Sex is not about self-fulfillment, but about tenderly and patiently caring for your mate.

    I’m not talking about 007, but about a gluelike bond. When the Pharisees asked Jesus about divorce, He asked if they hadn’t read, “‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:5-6).

    “Leave means ‘to abandon’; joined to means ‘to be glued to’” (NKJV Study Bible). We must build a strong, unbreakable bond with our wives. This doesn’t mean we should be inflexible. In fact, this strong bond requires the utmost flexibility and gentleness.

    Always be faithful

    Marriage is a commitment and a covenant with our wife and with God. We must always be faithful in every way, even in our minds (

    But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

    Never fail to love

    We must not give in to the marriage killers that suck love out of marriage: envy, pride, rudeness, self-seeking, being easily angered, thinking evil or being entertained by sin (including pornography).

    It’s interesting that in his description of what love is, Paul listed all these things it is not (

    Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth

    Delight in her always

    Express your devotion, admiration and desire; rekindle the romance (

    How fair and how pleasant you are,
    O love, with your delights!

    As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
    Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
    And always be enraptured with her love.

    New King James Version (NKJV) The Holy Bible, New King James Version ©1982 by Thomas Nelson “>Proverbs 5:19). Life isn’t all about fun and entertainment, of course, but God encourages rejoicing and giving joy to others. A husband should bring happiness to his wife (

    “When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war or be charged with any business; he shall be free at home one year, and bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.

    We must endure the trials of life, but we should also enjoy! Celebrate the blessing of marriage often!

    For more about marriage and being a husband, see:

    About the Author

    How to be a good husband and father

    Mike Bennett

    Mike Bennett is editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Dallas, Texas, area. He coordinates the Life, Hope & Truth website, Discern magazine and the Life, Hope & Truth Weekly Newsletter. He is also part of the Personal Correspondence team of ministers who answer questions sent to Life, Hope & Truth.

    Most Recent Fatherhood Posts

    How to be a good husband and father

    Today, more and more dads like you are experiencing the satisfaction and reward of taking a more active role in the life of your child. Read and discover how these 10 simple ideas can help (or remind) you to start today on a new path—one that will impact your relationships. and your child’s future.

    1) Respect Your Children’s Mother

    One of the best things you, as a dad, can do for your children is to respect their mother. If you are married, maybe this goes without saying, but I’ll say it just in case; keep your marriage strong and healthy. Take time, as least weekly, to work on this relationship and keep it strong. If you’re not married, it’s still important to respect and support the mother of your children. A father and mother who respect each other, and let their children know it, provide a secure environment for the children. When children see their parents respecting each other, they are more likely to feel they are also accepted and respected. Find more on protecting your marriage.

    2) Spend Time With Your Children

    This is more complicated that is sounds, I know. But, how a dad spends his time tells his children what’s important to him. You’ve no doubt heard us say, Children spell “love”: T-I-M-E. If you always seem too busy for your children, they will feel neglected no matter what you say. Treasuring children often means sacrificing other things, but it is essential to spend time with your children. Kids grow up so quickly. Missed opportunities are lost forever. Need ideas for how to spend your time? Here are 7 Ways to Connect with Your Kids.

    3) Listen First, Talk Second

    All too often the only time a father speaks to his children is when they are getting in trouble. That’s why many children may cringe when their mother says, “Your father wants to talk with you.” Take time and listen to your children’s ideas and problems. Listening helps them feel respected and understood. Begin listening and talking with your kids when they are young so that difficult subjects will be easier to handle as they get older.

    4) Discipline With Love

    All children need guidance and discipline, not as punishment, but to set reasonable limits. Remind your children of the consequences of their actions and provide meaningful rewards for desirable behavior. Fathers who discipline in a calm and fair manner show love to their children. Get our 8 Things to Know About Disciplining Your Child.

    5) Be A Role Model

    Fathers are role models to their kids, whether they realize it or not. A girl who spends time with a loving father grows up knowing she deserves to be treated with respect by boys, and what to look for in a husband. Fathers can teach sons what is important in life by demonstrating honesty, humility, and responsibility. Here’s a great example of a role model dad in case you need one.

    6) Be A Teacher

    Too often we think teaching is something others do at a school building. But a father who teaches his children about right and wrong, and encourages them to do their best, will see his children make good choices. Involved fathers use everyday examples to help their children learn the basic lessons of life. Consider the vital knowledge you, and you only, possess with regard to music and classic movies at this point!

