How can I support my husband and keep our marriage a priority when it takes everything I've got just to keep the household running? Being a stay-at-home mom of small children isn't easy, but my spouse works hard, too, and I don't want to neglect his needs. What can I do to come alongside him?
It's only natural that a mom in your position should be completely caught up in the joys and challenges of raising her kids. No one, could possibly fault you for having little or no energy for anything else at the end of the day. But that doesn't change the fact that your marriage relationship is vitally important. It's the bedrock upon which your family is built, the foundation on which your children's welfare depends. If you don't take the time to keep that relationship healthy and preserve yourselves as a couple, you might eventually find the walls of the household crumbling around you. It's good to know that you understand this.
What can you do to strengthen the bond of marital love and keep the fires of romance burning in spite of the stresses and strains of parenthood? Here are a few practical ideas.
When your husband comes home from work, let him know that you're happy to see him. Don't greet him with a laundry list of complaints or "honey-do's" before he's crossed the threshold. Demonstrate your love with a heartfelt embrace. Give him a few moments to unwind if possible before launching into the evening's agenda.
Tired and frazzled as you may be, don't neglect your personal grooming and appearance. Like it or not, even the most committed and principled male is still affected by what he sees. A fashion statement isn't necessary, but freshening up before the evening arrives will make more of an impact than you might realize.
If you're overdue for some time alone with your husband, take the initiative to clear a night, arrange child care and make some plans. You don't have to wait for him to get the ball rolling.
Many wives complain that their husbands are uncommunicative and won't talk to them. But some of these same women forget that a meaningful conversation is two-sided, not merely in terms of talking but also in terms of listening. When you speak, look for ways to demonstrate that you're genuinely concerned about him and that you want to hear about the issues that may be weighing heavily on his mind. Do you know what's happening at this workplace? He'll feel affirmed if you're as interested in his day's events as you would like him to be in yours.
Last but not least, remember that your husband is strongly affirmed by a positive sexual response from you, just as you are by thoughtful gestures from him. You don't want to be faking it, of course, or participating with gritted teeth. But you need to bear in mind that the physical expression of love is central to the strength of your marriage in some very important ways. He will feel loved and honored when you initiate sex, especially if he realizes that you've had to plan carefully for intimate time with him at the end of a very busy, tiring day.
If you need help putting these concepts into practice, don't hesitate to give our staff a call. Our counselors would be more than happy to discuss your situation with you over the phone. They can also provide you with referrals to qualified therapists in your area who specialize in marital communication issues. You can contact our Counseling Department at this number.
In this iQuestions video from Focus on the Family, Elisa Morgan offers ideas for how families can navigate and successfully make the transition from the end of the work day to the activities of home life.
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Marriage Alive - The Web site of Dave and Claudia Arp, a husband and wife team who strive to help couples build better marriages and families.
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