I was talking to a friend recently who told me her husband comes home from work late every day, and not because he is staying late to work. Some days he goes to the gym. Some days he hits a few bars with some co-workers. Some days he stays at work to work on projects he used to work on from home. Her husband just doesn’t want to come back home.
Is he a bad guy? Nope, he’s a terrific guy. My friend confided that home life has been pretty miserable- lots of fighting and arguing over nonsense- and basically her unhappy husband doesn’t want to come home to a warzone every day. They are having marriage problems and even though her relationship with her husband is what she cherishes most, she needs help to have a happier marriage.
So the experts weighed in (and by experts, I mean my group of women friends who have been happily married for many, many years). Their advice is like Christian marriage counseling because they speak from experience and give advice from both a Biblical and practical point of view.
Their happy marriage tips:
Make your husband happy to come home. When your husband comes through the door, how is he welcomed? Do you come to the door to greet him hello with a smile and a kiss? This may sound like retro marriage advice, but it’s actually a basic human need for all of us to feel loved by those we care about. What is better than seeing the face of the person you love break into a smile of joy when they see you?
When your husband comes home, don’t wait at the door with a list of chores, complaints about his mother, or ready to continue the argument you didn’t finish at breakfast. Seriously, he won’t want to come home. He’ll feel like he has to brace himself every time he opens the door. Obviously there are times when you have something important to tell him that can’t wait, but this is the exception. Most days, there is no reason to make his homecoming anything other than something he looks forward to all day. Seeing a happy wife and his precious kids excited to see him would make a good man look forward to coming home.
Make your husband happy to be home. What’s it like being in your home? Can your husband come home and expect to be able to rest after a hard day’s work, or does he fight with his children for the remote, eat heated up leftovers every day, and trip over shopping bags just crossing a room that never seem to be put away? If your husband works hard all day to provide for the family, he should be respected for this, and allowed downtime when he gets home. He shouldn’t wish he were somewhere else where he could get some peace and quiet, and respect.
If you both work, you both need to be able to relax when you get home. Make the evenings a time when the family is together, sharing a meal, and enjoying being together. No drama, no unnecessary stress. He should want to be home. If he doesn’t, and he’s a decent guy, then something at home makes him want to stay at work extra or go to the gym every day instead of working out at home. He probably just wants some peace and quiet, and if he gets it, he’ll likely be home much sooner.
You may already have a warm, welcoming home that your husband can’t wait to get home to. It usually doesn’t matter if the house is spotless, if he has to take out the garbage, or any of those small things, as long as he has a family that is genuinely happy to see him and lets him relax. Doesn’t take much; most men are simple like that (it’s us women that tend to be super complicated) and these are a great start to getting a happy husband.
Here are the Happy Marriage meme rules:
1. You can not be mean to your spouse, speak harshly to or criticize your spouse, neglect your spouse, roll your eyes at your spouse, or in any way interact negatively with your spouse, from sun up ’til sun down.
2. You must greet your spouse sweetly, with a smile and kisses hello and goodbye, and ask about his or her day. You must listen to their answer before interrupting or talking about yourself.
3. You may make your spouse their favorite dinner, bring them flowers, or take them out to dinner (but not mandatory every week).
That’s one thing I learned over the years too. When he got home from work, all he needed was a simple greeting showing I was happy he was there, but then he needed some time alone to decompress before I threw all my conversations and requests at him.
These are great advice!
Food for thought. It’s nice when they come home with a smile on their face for you as well. 😉
we’ve gotten really good about greeting each other to set the mood for the rest of the evening. A miserable “hello” just sets us up for disaster. We aren’t perfect but much better than we used to be.
This is my goal. (an on going one) Cool meme.
I try to be all warm and fuzzy, but sometimes he gets all frazzaled and tired:)
So true. As long as I greet my husband at the door with a hug and a kiss, the evening seems to go so much smoother.
You rock girl! Love this post. WHen I was younger I would get mad hubs slept after work. You learn so much throughout the years.
This is very solid advice. Sadly, it is also going against the grain of what people want to hear. Why should I greet him with a smile and do all the work? If he is a sourpuss, if he is grumpy and treats me unlovingly I don’t WANT to smile.
