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Practical Marriage Advice For The Overwhelmed Mom

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If someone were to ask you if you loved your husband, you’d probably say yes. But if someone were to ask you if you liked your husband, that answer might change. Many women have a natural tendency to nurture and love the people they care about, but in the messy middle of motherhood, when even brushing your hair feels like an extravagance, loving your husband well often falls to the back burner.

You know you need marriage advice, but going out of your way for the other adult in your home feels like a lot to give when all the little people are already demanding so much of you. Especially because, for so many moms, the majority of the housework and parenting falls on your shoulders. Marriage can start to feel like just one more thing on an already overflowing plate of to-dos.

And while it may seem easier in the moment to keep shuffling that date night down the priority ladder, over time you begin to feel lonely and unsupported. You signed up to be part of a team, but you’re the only one still in the game.

And the crazy cycle goes round and round – you know you need marriage advice, but you don’t have the time to invest in finding help, so you go on feeling resentful instead of taking the actions that will build bridges back to love and respect, and ultimately, the companionship you’d been craving all along.

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Hear me on this, mama – marriage is by far the hardest thing I have to do day to day. But I have learned that a strong, healthy marriage is the foundation upon which the entire legacy I am trying to build has to stand upon.

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

john 13:35

Jesus calls love the greatest commandment – love for God and love for each other. And he says love is the way that the world will recognize Christ in us.

It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing in the Bible that says it’s okay to withhold love from someone until such a time as they help me more, support me more, or it becomes more convenient for me to do so.

But God… it’s the promise that I stand upon throughout all of scripture. When I fail… but God. When I’m weary… but God. When I don’t think I can give any more… But God.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us.”

Ephesians 2:4

You might be thinking: that’s all well and good, but I honestly don’t have the time to breathe life into a marriage that’s pretty much lifeless at this point. Oh, my sweet friend – we serve a God who’s in the business of bringing dead things back to life.

It doesn’t need to be complicated. There are small, practical steps you can take to revive your marriage, little by little. Day by day.

I’m right there with you. In the thick of learning how to love my husband well despite the overwhelm of the season. What do you say? Will you join me?

Here are the steps I’m taking to cultivate closeness in my marriage despite the busyness of this season. I hope they help you feel empowered as you do the same!

1. Learn how to speak so your words will be heard.

The best piece of marriage advice I ever received was to learn our love languages. It’s so important to know both yours and your husband’s.

We often show love in the way we want to receive it, but that may not be the way your husband feels love. For example, you may feel loved by hearing words of affirmation, so when your husband does something thoughtful you praise him, knowing that’s what you would want from him. But maybe his love language is receiving gifts, and he feels you aren’t really appreciating him because all he gets are words and no tangible reward for his efforts.

You’re showing love in a language he doesn’t understand. And it’s the same with our words.

Because some men are not as forthcoming with their feelings as women are, it can feel like they’re detached and unsympathetic when they’re really just communicating in a different manner than we do. Their language is one of logic and reason, making it seem like they’d rather fix us than sympathize with us.

Instead of seeing this complementary point of view as a benefit, we get defensive. Then they get defensive. And our communication deteriorates to the point where no one is being heard.

It’s important that you let him know sometimes the best way to love you is to say nothing at all. Tell him that you value his opinions, but not every situation needs fixing. Teach him how to speak in such a way that his words will be heard.

Then return the favor.

Not only does your husband want to know you, he wants you to know him, but it can’t always be on your terms. When you’re trying to dig deep into emotional issues, especially after an argument or disagreement, your husband may need some time to form a response he feels is adequate. Give it to him. It may take an hour or it may take a day. Ask him when a good time would be to come back together and address the issue.

As you stop focusing on your own need to speak and shift your attention to being heard, you’ll find that the chasm between you becomes much easier to bridge.

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

2. Set aside time to be together.

While I’m a true advocate of prioritizing your marriage, I’m also a realist and understand that life gets in the way sometimes.

Conventional marriage advice says I need to have a date night once a week. And I would really and truly love to get out on the town, just me and my guy, on a regular basis. But in reality, this rarely happens. So we shoot for putting the kids to bed, snuggling up on the couch, and falling asleep to a movie about once a month. But there are seasons where even this proves difficult.

So we’ve had to improvise.

My husband and I usually unload about our days as we get ready for bed at night or as we get ready for the day in the morning, as these tend to be the only quiet moments we get in The Oakleaf Home For Boys. But we make it a point to connect, even for a few minutes, every day.

