Most guys know the honey to-do list: the little (and sometimes not so little) projects your wife wants you to tackle. Even if you’re not very good, carrying one of them shows your love for him. But there’s another important list he’s never shared with you: the honey list.

These are seven things he never wants you to do. If you avoid them, you can strengthen your relationship by meeting his needs, like fixing the bathroom or fixing a leaky faucet.

  1. Don’t solve my problems.
    I still know that Susan is more concerned with listening and empathizing with me than offering solutions. My natural instinct from my days as a lawyer is to ask lots of questions to get to the bottom of things. But Susan wants my heart more than my head. Here are 4 ways to be an intentional listener from my own growth in this area. Be a comforter, not a coach.
  2. Don’t deny my feelings.
    As men, we tend to “fix” things, so we can ignore our wife’s feelings and make mistakes. Denigrating them as “stupid” does more harm than good. We need to learn to feel our wife’s feelings. It requires real listening, which is more than the ability to repeat the words he uses. He’s listening to what they’re saying below, reading their body language.
  3. Don’t be silent on me.
    As someone who always has a lot of questions and opinions, this isn’t usually an issue for me, but I know it is for a lot of guys. They think saying nothing is better than saying the wrong thing. False. Silence indicates disinterest; Engaging your wife in a gentle way tells her that you care enough to be there for her, even if she doesn’t know exactly what she needs from you.
  4. Don’t take me for granted.
    A healthy marriage is based on mutual sacrifice and service, each giving to the other and not taking the other for granted. Let him know you appreciate him; show appreciation for what he is doing. A thank you note or text for folded clothes can mean a lot. Remember these two powerful words that can transform your relationship.
  5. Don’t take your eyes off me.
    You won her heart, but now you have to keep it. I want to know that he’s still the same, he’s still turning your head. So go ahead and pursue your romance. This date night checklist might help.
  6. Don’t put your hands on me.
    In the busyness of everyday life, it’s easy to leave small things by the wayside, especially when there are kids at home. But that little caress, especially showing others “She’s mine” in public, means a lot. Kiss her goodbye, hold her hand and open the door. Be a gentleman. Here are a few ideas on how being a manly man can strengthen your marriage.
  7. Don’t give up on me.
    Every family faces challenges at some stage, such as money, parents, aging parents, sex, work pressure, distance or dissatisfaction. He wants you to know that you’ll be faithful to him—for us—and that you’ll go through the motions.

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