Your husband used to be a go-getter, always on top of things. Now, he barely wants to get out of bed. You can’t get him out of the house, in front of a sink of dirty dishes, or even in clean clothes. He has a problem; unfortunately, it quickly becomes your problem as well.
There might be a reason why your husband lost his spark, like losing his job or getting bad health news. It could also be something you don’t know about, or maybe it’s nothing at all. No one should live in a constant state of inertia, though, so help your husband get out of his funk with these seven ideas.
Determine the Cause
If your husband was recently laid off or suffered a setback, you can understand why he’s feeling listless. But sometimes, the reason isn’t so clear. Why doesn’t he want to play football with his buddies or go out on date night? Talk to him to find out if anything has changed. If that doesn’t help, take him to the doctor – you’d be amazed how even a slight infection can sap motivation.
Talk It Out
People sometimes shut down when they feel like they’re facing a struggle all alone. Talking things out can remove this feeling of isolation, and may lead to renewed motivation. Whether you initiate the conversation or your husband does, talk about what’s going on. He may just need to get things off his chest, or maybe he needs advice on how to get back on track.
Many times a negative outlook on life becomes a habit that is hard to shake. Fifty percent of what we do every day is habitual and that can include our attitude. Getting your husband to reason out why he is down and out will help him get his motivation back. Use the bait and switch method; replace his complacency and negative attitude with optimism and a motivation to live well.
Take Some of the Load Off
Your husband might know he needs to take action but not know where to start. Make it easier by taking the first step. If he needs to find a job, send him promising leads. If he needs to lose weight, start cooking healthy meals. If he’s stopped hanging out with friends, invite them over for dinner and drinks. These little pushes might prompt him to become more proactive.
Offer Incentives for Positive Steps
Sometimes your husband needs extra incentives to resume activities he used to enjoy. Maybe you want to go shopping but your hubby doesn’t feel like going out. Offer to take him to his favorite restaurant for lunch. You don’t always have to make it so obvious; if you suggest watching a shoot-‘em-up every time he cleans the yard, he’ll get the message.
Leverage His Competitive Streak
For some men, the only thing worse than having to do something is having someone else doing it. Even the idea can make them spring into action. Need the sink fixed? Let him know you called a plumber; he’ll get the toolbox before you finish your sentence. Raise the stakes by making it a contest; if he wants to quit smoking, pit him against another smoker and see who wins.
Accentuate the Positive
Positive thinking gets people off their butts, so remind your husband that his actions will lead to something good. He’ll do more yard work if he remembers how jealous the neighbors used to be of your spotless lawn. He’ll spend more time with the kids if he knows they’ll make him their hero. And he’ll definitely eat right and exercise when you remind him how sexy healthy men are.
Sing His Praises
While your husband appreciates your kind words and gestures when you’re alone, you’ll boost his ego when you do it in front of others. A compliment and a squeeze of the hand at a party make him feel good and look good to other guests. Praise him, but don’t flatter him; sweet talk that sounds insincere could backfire and make him feel worse.
Whether you want your husband to get back on his feet or just get off the couch, he may need encouragement from you. Follow these tips and he’ll be back to his old self in no time.
Alicia Lawrence is a content coordinator for a tech company and blogs in her free time at MarCom Land. Her articles have been published by Her Fitness Hut, Examiner.com, and Ask Miss A.
Dustin Riechmann created Engaged Marriage to help other married couples live a life they love (especially) when they feel too busy to make it happen. He has many passions, including sharing ways to enjoy an awesome marriage in 15 minutes a day, but his heart belongs with his wife Bethany and their three young kids.