5 ways to be a supportive spouse

Here are several ways to be supportive, instead of bitter and lonely.

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  • Marriage is a beautiful thing that should be carefully nurtured. However, amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, finding time to nurture your marriage can be difficult. Each spouse has many tasks that prevent time together. When you have a spouse with a particularly heavy workload, spending one-on-one time together may seem almost impossible.

  • I know what it is like to be a one-person show in a marriage. My husband is going to school full-time, working, preparing to take the entrance exam to law school, president of a college organization and also president of an organization in our church. There have been many days when my husband leaves before I wake up and comes home when I’m already in bed. Finding any time together is one of our greatest challenges.

  • But, it is possible. My sweet husband is willing to take time for me each day whether it is a phone call or a quick visit between activities. Even though I’ve found it challenging to spend days caring for my sweet family without the continual help of my husband, I have found several ways to be supportive of him instead of becoming bitter and lonely.

  • Don’t complain

  • For those first few weeks of my husband’s heavy schedule, I often found myself complaining about how I wish I spent more time with him. I hated eating every meal alone, and I had to change every dirty diaper. Over time, I could see that my complaining began to take a toll on him, and he began to feel guilty. I realized this was my fault. So, instead of complaining, I began encouraging him. I’d work next to him on the couch or the table as he would study. I would have dinner ready for him as he’d run to a meeting at night. My complaining was hindering his role in the many activities he was pursuing, but when I encouraged him he was happier and more successful. As a result, we were both more satisfied with the time we did spend together.

  • Pick up the slack around the home

  • When your spouse has a million other tasks to accomplish, small tasks around the home are placed on the back burner. Honey-do lists never seem to get done which can make a wife even more frustrated and overwhelmed. Instead of watching that list grow, and your loneliness increase, pick up a few tools and learn to do things yourself. There are resources available such as the Internet, books and even friends and family. Plus, when you do tasks on your own your spouse won’t worry about them when he finally finds a little free time.

  • Be appreciative

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  • Many of the activities that pull your spouse away from the family are for the family, such as work and school. Let your spouse know how much you appreciate all the hard work he does for you and your family. Send texts messages regularly thanking your spouse for his hard work. You can also make him meals and treats to take with him throughout the day. One of my favorite things is to leave notes in my spouse’s text books or laptop to let him know that I love him, and I’m thinking of him.

  • Give him time to himself

  • Just as you need a little time alone to keep your sanity your husband does, as well. When your husband has some free time, let him choose something he wants to do. Whether he wants to go to the gym, take a nap, hang with the guys or work on a hobby give him that time. This will help boost his spirits, renew his energy and improve his mood. Plus, it will make him more productive and successful in his endeavors. However, make sure his free time isn’t only spent on himself. He also needs to make time with you and your family a priority.

  • Be there when he needs you

  • Just like you have hard and challenging days at home with the family, your husband also will while at work or school. Be there when he needs someone to talk to. Don’t make all your conversations about you and your children. Talk about him and his problems. Also, if your husband has a few tasks he needs help with, be willing to assist him. If he sleeps in, make him a lunch. If he needs to pack an extra pair of clothes for the day, get his bag ready. Do all you can to make your spouse’s day go smoother.

  • Time with your spouse is crucial. But for some of us, it isn’t available every single day. The above tips helped me keep my sanity during my husband's busy schedule. By applying them to your unique situation, hopefully they will help you, as well.

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Courtnie is an editor for FamilyShare.com and has a degree in journalism. She has a slight obsession with running, newspapers and large fuzzy blankets. She currently lives in Idaho with her husband and two sons.

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