•There is no one closer, as women define “closeness.” The Laffoons explain that “your wife feels closest to you when you are 'in tune' with her thoughts, desires, and feelings.” This is tough for most men, but even making the effort shows that you cherish her. If she seems overwhelmed, ask what you can do to lighten her load. If she's had a hard day, listen to her and try to understand, without trying to fix her problems.
•You pledge your life to her. You're in this with your wife “forever and for always” there are “no take backs” and “divorce is not an option.”
Marriage is the most fantastic adventure anyone can take, but it's no fairy tale. It's a journey filled with joys and disappointments, passion and hurt, fun and hard work. Making your wife feel cherished involves continually pledging your life to your wife, not to your mother, kids, job or hobbies.
•You are committed to standing by her. This is complete loyalty. The Laffoons explain that “a wife needs to know her husband isn't going anywhere; that he will be there by her side no matter what.”
Your wedding vows, “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health,” reflect this aspect of being cherished. Meeting this vow every day, through words and actions, shows you cherish your wife.
•Nowhere else on earth is there anyone like her. You felt this way when you asked her to marry you, wanting her as your life partner. Then the mortgage, car payments and kids arrived. Still your wife needs to constantly know that she remains a unique part of your life, the part that makes the rest worth having, that she's “your partner, someone to walk with and share life with.”
She is the beauty in your life, the one you want to uplift in every way. The Laffoons note an old proverb: Before a woman turns 40, her beauty is largely due to the way she treats herself. After 40, a woman's beauty is largely due to the way her husband has treated her. Cherishing your wife includes treating her as the beauty in your world, your own priceless work of art. The more you treat her as beautiful, the more she will radiate that beauty.
The Laffoons add that wives draw strength from husbands who care for them, nurture them and protect them. Supporting your wife in her work, hobbies and friendships helps strengthen her to fulfill her role even better. Praising your wife and building her self-confidence, especially in front of others, is one way of supporting her.
You can cherish your wife in many ways: Hold doors for her; pick up something that's dropped; help carry packages; tell her she's beautiful, hug her; listen to her speak her heart; hold hands when walking together; get her a drink if you get one for yourself; clean the windshield on her car; or text her during the day just to say you were thinking of her.
The Laffoons summarize that for women, “being cherished is the culmination of love, respect, and desire.” Cherishing your wife strengthens the bond of your marriage and adds a sense of joy and peace that will carry your wife through even the toughest times.
©2013, All Rights Reserved. James Sheridan’s website is www.marriagedoneright.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.