He never helps around the house
The best way to ensure your husband pulls his weight is to be specific about what you want–kid cleanup, dinner prep, laundry loading–and let him do it his way. “If you stand over him, telling him how to do everything, he’ll back off because it’ll seem like it’s easier to just let you handle it”. And remember, chores don’t need to be divided down the middle to be equal. If he excels at dinner prep but isn’t so great at getting the kids ready in the a.m., it may be easier if you take on that project solo with the understanding that he’ll have food on the table after work.
He doesn’t know anything about the kids
Men communicate to exchange information, while women use it to bond. Because of that, favorite television shows, toys, or friends’ names can sometimes be subconsciously dismissed as irrelevant information. As long as your husband is on top of the big stuff, let your child handle the little lapses. After all, hearing an adorable explanation from his 2-year-old as to why Dora is her favorite won’t be something he’ll forget anytime soon.
He’s always playing video games
Have a conversation about screen time and establish some guidelines–maybe it’s no phones until after the kids are in bed, or promising to put all tech away a half hour before your own bedtime routine. That way, you both have time to give into your guilty tech pleasures in a way that doesn’t harm your marriage.
We have the same arguments every damn day
That may not be a bad thing. A study from Florida State University found that “angry but honest” conversations can help marriages because they stop complaints from festering. But if you find that you truly are hashing out the same issue all the time, it’s worth sitting down and getting to the root of the problem.
He drinks too much
You’re not alone: Channing Tatum recently admitted that his wife, Jenna Dewan Tatum, wasn’t always happy with his alcohol-guzzling habits. But watch what you’re sipping as well–one study found that married women drink more than their single friends. Researchers suggest this is likely a result of couples falling into some less-than-healthy habits.
His family drives me nuts
Your husband loves his mom–maybe a little too much. If it seems like she is always in the mix, it’s worth figuring out why that bugs you so much. A 26-year study from the University of Michigan found that the risk of divorce increased 20 percent when wives were closer to their husband’s parents. This may be because his folks’ well-meaning behavior is easy to interpret as meddling and undermining of your parenting choices. Sound familiar? Talking over the problem–that you love his parents, but want to make sure you and he are united in decisions when they involve your kids–is essential, say experts.
He always springs calorie bombs on the kitchen
Most men don’t have the same emotional ties to food that women do, so when the doughnuts at the bakery look delicious, he sees no reason not to order a dozen. And, even though they may mess up your diet, his sweet offering may have a not-so-obvious benefit–a recent study from Ohio State University found that keeping your blood sugar steady is key for minimizing spats. Simply let him know you love him (and doughnuts!) but you’d be thrilled if he brought home a fresh fruit salad. Directly addressing the situation like it’s no big deal is the easiest option, since that’s exactly what it is to him.
He always wants sex
Research finds that a regular and active sex life is key for a happy marriage–and building up to the act can make it even better. Whether it’s sending sexy texts during the day, putting the kids to bed so you can take a long shower, or letting you pick the Netflix movie, tell your husband what might get you going. That way, foreplay starts well before you two hit the sheets.
The credit card statement is always a surprise
Even though he may have purchased that flat screen as a surprise for you, the fact that the two of you didn’t discuss a big purchase is a problem–and may indicate that you need to have an honest conversation about financial transparency. When you do, set up some ground rules, such as agreeing to talk over purchases greater than $200, to set the framework for financial honesty in the future.
A little appreciation would be nice
This common complaint is often rooted in misunderstanding–your husband just may not know how you want to be appreciated. Would you like compliments for your efforts at home? A passionate kiss every morning? The occasional surprise bouquet? Although it sounds anything but romantic to spell out what you want, experts agree that clarity is the best way to ensure that the appreciation keeps flowing. And remember: Gratitude goes both ways. Sprinkle just-because compliments into your conversations and they’re likely to come back to you.
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