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Define a "Supportive Wife" for me....

mamacat_30's picture

Every time DH and I argue I am accused of not being supportive, that I'm not "on his team". Not just referring to the argument om hand, but to everyday life. So, I'd like to know how you ladies and gents would define a "Supportive Wife". What are the everyday things a wife does to show her husband that she is "on his team"?

I know what the things are that I do, and I know my definition of a Supportive Wife, but if I tell you that would be cheating. Maybe I'll take the responses and do a follow up blog. Thanks for you input.


overworkedmom's picture

Praise him for accomplishments at work or at home. Thank him for work he does and things he does for you. If he makes a call on discipline with kids- back him up in front of kids (talk about it later). Do nice things for him (Like, I bring my DH coffee every morning. They don't have to be grand gestures, just little- I am thinking of you things).

Those are what I think of off the top of my head.

thinkthrice's picture

I think a lot of guilty biodads think of "supportive" as blindly following everything they say.
Example: DH wants to rob a bank--no problem
DH wants to commit a felony--check!
DH wants to lead his child down the path of ignorance and eventually jail time for the sake of "not making waves with the BM"--awesome!

I too in the early years was "supportive" in that I let Guilty Daddy have his way in non-parenting his children. Which was DISASTEROUS! My inner voice told me "this isn't right!" Which I ignored for the better part of almost five years. When the spoiling backfired on him in a big way, he seemed shocked and surprised. I wasn't. When the BM stabbed him in the back six ways to Sunday, he seemed confounded. I wasn't.

When I started moving toward "you've done it YOUR way and it's imploded, now let's try it my way" his personality changed overnight and he became downright mean and nasty; saying I wasn't "supportive" that I "hated his children" and that I'd better "butt out."

So defining "supportive" to a guilty daddy is to be readily available to enable and finance his trainwreck children, yet turn a blind eye and have no say so in anything to do with said children ALTHOUGH it DIRECTLY impacts you negatively. Also known as 100% responsibilty/accountability for SM and 0% authority.

Sorry if I sound bitter; I've been in this ultimate bait and switch scheme for 10 years (to life).

Cocoa's picture

i support my dh by listening to his woes and providing encouragement about things going on in his life apart from me (work). i support him by being honest with him. i bring my share to our marriage regarding chores and paying bills and pull my own weight. i do not allow him to dictate to me and i think perhaps he thinks this is not being supportive of him at times. i have more free time/money than he does, but i still expect him to be a full partner to me as well as live up to his parenting obligations. and i think he used to also believe my refusal to be a live in nanny/maid/sugar momma was not being supportive of him. i encourage that HE spend time with his kids in constructive ways (without me) and totally support good parenting decisions. i do what i can to "grease the wheels" while he's out doing what he needs to do to be a responsible parent whithout taking the burden of actually parenting his kids myself. example: i made a purchase with the agreement that he reimburse me half. he got his son a job and ss has been saving his money all summer to buy a car. the kid is busting butt (totally suprised and delighted me!) i told dh that it was ok to delay paying me back for the boat so that he could contribute some to ss's car. but, if dh expects me rewarding bad behavior as being usupportive, or to shoulder HIS responsibilites, i guess i would be that.

Shaman29's picture

It depends on your situation and what your DH means by supportive. As ThinkThrice said above, it may mean that he wants you to stand by every dumbass decision he makes and say nothing.

Being supportive in a relationship, means working as a team. Sometimes I'm the coach (okay most of the time) and sometimes I'm the player. When you're the coach, it means there will be times when you have to redirect the plays and lead your player back to victory. When you're the player, it means you should allow the coach to do the same for you.

It doesn't mean putting up with his crap for the rest of your life because that is the easiest route for him. Life is hard. Your DH needs to learn that doing the right thing sometimes means taking the longer, more difficult path. He should always consider the impact taking the easy route will have on his current relationships (wife, kids, skids, friends and co-workers).

thebrokenrecordmachine's picture

I really like what SHAMAN29 said.

It is only natural to have conflict in some aspect of our lives. And that’s when we need to be “supported” the most.

To be a supportive partner to me means not judging the persons opinions or actions unless it directly harms another person, ie, the intent to hurt. Praising them for doing something nice or getting that job promotion. Appreciating what you have, telling them how hot they are etc. I love those brownies you made.

There are going to be times when you WILL not agree on things and during those times, your partner shouldn’t hold a temper tantrum or get mad because you like green and he likes blue. Differences of opinion should be respected. Compromise is a big part of being supportive.

If your partner is going thru a rough time at work, for health reasons, BM reasons etc.. and you have noticed a change in their behaviour talk to them, figure out what is going on. When you say things like “I don’t know what you want me to do here,” or “I can only do so much,” and lastly, “I give up.” You are indirectly telling them, you’re giving up on the relationship. You can never truly be in someones shoes and NO ONE can read minds, be empathetic.

The definition of failure to me, is giving up. Being supportive means never giving up!