- Believe in His Capabilities
- Affirmation of His Accomplishments
- Less Chatter
- Free Time
- To Be a Companion
Many men believe it is important for them to protect and provide for those they love. Let him know that you believe in his talents and skills and are supportive of him.
Being a supportive spouse can be both a rewarding and a difficult role. Although the dictionary definition is quite clear, living out being supportive in your marriage isn’t always so well defined. For most couples the most important aspect of being supportive is being a loving presence in your spouse’s life.
If you look for a dictionary definition of being supportive, you will find phrases like “being an advocate”, “providing for”, “strengthening”, “to keep from weakening or failing”, “bearing the weight”, and “keeping from falling, sinking, slipping.”
That’s quite a responsibility for any one to take on. The sense of responsibility grows even greater when a spouse is weighed down by problems with job, family, kids, health, or social obligations or is coping with feelings of loss, disappointment, and fear.
Ways to be Supportive
- Respect your spouse’s personal decisions.
- Show that you have faith in your mate.
- Be the shoulder to lean on when your spouse has a sinking feeling.
- Work together with your spouse to maintain balance in your life together.
- Don’t be threatened by your spouse’s accomplishments. Tell people, especially your partner, how proud you are of his/her talents and skills.
- In wanting to help your spouse to rebound from a difficult situation, don’t try to solve your partner’s problem.
- Listen well so that your spouse knows you are wanting to understand the issue or situation troubling your mate.
- Be realistic as you encourage your spouse. Don’t exaggerate.
One of the ways you can both tell and show your husband that you want to understand him is by making a commitment to daily dialogue with him. Daily dialogue only takes 20 minutes out of your day. Isn’t your husband worth 20 minutes each day?
Describing feelings to one another on a regular basis can improve your communication and bring you closer.
Most guys like to be patted on the back. Compliment your husband often. Just don’t over do it with sicky sweet oozes of how great he is. That type of affirmation will backfire.
Make sure that you sincerely compliment your spouse at least once every day. Look for things you can comment on that you haven’t mentioned before.
Impact of Compliments on Your Marriage
When you give sincere encouragement and compliments to your spouse, several things are accomplished.
- Your spouse’s self-confidence is increased.
- Your own self-worth is increased.
- The friendship between the two of you is strengthened.
The Difference Between Flattery and Compliments
It is important that your compliments are sincere and honest. When they are not, your comments turn into flattery which is untrue or insincere praise. Flattery is usually received with negativity and is often perceived as being manipulative.
Quotes About Compliments and Marriage
Steve Goodier: “Sincere compliments cost nothing and can accomplish so much. In ANY relationship, they are the applause that refreshes.”
Source: Steve Goodier, Prescription for Peace.
Les and Leslie Parrott: “The most important element of romantic passion for both husbands and wives is to feel special. Not only do they want to feel sexually attractive to their mates, but they want to know they are appreciated. Compliments feel good–both to give and to receive. So, to paraphrase a James Taylor song, ‘Shower the person you love with compliments.’”
Source: Les and Leslie Parrott, Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts
Gary and Barbara Rosberg: “Mark Twain once said, ‘I can live a whole month on one compliment.’ Just think about the life we can bring to a marriage with an ever flowing stream of affirmation. Hearty affirmation is a key ingredient in unconditional love. It’s like a magnet: It draws us in; it attracts us.”
Source: Gary and Barbara Rosberg, The 5 Love Needs of Men & Women
Richard Carlson: “The power of a compliment or a few kind, sexy words can be overwhelming! Think back to all of the things that you used to say to your sweetheart when you were dating.”
Source: Richard Carlson, The Don’t Sweat Guide for Newlyweds: Finding What Matters Most in the First Year
Many husbands are hurt and angered when their wives try to change them. Realize that the only person that you can change is yourself.
It happens to a lot to people. You fall in love. The romantic phase blinds you to your partner’s imperfections. Your spouse is a jerk.
You think your mate will change. You hope that in time the difficult aspects of your spouse’s jerky personality will go away. But it doesn’t happen.
You find yourself in love with a person you can’t stand and don’t like. Comments from others like “You should have known better…” or “Didn’t you see it while dating…” won’t help when living with a jerk. Should you throw in the towel when the handsome prince turns into a toad? Or is there hope for such a marriage?
There is hope for this type of situation. However, it does take honest and caring communication.