    7) Eat Together As A Family

    Sharing a meal together (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) can be an important part of healthy family life. In addition to providing some structure on a busy day, it gives kids the chance to talk about what they are doing and want to do. It is also a good time for fathers to listen. Most importantly, it is a time for families to be together each day.

    8) Read To Your Children

    In a world where television and technology dominates the lives of children, it is important that fathers make the effort to read to their children. Children learn best by doing and reading, as well as seeing and hearing. Read to your children when they are very young. When they are older, encourage them to read on their own. Instilling your children with a love for reading is one of the best ways to ensure they will have a lifetime of growth. We wrote a little something called 6 Tips on How to Show Your Child Reading is Awesome. Let’s be honest, it’s helpful.

    9) Show Affection

    Children need the security that comes from knowing they are wanted, accepted, and loved by their family. Dad, get comfortable hugging your children. Showing affection every day is the best way to let your children know that you love them.

    10) Realize A Father’s Job Is Never Done

    Even after children are grown and ready to leave home, they will still look to their fathers for wisdom and advice. Whether it’s continued schooling, a new job or a wedding, fathers continue to play an essential part in the lives of their children as they grow and, perhaps, marry and build their own families.

    Which one of these 10 ways do you find the most difficult? Why?

    September 3, 2017 Updated November 7, 2018

    I thank my husband for some pretty mundane shit. I love and appreciate him, and I want him to know that when he does something like taking the kids to the park while I hang back after a particularly difficult day at home, he is making my life better. I thank him for changing a nasty diaper that I definitely smelled first. I thank him when he encourages me to get out and see my friends when the mom guilt is tugging at me to stay home.

    The only time he can’t take the praise is when I get a text from a friend that she can’t meet me for dinner because her husband has never been alone with the kids at night, or hear a story about one’s husband pouting because he got home from work and dinner wasn’t ready. Never mind that my friend was sick herself while taking care of her sick kids all day — Johnny Husbo can’t be bothered to pick up some pizza and an extra box of tissues on his way home from work. He still wants his pot roast.

    I walk away from these conversations and immediately thank my husband for not being a complete asshole. And every time, he balks at the idea that all he really has to do to be a good husband is not be a terrible husband. The praise rains down upon him.

    This is not to toot my horn over having a great husband.

    This is to ask what the fuck is wrong with the ones who can’t be bothered to do the minimum required to be a good husband. It is not that hard to not be a shitty husband because there are only two basic tenets to doing the damn thing correctly:

    2. Be considerate.

    Two things. Your job is two things.

    And if those two things seem out of your reach, please take a long, hard look in the mirror that involves telling your reflection to stop being such a dickwad and to adult the fuck up.

    Every relationship has its own dynamic and marriage requires a certain balance of responsibilities. Sometimes that balance involves one person handling the majority of the cooking, and there is nothing wrong with that being a mutually agreed upon role. What is wrong is walking in the door at the end of the day and grunting an inquiry about when dinner will be ready instead of greeting your wife and asking what you can do to help.

    Better yet, don’t ask. You have two eyeballs and a brain so you are fully capable of looking around, assessing the situation in front of you, and helping. Empty table? Grab some plates and start setting. Carrots, a knife, and a cutting board are sitting on the countertop? Get to chopping. There’s a start.

    If you are a husband and father who glides through existence, it is likely because your wife routinely clears a path for you and does so at her own expense. If you hear her lamenting over the lack of time she has to shower and have never done anything about it, you are bad at your job. Remember that your job as her husband is to be nice and to be considerate.

    If you are not kind enough to peel your butt off the couch to watch your own damn kids so she can take a real shower that doesn’t involve setting the nozzle to power wash and hoping she sprayed all the grime off from the last four days, you are bad at your job.

    If you feel the need to lift yourself above her by belittling her work and effort, questioning what she even does all day, and not offering an ounce of gratitude, you are bad at your job.

    If you act like some inept fool when it comes to the care of your children or the basic maintenance and management of your home, you are bad at your job.

    All you have to do is not be a jerk and think of the needs of the one person who anticipates all of your own. The one person you vowed to love and care for, and created a family with. Do those two simple things, and you are at minimum a decent husband.

    If you can’t be bothered to be nice and considerate, you are at best another child for her to take care of, and at worst, going to be signing over half your shit in divorce mediation because she deserves better. So do your fucking job. Now.

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