Being the ADD infested scatterbrained meathead I tend to be, consistency in my world usually means making the same mistakes over and over. I have a fear and simultaneous dependency on routine. I hate being able to know what I will be doing every day. Monotony makes me kinda crazy. But, as naturally unorganized as I am, I need some form of routine.
During our counseling sessions, I learned that our wives like routine a little more than we do, usually. They like stability. They like knowing that their world is somewhat in order and slightly predictable. We are more prone to doing stupid, random things without giving it much thought. I guess that's why women live longer.
My wife needs to know she can depend on me. She needs to know that I will really be there for her. Not just when something traumatic happens, but in the small things. If we can't put down a remote when she wants a lightbulb changed, will we really climb the highest mountain for her? Don't make her ask twice. Just take care of her minute by minute.
One of the most powerful things I learned was about creating positive expectations. What does she think you will do? What does she expect from you? What's your credit like with her? Joel and Kathy at BestMarriage.com suggested a small gift every week. Nothing big or expensive. Just something. After doing it for a few weeks, it became a card, a candle and candy. I spent about $10-$15 every week on this, did it every week. Got my paycheck on Friday, went to the bank after work, picked up her gift. I left them on her dresser by the bed without even mentioning them. We were in the middle of the divorce process at the time, more of a challenge than you should have with this. About six months into it, she thanked me for the candy. A few months later, she mentioned that the candle was nice. Almost a year later, she actually thanked me for her gifts. About this time, I missed a week. Something stupid happened, worked late, had to pick up the kids and dinner... Totally forgot. She was disappointed. Asked where her card and candle were. Not upset, just curious. I apologized and told her I forgot. She said it was ok, no big deal. Then I mentioned it was the first time in a year. She was shocked. "Really?" She honestly had no idea it was going on that long.
What happened? I had created positive expectations. She started looking forward to coming home on Friday and finding those gifts. She had found something positive in my routine. Before, all she knew to expect from me was the same stupid, selfish, oblivious and childish crap I always did. She expected me to find a hundred other distractions instead of being with her and the kids. I was a butthead. As of now, I am a recovering butthead. Still a long way to go.
Money got tight, had a few really bad months, couldn't even cover the $10 gift for a while. She said it didn't really matter. When I can do it, they are still there. But, her attitude towards me changed dramatically over that tiny thing. It's just a small thing to us, but it's huge to them. To them we have found a way to create anticipation again. The kind that we had during the dating days. When we talked for hours on the phone until we could see each other again.
If you have consistently proven that she is not important to you, change the habit. Start proving it to her again. Don't be a butthead.