ask for help

4 Times Husbands Should Ask for Help

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For many husbands, a wife’s birthday can be confusing. We try to set aside the day to celebrate her and to honor her ongoing and often thankless work. But husbands sometimes leave the actual effort of celebrating her to their kids, which—while sweet—often lacks a lot of forethought and effort. While some wives and moms are happy with this arrangement, others finish their birthdays angry or at least disappointed that their husbands didn’t do more for them.

What’s sad is that this day could be so much better if a husband simply would have made notes, if not asked ahead of time what her expectations were for her next birthday, and planned accordingly. (This is especially helpful if you have younger kids who wouldn’t be able to plan on their own anyway.) Here are 4 other times a husband should be willing to ask for help.

1. When You Don’t Know What She’s Thinking

If you read Mark Merrill’s post The Wife Code: How to Really Understand What She Is Saying, you’ll find a list of common things wives say to husbands and clarifications of what we should actually be hearing. It’s a popular post because men—and husbands in particular—can miss some cues. While many of us were willing to ask for help when we were dating, there are times now when we still need to swallow our pride and ask for help. In those moments when you don’t understand what she means, wants, or needs, ask her kindly to explain it to you. It’ll save both of you frustration and heartache.

2. When You Don’t Know What to Give Her

Some husbands are terrible gift-givers. For some wives, this might not be a big deal. For others, this can cause problems in your relationship. Getting your wife the right gift helps her see how well you know her and how much you’ve been paying attention. When you’ve had a tough go at buying your wife gifts, you can start to dread days like Christmas, her birthday, and your anniversary. This is a good time to ask for help. Talk to her mom, her sister, her best friends about what your wife loves and needs. You could also have a conversation with her several weeks before one of these occasions about what sort of gift she would like best.

Infidelity normally follows a series of small compromises that open the door to an affair.

3. When You Are Tempted to Cheat

There are many factors that can lead to marital infidelity. Infidelity normally isn’t a single major decision but follows a series of small compromises that open the door to an affair. The consequences for you, your wife, your kids, and other relationships can be devastating. If you realize that you’ve started down that road, this is the moment to reach out for help. Bringing these situations to light is a great first step to guarding the integrity of your marriage. Ask for help from your friends, parents, pastor, and even your wife herself.

4. When Family Life Feels Like Too Much

Married life often brings conflict. Many issues come with having and raising kids, like learning to function while sleep deprived in the early years or navigating the hormone-fueled teenage years. And all of this says nothing of other more serious issues, like cheating, infertility, death or other loss, and addiction. In these moments when life seems to have gone differently than we had planned and we find ourselves overwhelmed, it is critical that we ask for help. Ask for help from family, friends, pastors, and professionals who can help us navigate our way through these challenging circumstances.

Sound off: What are other places a husband should reach out for help?

Huddle up with your wife and ask, “How can I be a better help to you?”