8. Returning Home & Dinner Time

A+ Strategy: Attention

For a man to be deeply attracted to you – emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually — he needs to feel good about you. A man feels good about you when you spend time with him and he sees you smiling. Men are captivated by a woman’s upbeat nature and happiness. All men want a woman who has the capacity to be optimistic, easygoing, fun, and enjoy a little bit of life.

When a husband sees that his wife is happy, he takes credit for her happiness and instinctively feels closer to her. It also helps him to forget about his own mountain of stresses and worries that he may not be openly conveying at the time. When he sees his wife by side and she is smiling, having fun, and being happy, a man will naturally feel loved and at ease.

How-To Score: Show your husband that his companionship makes you happy by acting like your normal, cheerful self.

Every time your husband returns from work there is a chance to reaffirm in his heart what an amazing and loving wife you are. Men long to return to their homes after a hard day of work. If you make the home life a place where he can relax and be himself, he’ll be eager to spend time with you at the end of his day inshaAllah.

If your husband works outside the house, then before he returns home, take at least fifteen minutes to freshen up. If your husband works at home, then try to avoid him for the majority of the day until dinner time or whenever you spend most of your time together.

Whenever he comes home (or when you spend your main time together), take care that:

  • You look good, smell good, feel good.
  • You stop what you’re doing and greet him immediately.
  • You are not distracted by your cell phone and social media.
  • You look happy to see him and be with him.
  • You tell him that you’re glad he’s home.
  • The house is clean and not filled with clutter.
  • Food is ready to be served.
  • Kids are bathed, well-behaved, and happy to see daddy.

 

As for meal time, it is essential that every family sit together for at least one meal a day. Some try to solidify this habit after they have children, but really, it starts from the first day you marry your husband. Dinner is the best time for families to spend together, but everyone’s schedule is different in the modern world; do what works for your situation. Whichever meal it is, make sure that it is enjoyable and memorable inshaAllah. Both you and your husband need it.

Some women neglect their husbands and do not think twice about leaving him to eat alone so that they can hang out with their friends. This is disrespectful, especially during Ramadan. No one should be left to eat alone, particularly the head of your household. If your husband gives you permission to attend an invitation to a dinner party, then make sure to prepare his dinner before you leave and thank him for his flexibility. However, it is best to limit these occurrences and to not make them frequent; indulging in these events robs you from quality time as a family and slowly chips away at the state of marital intimacy because you send off the signal that you do not want to be with him and would rather be elsewhere.

 

Prepare Ahead Of Time

Don’t wait until last minute to throw dinner together. That’s a sure recipe for a disaster and a burnt pot of food. Do the prep work during the day whenever you’re able to squeeze in the time. You can even chop vegetables and fry onions the night before and store them in an airtight container. Throw your ingredients in the pot, simmer, and enjoy. Some mothers suggest cooking earlier in the day so that everything is finished by the time their children return from school, and they serve their husbands’ upon their arrival.

 

Use Simple Recipes

Unless you like being intricate, experiment with simple recipes on a daily basis. Save the bang for guests, special occasions, and unexpected surprises for your husband.  In the beginning of the marriage, it is normal for women to want to make as many yummy things as they can to impress their husbands; this is completely healthy and an advantageous move.

A good wife should have about ten recipes on hand, like:

  1. Basic rice dish (vegetarian biryani, pulao, pilaf, stir-fry)
  2. Baked chicken (tandoori, butter, American, Italian)
  3. Lasagna (beef, chicken, or vegetarian) or spaghetti and minced meat
  4. Curry chicken, lamb, beef, vegetables, or egg
  5. Lentils or any bean dish (mujadara, daal, black beans, red beans, etc)
  6. Chinese stir-fry vegetables (add chicken and beef for more flavor)
  7. Roast potatoes or vegetables
  8. Stews (beef or lamb) or chicken soup
  9. Eggs (boiled, deviled, scrambled, sunny side up, or omelet)
  10. Handmade appetizers (samosa, chapattis, simple roti, puff pastry, spring rolls)

Also, learn how to make a hot cup of coffee and tea, even if it is instant. Ask him how he specifically likes his own and let him know how you like yours; maybe he’ll surprise you one day!

 

Create The Right Balance  

A wholesome meal consists of a starch, a protein and a fresh salad or cooked vegetables. Dessert can be fresh fruit, dates, or homemade dessert. If your husband is following a special diet or doesn’t like certain spices, tailor to his need. There are so many great websites available for cooking that provide videos and step-by-step instructions with pictures. It’s almost impossible to not become a master chef in today’s times.

Look into these websites:

www.allrecipies.com (food and dessert recipes)

www.marthastewart.com (food and dessert recipes)

www.simplyrecipes.com (food and dessert recipes)

www.joyofbaking.com (awesome desserts – try simple chocolate cake, carrot cake, brownies)

 

Set The Appropriate Mood  

Observe the state of your husband when he’s at the dinner table. Is he tired? Is his mind busy? Is he distant? Keep the conversation light if he’s stressed and tired. Telling jokes or sharing what happened in your day may ease his mind away from his problems and divert his attention from his worries. Do not pester him to tell you what is on his mind. He will open up to you whenever he wants inshaAllah. It is not something personal; men like to solve their own problems and are not usually talkers in this area because it is perceived as a sign of weakness (see: Decoding Prince Charming).

Be supportive by being good, pleasant company. If he is happy and present at mind, consider reading a book to each other or doing something productive with your time together. But if he would rather just sit and talk, then do what he prefers because this may be his only time to wind down and being productive could be the last thing on his mind after a hard day’s work.

Ask him about his day or how he is today. The best phrase is “What did you do today?” instead of “How was your day today?” (many men will just say “fine alhamduliLlah” and stay silent).

Everyone wants to feel heard when they are speaking. Actively listen to your husband when he talks to you. Act interested and make sounds. Focus on listening and not commentating. Some suggested phrases are “Yeah, that makes sense,” or “I see where you’re coming from,” or “I hear what you’re saying.”

 

And while you’re at it, say a few of these phrases…