Encouraging your husband isn't as difficult as it might seem. Are your words falling on deaf ears? One author on marriage has said that men speak blue and women speak pink. Another author has pointed out that every individual has a different love language that they both give and receive love in. You may be trying to encourage your husband in your language while he is needing to receive it in his. Here is how to 'speak English' to your husband's need for encouragement.
SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF RESPECT TO ENCOURAGE YOUR HUSBAND. Emmerson Eggerich in his book Love and Respect indicates that many men just don't hear language that uses words like such as love, adore, cherish, treasure, special, or romantic. These so-called heart words actually fail to touch their heart. Instead, their ears perk up when they hear words like respect, admire, impressed, wowed, hero, or look up to. Unfortunately, most women don't speak this language...neither does Hallmark. Make your own card, or personalize one filling it with respect language. Thank him for his hard work. Tell him you respect a certain aspect of his character. Mention that you admire something about who he is. Think of one of his accomplishments and tell him you are impressed. When my wife tells me she loves me, I think it is nice. When she tells me she looks up to me or is impressed by me or deeply respects some part of my character I think about it all week long. When was the last time you... ... thanked him for working so hard? ... told him you thought he was an honorable man? ... said you respected what he is doing in life? ... told him he was your hero? ... bragged about him to someone in his hearing?
DISCOVER YOUR HUSBAND'S LOVE LANGUAGE. Some men hate back rubs. Many wives love them. If a wife starts to give her husband love in her language of 'backrubs' he may tighten up. They just don't feel good to him. But when she speaks meaningful words, or takes an evening out of her week for a quality date with him, it might mean the world. You have to figure out what 'gets through' to your husband and do those things more often. And believe it or not, it isn't always physical for men. For some men it is companionship on their turf doing their hobby.
UNEXPECTEDLY GIVE GIFTS YOUR HUSBAND WILL APPRECIATE. A best buy gift card or shopping trip to Lowe's is a good idea. Many men love the idea of the freedom a gift card for their favorite tools or gadgets can offer. A coupon for a weekend away with you might be the trick. Give him a new golf club, a power tool he has been needing, a set of tickets for you and him to go to a ball game, or cruise for two. They don't all have to cost money. Here are some free gift ideas: a kids-free Saturday for him to do whatever he wants, a chore he normally does done before he notices, or a surprise poker night.
- Some weeks need this kind of encouragement more than others. Is your husband stressed? Over worked? Rejected in some way? Ramp up the encouragement without making it inauthentic.
- Focus on what you do respect in your husband even if there is conflict occurring. Men shut down relationally when they feel they aren't respected. Showing respect can keep him engaged with you.
- Respect is not a code word for allowing abuse, verbally or physically. Seek help immediately or go to a safe house if you are in physical danger or you are continually bruised by his words.
- Inauthentic praise or giving can be easily seen. Mean what you say, and enjoy giving what you give.