When your relationship with your husband is soaring and you want it to stay that way, ask yourself, “What can I do for him?” When your relationship is plummeting and you’re desperate for a foothold, ask yourself, “What can I do for him?” Putting ourselves temporarily aside, answering this question, and backing it with action can only strengthen your marriage. The list I’m offering next is meant to be a springboard. God knows your husband better than you; ask Him to reveal your husband’s heart. Then, pay attention and run with what He tells you.
6. Give Him Space
You’re married. You live together, sleep together, maybe work together or parent together— that’s a lot of together. But you don’t have to suffocate each other.
Does he need a few minutes when he walks in the door to transition from work to home? Gift him with space to decompress. Does he need guy time? Encourage him in his friendships. Even the closest couple needs time apart. Whether that time apart lasts minutes or hours, figure that out and allow him what he needs to recharge. You’d want the same consideration.
7. Treat Him Better than a Stranger
It sounds weird, I know. But how many times are we more considerate of someone we don’t know than we are to those closest to us? I’m not suggesting we hold ourselves aloof, keep our needs to ourselves, or become doormats; I am suggesting we treat our husbands better than anyone else we meet.
Think about it this way: when we’re with someone we don’t know very well, we don’t let our emotions get the best of us, we don’t demand things, and we try our hardest to be polite. What if we expended a little energy to tone down our tempers, to ask for what we need, and to care about what he needs? Try treating him better than a stranger and see what happens.
8. Expend the Effort
I’m sure you’ve heard, “marriage isn’t 50/50, it’s 100/100”. But that’s not quite accurate. Sometimes it’s 20/80, 40/60, or 70/30. Sometimes you will need to give more than he does. This can be hard, especially if you feel as though he’s never taking his turn. But if you want the marriage to work, accept that the same truth that applies in life—it’s not fair—also applies to your relationship.
Notice I’m not saying that it’s your job to do all the work, because it isn’t. In an ideal world, you both do the work and you both reap the benefits. Sadly, we don’t live in an ideal world. But here’s what I’ve discovered: if expending the effort becomes a struggle, don’t make it about what he wants or what you think is expected of you—take it to God. Ask Him exactly what you need to give. He knows your husband better than you do, and He’s rooting for your relationship. He won’t steer you wrong; instead, He’ll give you the grace to follow through.
9. Ask Questions
Remember when you used to be interested in everything he did, everywhere he went, and everyone he was with? The details of his life couldn’t come detailed enough. Sometime along the marriage road, we all get caught up in ourselves—our jobs, our responsibilities, our kids, the daily crisis we’re left to manage—and we forget we’re part of an “us.” As we pay less and less attention to what goes on in our husband’s day, we start to drift apart.
Remember, the guy you’re married to is not only your roommate, he’s your friend and the other half of your team. Make an effort to know what’s going on his life when he’s not with you. Ask him questions, and listen when he shares. Be the person he turns to for advice.
10. Be Still and Pray
There’s a time to ask questions, and then there’s a time to be there. If you’re paying attention, you’ll know how to differentiate the two. Sometimes talking makes it worse. Sometimes he just can’t tell you what’s going on or what he needs. Sometimes life just gets too hard.
Don’t beg him for what you need. Pray.
Don’t argue with him over and over. Pray.
Don’t nag him to do what you feel is right. Pray.
And don’t give up. Ever. Just pray.
By Lori Freeland