15 Ways to Encourage Your Husband

by Hallie @ Moxie Wife on July 14, 2011

Lately things have been a little tense at home. Nothing serious but we’ve had our fair share of worries and stressors. I’d like to be able say that I’ve walked through this trying period with grace, humility and faith but the truth is that when I get stressed, I get controlling. I want to fix, fix, fix; instruct, instruct, instruct; and boss, boss, boss. My motives are pure–I only want to stop the suffering–but the way I go about it leaves (more than) a little something to be desired.

The problem with my approach is that it presumes that I am smarter than everyone else; it presumes that I have all the answers; and it presumes that everyone else is stupid. That’s right, I said it: it presumes that everyone else is stupid–including my husband who I’m afraid bears the brunt of this domineering (born-of-fear) attitude.

While I know that my actions don’t reflect my true feelings or opinions (which, if they could speak, would tell you that I think I have the most awesome husband on the face of the earth), the message they send is harmful nonetheless. My actions imply that I don’t think my husband has a handle on the situation; that he’s not up to the task; and that I’d better step in and assume control of the ship before it sinks and we all drown.

(Did I mention that I also get a bit melodramatic when under pressure?)

The truth is that it is I who would be lost without him and his wisdom. He is my rock, my safe haven, and my solace. This is what I actually want to communicate. It just comes out all wrong when I start to panic. What’s up with that?

Sometimes I worry that he can’t say the same about me for so often when he approaches me to share his burdens my response is to correct and advise, rather than to comfort and console. I want to offer him a secure place to lay down his armor, rest, and be vulnerable but how can he when he knows that I will most likely respond by showering him with unsolicited advice?

Maybe I’m exaggerating. Perhaps my husband will read all this and object but my heart tells me I could do better and more and so I thought I might create a little list of 15 ways that I can support and encourage my husband…


  • Compliment him on his strengths and achievements and acknowledge his victories.
  • Create a peaceful atmosphere within our home. Make it a place that he can lay down his burdens and rest easy.
  • Pray for him. Reread The Power of a Praying Wife.
  • Write him love letters. Make sure he knows how absolutely swoon-worthy I find him to be.
  • Speak well of him to friends and family. It wouldn’t hurt if he accidentally overheard from time to time, either.
  • When he stumbles, respond with mercy, compassion and encouragement.
  • Encourage him to dream big and find ways to support those dreams.
  • Try not to give feedback on every single decision he makes.
  • Ask him for his opinion and guidance. Make sure he knows how much I value his opinion.
  • Be affectionate. Don’t be shy about communicating how much I desire him.
  • Make sure he has the time to do the things he loves and to pursue his passions.
  • Apologize for things I’ve done in the past that have hurt him.
  • Thank him for all his hard work and many sacrifices.
  • Don’t bring up past failures or hurts or rehash old fights. Truly forgive and forget.
  • Have faith in him and let him lead.


So, tell me, ladies: how do you encourage your husband during trying times? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


Thanks a bunch!
Signed, Betty

{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

carpeveritatem July 14, 2011 at 3:31 am

I wish I could say that I have an answer to this, but sadly I don't. I fear I am a controller, fixer, bosser too. I also tend to withdraw. When under stress, I tend to want to be alone, figure things out, then come out with a plan. I like to think that after 10 years of marriage I am overcoming this tendency, but lately as we've been under the greatest stress of our marriage, I have reverted to old patterns.

I am so thankful that my husband is who he is because he never criticizes me or tries to change me but just accepts me for who I am. I try to remember that when I am tempted to be critical of him or change him. I will pray for you and wish you would pray for me.


Betty Beguiles July 14, 2011 at 3:34 am

My prayers are with you, Kimberlie! I'm so sorry that you've been under such stress lately. Please let me know if there's anything I can do for you!

inspired angela July 14, 2011 at 3:54 am

Girl, I totally get it! Thanks for the reassurance and sisterhood in this post. You and Mr. Beguiles are in my thoughts and prayers.

