Your husband is down, and you know that he could use some cheering up. Whether he had a tough day at the office, a fight with his parents or siblings or received some bad news, the best thing to do is to make yourself available for him to lean on. The issue of how to go about cheering up your husband is sensitive, since some men take it personally if their spouses try too hard or make obvious attempts. According to a February 2011 article in "Greater Good" magazine, published by the University of California at Berkeley, it is best to offer your husband invisible support that does not draw more attention to the problem. (Ref. 1)
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Listen to your husband. You will know that he needs cheering up based on what he shares with you. If he needs to vent and let things off of his chest, allow him to do so. It may be therapeutic for him to talk out loud about the things that are upsetting him, without you having to make any obvious attempts at cheering him up. The fact that you are listening to him can be a cheer-up tactic in and of itself.
Provide physical comfort. A small gesture, such as holding his hand, can make him feel like he can lean on you through anything. If your husband is the type who likes hugs, embrace him. However, some men do not like to receive physical comfort during times of sorrow, so be sensitive to your husband's individual needs and preferences.
Offer your help. If your husband has an errand to run, but seems like he is in no shape to do it, step in and tell him not to worry because you can run the errand for him. If he turns down your offer, do not feel insulted. Sometimes it helps clear men's minds to drive around and focus on a task.
Brainstorm with your husband. If he is upset because of something going on at work, and wants to discuss it with you, help him come up with ideas that make him feel better, or provide some solutions. If he asks you for your opinion on something, be careful about telling him what to do. Rather, ask your husband which decision he feels the most comfortable with. You don't want to be held responsible for telling him to do something that does not work out in his favour.
Make him his favourite meal or dessert. This is an obvious cheer-up tactic, but nevertheless, your husband won't mind if you made your famous chocolate chip cookies.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid bringing up painful reminders when your husband is down. If he had an argument with a friend, don't remind him of all the other times in the past that the friend was cruel to him. Focus on the situation at hand and look towards the future.
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