“You are my super-hero!”

Ever seen how a man looks when sitting in front of the TV while he is watching some or other action movie? He is glued to the screen, dead quiet and fully focused . . . like a hunting dog that marks his prey. As if this is the first predictable hero-intervenes-and-saves-the-world story that he has ever seen!

Why do action movies capture men’s attention so much? For the same reason that we can’t miss a Kate Hudson romcom – we wish we had her body, her looks, her wit and her fairy-tale! Your man also desires that which the main characters has in the movies – especially his status – and the answer on the action movie question lies in the title of one of my son’s animation movies: Everybody’s Hero. That’s who he wants to be. But especially yours.

Therefore every young bride and seasoned wife should be warned that she is in possession of something very fragile – her partner’s ego.

There are times that every woman stares admiringly at the man with whom she’s married – especially when Daddy parades around the house with his underpants and white help-me-look-strong top (underneath which the belly presses forward with all force). But believe us when we say, even though it is very easy to give your husband’s ego a good boost, it is just as easy to cause that Titanic to sink!

And because a man thinks his manhood is settled in his Very Important Instrument (VII) (his penis!), it just requires the words: “Not tonight,” and Mister Super-Ego lies flat on the ground (this can also be measured by the direction in which his VII is facing).

It’s not easy living with a snapped reed, so ensure that things point southwards (or at least in the one or other easterly or westerly wind direction). We give you a few pointers on how to keep hubby’s ego healthy!

1. “Lovey, you are the most beautiful thing on two legs!” Compliment him on his appearance. Every man wants to know he looks good. You can give him a generalised compliment such as this one, or you can be more specific by mentioning how nicely his shirt accentuates his eyes or how you can see the hard work he puts in at the gym.
2. “Sjoe, that waitress is jealous of me.” Let your man feel desirable. Every man wants to know that he is still attractive to the fairer sex. So, mention in hindsight how you know other women think he is sexy (just don’t overdo it – you want him to feel good about himself, and not believe that he can exchange you for just any young thing!).
3. “Only you can tell that joke until everyone is on the floor crying from laughter.” Give him a compliment that is unique to him and emphasises that uniqueness. However, be 100% honest, he will know if you’re lying.
4. “Now that is a sexy car.” Compliment hubby’s gadgets, technology or car. Men sort of see their possessions as “extensions” of themselves, especially their cars. Therefore if you compliment his car, it’s half as if you are complimenting him.
5. Bat your eyelashes! If you flirt with hubby (in other words, subtly show him how attractive you find him), it’s like when you have a sexy, fitted black dress on. Even though the neckline isn’t low or the hemline isn’t high, the suggestion is there, and a man finds that extremely attractive. You therefore compliment him without using words.
6. “I’ve always wanted pink teddy slippers with red hearts on!” (Even though it’s the ugliest things that you have ever seen!) Yes, there are times that justify a white lie, even though it’s just to save your partner’s ego. If you show that he bought you an ugly, stupid, silly, terrible gift, he will feel like a failure – and that is the last thing he wants! Just add: “I won’t wear them often, so that they can last forever and I never have to search for teddy slippers again.”
7. “Your corn is the nicest in the whole field.” From early on already men learn that their primary role in life is to be the “provider”. Yes, even though you spark in the boardroom, it is still part of who he is. Men feel that their ability to earn money, is the reason for their existence – they are subconsciously bombarded with this right through their lives. For men success and power is equal to each other. Therefore show that you are interested, praise him and give him acknowledgement for the work that he does – it will give his ego a boost and strengthen your relationship.
8. “You are a fox in bed!” Let hubby understand what an amazingly good lover he is. It gives him a boost, he feels good about himself and blessed to have you as a life partner. To invest in a man’s ego is crucial for a good relationship.
9. "Goodness, this man of mine has a general knowledge that is second to none!” Compliment him in front of your friends. There is nothing that makes a man feel so good than when you compliment him in front of your friends or his friends.
10. “Will you please open this bottle for me?” Boost his ego by making him feel manly and strong. By giving him a jam bottle to open or something to fix and asking: “Can you do it? I can’t seem to manage it,” makes him feel like you need him to survive and that just strengthens his age old instinct to care for you (with the faith that just he can do it).

It is so important to give hubby’s ego a boost. Even when he is walking around the house with that white top on, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t at times feel uncertain about himself. Also remember to not only dish out the compliments when you’re feeling good, but to also respect him when you don’t feel so good . . . it is very natural to take a stab at his ego when you are angry or unhappy. Think twice before you do something that will belittle him. Feed your man’s ego, build it and your marriage will flourish.

Also remember – like all good things, too much is never a good thing. Hubby will notice something strange is going on and it will look like you are dishonest. Choose your moments carefully in order to let him realise that you appreciate him and admire him. Let him understand clearly why, and he will feel like Everybody’s Hero. And even during those times when things aren’t going as well, he will know that he is your super hero.

Additional sources: wikihow.com, voices.yahoo.com, divinecaroline.com, instructables.com.