Because my job requires me to travel a bit, I always like to be prepared for what’s in store. The weather app on my phone helps me to do that. I just click on the app and it tells me whether there’s sun or clouds, rain or snow in the city I’m traveling to. The forecast reveals to me what I need to pack and how to dress, and how much time to set aside for moving from place to place.
Recently, I started thinking about what it’d be like if there were a similar app for marriage, an app that would forecast what kind of climate to expect at home every day. This app would prepare me with a forecast by letting me know if my wife needed a hug the moment I came in, if she needed to vent from a challenging day, or take care of the kids.
Even though I haven’t invented such an app, I can share with you a daily checklist that will help avoid oncoming storms in your marriage.
1. Check the forecast.
First, be involved in your family’s calendar life by knowing which days are jam-packed with appointments, work, soccer practice, or dance recitals. Knowing ahead of time which days will be busy for your spouse means knowing ahead of time which days they will be overly stressed. Make a point to remember these days and put more effort into taking some of the pressure off your spouse by actively offering all the help you can. This will allow you to be proactive in fighting off potential storms that have yet to arise.
2. Consider the current conditions.
Next, know what you are walking into before you walk into it. Before you even get in the car to drive home, give your spouse a quick call or text to see how they’re doing. Oftentimes it’s easy to tell just by their tone of voice what the weather will be: bright and sunny, partly cloudy, or a full on thunderstorm. Just as you wouldn’t venture out into the rain without an umbrella, don’t walk into a stormy home unarmed. This may mean stopping to pick up flowers for your spouse, grabbing dinner for the family on the way home, or simply bringing in a good attitude to the rainy situation.
3. Keep an eye on the barometer.
If the barometer is rising when you get home, great. But if the barometer is falling at home, that means storms may be on the horizon. So take control of the evening. Tell your spouse you’ll take care of things and let them relax. Take over helping kids with their homework. Cook dinner. Do the dishes. Wash the clothes. Get the kids ready for bed. No matter what you do, work hard to turn a potentially stormy evening into a bright one.
What are some other ways you’ve learned to handle and avoid storms in your marriage? I’d appreciate your ideas in a comment below.