You can find them in every grocery store, office, playground and drop off lane at the local elementary school.
The women who wipe their children’s tears away, who selflessly serve day after day with little or no appreciation, who juggle working and parenting and sleepless nights and endless guilt, who love their husbands fiercely, who continually look after everyone’s needs except their own. They are the women who quietly run the world.
And, if you’re a woman reading this article, “they” probably means you.
I know the look in your eye. I know what it feels like to give everything and never feel like it’s enough. I know what it feels like to wake up and wonder how you’ll ever make it through the day. Please know that you are not alone.
To the husbands, we need you. We know that we can not walk the path of life alone. When we fall, we need you to catch us, and help us stand tall. We need you to wipe our tears away and hold us so tightly that it’s almost difficult to breathe. We need you to comfort us when life becomes too hard to bear.
To the incredible men who love us, I know that it is hard to know what to do. I know that sometimes the right words are difficult to find. We want to help you help us. I asked women from all over the world to share their thoughts about how husbands can help their wives reset when they are stressed or overwhelmed. I hope these ideas are helpful to you:
1. Be aware of her responsibilities
Regardless of whether she stays at home or goes to work, do you know what she does all day? If you don’t, ask her. Her to-do list is probably overflowing with tasks that far outweigh her time and energy. Be mindful of her needs and appreciative of her sacrifices.
2. Get involved BEFORE she burns out
The best time to begin helping your wife is now. Don’t wait until she breaks down to offer a helping hand.
3. Be an active participant
It takes two to parent. It takes two to make a marriage work. It takes two to run a household. Be fully involved in every aspect of your family life. Work is hard, but your employment status doesn’t give you permission to opt out of chores, disciplining and planning date nights.
4. Stop trying to fix her problems
Just listen. That’s all you need to do. And if she wants you to offer solutions, she’ll ask for them.
5. Hold her
Find something to keep your kids preoccupied, and then take your wife into your arms and tell her how much you love her. Hold her closely and let her cry into your shoulder. Comfort her the best way you know how.
6. Let her talk for as long as she needs
Sometimes the best way for a woman to reset is by getting all of her thoughts out. Let your wife talk through her feelings and problems. Show empathy. Listen carefully. Ask questions. Be fully engaged in the conversation.
7. Be a partner
Marriage is committing to share a life together. To carry one another’s burdens. To cry with one another. To support one another through difficult times. Marriage means being one another’s confidant, lover and friend. You aren’t just two people living together. You are a beautiful union of two people who covenant to love each other forever.
8. Provide her hope
Encourage her. Let her know what you love about her. Help her see the good in any situation. Avoid being critical or negative. When she’s hit rock bottom, be the man who lifts her up, and brings light and hope back into her life.
9. Be useful
Learn the art of looking around the house and finding things that need to get done. Are there dishes in the sink? Does the dog need to be walked? What is broken that needs to be fixed? Don’t wait to be asked. Just do it!
10. Give her a day all to herself
Nothing feels better than getting a manicure, pedicure, hair cut, massage, and a new outfit. Let her sleep in, take a hot bath, and spend some quiet time alone. Support her and take over her day-to-day tasks, so she can have time to take care of herself.
11. Ask her what you can do to help
Your wife knows what you can do to help her reset, so just ask her. She’ll appreciate it more than you will ever know. Because, you know what? She loves you too, and she is grateful every day for what you do for her.