5 Priceless Gifts Your Husband Actually Wants (No Affiliated Links!)

5 Priceless Gifts Your Husband Actually Wants (No Affiliated Links!)

Here you are again. Trying to decide what present to give your husband.  What will it be this year? A card? A fancy dinner? What can you give that will convey the meaning of your love and friendship? Perusing around Pinterest it would seem he needs a time-intensive hand-carved cutting board or an expensive watch with your anniversary engraved on it.

Let’s be honest, most men don’t care. Men are practical. They have simple needs.

Here are 5 things he actually wants (and they’re free!):

 1. To be heard

Ok ladies. This is the time you can’t phone it in when he tells you his boring work stories. Or when he drones on and on about sports or cars. Stop Instagramming and look him in the eyes. Be engaged with what he is saying. Share in his passions and be supportive! Researchers found that empathizing with each other’s negative emotions improved relationship satisfaction, but empathizing with positive emotions was 5 times stronger! Perhaps you don’t understand why he’s so excited about another freaking Star Wars movie, but today, be excited by his side.

2. To be the hero

This is his day to feel appreciated for all he does for you and the family. Even if you’re not on the best of terms, you gotta fake it til you make it, honey. Actively trying to point out the good will get easier the more you try. Psychologist John Gottman (previously discussed here) suggests at least 5 positive interactions with your spouse for every 1 negative for a happy relationship. This should especially be the case on HIS Day! Is he perfect? No. But letting him feel your love and appreciation will go a lot farther in the end than nagging and shaming. These do not inspire anyone to do better.

3. To be kid-duty free

Lift whatever burdens you can in this regard. Do the dressing, bathing, feeding, cleaning, etc. Think of your dream day without the mundane tasks and give that to man you love.

4. To be alone

Does the hubby want to catch up on football games? Let him! Does he want to play World of Warcraft in the basement for a few hours? Let him! This is often what’s valued over another neck tie, coffee mug, or bottle opener.

5. To be alone with you

By this I mean a little “nap time” in the bedroom together. This is another area where it may not mean as much to you as it does to him, but it’s not about you. In Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she discussed just how vulnerable men are when it comes to sex. She describes a group discussion with men about intimacy saying,

A middle-aged man in the group joined in, staring straight down at his desk. “It’s true. When you want to be with us…in that way…it makes us feel more worthy. We stand a little taller. Believe in ourselves more. I don’t know why but it’s true. And I’ve been married since I was eighteen. It still feels that way with my wife.

This message resonates with a lot of men. Help him feel how much you love him by prioritizing his need to feel connection and total acceptance.

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Husbands come in all shapes and sizes. Maybe they’re trendy, techie, or outdoorsy, but all men enjoy feeling appreciated. This year forget the junk. Move past all the ads constantly trying to convince you of what is really going to make your spouse happy. In the end, his lasting happiness will come from a loving relationship. These 5 gifts are inexpensive, but joy is in the little things.


Veronika Tait is the proud mother of two little ones. She earned her PhD in Social Psychology at Brigham Young University. When she’s not singing Broadway show tunes in her shower, she’s reading parenting books, teaching psychology courses, or starting political fires on Facebook.

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