I received an interesting news release offering a free program for couples that may need work on their relationship after being home together for a lengthy period of time. Duh…and double Duh!! I decided to read the news release while watching a re-run of MASH in my comfortable Stressless chair.
Of course I’m sure the program is great and many couples should take advantage of an experienced relationship builder. I will add my comments based on half a century plus one year of marriage experience and on being quarantined with my bride.
These suggestions are what I think will make getting through two or three months stuck in the house with your husband more enjoyable and certainly for him. “Man, this chair is comfortable…”
- “Talk about your ‘Love Language.” – Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile if he walks in the room and show sincerity in your desire to please him.
- “Don’t take things personally.” – Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment he comes in from trimming hedges is not the time. Let him talk first – remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours.
- “Have fun together.” – Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late for some reason after buying a pick-up dinner. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure stuck in the house for weeks and his very real need to relax. Watch a couple of cooking shows together or, better yet, watch TV opinion news.
- “Limit your TV watching.” – Quit watching ‘Roseanne’ re-runs. Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
- “Get some exercise.” – Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband comes in from mowing the grass. Gather up the home schooling computers, toys, paper etc. and then run a dust cloth over the tables. Break a sweat. Relieve tension.
- “Read together.” – Try to find your old history book and relive a civil war battle together. Imagine him as a general leading his troops.
- “Set a daily routine.” – Do the same thing day after day. Go to bed at the same time, day after day. Take a nap at the same time day after day. Be a little happy and a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift and one of your duties is to provide it.
- “Look for ways to help your husband, especially if you have children.” – Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and, if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. Minimize all noise. Eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet.
- “Find time to connect at the end of the day. – That’s what I’m talking about. Don’t greet him with complaints and problems. Your goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit.
- “Make plans together.” – Make him comfortable first. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or have him lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice and gently ask, “What’s up you handsome man?”
- “Try a new hobby.” – Cooking is good. Have dinner ready, plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, and on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry and the prospect of a good meal (especially his favorite dish) is part of keeping him entertained during the quarantine.
- “Organize the house together.” – Don’t ask him questions about his opinions as to where the furniture should go or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.
- “Take a virtual tour.” – Pull out the old videos and relive vacationing with your in-laws. “Hey Bill, wake up. You’ve been napping for an hour. You need to take out the trash and hang the new blinds I bought last year,” Judy yelled from the basement.
“Wow, I must have been dreaming……”
However, I did discover Judy had accomplished one thing while I was napping. She alphabetized our cereal boxes. Being quarantined does funny things to you.