Tammy Helfrich

Life begins right where you are.

Are you a frustrated wife?

Are you frustrated with your husband?

Are you struggling in your marriage?

Do you wonder what happened to the couple that you used to be?

Do you love your husband but sometimes not like him very much?

Are you tired of being sad and lonely?

Photo credit: Creative Commons (sheeerin)

I was all of those things a few years ago. I was tired, and frustrated, and wasn’t sure this marriage was a good idea anymore. I had no idea how we’d gotten there. Nothing major had happened. We were still together. We just weren’t happy. But we were too afraid to admit it and say it out loud.

Our kids were younger and demanded attention. We both had full-time jobs that were demanding. We had a mortgage, and a car payment, and bills and debt and enough stress to last us a lifetime. And we used all of those things to spiral us into a comfortable, but unhappy place.

My husband was crying out for my attention and my respect. I heard him, but I really didn’t want to hear it. I had enough on my plate. I couldn’t imagine the idea of trying to lift him up and let him know he was needed. He was a confident, strong person. He should be able to figure that out himself. Heck, he should know it already!

I had no idea that my reluctance to help validate and support him was making him feel so isolated and unneeded. Again, he would tell me that he felt like he wasn’t needed, but it was usually in the middle of an argument, and honestly, I thought he was being childish.

I didn’t fully understand that men need respect just like women need to feel loved. It’s what helps them keep going every day. It fuels them, just like love and affection fuels most women.

Now what?

The great news is that these are simple changes that can have huge implications. I’ve spoken with multiple women lately who have said something really nice and affirming about their husbands to me, but they then follow it up with, “But I would never tell him that. I don’t want his head to get any bigger.”

I know I have thought or said this at one time in my life as well. But now I know what a difference it can make when you do! I always encourage these women to tell their husbands!

When a man gets appreciation and respect from his wife , it is amazing what that does to him.

He walks taller.

His mood lightens.

He feels good!

I was amazed at the difference these things have made in our marriage. We have learned to recognize the triggers, and to be able to express what we feel when the other does something that doesn’t make us feel good. We have also learned to affirm each other and pay attention to each other. Of  course, it has to be sincere to be effective.

This is something that you can do today! It doesn’t cost money, and it’s not a huge time commitment.

But it can have a significant impact. It is worth it!

Think about something you really love about your husband.  It can be simple. It could be that you love how he does the laundry without being asked. Or that you appreciate how he provides for your family. It could be how he plays with the kids when he gets home and spends time with them. Or how you love what a great Dad he is.

Everyone can find something that they love or appreciate and then share with their spouse. I guarantee that if you’ve been in a rut  and not expressing these kinds of things, he will be surprised. He may not show it right away, but it will make a difference. Slowly but surely, you will see things changing.

It’s hard to stay mad and unhappy when you’re finding ways to honor and respect each other. Click here to Tweet!

This is not the answer to everything, of course. But it’s usually a really great start.

How do you show respect to your husband? Husbands, do you agree with this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


  1. this is a great message, Tammy, and one that many need to read! I’m right there with you. Things are so much better around here after I learned a little about respecting my man. 😉

  2. this is great, Tammy! so true, and definitely something I’ve struggled with!!!

  3. Jennifer Showalter

    October 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I was just sharing with a coworker, whose marriage is in some serious trouble, about the whole love/respect balance. I think this is an important thing to understand even when dealing with brothers, friends, and dads. I talk about this with my friends who are single.

  4. Thanks Tammy! I’m running with this!

  5. Being the other half of Tammy’s experience, I can say that she is 100% nail on the head! From my perspective, as a man, it was difficult, and still is sometimes, to put into words the feelings of being unloved and alone. Only when we confronted this together did I come to the realization that she was feeling the same way. You absolutely have to communicate with your spouse, and talk about your (*gulp*) feelings.

  6. Well put Tammy (& Rick)! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Wives have such an important job as Helper to our husbands. For the past few years God has been revealing so much to me about the Christian marriage. It’s been so humbling, liberating and wonderful for me and my husband.

    Wonderful post. God bless.

  8. Stopping by from Team Faith Builder FB group. Nice to meet you. This is such an important post. I learned this several years ago and know it works to build up my man…..not in a fake, flattering sort of way, but in a sincere manner. Makes marriage so much better.

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