Betty Beguiles July 14, 2011 at 3:59 am

Thank you, sweet Angela–for your encouragement, your prayers and your friendship! :)

Dwija {House Unseen} July 14, 2011 at 4:03 am

Lately I have had to say these mantras to myself a lot- not because things are particularly stressful between us, but rather he is particularly unsure of himself…and I don't have the answers. Have I mentioned that I LOVE to have the answers? Sigh.

Thank you for this!

myunorderedthoughts July 14, 2011 at 5:09 am

1. Start a novena to St. Joseph for him – and let him know when its done
2. Give him space – he is probably feeling as stressed as you .

Jen @ Forever, For Always... July 14, 2011 at 11:41 am

Power of a Praying Wife is one of my favorite books. I always keep it handy and try to pray one of the prayers each day.
I think its easy to forget how challenging things can be for our husbands. As stay at home moms, or homeschooling moms we tend to be in a bubble with like-minded friends around us. Our husband's don't really have that luxury and have to face a world on a daily basis that doesn't tend to agree with the choices we have made, ie larger than norm families, home education etc.
Always speaking well about our husbands to others really is huge I think. I didn't always do this! And if you get with a group of women, someone almost always starts complaining about their husband. It takes self-control not to join in! Great post!

Whitney July 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I'm going to try to do the things on your list, actually. We are newlyweds, but I still think these are important things to do.

Cari July 14, 2011 at 12:29 pm

"I want to offer him a secure place to lay down his armor, rest, and be vulnerable"
I love this. It sums up what I strive for in our little domestic church, too.
I'm not there yet, but it's nice to have the goal so poetically stated.

lydiapurpuraria July 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm

you've mentioned some things that I definitely need to work on! Our marriage is good-better than it's ever been-but life itself is incredibly stressful. I find myself (as usual) wanting to do everything, rather than trust he's got it sorted, even though I KNOW he's working so very hard! It's also a fear thing. When I'm scared, I get angry, which usually gets suppressed and comes out in weird ways. Sigh.

Kathleen Ellis July 14, 2011 at 1:37 pm

What a FABulous post, Betty!
You have shared things that many of us have struggled with at one time or another!
I would like to encourage you that as you keep this list in the forefront of your mind and strive to look for even more ways to encourage your husband you will find it comes to you more and more easily! What we focus on we bring about!

In the beginning years of my marriage I was very much the woman you describe….and all it caused was stress, anger and hurt! Over the years…36 of them now….I have learned to do the very things you listed and I can say that as I began to change my mindset, with God's help, and my approach…the stress and anger and hurts have just about disappeared!

I still have my moments of relapse…but they are fewer and farther between! With God's help we can become all that God has created us to be and that includes being wives with a godly mindset, attitude and actions!

Have a most beautiful day!
;-D Kathleen

Sarah July 14, 2011 at 1:39 pm

I too, tend to be a controller, and a "Are you sure you want to do it that way?" kind of wife, especially when stressed.

Right now my dh's job is ending in a month, and he doesn't have another one lined up yet, so we are a somewhat stressed about that. He is working so hard to find another job, but doors keep getting slammed in his face. One way I've been encouraging him is by *not* asking him each day about his job search. I don't want to seem that I'm adding more pressure to his load than he must be feeling already, as he is the sole earner in our home.

I try to keep the house clean and cozy so he can relax, and give him time to work in the garden, which he loves, and keep the weekend errands to a minimum so we can do fun things as a family and not worry too much.

I think I'll check out power of a praying wife, as I've never read it. :)

Thanks for this awesome post!

Grace in my Heart July 14, 2011 at 3:15 pm

What a great list! I never heard of that book so thanks for the suggestion. I think many of us ladies want to control under stressful circumstances, but I always end up realizing time and time again that things go a lot smoother when I let the 'ol hubs be in charge. :)

Ann July 14, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Great post! wonderful advise, especially, "have faith and let him lead", and great book recommendation…I have heard of that book, I'll put it on my amazon wish list.

I love that ad too – great find!

