Even though marrying Stephen was the best thing that ever happened to me, sometimes I just have a bad day and I have to admit a defeat. In days like this when Stephen comes back from work tired and stressed out, I just wish I knew how to make it all disappear. What is worse, before I got married, I thought that would be much easier and I had some false expectations that everything that is bad will go away as easily as if I had a magic wand.
1. Be a good listener. You know how it is always women who complain that men don’t listen to them. Well, it goes the other way around too. Sometimes in our best intentions, instead of listening we try to provide solutions and give suggestions. Most times men don’t need them. They just want to know that you listen and understand them. Otherwise, you will just make them feel as if they are incapable of solving their own problems.
2. Don’t be offended if he finds comfort in some other activity. Sometimes my husband would just sit and kill some bad guys online and I accepted that as his way to cope with stress on certain occasions. In the beginning of our marriage, I thought my touch, my smile and my hug will make all his worries go away. I was bitterly disappointed when I found out that sometimes he needs to retreat and be alone. He doesn’t feel like talking or interacting with anyone. And you know what? When he feels a bit better, he will come to me and he will lean his head on my shoulder. And I don’t even have to wait long for that. Just because your husband needs some time alone, doesn’t mean he doesn’t need you. He just needs space and he doesn’t want to burden you. It is us, women, who always attribute different meaning to his retreat.
3. Support him. No matter how small the problem may seem in your eyes, you should always support him. It is easy to get angry at him for being so easily put down by something so minor, but he might have been putting up with things for a long time. Sometimes the cup is so full it just takes this one last drop. Don’t undermine his problems. You might be in his situation soon enough.
4. Encourage him. Proverbs 16:24 says: “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
5. Surprise him every once in a while. Once Stephen called from work and said he had to attend a meeting till later. In the mean time I tried a new recipe, decorated the table in a very romantic way and put on my best lingerie and dress. From the moment he went pass the front door, he had forgotten about the long hours at work.
6. That being said, be a good wife and a housekeeper every single day and not just when your husband is having a bad one, or you want something. What I mean is that you never know when he will come home from work in pieces. Imagine how stressful will be for him to come home to a messy house and no dinner. If you are not going to work and he is working from 9 to 6 to provide for your family, you have to ensure that he comes back to a clean, clutter- and stress-free home. If you think you are not his servant, you are quite wrong. Marriage is about love, devotion and servitude to each other. You absolutely must learn how to serve each other and if you haven’t, I quite frankly think you shouldn’t have married at all.
In the next part of this article I will give a few more suggestions from my personal experience.