I read the book “Love and Respect” (highly suggest it) and it said basically that it is counterintuitive to think that “giving someone what they deserve” will make them be nicer to you and treat you better. It is a never ending cycle of unhappiness. And the author points out “the most mature person should stop the cycle and treat the other person better.” But I don’t WANNA be mature. I’ve cried that to my pillow before LOL
Found this through the Twitter hop. These advice tips are right on track. Great job!!!
We all just want to be loved and feel appreciated. Good advice.
I was lying in bed last night thinking, I wonder what advice Penelope is going to offer for Happy Marriage Monday and was excited to read your post for today. Again, I’m not married yet, but this is good information for any relationship. Thank you pretty girl!!
I agree with this post! Just imagine if the tables were turned and it is us who are coming home from a day at work, –how would we want to be greeted?
Great tips, for sure!! I wouldn’t want to come home if there was chaotic-ness. I would totally be off wasting time to avoid the conflict, even though as a woman I would feel guilty not seeing my kids…. I do have to say I can understand the not rushing home, I understand this situation woudl erquire both people working at it though. The man understanding that the wife who may or may not have been home all day with the kids had a hectic day too but she could not get away…. he could and did without a thought about maybe she needed a break too. (just playing devils advocate on the idea that it takes two to give and take)
LOVE these tips. I try really hard to make my hard working hubby, happy to come home. He works swing shift, but we are all waiting for him when he comes home, with big hugs and kisses!!!
Great post! Unfortunately, my husband gets home before the kids and I do, and doesn’t have much time to relax. He makes dinner so that it is ready when the rest of us get home. We do all sit down and eat together and now that it is warm, we have been swimming or playing outside for a little bit after dinner to have some fun. It is good for all of us.
My husband recently told me that he needed to know I was “happy he was there” too. And NOT just because he was there to handle kiddos but happy that he was there for ME. I had no idea it was that important to him (and we’ve been married 7 years).
What a great meme!! Thank you for the useful and thoughtprovoking tips! Now, I just need to remember to be HAPPY and affectionate when my husband comes home tonight after a long day! 😛
I love your idea. I didn’t even know about it and last night I surprised my husband when he got home from work with his favorite dinner. I’ll have to think about joining up next Mon- he would love that.
Your future husband is going to be a very lucky man, for many reasons, starting with the fact you already care to be a good wife and a graceful woman. I love that an unmarried person will be reading to share thoughts too. I really appreciate you Jessica 🙂
You’re so sweet. I just hope that by reading about successful relationships, and practicing before we take the plunge, ours will have a better chance of being happy and fulfilling.
Keep up the good work!!
Awesome article, but hard to take in. I have done everything to make my husband arrival home from work pleasant, but my husband is LATE everyday. But, he is not just late coming home everyday, If I have somewhere to be, he is late. When he goes to work, he is late. When others are expecting him he is LATE. He is late everywhere and really believes it is not his fault. But, it makes me feel disrespected and unloved. Imagine feeling that way everyday. No reliability and no trust. He always has an excuse or sends me a text telling me he is going to be late. Somedays, he doesn’t even tell me he is running late. Nor does he apologize for his lateness. He rarely checks in throughout the day to check on me and the kids. We have sat down and discussed the things we desire from each other, I have worked on everything from his list and i have improved and he won’t really work on anything and stick to it. I am so frustrated that I am growing and changing and nothing seems to be moving him to make our marriage better, A woman can only take some much and then she stops caring and trying. But, I can’t stop because I know that it pleases Christ, but man I am tired and I really want to give up putting further an effort.
He does this for a reason…I forget where I heard it, but people who are perpetually late do it on purpose, because they like the power of someone always waiting for THEM (and they know they are doing it and are purposely disrespectful).
You should always make your husband as best you can (and I admire that you don’t give up) but here is a trick for people like this. He is late? Don’t be there when he gets home. If he says he’ll meet you at a certain time and is more than 15 minutes late, go on without him, and then when he catches up to you, act like nothing happened. If he asks why you didn’t wait, say “I had so much to do honey, but I’m happy to see you now!” and then drop it. Do this EVERY SINGLE TIME he is late (never wait more than 15 minutes for him again), and don’t have long discussions about it. You can’t fix this about him, but you don’t have to tolerate it either (and he won’t learn as long as people argue with him but keep waiting). This isn’t being a bad wife, it’s not reasonable for you to keep waiting on him (and it doesn’t help him to become a better man) and you have lots to do. So if he’s late for dinner, put his dinner on the side for him to eat when he comes home. If he doesn’t call during the day, just keep yourself busy so you don’t think about it (and you may be so busy you start missing his calls when he does think to call, and that will make him more anxious to call you in the future)…sometimes men don’t do things we demand or expect because they want to act independant, so stop acting like you expect it.
And when he comes home on time, tell him you are so happy to see him, and when he calls to see how you are doing, say you are happy to hear from him, so he does more of both more often (and let me know how it goes).
I just came across this website while I was hoping to find some answers.
My husband and I live in a tiny one bedroom and we have an adorable crawling baby.
I work full-time and I go to school on the weekends.
My husband has a stressful job, and when he gets home anything can set him off.
Sometimes we meet right after work, and we have a walk or dinner and he is happy to be with me and excited, but as soon as we get home, I start feeling tired and he complains about that.
The thing is, everyday when I get home from work, I need to catch up with my little girl, cook dinner and sometimes run errands and clean the house. So by the time my husband gets home, I am already beat and my mood is swirling down.
I want us to eat healthy and on a budget so I have to prepare dinner every night.
But when we go out, I feel like I am responsability-free and fun to be around, and so is my husband.
Bottom line is that I am tired at night and not in a great mood, and my husband wants me to be all smiles, and he doe not react well when I don’t display a lot of energy and joy.
At times, I feel misunderstood and unappreciated. Sounds like a recipe for disaster, right?
Can you hire someone to help with errands and clean the house for you once a week? Your priorities are baby, husband, and being healthy, then work and school, and last is a perfectly neat house. Otherwise, maybe work part-time, and go to school during the week? Something has to go, because the high stress is going to get to you both. Do you have to work or can you put it off until you finish school and get the job you really want?
Thank you so much for your reply.
I need to prioritize what really matters. And at the end of the day, family is what’s most important.
I think my husband will cover the grocery shopping and I will cut myself some slack when it comes to cooking every night and cleaning the house.
I went back to work a month ago, so I am still adjusting, and yes I have to work full time to pay for school ( I am almost done, and I will hopefully be in a better work environment).
Thank you again Penelope, and what a beautiful name by the way.
I work a very demanding job so my wife can be a full time mom. After 12 hours of being a human punching bag, I desperately need sanctuary. She is happy to see me but it is because the baby sitter just walked in the door. The time can be very unpleasant because she is tired and frustrated with the children. It breaks my heart to see her be rough with a toddler or consistently speak with a forked tong to a 3rd grader. By 9pm our children are sleeping so I can either cook something healthy for myself or eat reheated frozen dinners…by myself. I eat dinner quickly because I still have to repair/maintain the home/vehicles and balance the books that are heavily burdened with unnecessary spending from the day. I don’t particularly enjoy my job but I’ll stay late, or go to the gym, or the store, or just about anywhere to not have to go do such a den of disharmony. On weekends, I’m longing to go back to work by about 7:30 am on Saturday. Actually I’m not longing for work, just the long commute. Time driving in the car has become my only peaceful time. I’m trying to be patient and supportive but I can’t help but feel quite miserable.
The 3rd grader should be in school, so she only has the toddler with her- not too overwhelming. Does she need a break, maybe a babysitter two hours a week during the day so she can spend some time just relaxing? Would she be offended if you handed her a book like “The Proper Care and Feeding Of Husbands”? Sometimes women just need a little wake up call that their husband isn’t happy so it doesn’t go to far and you get to a point where neither wants to be in the marriage (and she can’t say then that you never even told her).
I would also be upset that she was speaking to the children so harshly, they remember these things and are only young one.
I like it when my wife is all dolled up and wearing a nice dress when I come home. It means she took the time to look nice for me.
Great advice.. But husband come really late I feel sleepy the same time I want to welcome him but i get very stress