Martha July 14, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Tell him that you're going to pray a 9 day novena rosary for his intentions, starting on ___. I have always been very moved when someone has done this for me, and it's quite powerful, too.

I think the fact that you're aware of your quirks, and are working on them, speak volumes. Nothing's worse than someone who won't admit their failings, and when someone DOES admit them to you (at not surprise usually), it's completely disarming. It's such a humble thing- good for you!

Maggie July 14, 2011 at 4:56 pm

I needed to read this post. Like, REALLY needed to read this post. We are currently living with my husband's parents and while we are thankful for their generosity, it's basically pure hell for us. I haven't been a good wife at all throughout this situation. I needed this to remind me that it isn't all about me… that my husband is suffering as well.

Jeni July 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm

1st of all, love that ad.

2ndly Boy this post sounds a lot like me, only I'm sure I'm at least 10x worse. And my DH would agree.

I needed this. Really did!! spoke right to my heart. I think every day I love your blog even a little bit more.

thanks!! :)

priest's wife July 14, 2011 at 7:30 pm

One easy, concrete thing I do- buy him something only HE likes every time I go to the grocery store (sunflower seeds in shell, peanuts in shell, pistacio in shell- I see a pattern here- a beer, sharp cheese, etc)-he likes knowing I was thinking of him

Lisa July 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Hallie- sometimes I just want to reach through the computer and hug you, because you both convict and inspire me within my marriage. I needed this post- fresh ideas and an action plan. Our kids are going to be at "camp grandparents" all next week, so I need to work on scrubbing up not just my floors, but my marriage as well. Then both with sparkle again. ;-)

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith July 15, 2011 at 12:56 am

Excellent post, I love my husband dearly however I must admit under pressure my actions are similar to carpeveritatem.

Lisa July 15, 2011 at 2:54 pm

Oops… *will sparkle, not with sparkle. Though hopefully they will sparkle… with sparkles. Yeah, that's what I was going for.

Sarah July 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Oh my… you articulated my approach to stressful times quite well! Great ideas. I find that waiting to speak (biting my tongue) can save us so much heartache. I am so quick to analyze, criticize, or just ramble on about every thought I am having whether it's worthy of being shared or not. 9 times out of 10, when I save a thought for later, I find it wasn't worth verbalizing to begin with. :)

Colleen July 15, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I don't have time to read all the comments right now, so I don't know if someone said this – but…all it takes to make my hubby feel better is PHYSICAL AFFECTION :)

klh57 July 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Great post. I've done some of those in the past, responded the same way, tried buying the special treats (licorice, choc.covered raisins,etc.), and, after 30 years, he's decided that he doesn't love me and has moved out. So, I have no answers….

Betty Beguiles July 15, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I'm so sorry to hear that, @klh57. You will be in my prayers!

And thank you all for the many great suggestions! Y'all are the best! :)

nicole July 15, 2011 at 10:42 pm

We are in a bit of a tense time too. My response is blind optimism. Not always very practical.

A few years ago (about five I think) my husband was in a real slow period at work (loan officer, commission only–we've been in slow periods more than once). I gathered up some photos of him and the kids, or just the kids, or him and me, and stuck them to colored cardstock. I put quotes from Scripture on the other sides. I made it into a little book to remind him that we love him and that he is not alone. He still has it.

Dawn Farias July 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm

These are good suggestions, thank you! I have a hard time being supportive because I feel (realistically or not) that I am never supported. But I have Power of Praying Wife, too, and always remember how Omartian says to change yourself. That's who you have control over anyway. I also know that being the instigator of love results in receiving love, but I am still hesitant a lot of the time because of fear of being hurt, etc.

Whew! I think my Saturday cup of second coffee just made me type up more than normal. Ah well. Thank you again for this post. I am going to pick one of the suggestions and do it this week.

J. Craney July 18, 2011 at 2:16 pm

It is our 24th wedding anniversary today, and I am taking your suggestions to heart! I am married to the greatest guy in the world, but I often forget to tell him that. Thanks for the reminder!

