Sometimes we wives feel compelled to remind our husbands of the things on the to-do list:
- It’s time to brush your teeth.
- Honey, did you read your Bible yet today?
- Babe, did you make sure to put gas in your car?
- Sugar, have you read the proposal ACME sent to you at work?
- Have you talked to your boss about how rude your coworker was yet?
You may have the best of intentions. You may think you are being helpful. I sure did! But does your husband view the reminders as helpful or does it feel disrespectful to him? That’s the real question.
Most husbands don’t enjoy receiving lots of reminders of things they need to do. It makes them feel like their wives think they are incompetent.
Is this area a struggle for you?
Does my husband need my constant reminders to function in life?
I sometimes like reminders these days because I have so many things on my mind and I tend to be forgetful sometimes. So I ask my husband and kids to remind me about certain things, I leave myself notes, send myself emails, and set my phone alarm for everything to try to avoid missing something important.
Some husbands may appreciate certain kinds of friendly reminders. That’s fine if you have an agreement about that! This is an area that will be unique for each couple and it may change over the course of the marriage depending on circumstances and personalities.
Turns out my husband is totally capable of handling his adult life without me giving him a lot of reminders. He uses his phone and has his own system to handle things.
If you obsess over what your husband is supposed to do even though he handles things well and doesn’t want reminders, today may be a good time to back off.
He doesn’t want to be your little boy. He wants to be your hero and your man. Thank him for doing such a great job taking care of you and let him do his thing.
Men are drawn to people and places where they feel admired, appreciated, and respected. If he feels like you are treating him like an incompetent kid, that can be a turn-off.
If something is his responsibility and you know he doesn’t want reminders, you just leave it on his “side of the table” and let him deal with it. You don’t have to say anything about it.
Obviously if there is an emergency, you may need to step in and help. But generally, he will appreciate you letting him run his own life and take care of his responsibilities. That is respectful and it demonstrates your trust and faith in him.
Respect, trust, and faith are essential ingredients for a strong marriage.
You probably wouldn’t enjoy it if your husband constantly chimed in and said things like:
- Don’t forget to brush your teeth.
- Did you change your underwear today?
- When was the last time you had a shower?
- Did you read all your work emails yet? Have you responded to each of them?
- Did you call your parents this week?
(Unless you asked him to help you remember these things. Thankfully, I have not gotten that forgetful yet! Ha!)
Examples of not giving reminders to my husband:
If I feel tempted to tell my husband how to drive or which way to take and he knows the way, I just need to think about something else, enjoy being with him, and trust him to handle the driving instead of trying to tell him how to drive.
Of course, if he wants my help with a map or directions, I can share respectfully and politely. Or if I saw something on the news about the Interstate being shut down for hours because of a wreck, I could respectfully share that information with him. He would probably want to know about that if he hadn’t seen the report.
If I know he missed an exit and I know my husband would appreciate me telling him, I can say, in a friendly way, “Hey, Honey, was that our exit?” And then he can handle getting back to it unless he asks me for assistance.
Otherwise, I don’t usually pay much attention to where we are going or which way he takes, I just enjoy the ride and am happy to be with my man.
A reader’s suggestion
Here is something one of my amazing readers shared (with her permission):
My husband uses his phone for reminders and has a notepad by the back door. As “to do” items come up we just add them (like changing filters in the A/C unit, etc…). Very few things do I feel compelled to remind or nag him about.
This system works well for us. He crosses it off as it gets done so I don’t need to wonder or ask if I don’t already know.
From April – I LOVE this idea! Things get done. The husband feels respected. The wife knows what’s going on. There is harmony and all is right with the world.
A non-controlling approach to my marriage nurtures intimacy
My husband is inspired to be more competent as I step back and trust him to handle the little details. (Unless he is dealing with mental health issues, significant sin issues, or addictions, then I may need to reach out for help.)
My goals are:
- Only share if I need or desire something once, generally. (There can be exceptions, of course. But even then, I try to share in a friendly, respectful way, not a confrontational style.)
- If it is something he knows about already, I let him handle his own issues and I don’t interfere or remind him.
If he is ordering things for the family, I may ask in a friendly way sometimes about what he ordered or when things may be arriving just to keep myself in the loop. But I don’t dictate to him what he should do.
I’m there to:
- Bounce ideas off of.
- Share my perspective and opinions.
- Appreciate all he does for me.
- Enjoy him.
- Admire him.
- Be thankful for him and his leadership and abilities.
- Encourage him.
- Respect him.
- Honor him.
- Cooperate with his leadership
- Inspire him.
- Bless him.
- Help in ways he appreciates.
- Honor the Lord!
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.Eph. 5:33
My teenage son doesn’t need as many reminders these days either.
I’m having to learn this all over again with my son as he is 18 now and just started college. So I am having to step way back and let him soar or fall more and more on his own. It is hard to step back, sometimes. I’m not saying it is easy! But it is necessary and healthy for him—and for me.
If I would like to make a request or a suggestion to my husband, the way I ask, my motives, and how often I ask makes a big difference. I have several posts about things like this that may help. Here are a few!
Any wisdom anyone would like to share from the trenches? We’d love to hear your suggestions and encouragement!