How to help your husband feel more appreciated as a provider
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I thank the Lord each day for my husband who works very hard and long hours to provide for me and our three little children.
My children and I show my husband our love and appreciation in many small, yet effective ways, including the following:- Meeting him at the door after a long day to shower him with hugs and kisses. When we can't be home when he gets there, we leave him a little note or a voice mail message to let him know we love him and can't wait to see him.
- Keeping a clean house. My husband appreciates coming home to a clean house. He works so hard each day at work; I want to do my part at home. Our family is much happier and more at peace when our house is neat and clean.
- Trying not to bombard my husband with all the little problems and challenges I face throughout the day when he walks through the door. When my husband is cleaned up and settled down for some quiet conversation, we take turns going through the day and plan for the next day.
- Finding opportunities to let him know how lucky I am to have him and to be able to stay home with my children. It is so difficult in these times for the mother to be able to stay home and raise the children. With help from the Lord, my husband has given me that great blessing. I never take it for granted. - Mellissa Ochsenhirt, Sandy, Utah
What we did:
I found that when I stopped worrying about the finances aloud in front of my husband and started complimenting him on how well he took care of us as a family, he was happier and actually did better at work. One of the best ways I found to do this was thanking Heavenly Father in our family prayers for my husband, his job, and how hard he worked to provide for his family. - Rebecca Shelley, Sandy, Utah
Begin by recognizing that modern prophets " . . . urge the husband to do all in his power to allow his wife to remain in the home caring for the children while he continues to provide for his family . . . ." (President Ezra Taft Benson, "To the Fathers in Israel," October 1987 general conference.)
Demonstrate confidence in your husband to follow that admonition. Together, plan and commit to a budget. I suggest the following, which by your actions shows your appreciation:
- Pay your tithing and other offerings with joy.
- Live simply. Recognize needs versus wants.
- Shop coupons and bulk products. Examine grocery ads, planning menus as you identify sales.
- Learn how to make from scratch those foods and home products that can save you money by so doing.
- Exchange services with others or learn to do for yourself rather than paying for professionals.
- Avoid debt. Maintain a savings account.
Be noticeably cheerful about your own role. Don't whine or complain to others - especially your children. In fact, compliment your husband by celebrating the goals you reach together.
Prioritize family expenses through family council decisions. This enlists family cooperation.
Nurture your relationship in every aspect. - Linda G. Paulsen, Rock Springs, Wyo.
Several years back, my husband began to feel rather sad. I paid the bills and balanced the checkbook and when he asked if anything was left over, there never was. He would want to buy a tool, or car part and would find the checkbook emptied of all money.
Then we happened upon a wonderful solution. We made sure his checkbook had an allotted amount of money for him to spend how he sees fit. He gets gas, car parts and saves some for treats or hobbies. It is taken off the top immediately with automatic transfer so he is not shorted. We also allow me to have an allowance to spend on other things I would like. This has been nice and has helped him not feel like he works long hours and never gets to see a dime. We have had to cut back on another part of the budget, but it has worked out and he no longer feels unappreciated. - Anita Hahn, Delta, Utah
One of the best ways you can make your husband feel more appreciated is basically to always have a positive outlook in your daily conversation, rather than complaining on what you don't have. Always express appreciation for what you have.
I hear so many people talking about what others have. That gets back to their spouses, and the spouses then feel overwhelmed because they can't "keep up with the Joneses."
On the other hand, having a positive attitude about what you have makes the provider feel like he's succeeding.
With my husband, when I show interest in what he did at work, rather than unloading when he gets home from work, then he tends to want to be more involved in what is going on at home. This is because I have already given him the attention for what he's done all day. - Judy Korth, Idaho Falls, Idaho
My friend teaches her children to be careful and use their money wisely because their dad worked hard for it. When they buy new clothes, etc., they thank their dad for them.
When my husband, David, comes home from work, I try to have a peaceful home for him to come to, and if life has been particularly stressful, I ask the children to be mellow around Dad because he has been working hard for us and deserves a break.
I think being happy with your lot and not dwelling on what you haven't got can help a man feel like his financial contribution is worthy. - Kirsty Matthews Kelly, Tucson, Ariz.
As a bishop and a provider, I can suggest the following:
- Spend wisely and carefully. I've seen the other side when money is not spent wisely and the provider, thus, doesn't feel appreciated. If you're unified in keeping a budget, then the provider is more likely to feel he's working for something important.
- Try to help your children understand how hard he's working to provide for them. Help them learn the importance of money management. And as the children get older, they can take more responsibility to make it through college and on missions without going into debt. As a provider, this has made me feel more appreciated and more at peace. - Richard W. Thomas, Galesburg, Mich.
How to checklist:
1 Express appreciation for husband; be cheerful about your own role.
2 Keep home tidy, clean; orderliness fosters peace.
3 Have positive outlook; don't compare your situation with others.
4 Compliment husband; let him talk about his day.
WRITE TO US:
Aug. 29 "How to plan ahead for the different stages of life."
Sept. 5 "How to cope with the sudden loss of employment."
Sept. 12 "How to care for your children when they misbehave in public."
Sept. 19 "How to help young people emotionally prepare for missions."
Sept. 26 "How to make prayer more meaningful."
Oct. 3 "How to strengthen your marriage when your spouse is less-active or non-LDS."
- Also interested in letters on these topics: "How to avoid greed," "How to make transition from being newly married to becoming new parents," "How to overcome compulsive eating," "How to avoid the gambling trap."
Had any good experiences or practical success in any of the above subjects? Share them with our readers in about 100-150 words. Write the "How-to" editor, Church News, P.O. Box 1257, Salt Lake City, Utah 84110, send fax to (801) 237-2524 or use internet E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a name and phone number. Contributions may be edited or excerpted and will not be returned. Due to limited space, some contributions may not be used; those used should not be regarded as official Church doctrine or policy. Material must be received at least 12 days before publication date.