feeling stressed

5 Ways to Rescue Your Stressed-Out Wife

Stress… it can come in many shapes and sizes, especially for our wives. I can remember recently coming home after a long and stressful day at work and being able to immediately sense that I wasn’t the only one who was dealing with stress. The pressures of motherhood – a sick child, another needing help with school work, unfolded laundry, and dirty dishes – seemed to have come crashing down on my wife all at the same time. She was feeling stressed.

Whether your wife has a job or is a stay-at-home mom, understanding the daily pressures that your wife faces will help you be aware of her needs and the many ways you can come alongside her and lighten her load. Here are a few small, practical ways that I’ve found successful:

1. Overseeing the family finances

For the first few years of our marriage, my wife managed the family finances; however, over time I began to notice it was taking a toll on her. Since that time, I started handling all our finances and have found it’s been a huge stress reliever for her and a positive thing overall for our marriage. While many couples do this differently, I think it’s important to do whatever is best in your situation. As the husband, you need to be able to identify what that is.

2. Doing the dishes

Living in a home that doesn’t have a dishwasher, our family has become good at dishwashing. And believe it or not, the dishes don’t seem to ever take a day off! Because everyone in our home contributes to this daily dish dilemma, we don’t believe Mom should be the only one (or even the main one) to do all the dishes. So, a couple times a week, you’ll find me standing at the sink, dishrag in hand. And surprisingly, my wife thinks it’s pretty sexy.

3. Maintaining her vehicle

One of the simple things I try to make sure my wife doesn’t have to worry about is fueling up her vehicle or worrying about any maintenance concerns. It’s not that she can’t do those things, but there’s no need for her to have to. It’s an easy way to take one less thing off of her mind and do my best to treat her like the lady she is.

4. Putting the kids to bed

In our family, Mom stays home with the kids throughout the day as we homeschool our children. That means that by the time bedtime rolls around, she’s been with the kids all day long. So the nightly bedtime routine (teeth brushed, pajamas on, and tucking in) is a precious time for me to close out their day every day by giving them one last hug, reassuring them of my love, and tucking them in tight. And it’s one less thing my wife has to worry about.

5. Doing family prayer and devotions

Our family gathers before bedtime 3-4 nights a week for family prayer and devotions. I lead our family in doing this as a way of transferring our values on to our children. Sometimes this includes Bible reading, memorization, storytelling, songs, and discussion. I find that when I take the spiritual lead in my family, it puts my wife at ease.

While the specific ways to relieve your wife’s stress may look different for you, could you stop right now and identify what they are? If you’re having trouble thinking of them, maybe it’s time to step up your game. You and your wife are a team, and it’s important that she knows and sees that.

Sound Off

In what ways do you help relieve stress for your wife?

Andrew Linder

Andrew is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.

  • Dan Coates

    Holy crap! #1 is ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLE, chauvinistic and sexist. Really? You should do the finances because your the man? Who the …. wrote this junk?

    I have personally seen people ruin their lives financially because of this. Finances and the budget are a mutual thing. It should not be solely owned by either spouse. This actually creates more stress as you end up in situations where one spouse sets the budget and the other tiptoes around trying not to break it, or hide their spending or worse. For the one managing the finances, they may hide the fact that the family is not doing as well as they should and maintain their cost of living by financing through credit cards.

    If you happen to be the spouse that is gifted regarding finances and numbers, then yes, it’s a wise idea to take the initiative and set up the budget and finances (which is a kindness), but once that’s done, you need to give a copy of it to your spouse, ask them to make changes and SHUT UP while they do so. Both you must work to create a budget and financial plan you are both aware of and agree on.

    What I find even more irksome in this article is the assumption that dad is automatically best suited to do the finances. This may not be the case. We all have different gifts. If your spouse is the nerd in the family and you’re the free spirit, it may be best to let her set up the numbers and then sit down with you to review before the month begins. Your kindness could be getting the kids out of the house to allow her some peace and quiet to get the work done. Go get her a Starbucks, tell her that you love her and that you are taking the kids to the park so she can work on this critical part of your family plan in peace.

    [Full disclosure – I have taught several Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University courses – so a lot of my ideology with respect to the above comes from there]

    • Sam Knoll

      Way to jump to conclusions Dan. Not only is this extremely nonconstructive, it’s irrelevant to what the article actually says. Andrew was simply saying that while his wife was running the finances, he noticed that it was stressful and so he took on the responsibility to alleviate said stress. He then goes on to say, “While many couples do this differently, I think it’s important to do whatever is best in your situation. As the husband, you need to be able to identify what that is.”

      I know that this will probably result in some sort of backlash and I shouldn’t feed into your angst. But maybe next time, read the whole article before you speak with such anger and ignorance.

      • Dan Coates

        Hi Sam,

        Thank you for your reply.

        As a story, I agree, Andrew does say that this is what _he_ does. However, words are powerful, font and size are important, and the order of words are important. The title was “5 Ways to Rescue Your Stressed Out Wife”, not “My Wife Was Stressed Out. Here’s What I Did”. While the sentiment may be admirable, the article was written poorly and in a way that can easily be construed in the manner that I described above. We need to think not just about what we say but how we say it.

        Here’s another point to consider. Completely absent from this article is the most important step. In my opinion, this one should be title sized, bold, and we should fish out the old html tag and wrap it around the text:

        Talk to Her

        …and have an open and honest discussion about what would help the most. As men, in general, we are more comfortable in the world of actions. It’s easier for us to simply take the car to the gas station than to find out what is honestly helpful. Who knows, maybe Andrew’s wife secretly despises him for doing that since it’s just another excuse for HIM to get out of the house and away from the kids. Dialogue is key and this article lays down 95% easy, skate-by answers and only gives a vague nod to the serious work of working as a team.

      • Garrett

        A little over reaction there Dan. Not sure you should read any article and think you should literally interpret the recommendations and apply them to your life; regardless of how relevant they are to your relationship/marriage, etc. I thought the author presented things that work in his life and recommended others to try: “understanding the daily pressures that your wife faces will help you be aware of her needs and the many ways you can come alongside her and lighten her load.”
        Your wife’s pressures may be completely different, but he recommends that you be aware of those and try to lighten her load. Great read.

    • Dan, thanks for the feedback. Just to clarify, I don’t believe that men should always handle the finances, and women should just go along with it. I believe I tried to make that clear in point #1. Sorry for any misunderstanding. You also brought out some additional great points about working together as a team to create a family budget that you both agree upon. My wife and I do that as well. While there are certainly extremes that could happen if one person abuses overseeing the finances, I believe that financial openness and honesty are extremely important. As for some of the things that I have personally found relieve stress for my wife, this one definitely made the list. But I wouldn’t say that needs to be the case for every couple. Hope that helps. Thanks for reading.

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