We talk about what’s working and not working in our jobs, lives, and marriage. We give comfort, and ask for advice.

Some people will tell you that you shouldn’t discuss your kids because they’re already such a big part of your everyday conversation, but I find that my husband wants to know about our kids because he’s away from them all day.

There really aren’t any rules. Just talk. And listen.

When it’s possible, get away together. For a weekend, a night, or even just a few hours. Escaping from the mundane monotony of everyday life can do more to restore your sanity than just about anything else.

When you remove the distractions created by chores, kids, and technology, it’s easier to find your way back to those carefree days when smiles came easily, and a simple touch nearly made you come undone.

3. Learn your triggers.

I used to think my husband was my trigger. Anything he said or did made me angry and resentful. But over time I’ve come to learn that a lot of what sets me off in my marriage is less about was he does and more about my own emotional baggage.

Last year I read the book Marriage Triggers: Exchanging Spouses’ Angry Reactions for Biblical Responses, and it completely changed the way I reacted in my relationship.

This is not your typical marriage advice. It’s a real, deep dive into who we are as people, and how our own fears and insecurities lead us to reacting in our relationships rather than being proactive.

More than any other resource I’ve ever come across, this one was a game changer. It helps you focus on what you can control (you), surrendering what you can’t control (him), and trusting God to be faithful to do His work when you stop trying to stand in His way.

I couldn’t recommend it more! Plus it’s broken down into 31 “triggers” so each day is a short, simple read. Because let’s face it, if it’s not easy, it’s probably not going to get done in this season.

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

4. Have sex. Lots of it.

Sex can be such a hot button topic, especially since so much marriage advice is centered around it being the pivotal “duty” a wife should perform for her husband. But I’m rejecting that mentality for every woman, everywhere. Sex should never be a chore, mama. And it’s certainly something a woman can desire as much as any man.

Sex is the main thing that seperates marriage from platonic friendship. That level of intimacy can only be found by sharing your entire self, and connecting on a physical level. And for a woman, intimacy is the sweet spot in a marriage relationship. That place where emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical closeness all come together and you become one.

For a man, physical intimacy is probably the language he speaks best.

In fact, his visceral need for physical intimacy can be a barrier to communication if it’s not met. Men are simply sharper when they aren’t focused on their needs. If you put forth the effort to make him feel desired, your husband will most likely be more inclined to step out of his comfort zone for you.

Some women struggle in this area because of the general unsexiness of motherhood, but I challenge you to read this post: He Thinks My Mom Jeans Are Sexy: Learning to Feel Sensual In Spit Up, and make the effort. Because I’ve also found that when my husband and I feel truly disconnected, sex brings us back to ourselves. When words fail, it’s a way to say I love you and I’m here for you without speaking at all.

5. Pray.

Prayer should be your first line of defense when you’re gearing up for any mission, and fighting for your marriage is definitely one place where you want to be on your knees early and often.

If I could give you one piece of marriage advice it would be to pray for your husband. Even if he isn’t able or willing to join you. Pray for him. It’s very hard to be angry at someone you are fervently interceding for.

I found this hard at the beginning. My prayers were half-hearted requests like help him at work, or make him a better husband. But eventually I became more committed and bought the book The Power of A Praying Wife.

I still use the prayers in that book all the time. It helped me to pray more in-depth, targeted prayers for my husband’s needs, and also to better understand some of the daily struggles he was facing. Because it can be hard to see that other people have a heavy burden to bear when we are so focused on the weight of our own.

There was probably a time when you couldn’t imagine anyone or anything else being more important to you than your husband. And it is possible to get that back. Even when parenting and mom life seem so all-consuming.

“People don’t get to choose who they fall in love with. They only get to choose who they stay in love with.”

Colleen Hoover, maybe someday

Good marriage advice will always boil down to this simple fact: in order to make a marriage work, you have to choose each other over and over and over again. Forever. It’s not always easy, but I promise you, it’s worth it. 

With a little effort and a new mindset, you might even find that your husband is actually the best balm for your weary mom heart.

If you’re ready to start changing your heart and mindset toward your marriage, start with Marriage Triggers or The Power of Praying Wife! Both have short, daily readings that will help you make progress, even in the midst of mom life!

Freebie ALERT!

Unbusy Your Mom Life!

Hey mama, I see you – hustling hard. Doing all.the.things. But mom life doesn’t have to be ruled by your to-do list. Let me show you how to Take Back Your Time with my FREE toolkit!

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