I want to talk today about getting your man to do DIY projects around your house.
I have gotten so many questions about this topic since the wood wall that my hubby recently put up for me and then the barn doors he just built. Women keep asking me for my secret and while I don’t have just one tip… I have several little pieces of advice that I have learned over the years through trial and error (mostly error) and just in my quest to do better wife-ing.
My best tips for you below. But let me just say from the beginning however that manipulating your husband NEVER works. So this is not an article about that.
But it IS an article about treating people in a way that makes them WANT to do things with you and for you. There is a huge difference!
So, these are my best tips:
How to get your husband to do home improvement projects:
1) When your man does do a project for you…. praise him.
Praise him both PRIVATELY and PUBLICLY. Human nature makes us want to do more when we are praised. And positive affirmation will lead to positive beliefs….. especially if his love language is “words of affirmation”. (If you don’t know anything about love languages, run NOW not tomorrow and get this book on love languages. It will change every single relationship you have. I pinkie swear!)
So when he does a project or makes you something…. tell your BFF, tell your mother, post it on Instagram. When he hears you praise him in front of others, he WILL beam with pride on the inside and I guarantee that he WILL be more willing to help with more projects.
But also praise him privately. So often we get into the habit of taking our spouse and all he does for granted. Praise him privately. Appreciate him privately. Thank him genuinely privately and he will be way more apt to do even more.
2) Give your man respect in the home by way of giving him “veto power”.
Mr. Magic gives me the freedom to decorate however I want in our home. He knows this is my passion. He knows this is what makes me tick. He knows I have a “feeling” I am trying to create in our space. So for the most part, he let’s me do whatever I want….. including adding touches of fuschia all over our first floor. What a guy!
But I give him veto power. Yes the house is a representation of me, the woman. But he lives here too. And on the rare occasion that he hates something…. I honor that. And if your spouse knows that you will honor the things he really, really dislikes…. it will make them more comfortable letting you just run with it.
I have found that giving him “veto power” and a voice on projects makes him WANT to be more involved in my projects. He feels like his voice gets heard and I am happy to hear it!
3) Nagging never works.
Nagging is the exact opposite of respect in a marriage. But first you have to understand how incredibly important RESPECT is to a man. Ladies you need love; he needs respect. The 2 go hand in hand like pb&j. I have another book for you. Jason and I took a marriage course based on this book. When you understand how important respect is to your guy….. you will also understand how disrespectful nagging feels.
So instead of nagging, you can hire it out. He honestly may just not be good at some projects. He may be exhausted. He may just not want to do stuff around the house. So save your sanity. Get a quote. Stay respectful and stop nagging. (Proverbs 21:19 says “it’s better to live alone that to live with a nagging wife”. Ouch. Apparently God was serious about not nagging too!)
4) Honey-do lists are not the answer.
Don’t make a honey-do list of projects you need done around the house unless he asks for one (go back and read #3 about respect). A mom does a list for her kids. Your man does not want you to be his mom, he wants you to be his wife. Lists are not respectful unless asked for (even Dr Phil says so!).
Instead suggest a family project day. Get a group of friends to help you with a list of things you need done around the house. But making him a list and leaving it in obvious place and hoping he will be “inspired” to get stuff done on the list will not work. He will be irritated and you will be frustrated.
There are some men who don’t mind lists, but my man (and I think most men) is not one of them.
5) If you ask him to do a project, then let him to it HIS way.
No critiquing. No standing over him “supervising”. No adding your 2 cents unless he asks for it or it’s needed.
His way WILL be different from your way. Mr. Magic built my barndoors with no plans, no YouTube instructional videos, no Pinterest inspiration picture and I held my breath the whole time. We think so differently and so I could not imagine how they could turn out with no plan?? And yet they are so much better than my idea was.
Don’t critique his work to death. “Done and good enough” is way better than the project sitting around for another 6 months with no progress. Can I get an amen??
Also, men remember the last time you asked them to do a project and how you treated them during that process. Some of you may have apologies to make before they’ll consider trying something for you again. I have had to go back to my man and eat crow several times. Several times a year. Lol. Just do it. Start with a clean project slate.
6) You can’t be telling your husband “no” in every other place in your marriage and expect him to be giving you yeses.
This is real marriage talk ladies. And it needs no explanation. Love ya! 😉
So honestly, I have no “tricks” for getting Mr Magic to build and do things for me. But I do know that love and respect will get things done. Nagging and critiquing will not.
We have also come to the agreement in our marriage that it shouldn’t be assumed that I want to do or know how to do “traditional women roles”. I don’t cook. I hate to clean and I don’t sew. I don’t want to do any of those things either.
And in fairness to him, I can’t assume that just because he is a guy that he can do or knows how to or wants to do traditional “men things”…. projects, fixes, building things, etc.
Some of you ladies may just need to learn to do some of the projects yourself. Or you may need to hire it out. It will save both of your sanity and possibly your marriage!
I did a whole chat on this topic over on my Facebook page HERE. There were over 500 comments and some great conversation. Go take a listen!
Jennifer and Mr Magic
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