Owner of Homeschool Faith and Family Life Website July 19, 2011 at 5:40 pm

I love your post!
I kept a Gratitude journal for the 40 Days of Lent; each day,writing 3-5 ways in which I am blessed by my husband or things I appreciate/love about him.
At the end of the 40 Days, I tied it in a ribbon and gave it to him as an Easter gift.
I blogged about this activity, actually…because I did it at a time when our marriage was suffering under grave stress and I really did not WANT to do it; which is how I knew that I NEEDED to do it…anyway, it was good for me and good for him; he loved it:)

Potamiaena July 22, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Great list and post.

Read Dr. Laura's "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" for a way better understanding of male humans. If we women can understand how they think, then we know better what to say and how to act.

Then we need God's grace to inspire us.

Monica E July 23, 2011 at 1:25 am

This post is exactly what I needed to read! I've been feeling the same way a lot lately! Thank you!

Carrien July 25, 2011 at 10:52 pm

I too have a tendency to control when I am afraid and trying to fix things and it conveys lack of trust.

I am actually much better at this than I used to be and I love your points because most of them are something I have learned or realized over the years, one at a time.

He says I am quite good now, compared to when we first married. :)

Now, however, I find I am needing to work again on how I speak to our children. The circumstances are slightly different but there too I tend to speak in a way that conveys lack of trust, control stupid little things, and generally drive them crazy. So where is your list for 15 ways to encourage your kids?

I could use that about now. :)

Jenna December 30, 2011 at 7:57 pm

How about a sequel-15 (or another number) Ways to Encourage Your Wife?

Andrea January 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Another great book is “Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle.

Aubrey March 9, 2012 at 10:02 am

What a great post! I need to be reminded of this myself, often. My husband is not a born leader and so I tend to take over his role without being asked. I have to remind myself to step back and let him assume his natural role as the head of our family, then be his cheerleader! There are things as little as having him drive when we go somewhere to things as big as, “[these are my reasons] can we send our kindergartener to a public school for just this one year?”

This post was recommended to me by a friend; I really slowed down on my blog-reading about a year ago and have nearly stopped altogether since I took down my own blog. I forgot how much I enjoyed your blog, so am glad to be back for a visit! Good luck to you, and blessings to you and your family!

Katie Steiner March 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Haha MINE TOO! But, as we’re using NFP to postpone another pregnancy, that only happens are certain times…I have to find other ways to encourage him too!

Erin Franco March 15, 2012 at 3:18 pm

This post inspired me so much that I wrote my own version on my blog, Humble Handmaid. I made sure to link back to your post, of course! Thank you for sharing. I love Betty Beguiles and wish you, your husband and your beautiful children all the best! :)

Angela March 29, 2012 at 11:42 am

This was beautiful to read. Thank you for being so open and sincere despite the struggles you had been facing. Wonderful advice and a good reminder to step back and see how I’m acting especially when emotions start to take over.
Angela recently posted..Spreading Happiness since 2012My Profile

Bonnie May 1, 2012 at 7:15 am

Dear Sarah,

My prayers are with you and your husband. It’s almost a year since your worte this post, I hope that your husband has found a job and that he loves it.

Sarah July 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Thank you for the reminder. I am just like you. This is just what I needed to read today and to share with my hubby. You put into words what I couldn’t. Thanks!

One book that has really helped us have a happy spirit in our home is “Teaching Self Government” by Nicholeen Peck. One of the main principles she teaches is that of the power of praise. Great book for everyone in the family.

twanda October 16, 2012 at 9:18 am

Thanks Betty I love u you has changed my world and now I can stand down. Thanks again:)

Beverline May 20, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Hello Kathleen, I was reading all the comments and your comment just caught my attention. I guess I don’t feel alone when all the other wives tell me how they use to or still experience those feelings, and negative thoughts and words towards their husband. I’m saved now but my old ways try to hold on to me. I want to be that Trophy wife, and I will be because I can do all things through christ who strengthens me! Please everyone pray for me that I become a Virtuous women and not a rotten one to my husbands bones!

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