The Question That’s Making A Difference In My Marriage

The longer I’m married, the harder I have to work at it. Familiarity, busyness, independence and selfishness all crowd in and turn me into a routine-driven checklist-making wife instead of a caring, thoughtful one! Marriage isn’t like a good housekeeping routine that can be put on auto-pilot. It takes hard work and constant intention. 

Several weeks ago I started asking this question on Sunday nights: “How can I help you?” The first time I asked, Paul looked at me quizzically and said, “I don’t think I need anything??”

Isn’t that how a lot of us live life as married people? Paul and I both get stuck in the mindset of “You do your stuff, I’ll do my stuff and we’ll meet up eventually to talk about how tired we are.”

The next week I was ready with a suggestion. When I said “How can I help you?” I was ready to suggest a few things I thought he might need taken care of that week. He agreed and said thanks.

The following week we went through the same routine. I asked, he shrugged, I offered and then he agreed. And then he said, “How can I help you?” I’m not going to lie – that was wasn’t my only goal in starting this routine, but I was hoping he would ask! 🙂

But here’s the thing: as I’ve continued to ask that question, I’ve realized that I don’t have to hear an answer to “How can I help you?” just on Sunday nights. I’ve found myself listening for his answer throughout the week and even looking for ways that I can help without being asked.

Do you need me to bring you lunch? Can I take the car to have the oil changed on Friday? Would it help if I made that appointment for you?

In doing some of “his” stuff and asking for help with “my” stuff, it makes life feel more like team work and less like an endless to-do list. It makes me more aware of ways I can lighten his load and it makes me more appreciative when he lightens mine.

If you don’t already do something like this, I hope you’ll start today. Ask your husband how you can help and watch it transform your own attitude!



10 thoughts on “The Question That’s Making A Difference In My Marriage

  1. After I read this, I texted that question to my SO. I guess I assume that he’ll ask me if he needs help, but that’s not really true. Great post and great title for your post!


  2. Thanks, Whitney! This is such a great tip. It is so easy to get absorbed in routines and in the needs of others and forget to live as a real team and serve each other. My priority is my husband, but reality is that the kids and my father-in-law just have more obvious (and sometimes much louder!) needs than my husband does. I needed the reminder today that he needs intentional care, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Such sweet advice! You’re right it does take effort every day to be thoughtful and help out your spouse. I ask some form of what can I do to help or what can I do for you this week during our Sunday schedule syncs. I love mapping out our week and feeling like we’re on the same team before the business starts. Thanks for this reminder to keep it up during the week!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a good post. You are right, the longer you are married the more you tend to take the other person for granted. Now that Marvin is retired we are finding we do more things together. The other morning I was sitting in my cozy chair in the bedroom looking at the computer and Marvin brought my coffee to me. It was so wonderful and I thanked him profusely. Now he brings it to me every morning. I feel so spoiled( and so loved.).

    Liked by 1 person

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