Types of Difficult Spouses
- The Know-it-All
- The Negative Thinker
- The Criticizer
- The Wishy-Washy Type
- The Silent Clam
- The Bully
- The Sickening Sweet Personality
- The Procrastinator
- The Self-centered and Selfish Person
- The Demanding Type
- The Joker
- The Embarrassing Spouse
Personality compatibility is an important characteristic of happy couples. Irritating habits and activities of a jerk can drive you up the wall just like the drip, drip, drip of a leaky faucet. If ignored, it only gets worse.
Coping Strategies if You’ve Married a Jerk
- Recognize you can’t change your spouse. You can only change your reactions and responses.
- Reinforce positive behavior. When you spouse does something right, say so!
- Maintain eye contact when stating your own opinions and feelings. Be prepared so you know what you want to say before you say it.
- Be straight forward and clear in your communications with your spouse.
- Make time to be alone together such as taking walks.
- Don’t place blame. It only creates defensiveness. Use “I” statements.
- Try and focus on the positive. Looking only at the negative behaviors in your spouse can be self-fulfilling.
- Be honest about yourself. If you make a mistake, admit it.
- Listen with both your heart and your mind.
5. Less Chatter
If your husband is tired, or involved with a project, and you really want to talk to him about something, get to the point. If he wants the details of the topic, he will ask for them.
Throughout your marriage there will be times when you need to have “must have” conversations.
These are the conversations that you both may not want to talk about. These are conversations about difficult issues and situations. These are the conversations that may make you both angry, defensive, sad, and hurt.
Pretending that there is nothing wrong will keep both of you walking on eggshells and will ultimately cause your marriage to fail.
Having the difficult talk shows you care enough about your spouse and your marriage to have the conversation.
Here are tips and strategies when you have to have that difficult talk.
Don’t Put Off Having That Difficult Conversation
- Look at Your Expectations. If you expect the conversation to go badly, it will. If you assume that having the big talk will make the situation worse, it probably will. You need to define your expectations of the conversation and to think in positive terms.
- Know Why You Want to Have the Talk. Do you want to talk with your spouse about a difficult issue to gain a better understanding of your spouse’s perspective on the issue? Do you want to clear up a misunderstanding? Do you need to confront your spouse about a suspected lie or hurtful behavior? Are you concerned about your level of intimacy with one another and want to be closer to your spouse?
- Accept It Will Probably Be a Stressful Conversation. Although you don’t want either one of you to be stressed, hurt, or angered by the conversation, it is important to realize that you both may be defensive and emotional as you talk.
Ways to Address the Difficult Conversation
- Don’t Say “We Have to Talk.” Start your conversation with a statement that acknowledges that the topic is difficult, sensitive, confrontational, or touchy. Clarify that you know that you have different perspectives and that you want to work together to have a better understanding of those perspectives.
- Suggestions for Beginning the Talk. “I’ve been thinking about …”, “What do you think about …”, “I’d like to talk about …”, “I want to have a better understanding of your point of view about …” Don’t beat around the bush. Keep it simple. Stay on topic.
When and Where to Have the Difficult Conversation
- Don’t Manipulate Your Spouse. Don’t invite your spouse out to the movies when you really plan on having “the talk” at a restaurant. Be honest.
- Timing of the Talk. Pick the right time for the conversation. Don’t ask your spouse to agree to a time to have the talk without having calmed yourself down first. Don’t have a difficult conversation before or after sex.
- Don’t Expect to Have the Talk Immediately. It is important that you give your spouse some time to think about the topic you want to talk about but this shouldn’t be postponed for a long time. Mention you would like to have the discussion within 48 hours.
- Don’t Trap Your Spouse. If you have the conversation in the car or on an airplane, etc. you are trapping your spouse.
- Agree on Where to Have the Talk. Unless your spouse agrees to having the talk in a public location such as a restaurant, take your kids to a babysitter, and have the talk at home.
Strategies to Use During the Difficult Conversation
- Show Respect for Your Spouse. Don’t speak down to your spouse. Don’t assume your spouse knows what you want to talk about. Don’t interrupt when your spouse is speaking.
- Be Aware of Non-verbal Communication. Maintain eye contact. Acknowledge what you hear with the understanding that acknowledgment is not necessarily agreement.
- Be Prepared. Back up your concerns, thoughts, and ideas with research and facts. Keep your conversation on the topic you agreed to discuss. Don’t talk on and on.
- Reach an Agreement You Both Can Live With. Then set a time to follow-up to see how you are both dealing with the issue.
Know When to Get Help. If the issue or situation continues to create problems in your marriage, the two of you may have the need for a counselor or a mediator.
