Do You Serve Your Spouse? If You Don’t, Here is Why You Should.

BY: - 17 Sep '12 | Marriage

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I am not ashamed to say that serving my husband brings me joy. I don’t know if it is women’s lib or the bad state of current day relationships, but some people are going to have a problem with that statement. “’re not a don’t work for that man!”

While it is true that I am not a slave and I don’t work for my husband, I know that when I put his needs before mine or when I cater to him that it brings him joy (and ultimately it strengthen’s my marriage.)

This is not something that came easy for me in marriage. When we were first married, I still had a few selfish ways in me. I would often think in my head, why should I do XYZ for him? He is not doing the same for me. I had the “what’s in it for me attitude.”

And this attitude showed too! So I would fix his plate, or take his car to get an oil change, or fold his laundry, and I just had a bad spirit about doing those things. It was you’s your plate.

But as time passed, I came to realize that the more I put his needs before my own in the relationship, the better our relationship became. He was so appreciative of the little things that I would do for him that he wanted to reciprocate the love.

I would bring him his plate…and he would kiss me and say you are the best wife ever. Or sometimes out of the blue, he would just tell me how much he appreciated me so much. I would be like: “What..what did I do?” And he would say, you just did XYZ for me.

And now my attitude has totally flipped. I am always thinking: “This man is so good to me, am I doing enough?” Instead of worrying about what he has not done for me, I have actually opened my eyes to see that he has always served me in his own way.

The National Healthy Marriage Institute says that one of the keys to happy relationships is putting your spouse’s needs before your own. This will allow you to create a “spirit of service” in your relationship. Here are five more things they want you to know about service:

  • “The antidote to selfishness is service.”  It’s difficult to be selfish when you are serving your spouse.  Service forces you to put the needs of your spouse before your own needs.
  • “The spirit of service is contagious.”  Give it a try.  They say that your spouse will begin to reciprocate in about 3 weeks.  So continue to be consistent with your service and watch your relationship change!!
  • “Serving your spouse does not mean tolerating abuse or unacceptable behavior.”  If your spouse is abusing you physically or mentally, you need to seek help immediately.

If you are having a problem with serving your spouse, then I ask you to put it to the test.  Make a list of 5 things that you can do every day to serve your spouse and do them  consistently.  And do them with a cheerful heart and without any thoughts of what you may or may not get in return.  And you will begin to experience “the joy and happiness in your marriage that accompanies service.”

BMWK  – Have you experienced selfishness in your marriage? How did you deal with it?

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 527 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.


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23 WordPress comments on “Do You Serve Your Spouse? If You Don’t, Here is Why You Should.

  1. Rose

    I’m not married yet. I’ve been with my boyfriend for two and half years. From day one he would serve me breakfast, lunch, and dinner when I would spend the weekend at his house. Once we was in a committed relationship I started to serve him and clean up his house. To this day I cook every single day for him, wash, fold, and put away his clean laundry, iron his shirts for work or iron his clothes if we’re just going to hang out or if he is going out with friends, give hims pedi & mani, and other things. Now that we have little boy that’s 14 months it’s hard for me to get up in the morning to fix his lunch like I used to, but I think I’m going to start doing it at night before bed. I put my son’s and my man’s needs before my needs, but that’s okay because that’s what I’m supposed to do and plus I love doing it.

  2. Margo

    My husband & I celebrated our 22nd anniversary on Saturday. Sometimes we get so comfortable & we forget to do the little things. Thanks for reminding me. I needed that.

  3. ttjam

    I’m a newlywed and I have been putting my husband first since before we were married. He is only second to Gos and it is true what the Bible says, “there’s is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” I may need to work on doing it with a smile on my face more and with more love though. There is ALWAYS room for improvement in an imperfect marriage.

  4. Tina

    I think the topic of service to one’s husband is sometimes made more complicated than it needs to be for women. Some feel bound by duty, weighed down by guilt and other people’s expectations for what they should do as a wife. I don’t think you have to choose between being a proud feminist and serving your husband. He after all is a human being, just like you, and who doesn’t appreciate simple acts of love and selflessness. I’m not sure I agree with the concept of always putting someone else’s needs above your own though, I don’t do that with my children, and I don’t think its necessary to do that with my husband either, which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate the reminder that service to one’s spouse is an important aspect of a healthy marriage.

  5. Marva

    Have you ever wondered that serving your husband means that he do for you as he would do for himself? What has he done for you lately…….I serve my husband but he doesn’t know I exist in his world….I cannot even try explain that. He tells me that black men do not do things like that… is a white thing. Please explain that…HELLO

    1. Anonymous

      Your husband is sadly mistaken because my husband is Black and serves me almost everyday…he has given me massages, washed my feet, washed my hair , cooked dinner on occasion … etc. it appears to me that he is not comfortable with himself enough to do things for you… a mistake men make when dealing with their manhood.

  6. Mrs.B

    I always put my husband’s and my children’s needs before my own. Sometimes to a fault where I have become so drained and no longer recognize myself. I constantly adjust my schedule to accommodate everyone even when it means I get less than 4 hours asleep or anything I need has to be put on the back burner. I do this because this is what I believe I am supposed to do as a wife and a mother. I always understood the day I say “I do” and the day I gave birth my life was no longer my own it belonged to them. I am a nurturer and I ask for nothing and don’t expect anything in return. After reading this article I really wish I could say that the result was a strengthening of my marriage and my family.

    1. stephanieb

      That’s the sad part about it is that sometimes you can do all you can for a spouse, and they don’t appreciate it and won’t even reciprocate in return. You have to be married to a fair and understanding man in order for that to happen, I believe, and that unfortunately doesn’t apply to a lot of men these days.

  7. Erica B

    I read this post when it originally posted. My thoughts are this: there is not a hard and fast rule on how ALL marriages should function. We’ll celebrate 21 years of marriage next month and mine has been quite the happy one, without feeling “one-sided”. All of this put your husband’s needs before your own? I’m clearly not about that life… and it’s okay because it works for us. Just like they instruct to do on a plane in case of emergency: “Place the oxygen mask on your own face first, before helping others.” I have to take care me first in order to be a great wife & mother. If I’m in the kitchen and I ask my husband if he’d like some, I’ll fix. And he does the same. I cook… he cooks too. And yes, Black men do do that.

  8. Mrs. Jones

    I use to buy my husband his favorite food and serve him his plate everynight during our first year of marriage, partly because I love to cook and this was a way of showing my husband I love him, but when I found out he cheated on me while I was pregnant with our first child during our third year of marriage, I could now care less if he eats at all, and also he now eats tuna fish out of the can or cooks for himself everynight, because I refuse to feed a piece of trash cheater! Pay back is enjoyable 🙂 !!!!!

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  10. Monique

    I love serving my husband…he serves me and provides for our family. It is my way of saying thank you. In additio to that i grew up seeing my Moon do the same thing.i think it is a wonderful gesture.

  11. Superwife

    I LOVE serving my husband – except when he forgets to appreciate it and begins to take it for granted. Then, I simply pull back a little and let him do some things for himself. But it doesn’t feel like I am bowing down or anything like that . Service is an act of love. It should just be appreciated when it is given if people want to keep receiving.

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