Words (kind or unkind) have a tremendous impact on the emotional temperature of our marriages. Speaking words of affirmation toward my husband did not come naturally to me. Such phrases didn’t easily flow from my lips like I felt they should. But I made myself speak them anyway because I was convinced my husband needed to hear them. What I didn’t know then was that those words would not only change his life—they would change both our lives. He would never be the same again. And neither would our relationship.

1. Saying yes to marrying you is the best decision I ever made.

When my husband proposed, he understood it was a momentous decision for me. To tie my life and future to him for the rest of our days, neither of us knowing what it would mean or what it would bring.

During the lowest points of our marriage, he has particularly felt the weight of the reality that I forever hooked my train to his and we’re in this thing together—for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health. But that’s what really matters, doesn’t it? That
we’re in this together. Occasionally, remind your husband how incredibly glad you are that you married him. Best decision ever.

2. You are one handsome man.

I can’t say what prompted me at that particular moment. It was an ordinary day, and we were both at home doing ordinary things. But when he walked by my chair in the living room, I couldn’t help but remark, “You are one handsome man!”

I’m not sure what I expected, but maybe a smile from him at most. To my astonishment, however, he stopped what he was doing and came back over to my chair. And he
asked me to repeat what I’d said.

“Um . . . you’re handsome? Just stating the facts, babe.”

He’s not one to fish for compliments, so I was at a loss as to what was going through this man’s head. Then he told me a story from his childhood that I’d never heard before. When he was about eleven or twelve, he considered himself so ugly that he went through all the family photo albums and tore out every picture of himself he could find.

Now I happen to be married to a good-looking man. So, of course, I figured he knew he was handsome. How could I have ever guessed that he didn’t see himself that way? Saying he was handsome was merely pointing out the obvious. Except it wasn’t obvious. Not to him anyway. And he needed to hear it—especially from his wife.

3. You guard me well.

He said his name was John Smith, but I doubt that was his real name. He’d recently been released from prison, and he seemed to take a great interest in me. He started calling me, each phone call one state nearer to our home state. He was making his way across the country . . . closer and closer to me.

Eventually, we made a phone call of our own. This one to the police. We informed them about my stalker, and they told us, unfortunately, they couldn’t do anything about it—at least not until it would be too late. But they said my husband could and then they could sort it out later. “Got it”
was all he replied. It was seriously the scariest moment in my life.

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The next time Mr. Smith called, Matt took the phone from me and made it clear that Mr. Smith would have to go through him to get to me. And that there would be no getting through him.

It would be the last we ever heard from him. My husband would guard me with his life. And I bet yours would too.

4. I love touching you.

I’m telling you, touch is like magic. Walk by him and give him a loving caress. Rub his shoulders, lean into him, or quietly linger on his arm. Sometimes when in the middle of an unresolved issue or if there’s tension between us, I’ll gently reach for him and this touch alone can thaw the chill.

So reach out and touch him. Tell him how much you love the feel of him. And fall in love all over again.

5. I have great respect for you.

I’d never thought to say it. Sure, I’d thought it a thousand times. But for some reason, that serious word—respect—had never jumped out of my mouth until one day when I couldn’t help myself.

He was in the middle of a dicey situation, trying to help a married couple, and I’d been holding my breath the entire time, wondering how the whole thing was going to turn out. I knew how volatile this couple could be when they were upset.

But he kept his cool—certainly more than I could have in the circumstance—and spoke graciously yet clearly. I watched him with such admiration and realized my heart was brimming with respect. And so I told him straight out, “I have such great respect for you.”

Don’t be fooled into thinking your husband doesn’t need to hear words of affirmation from you. As his wife, you have an enormous impact on how he views himself. Take the opportunity to speak life into him!

Adapted from 100 Word of Affirmation Your Husband Needs to Hear, Copyright © 2019 Lisa Jacobson, published by Revell, used with permission, all rights reserved.