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7 Tips for New Husbands to Build Happier Homes

Updated: Mar 5

Updated Post: 3/5/24

Original Post: 9/7/23

Stepping into the role of a new husband is a momentous and exciting journey.

Building a happier home is not an overnight endeavor; it's a continuous process that requires dedication, communication, and effort.

Avoiding missteps during the transition into marriage strengthens the future of the marriage. According to Dr. Perry Jenkins, the Department Chair of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the routines we fall into in the first six months of marriage usually become the habits of a marriage for a lifetime.

In this post, we'll explore essential steps for new husbands to foster a warm and joyful environment where love thrives, and happiness becomes a way of life.

1. Share the chores fairly

Intentionally divide the home management tasks fairly. On average, women spend more time doing household chores than their husbands, even when they are the breadwinners. As you can imagine, an unfair distribution of labor at home creates problems in marriage.

According to a survey shared by Dr. Whillans of Harvard, 25 percent of people who were divorced named “disagreements about housework” as the top reason for getting a divorce.

Sharing the household labor must involve a fair distribution of the mental load of home management. There’s a difference between completing a task and shouldering the responsibilities of the task. Cooking dinner takes around half an hour. Thinking about what you need from the grocery store to prepare dinner, finding the time to go, and checking what ingredients you already have takes mental effort that takes far more time than just cooking.

7 Tips for New Husbands to Build Happier Homes

The University of Cambridge found that men, not women, benefited from a less traditional gender role divide in household chores. And as we shared in a previous post, research has found that wives want more sex when men do more chores.

We have written numerous articles and created free resources to help couples tackle household chores as a team.

7 Tips for New Husbands to Build Happier Homes
Modern Husbands Meme

2. Managing money requires managing emotions

Money is frequently cited as the leading cause of conflict and stress in marriage. Managing money in a marriage often requires tough conversations. When couples can manage the emotions of such conversations, they are more likely to manage money well together.

We have written hundreds of thousands of words of wisdom to help couples manage their finances. Everyone is different and faces unique challenges throughout their marriage. It is impossible to encapsulate those words into a couple of paragraphs.

However, if we could summarize the money management advice we provide into one sentence, it would be:

We focus on sharing money management strategies in marriage at the intersection of personal finance concepts, emotions, and how best to work with our spouse.

Start with the following resources if money is a particularly contentious topic in your home:

Essential Money Management Strategies for Young Married Couples: A comprehensive post that includes essential free resources newly married couples can use right away.

Money Marriage U articles: Relationships and Family: Focusing on supporting couples tackling tough money conversations

Money Marriage U: Self-paced online courses for couples designed by national financial therapy and financial planning experts

Special Series: Transition to Marriage: Winning ideas to transition to manage money and the home as a team in marriage or partnership.



3. Be a good gift-giver

Purchasing the right gift will make your spouse happier – and you happier!

Our previous post, 5 research-based gift ideas that will be a hit, explained the science behind these ideas:

  1. Recipients LOVE sentimental gifts

  2. Buy experiences

  3. Write meaningful notes

  4. Give time

  5. Make a list and check it twice

4. Thoughtful caregiving

Parenting is a rollercoaster ride, and all too often, women are lead caregivers, representing nearly half of the American workforce. This can be over 20 hours of caregiving per week.

According to the Wilson Center, 20% of all lead caregivers suffer from depression, twice the national average. Estimates of lost lifetime earnings from leaving the workforce to be a caregiver range from $275,000 - $350,000, depending on the study and gender.

Happier homes are often full of cared-for children and two spouses who feel supported in their careers, not just one.

Fathers are taking on more caregiving responsibilities historically perceived as the responsibility of women, such as bathing, dressing, and feeding their children. And these fathers are happier parents than mothers.

Our past post, Caregiving Considerations for Modern Families, delves into more details.



5. Plan and take vacations

Study after study tells us that we are happier when we spend more on experiences with our friends and spouses than on possessions. Vacations lead to happier marriages, facilitating quality time, communication, and shared experiences, enhancing the relationship's happiness and satisfaction.

Yet employees are not fully utilizing their PTO, even though they are more productive over the year when they do.

So take your PTO and know that vacations are money well spent and worth saving for.

With that said, planning a vacation takes time and effort. Shoulder this responsibility for your spouse for a happier home. And if you have the means, consider the all-inclusive vacation hack.

As we wrote about in a previous post, research conducted by Duke professor Dan Ariely found that "when you pay upfront, you start the vacation, you've paid for the whole thing, and now you don't think about money, and that's a great way to experience it." This also reduces the time and aggravation of planning the details of a vacation.

An all-inclusive vacation might be unaffordable for you right now. There are plenty of other options if money is tight. According to Dr. Whillans of Harvard, what is most important about quality time with your partner is feeling positive in the moment and supported by your partner.

In our previous post 8 getaway cheap ideas for couples, we share eight frugal ideas to get away with your partner that center around being active, in the moment, and disconnected from technology.

6. Be active together

Participate in activities that make you and your spouse feel supported and in the moment. These activities can be free or can occur over short periods. What matters most is that you and your spouse feel a complete immersion and focus in an activity, where you experience a sense of timelessness, deep engagement, and joy.

Explore and discuss options

Some activities people report as joyful are less apparent than others. The interactive below can be a great conversation starter with your spouse about what you can do together.

7 Tips for New Husbands to Build Happier Homes

Take date nights with friends

There is a linked pattern of date night frequency and common markers for marital happiness among married women and men aged 18–55 by date night frequency.

"The State of Our Unions Survey, 2023" found that of 2,000 married, heterosexual men and women aged 18-55 in the United States, those who go on date nights are happier. We wrote in more detail about the findings in our post Why to Include Other Couples on Date Nights.



7. Schedule time for yourselves and friends

Researchers from Michigan State University surveyed 280,000 people and found that friendships are more influential to our well-being than family. Friendships predict day-to-day happiness more and, ultimately, how long we’ll live, more so than spousal and family relationships.

The report went on to share that while friendships are typically associated with moments of relief, families can also be the root of more serious, monotonous, or negative interactions.

What is the lesson? Encourage your spouse to spend time with friends, and you should do the same. And it could take a bit more than encouragement. Make it a point to tackle the tasks that could deter your spouse from going out. Your spouse should not be unsure about whether it is okay to take a bit of time away from you or your home.


Learn More

Couples who learn more, save more, and spend more on what is important to them.

For engaged and recently married couples who want to manage money and the home as a team.

Self paced online courses for couples designed by national financial therapy and financial planning experts

Winning ideas from experts to manage money and the home as a team. 2023 Plutus Award Finalist: Best Couples or Family Content

🔔 Click here to listen and subscribe to the Modern Husbands Podcast on Apple.

🔔 Click here to listen and subscribe to the Modern Husbands Podcast on Spotify.

Winning ideas to manage money and the home as a team delivered to your inbox every two weeks. You'll even receive a few free gifts!


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