“Thank you for….” Men need to feel respected and they long to be seen as strong and competent by their ladies. So often, we minimize their efforts or treat them as if their hard work is a necessary minimum. It does not take much effort to let your man know how much his toil blesses you. Sometimes we think reminding or nagging our guys will inspire them to accomplish more – not so – it does exactly the opposite. Constant memos, reminders, and prodding weighs them down emotionally, de-motivates them, and often makes them angry, even if they do not show it. A simple, genuine, and specific thank you is extremely refreshing to a man’s soul.
It is easy to see this play out in others’ relationships, but all too often I forget it in my own marriage. If I am not careful, I can fall into the questioning trap. Did you remember to make that call? Are you going to ask about that fee? Were you ever able to secure those tickets? Even though these questions are good and valid, they can begin to feel like bricks stacked on his shoulders if I do not also throw my arms around his neck, look deeply into his eyes, and say, “You work so hard to take care of us, and I thank you for that.”
That is it, ladies. As long as it is genuine, it does not take much more than that to touch a man’s soul – though our partnership and practical help is a significant blessing as well.
Bear Hugs and Gratitude
Recently, I spoke with a man who clearly had the weight of the world on his shoulders. He told me about a few stressors he was facing and it was clear that something needed to give in his life and soon. Since then, I have been pondering his words and the look of exhaustion on his face; and, I have wondered how much of his stress would be alleviated if his wife would smile, give him a bear hug, let him know how much she appreciates all he does, and avoid any negative comments – even if just for a few days. Would some of his stress melt away? My hypothesis is yes!
Though Eric will never do everything I desire him to do, I know he will do far more if I focus on his positives and keep the criticism to a teeny tiny minimum. Sometimes, I need to confront a negative behavior. That is simply going to happen; but, I can be vigilant to make sure the positives far outweigh the negatives. Otherwise, he will lose the will and interest to try to please me. He will wrestle with wondering, “What’s the point?” He will feel dried up and empty inside.
Men are less likely to let their emotions flow openly, so we do not always know what they are battling internally. Just because he smiles and jokes around does not mean the weight of constant criticism (or neglect) is not affecting him.
Want to Grow Closer Together?
The next time you are looking for something to strengthen the bond between you and your man, think of a few ways he has helped you (practically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) and thank him for his efforts and be specific.
What would a specific thank you do for his heart today?