Talk With Each Other – - Not At Each Other
Think back to when the two of you were dating one another. Did you have times when you had nothing to say to one another? Probably not.
When a couple reaches the point of not having anything to say to one another, their marriage is in serious trouble. Here are some tips on why conversation in a marriage is so essential, and topics to talk about.
Andre Maurois, French novelist and essayist, wrote, “A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.”
Most folks don’t marry someone they can’t talk with. A good conversation is when you are both contributing to the conversation. When you are having a good conversation with your spouse, you are both giving each other your undivided attention.
Conversation fills many needs:
- To be connected to another.
- To have your feelings and thoughts heard and respected.
- To learn new things.
- To sort through issues and problems.
- To discuss and explore solutions.
- To reach an understanding of one another.
- Your spouse’s hobbies or other interests.
What to Talk About:
- Plans for a future trip together.
- Memories of your childhoods.
- Movies or television shows.
- Things you would like to experience or places you would like to visit.
- Something you learned during the day or something you did differently or new that day.
- Discuss your thoughts and feelings about the day.
- Ask some questions that begin with “if you could”, or “Have you ever”, or “do you believe.”
Although the news, weather, kids, jobs, money, household chores, health issues, in-laws, friends, etc. are all important topics that the two of you need to talk about, don’t let them be the main focus of your conversations with each other.
Hold your husband’s hand in public, leave a message of love on his voice mail, massage his shoulders, give him an unexpected kiss. Men like to be romanced too!
Being romantic isn’t just for couples who are dating. Here are simple ways you can be romantic in your marriage all through the year.
- Make a decision to be romantic.
- Enjoy a full moon together.
- Call your spouse during the day and say something romantic.
- Hold hands.
- Leave a romantic love note for your mate to find.
- Suggest going for a romantic walk together and hold hands.
- Remember to give a lingering kiss for no reason at all.
- Say “I love you.”
- Watch a classic romantic movie together.
- Lie down on a blanket in your backyard and watch the clouds or stars.
- Send a romantic card.
- Plan a romantic, candlelight dinner.
- Pick a flower to put in a bud vase.
- Write a romantic loveletter.
- Nibble on your spouse’s ear and whisper something sweet or spicy.
- Schedule an evening to have a romantic date with one another
7. Respect and Admiration
Show respect for your husband by not making negative comments about his thoughts and opinions, by being considerate of his plans and listening to him.
Respecting your mate is a very important. Listen and appreciate his opinions, respond politely and do not criticize his words or actions, especially in front of others. Remember to say please and thank you. Do not walk away while the other one is speaking. Don’t swear or shout. If there is a conflict that needs to be sorted out. Make sure you have ground rules about how to fight fair. Make sure the anger has gone before you tackle the problem. Work on only one problem at a time and make sure you have worked out who is the hurt party, they get to say when the problem is resolved.
A vital need for the man is to be admired. Honest admiration is a great motivator for men. Admire him for what he already does and it will inspire him to greater things.
Ways to express admiration are
- with words e.g ‘I love the way you hug me.’ ‘ You are a wonderful provider.’
- Written. e.g write him a letter appreciating him for something he has done, or the way he looks.
- Buy a gift, with a thank you note for something you admire about him.
- Organize a special treat in recognition of an achievement. Eg. Dinner with friends, tickets to a game.
8. Free Time
Most everyone has a desire for some quiet time alone, and time to re-energize, regroup, and reconnect. When your husband first gets home from work, allow him some free time to unwind. Don’t over-schedule his days off with projects around the house.
Allow him time to pursue his own interests and hobbies.
It is great idea to plan you will get a lot done. But don’t over schedule it can destroy a marriage.
One of the standard closing lines we use in letters and emails is “Take care.” And we mean it. We often tell our readers to remember the importance of taking care of themselves, both emotionally and physically. That means minimally getting enough sleep, consuming a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and having some fun and laughter in life.
Trust is vital in the success of a marriage.
Trust is based on open and honest communication. This is built up over time. When honesty and cooperation exist in a relationship you have a couple who is willing to build and share together. They do not need to be private or secretive. Neither wishes to lie or shade the truth to protect the partner. You know they are open with you but protect you publicly.When your relationship is built on trust you experience a joy and willingness to share on a deep and intimate level with your mate.
Hopefully, you can say that your husband is not only your lover, but also your friend. Staying friends and companions through the years requires that you find ways to make time together and to do things together.
Find things you both enjoy. Put together a hobby that you both can participate in. May be he likes photography and you scrap -booking.
Couples that play together stay together.