Why The Way You Respond to Your Husband Matters
I have a habit of closing up in response to the commotion and chaos of my home. I think it’s a normal reaction for a mom of many children, where the flow of outgoing energy on any given day is quite astonishing.
By the time my husband arrives home from work, I don’t have a lot of energy or enthusiasm left to give.
By early evening, I have been on my toes the whole day, tending to needs, intercepting mischief, and reeling in the day’s messes one after the next. His arrival means there may be a small amount of respite from my wild day.
It’s so easy to fall into routines and habits, to pound through a to-do list and evening routine without really stopping to connect, to laugh, or to be close.
Sometimes, I’m so focused on executing all the necessary tasks that keep our household on the rails that I don’t respond to his warm greeting, his bids for affection, or his goofy flirting intermingled with dad-jokes.
Instead of sharing a great big hug when he bursts through the door, I’m standing at the sink plowing through the dish pile and I nod or smile without stopping for the hug.
Especially when spread thin, it’s too easy to shut down the responsive, fun-loving side of myself so my household management can be efficiently accomplished.
Unfortunately, tasks checked off a list do not (of themselves) strengthen a marriage.
Learning responsiveness, however, does strengthen a marriage.
Becoming a responsive wife over the years has been a game-changer in our relationship.
Becoming a Responsive Wife
It is being available.
It is being interested in what he has to say.
It is letting yourself forget that you’re in yoga pants and a sloppy shirt so that you can respond to his compliments about how beautiful you are to him.
It is recognizing when he’s discouraged or frustrated and responding with loving words and actions.
It is listening well and being honest—sharing your true feelings in conversations and showing yourself willing to hear his honesty as well.
Responsiveness impacts our whole marriage—the fun we have, the love we make, the kids we parent together, and the way each of us mature in faith.
Wife Step: Next time your husband reaches for you, stop what you’re doing and take a moment to get close. Smile, laugh, and be silly.
Emily Sue Allen is the founder of the Kindred Mom blog and host of the Kindred Mom podcast. Soul care for moms and helping women find rest and joy in the midst of busy life are among her greatest passions. She is a contemplative, creative soul who celebrates the beauty of a humble, handmade life and deeply values the power of encouragement. Emily lives with her six kids and husband of 13 years in the Pacific Northwest, and personally blogs at emilysueallen.com. Find Kindred Mom on Instagram and Facebook, and follow Emily personally on Instagram.