1. Can you help me understand?
Asking for more understanding in a gentle way is much better than assuming he’s feeling a certain way or acting out because of something you did. Be genuine when you ask—make sure you’re asking because you truly want to know and not just because you know you should ask. Hopefully he’ll be able to sense your genuine intention and appreciate that you’re not assuming.
2. You are worth it.
Make sure he knows how much he means to you, and that he’s worth every struggle you’re going through. Don’t let him give up on himself. You know how wonderful it feels to know that your spouse believes in you and that you’re valuable to him. Give him the gift of knowing that you think he’s worth not giving up on and that you’ll stick by his side.
3. I’m sorry for my part in the marriage being hard.
It’s easy to say or think your husband is the one in the wrong, but have you evaluated ways that you may have made mistakes? Can you think of ways that maybe you’ve been a hypocrite by doing things you’ve asked your husband not to do? Keep in mind your own imperfections and you’ll find your heart softening towards your husband. Take accountability for things you could’ve done better, and tell him.
4. I want to be a better wife to help our relationship.
Vocalize the fact that you do want to work on yourself so that you can be happy together again. Perhaps he’s thinking that you’re giving up or that he’s the problem, and all he needs is to know that you want things to work and are willing to look at yourself. Expressing humility will give you power to change for the better and will show him that he has reason to be hopeful.
5. I love you because ________.
Instead of just saying I love you, tell him why you love him. Give him specific examples of things he does or says that makes your heart swell with love and gratitude for him. Don’t worry if it’s something simple or small, like how he folds his clothes without being asked or how he gets up at the crack of dawn every day to go to work. Besides, it’s the small things that come to mean so much in the end.
6. I’m proud of you because ________.
Give him examples of ways he’s made you proud, whether it’s through his job, being a father, or being there for you. It’s important for him to know that you’re focusing on things he’s done right and not just things he’s done wrong. Flatter his ego a little—if he knows he’s doing things that impress you and make you proud, he’ll want to keep doing those things.
7. What do you need from me right now?
Sincerely and kindly ask what you can do for him at this time. Be willing to listen and understand why he needs what he may need. It can be hard to give him what he needs, especially if you feel your own needs aren’t being met or you’re feeling hurt and alone. However, finding the strength to offer a part of yourself to fulfill some of his needs will ultimately strengthen your marriage.
8. I need you.
Express how much you need him in your life and how devastating it would be to not have him by your side. Sometimes simply saying I need you can break down walls and soften hearts. Not only does it open the door for honest communication, but it also makes you vulnerable, and vulnerability is a key component of strong relationships.
9. Let’s get away, just the two of us.
Bring some spontaneity back into your relationship by planning a quick getaway just for you two. Doing something spontaneous will help you remember how to have fun together. During hard times, it can be difficult to understand why you even got married in the first place. Planning a getaway with just the two of you can help you focus on each other and remind you of the qualities that drew you together in the first place.
10. I have your back.
Your husband needs to know you won’t throw him under the bus when you’re around other people. Make sure you defend him in situations, and tell him that you’ll always stand by him. By knowing that you have his back, he’ll feel more secure with himself and your relationship. It will help him know that you’re proud to be with him and that you’re partners—a team that takes on the world together even when times are tough.