When my husband, Jonathan and I moved to Colorado, we decided that I would quit my full-time job and become a stay-at-home wife or SAHW. Mostly, this was because in the industry he was going to be working in, we needed to be as mobile as possible which meant I would never know where or when we would be moving next. It also meant we would be living in an RV, which definitely took some getting used to, but that’s a different story.
I was almost 37 years old when we moved and had been working full-time since I was 15 years-old. It was a big adjustment for me not going to work every day and earning an income. In the first few months, I struggled with feelings of unworthiness and feeling as if I had no purpose or direction.
I made a promise to myself the day he started his new job that I would always get up with him at the crack of dawn to make him breakfast and pack a lunch for him. At around noon, I would start planning what we were going to have for dinner and I would have dinner waiting for him when he got home after dark.
One day Jonathan came home from work and I was in tears. I couldn’t stand not having a job. He said that I did have a job. My job was to take care of him, and it’s a very important job. For some reason these simple words turned a light on inside of me and I haven’t looked back since.
These ideas may sound trivial to you but I know Jonathan appreciates every single one of them.
GET UP AND GET READY
If you don’t already do so, get up when he wakes up and help him in preparing to face the day. For us, this consists of making a breakfast smoothie, getting his daily medications out and ready as well as making and packing his lunch. Jonathan says if I didn’t do these things, he would skip breakfast and probably lunch too. You could do something as simple as just making the coffee or surprise him with breakfast when he gets out of the shower.
MAKE IT EASY
One of my biggest pet peeves is dirty laundry on the floor. It’s always bugged me but living in an RV in super tight quarters, made it even worse. My solution to this, was to observe where he leaves the dirty clothes most often as well as ask him WHY he doesn’t put them in the laundry basket. The why is important. His answer was that he forgets or just doesn’t think about it. I ended up putting the laundry basket IN the shower. You read that right. In the morning, he has to physically take it out of the shower in order to get in there, so he has no way NOT to remember to throw is clothes in the basket. This actually makes HIS life easier because I don’t get on his case about his dirty laundry being on the floor. You get the idea. Make his life easier which in effect will make yours easier as well.
Jonathan works extremely hard, mentally and physically to support our family. I’ve never taken that for granted and thanking him for his hard work and self-sacrifice is the least I can do. He says he really appreciates the affirmation and gratitude. It’s something I think we don’t do enough of in our marriages.
GIVE HIM CHOICES
I take care of most of the decisions in our home when it comes to meal planning, clothes shopping and groceries. Sometimes, I ask him to make some decisions and in those instances I think he really enjoys it. He tells me that he likes for me to make the everyday decisions because he has enough to think about with his job, but an occasional choice is also nice. For us it’s usually a simple grocery store decision like what kind of bread do you want to get this time? This is just an example; you do what works for you in your own dynamic.
I’ll be honest, my husband doesn’t like surprises and I feel the same way. Hence, our lives are very predictable when it comes to our daily routine. Once in a while, I throw a monkey wrench into our routine… a surprise. Do something different from the mundane. You might greet him at the door wearing only one of his shirts when he gets home from work (trust me, this is a GOOD surprise), or make breakfast for dinner. Just change it up once in a while. Keep him guessing.
TREAT HIM KINDLY
In the rare times I watch television, I seem to notice a common theme. There will be a family of four, a dog and sometimes a cat. The wife will degrade the husband and the kids will either make fun of him for it or talk to him like he’s a 5-year-old. It’s completely sickening but so typical of our current society and culture. People tune into this trash every week to get more and before they know it, they’re mimicking this behavior in their own household.
Please, please, please be kind to one another. Especially you wives to your husbands. He has so much weight he’s carrying around supporting us, protecting us, and trying to make the right decisions for your family every day. The better you treat him, the better man he will be. Try it for just a week. You’ll see what I mean.
ASK HIM QUESTIONS
We’ve been married for 5 years now, but we’ve known each other since we were 14 years old. I am still in awe when I find out something new about him. As married couples, it can be easy to settle in after dinner and go off into our own little worlds. We either watch TV, look at our phones, read the news or hop on the internet. I think it’s important to take more of this time to connect with each other.
Find out more about him. Maybe you find a list of questions online to ask each other or just ask questions you’ve never thought of before. You may be surprised at each other’s answers. Asking any kind of question makes you take an interest in your spouse. You value him and his life and want to know all there is to know about him. It makes him feel special and desired. Who doesn’t want to feel that?
DO ONE OF HIS CHORES
I think this one is the best. I know I love it when someone takes care of one of my responsibilities for a day. It makes me feel like a kid again on a snow day. Even something simple like taking out the trash or making the bed goes a long way. It shows you value him and want to help him. He will love you even more for it.
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain