Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Practical Ways to Be Supportive

Don't you love it when you stumble upon something at just the right time? After posting about some of the hard times we're going through, I found this, which describes the ways this woman is supporting her husband during difficult economic times. While not everything that works for her family would work for my family, it got me thinking about the specific things I can do to support my partner.

1) As I mentioned before, am doing more of the housework. Housework is a contentious issue for a lot of couples, and it was one of the biggest issues Chuk and I had when we first moved in together. Here's my two cents on all of it: Chores are the rent we pay to be in a family. Living with others is work and everybody needs to contribute to that work. That being said, what is equitable isn't always what's equal. When I'm not working (which is most of the time) I do most of the housework. However, now that Chuk is putting in 110% at work, I'm willing to put in 100% at home. It's not equal, but I think it's fair.

2) I make his lunch. This has definitely made it easier for him to get out of the house earlier.

3) I remind him to go to bed early.

4) I project positivity. You know the sayings "happy wife, happy life" and "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"? In a manner of speaking, I find this to be true. Because my spouse is such an easy-going guy, I've noticed his emotions tend to shadow mine. If I'm melancholy or cranky, he's likely going to be acting kind of down too. If I'm happy and outgoing, he's usually all smiles. I'm not being fake, but I am being optimistic and enthusiastic and I've noticed Chuk's mood has improved as a result.

5) Lots of hugs and kisses.

6) I keep telling him how much I appreciate what he's doing. I'm also spreading the
"I love yous" around pretty generously.

7) I create fun. Silly songs and dances? Check. (The song below is a particular favorite of mine lately.) Funny TV shows? Check. Playing games? Check. Get togethers with friends? Check. Laughter is a stress buster.

8) I've been treating him to some of his favorites. Chuk used to drink two liters of soda a day until I made him cut way back. Now, I'm buying soda a little more frequently, as well as some other little "luxuries" I know he likes that I normally don't get like frozen pizza and junky snacks.

9) I'm giving him space. Usually, I like to spend lots of time with him, but now I'm not saying anything if he wants to spend alone time tinkering with his bike or watching CSPAN. And, I'm watching hockey games with him even though I don't really like them.

10) I've got nothing. I just thought it would be lame if I ended with only nine things.

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