Don’t we stepmothers dream of our husband “getting it” without us saying anything to him? Don’t we work toward healthy communication and straight-forward boundaries so that everyone knows what is coming and we don’t have unspoken rules or miscommunications? But, even when those processes are in place and we have a relatively “good” life, we can sometimes use additional reinforcement for our efforts to help make life better in our home. In those moments, we might love to hear our husband say words something like this . . .
- Dear, I know belonging to our family is overwhelming and I thank you for joining me inside this ring of fire. Someday, this fire will die out and we will have a shared future. In the meantime, you are one of the most amazing women I know.
- I saw Matt chewing with his mouth open at dinner today. I know that bugs you. I’m sorry if you found yourself irritated, it’s just that he’s had a rough couple of days in school according to his teacher and I decided to let him have a little space tonight.
- Would you be my date tonight for a movie and a walk by the river?
- I love you as much as the day I met you, you care so much about our family that you help me keep up with consistency, thank you so very much. (this after his wife has reminded his child to clear his dishes from the dinner table.
- I’m taking all the kids to the ball game with me so you can have some time alone on Saturday. Would you be able to schedule yourself for a massage at this late notice?
- Sometimes I get a little nervous that you might come across as too hard on the kids, but when I step back, I can see that you always strike the right tone. It might not be what they want to hear in the moment, but I appreciate your honesty, consistency, and integrity when you do help them sort through something.
- I used to feel all pushed around and in-between the kids and their mom. Now, I feel like I have some support for some of the things I always felt I needed to do and most important, I have someone to talk it through with.
- Thank you from the bottom of my heart for recognizing what my contributions are to this family and our future. I’m not sure anyone has ever asked me what my needs are.
- I never imagined I’d be able to find this depth of contentment in my life after my divorce and the termination of my rights as a full-time dad to my kids.
- What week can you get away from work in January so we can go soak our heels in the ocean and re-group after the holidays?
Go home and listen . . . tune in and hear what your husband is really saying. It might surprise you.