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Transitions, hard times in general, really test a marriage. Changing jobs, moving, and dealing with health issues cause stress levels to skyrocket. Leaving military life means you’re dealing with at least one and perhaps all three of these. Even the most mundane interaction can lead to an argument. What could be an exciting time of growth morphs into an exercise in preventing a divorce.
If you do two things you’ll decrease tension, make a smoother transition, and improve your marriage.
Give Up the Mind Reading Act
While you may have loved guessing games as a kid, they have no place in a marriage. Especially during transitions and other times of high stress they only make matters worse.
There is no amount of love that enables your spouse to read your mind. So she does really love you despite being clueless about how you need to be supported. Perhaps at some point during your relationships your wife told you, “If you really cared you’d know what was wrong!” Well she was wrong about that. And the midst of a high stress transition is no time for payback.
Tell your spouse how she can support you.
If you’re not sure, talk to her about what’s bothering you. Be open about your anxiety and fears. Acknowledge you don’t know what you need. Decide together how she’ll be supportive. Plan another time when the two of you will sit down and assess how it going.
Accept Your Spouse’s Support
If you want a supportive spouse be open to the help your partner offers you. Remember, it’s what you asked for or agreed to try. Still, it may not feel right at first. Give it time. Don’t let the desire for immediate release from stress ruin what may work.
Trust your spouse’s intentions, insight, and love. Your acceptance of support is a key component in its effectiveness. If after trying it for a few days you don’t feel supported, thank your partner for the good intentions behind the attempt. Then figure out a new plan together.
John Florio said, “A good husband makes a good wife.” It’s equally true that an open and trusting spouse makes a supportive spouse.
How do you get the support you want from your spouse? Please comment below.
© , Kevin S. Bemel, All Rights Reserved
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