Is your boyfriend or husband having a tough time at work?
If so, the last thing you want to do is add to his already stressful situation. It’s no surprise that business problems, changing jobs, and trouble with an employer all rank high on the list of stressful life events.
Even people in the happiest relationships will face tough times together. If the current cause is a rough patch at work, there are plenty of things you can do to support your husband.
Read on to learn nine key ways to support your man while he’s dealing with trouble at work.
1. Look After Yourself
Wait–isn’t this article about helping your spouse? Why are we starting with yourself?
Well, to support your husband, you first have to look after your own wellbeing. If you’re sick, exhausted, or emotionally drained, how can you possibly expect to bolster your significant other?
Make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Stick to a good routine of exercise and eating healthy. It’s also helpful to have someone other than your spouse–a friend or other family member–to offload to.
That way, you’re in prime condition for the next most important step on our list.
2. Be a Good Listener
It’s no secret that open communication is the single most important factor in any relationship. It’s also no secret that men often have a more difficult time talking about their feelings than women do.
For that reason, it’s especially important that you’re there to listen whenever your husband wants to talk. Listen with an open mind, and don’t criticize or belittle his feelings.
If he feels that he’s disappointing you, he’s less likely to open up and be honest. So listen patiently and don’t offer advice unless he asks for it.
3. Tell (And Show) Him He’s Appreciated
Is your husband’s boss being a major jerk? Is he constantly being told he’s not good enough? Does he feel like his work isn’t appreciated?
The last thing your husband needs is to come home to a wife who makes him feel the same way.
You probably can’t change what he’s dealing with at the office. But you can ensure that your home is a haven of peace, safety, and comfort.
Make sure he knows exactly what he’s doing right. And be sure to tell him how proud you are of everything he does for you and your family.
4. Be Mindful of His Moods
Keep in mind that his problems are because of work–not you. Whether he’s feeling down, frustrated, or angry, you’re not the cause of it.
To support your man through this rough patch, be mindful of his moods. If he’s irritated, give him the time and space he needs to cool off.
The one thing you should never tolerate is fits of anger–especially if they’re directed at you. If you start taking on his frustration and hostility, that will only lead to more problems in your marriage.
5. Don’t Neglect Intimacy
Nothing kills the mood like stress in the workplace. Chances are that sex is the last thing on your husband’s mind if he’s dealing with a nightmare at work.
Even if it’s not foremost on his mind, sex is proven to be a great source of stress relief. It’s also a key way to connect and keep your intimacy alive and well.
So dust off that lingerie, light a few candles, tap into your inner seductress, and get things going in the bedroom. We guarantee your hubby will be glad for the distraction–even if it’s only temporary.
6. Adjust Everyday Responsibilities
Do you and your spouse split the household chores? These tasks may vary depending on the size of your house and how many kids or pets you have.
If your husband typically does a lot around the house or yard, now might be a great time to cut him a little slack. Hire someone to mow the lawn this weekend or put off that remodeling project so he can have a little downtime.
It’s also a good idea to ask before you delegate any of his responsibilities. While he might be thankful for the break, he might also welcome the distraction of his usual household roles.
7. Be a Partner, Not a Parent
As women, it’s in our nature to nurture. But there’s a fine line between acting like someone’s partner and acting like their parent.
Remember that you and your spouse are a team. You want to support your husband in his decisions and lend a listening ear or helping hand when he needs it.
At the same time, be sure not to cross over into making decisions for him. Ditto for trying to tell him what to do. The only thing at the end of that road is resentment.
8. Support His Way of Coping
We all cope with stress differently.
Some people want to talk it out, while others withdraw and reflect. Some of us need more rest and relaxation, while others need more physical activity. Whatever your spouse’s coping style, support him in it.
The only exception, of course, is if his way of coping involves a dangerous or self-destructive path. Make it clear you won’t tolerate binge drinking, drug use, or other unhealthy coping mechanisms.
9. Take a Little Break
One of the best ways you can support your husband is by encouraging him to take a little break from it all.
It’s easy to feel like we’re drowning if all we do is worry about our problems. Plan a date night or a weekend getaway so both of you get a chance to distance yourself from the stress.
Yes, his problems will still be there when he returns to the office. But at least he’ll have enjoyed some downtime and temporary distractions in the interim.
Support Your Husband: Today and Every Day
Now that you know how to be a supportive girlfriend or wife, you’re one step closer to seeing that smile back on his face.
True, his problems at work may not clear up overnight. But when you do your part to support your husband, you’re sure to successfully weather the storm together.
Looking for more helpful relationship advice? Check out our latest sex and relationship posts to learn how to keep the romance alive.