In recent posts, I've shared that I get weekly emails from Nina Roesner, Executive Director of Greater Impact Ministries, that focus on marriage and respecting your spouse. Here's the latest email I received. I'm not sure if anyone else will get anything out of this, maybe it was just meant for me but these tips are excellent. I really need to work on Tip #2!
Improve Your Marriage - 3 Quick and Easy Tips Women Can Do Today!
By Nina Roesner
It's 6:05pm and the phone rings. Wife notices her husband's office number and thinks, "Great, another late dinner, he hasn't even left yet. With traffic, he'll be another 35 minutes." Those thoughts impact her tone when she says, "Hello," and soon her husband is wondering why he even bothered to call. This classic discussion portrays two major differences in the way men and women think that negatively impacts marriages all across the country. Neither husband nor wife fully understands the conflict, but with a few small changes on the wife's part, a significant impact could be made in the relationship.
What most married women in America fail to realize is that their husbands consider providing for their families their top priority - regardless of whether or not their wife works. In a recent Decision Analyst survey, 78% of men said that even if their wife earned enough to support the family, they still felt a compulsion to provide. Anecdotal comments indicated that men felt confused and frustrated by their wives' communications, as well. Wanting new carpet, a new car, a remodeled kitchen, etc., but expecting their husbands not to work long hours was frustrating for the men. Many felt that they worked so much because they loved their wives and wanted to provide for their families. Some 71% of husbands said the responsibility to provide was always or often on their minds. Only 3% never thought about providing for their families as being the reason they worked.
So if the majority husbands are working to demonstrate love and feel responsible to provide, whether their wives work or not, what then, should wives be doing to encourage and support them? Instead of thinking that husbands care more about work than them, wives should be finding ways to encourage and appreciate their husbands. According to the study, 61% of men feel unappreciated at work - while wives cannot impact how their husbands feel at work, they should be making them feel appreciated and welcomed at home - especially since in the man's mind, his efforts are primarily for his family. Following are some of three of the excellent ideas that wives have implemented in Daughters of Sarah (TM) to facilitate a more harmonious relationship with their husbands.
Tip 1: Avoid Panic by Being Prepared
Corinna starts dinner early in the day in an effort to avoid the "4:00pm What's for Dinner Panic." She plans her menu for the week on Sunday afternoon and runs to the grocery on Sunday night so each weeknight she's prepared with dinner options. She gives her kids a snack so they aren't famished by dinner time. She puts on some calming music and sets her husband's newspaper by his chair. Just a few minutes of preparations and the environment in the home is calm and welcoming for her husband's return.
Tip 2: Save the List for Later
Diane noticed a huge change in her husband's demeanor when she stopped unloading all the troubles of the day upon him when he came through the door. Instead of inundating him with the list of who hit whom, and who had to be where by when, and, "Honey, you need to help junior with his math;" she stopped whatever she was doing, gave him a welcome home kiss and hug, and then left him alone to sit down and read his newspaper. After dinner they discussed the items of the day and Diane found her husband much more interested and eager to respond when she created an environment for him to "detox" from his day.
Tip 3: Be the Welcoming Committee
Carol's husband said that after he had spent 10-12 hours at work and 20-30 minutes fighting traffic, he often felt like he was returning from the battle field. One of the biggest changes he noticed in their marriage was when Carol started paying attention to his coming in the door each day. "When you're exhausted and stressed out, it's nice to have someone acknowledge your return. It may sound corny, but when the soldiers return from battle and they're greeted, it means a lot. It (the way she greets me) makes me feel important and like what I've been doing all day matters."
Bottom Line: Want your husband to be home more? Create an environment he can't wait to enter into!