There’s so much to prepare for this season, we have a big family reunion coming up! I am so stressed, but I feel that my husband is not that interested in helping me out. What can I do to encourage him and make him more involved? What task can I assign to him? – Leslie
In moments like this, the last thing that you want to do is to enter into a discussion with him to find out whether he is interested or not. I bet you also don’t want to second guess or assume.
There are times when men just wait for their wife’s advice on how he can participate in something. Looking at him, it seems like he’s not interested, but often, men like “waiting for the right moment”, especially when they see that their spouse is very much involved in the decision-making for something. They seem to take a back seat and merely observe. On the other hand, you can look at it this way – he trusts that you can do it, and he is genuinely happy for you. If you really want him to be involved, I suggest that you involve him from the start, sit down with him, and tell him you would really appreciate it if he would help you with the preparations, telling him it can be a good team-building experience as a couple. You may give him a list of things to decide on or tasks you expect him to do—men usually like clear instructions, a little note will help. Make sure it has specified set deadlines. If it’s calling people or coordinating suppliers, it is best that you provide him with the numbers, or from the start tell him that it is his role to source them out. Make a regular follow-up, men like follow-ups done ahead and not last minute. Lastly, honor and thank him. Most men like a simple yet sweet “thanks”. Appreciation will go a long way. The next time you involve him, he’ll remember that it’s worth it because he was of great help to you. So it’s not a question of whether he is interested or not, but it is a matter of you clearly asking for his help, and surely, he’ll be all too happy to assist his wife.
Is he totally uninterested or is he just waiting to be asked?
Perhaps he’s not cutout to plan events. Maybe he can help out in areas or chores not directly related to the event like helping with the errands for the house or the kids, just so your hands could be free from some of the tasks you’ll need to juggle while planning for the reunion. But he needs to know that such errands are expected of him. Ask nicely!
Maybe he is just waiting to be asked? Communication is key. Talk it out. Plan together. Give him specific tasks, things he would enjoy doing. Maybe he can help out in the logistics – selecting certain suppliers, setting up the venue, putting together music or videos or your own family’s presentation for the event. Give him a deadline and trust that since he agreed, he’ll do it. Avoid following up all the time.
Finding ways to encourage him is better than getting stressed out or unloading your frustrations on him. The family reunion will happen no matter what, and soon after, you will be back to your your own regular family routine. Until then, treat all challenges along the way as temporary.