Do you want to be your husband’s friend? Do you want him to talk with you? Connect with you? Confide in you? Do you want him to feel safe, relaxed, and stress free in your home? Do you want him to want to come home and be with you and the kids?
If you want to be a safe place for your husband, consider these things:
1. Ask him about his day. Ask him a good thing and a bad thing. Avoid questions that can be simply answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Avoid “why” questions, instead try something like: (pause) Wow. That’s really interesting. Could you explain to me more about your choice to order 30# copy paper. I want to understand better.
2. Actively listen to him by making eye contact, nodding, giving him verbal affirmations (like ‘really?’ ‘wow, that’s interesting’, or even ‘I had no idea something like this was a part of your day’.)
3. Don’t rush him. What you could get out about your day in 5 minutes may take him two hours. So patience. Silent pauses are ok.
4. Don’t bombard him with all the problems of your day when he walks in the door.
5. Greet him at the door with a kiss and a smile. “I’m so glad you’re home” goes a long way too.
6. When he tells you something hard, thank him for sharing it with you and acknowledge how hard it was.
7. Don’t give unsolicited advice.
8. Encourage him to do something that’s just for him, that fills him up. Hiking. Fishing. Going to the shooting range. Taking an online class.
9. Support his ideas. Talk through starting a business, building a house, or backpacking Europe with him. It doesn’t mean he’ll do it.
10. But if he does, support him in the doing it. It won’t always be easy, in fact sometimes it’ll be downright hard, but find positive things and support him in those as you walk through whatever the this is with him.
What would you add to this list?
And today’s the first official day of ‘Read, Pray, Love’ Book Club. I’m beyond excited! Have you joined yet?
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