Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Susie Davis' new book, Loving Your Man Without Losing Your Mind, (Regal Books, 2007).

It doesn’t take long after you’ve been married to discover that the man of your dreams is far from perfect and that marriage is much harder than you’d ever imagined. When marriage’s demands push at you, it can feel like your husband is driving you crazy. But, no matter how you feel, if you choose to act in love toward your husband, you’ll start to see your marriage change for the better.

Here’s how you can love your husband – even when he drives you crazy – and start to enjoy a better marriage as a result:

Act the best with the one you love most. Instead of giving your husband the worst of your behavior because you take him for granted (while you’re on your best behavior with other people), decide to give him the best. Don’t allow everyday frustrations and irritations to cause tension in the way you interact with your husband. Determine that, no matter what, you’ll try to speak kindly to him and treat him well. Choose to communicate your affection for your husband through your words and actions on a regular basis. Let him know that you appreciate and admire him.

Fight fairly. Expect to experience conflicts with your husband; that’s a normal part of any healthy relationship. Know that it’s okay to disagree with him – but when you do, you need to handle the conflict in ways that honor God and each other. Get real with each other, speaking honestly about what’s at the root of your conflicts. But express yourself in appropriate ways, without avoiding each other in sullen resentment, screaming at each other, or demeaning each other. Instead, show respect for each other. Instead of letting anger control you, use your anger to motivate you to seek mutually agreeable solutions to problems. Choose your battles; be willing to let some things go when arguing about them just isn’t worthwhile.

Give him the respect he needs. Understand that all men have a deep need for respect, so do your best to give your husband respect. Make a decision to do so simply because God calls you to, even if you don’t think your husband deserves it. Rather than making assumptions about your husband’s motives or behavior, discuss your concerns with him. Always be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maintain his privacy by refraining from sharing potentially embarrassing information about him with others. Give him the emotional space he needs to resolve conflicts. When talking with him, pay attention to your tone of voice, body language, word choices, and timing to make sure they’re respectful.

Accept the gender differences between you and your husband. Instead of expecting your husband to relate to you as a woman would, recognize that he has a different natural way of communicating. Know that men often focus on facts rather than feelings, and try to solve problems rather than empathize. Ask God to help you accept and love your husband as He does – unconditionally. Choose to love your husband rather than seeking love, and decide to try to understand him instead of trying to get him to understand you. Trust that, in the process, God will use your marriage to help you grow into a stronger person. Appreciate the different perspective that your husband brings to your marriage, and make time to listen and consider his views regularly.

Get rid of Prince Charming. Forget the mistaken idea that your husband should like a perfect prince ready to rescue you from all your troubles and meet all your needs. Realize that he is just what God made him to be – a regular guy who’s your companion through life. Let go of your unrealistic expectations. Instead of turning to your husband for your happiness, strength, and security, depend on the only One who can truly provide that – God. Make sure that God is your top priority; give your greatest love and devotion to Him alone. Release your husband from the pressure of having to live up to impossible expectations and give him the freedom to be who he is. Remember that, as an imperfect human being, your husband will sometimes fail you, but you can always count on God.