As my husband and I stood at the altar five years ago, overwhelmed with love, I’m sure we had no real idea of what was in store for us. From money challenges to tragic family loss to work promotions and a new baby, we have tested the waters from “for better” all the way to “for worse.”
What I love most about my husband is his never-ending support. When I have a good day, he brings home flowers and wine. When I have a bad day, he brings home flowers and wine. He celebrates me for even the tiniest accomplishments, and his unwavering support means the world to me. My husband is always here for me, and he knows he can count on me to have his back forever and ever.
One of my favorite things to do is to observe other couples in the way that they support each other. Not only does it give me ideas on how to be a better wife, but I can show my husband and inspire him to step his game up too. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the support my husband gives, but some of these supportive spouses have taken things to the next level, and I would not say no to that!
1. Let your spouse know how proud you are of them.
Before Serena Williams went to the U.S. Open, her husband, Alexis Ohanian shared a beautiful tribute video for her. The video celebrated her as a mother, an athlete, and a hero, and it was one of the most touching ways I’ve seen a husband support a wife in, like, ever.
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She fought for her life, for our child, for recognition, for equal pay, for women’s rights. She never gives up. She’s passionate and unrelenting and the most inspiring person I know. I had this made for @serenawilliams last night after her match with some home videos from 1 year ago this week. Help me make sure she sees it! #iloveyouserena
2. Promote your spouse’s work.
John Legend recently posted a sweet pic of him and his wife, Chrissy Teigen with a message about their anniversary. He also just happened to mention her new cookware line, where to buy it, and the exact date that it comes out. There’s something extra sexy about a husband who supports his wife’s work.
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What can I say on a day like today? I could talk about the 12 beautiful years I've known you. I could talk about the 5 years of wedded bliss, the 2 wonderful children we've brought into this world. But I feel the urge to say something far more important. I LOVE your new kitchenware line at @Target. I can't wait for it to come out on September 30th. I'm so proud of everything you've done in your career and how much joy you bring to people's lives. Did I mention that your Cravings Cookbook is coming out Tuesday? Because it's coming out Tuesday. I love you, baby.
3. Always show your spouse in the best light.
I don’t get Kanye West. A lot of the things he says and does lately are just confusing to me, and I’m still not over how he dissed Amber Rose back in the day. His wife, Kim Kardashian, doesn’t care what we think about Kanye, though. She only ever shares how much she loves him, how creative he is, and what a good father he is. Kim shows a different side of him that the public doesn’t always see, and reminds us that he’s human, even if he does act like an asshole sometimes.
4. Tell your spouse how they inspire you.
When Dax Shepard celebrated 14 years of sobriety, his wife Kristen Bell was right there with him to let the world know how inspired by him she was. It’s one thing to tell someone that they did a good job for making it through a tough time. It’s entirely another, and incredibly meaningful thing to say, as Kristen wrote to Dax, “I want you to know, I see you. I see how hard you work. You set an excellent example of being human.” Oh my goodness, my heart! My heart!!!
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To the man mocked me in our wedding photos because I cried too many tears of joy, Who wore a baby Bjorn for 2 straight years to show his girls how to be as adventurous as possible, Who held our dear little shakey mann pup for 8 hrs straight on the day we had to put him down, I know how much you loved using. I know how much it got in your way. And I know, because I saw, how hard you worked to live without it. I will forever be in awe of your dedication, and the level of fierce moral inventory you perform on yourself, like an emotional surgery, every single night. You never fail to make amends, or say sorry when its needed. You are always available to guide me, and all of our friends, with open ears and tough love when its needed most. You have become the fertilizer in the garden of our life, encouraging everyone to grow. I'm so proud that you have never been ashamed of your story, but instead shared it widely, with the hope it might inspire someone else to become the best version of themselves. You have certainly inspired me to do so. I love you more than I ever thought I could love anyone, and I want you to know, I see you. I see how hard you work. You set an excellent example of being human. Happy 14th year sobriety birthday, @daxshepard. Xoxo
5. Stay with your spouse through the good times and bad times.
When we take those vows that say, “through sickness and in health,” most of us pray that we never have to deal with the sickness part. Guiliana Rancic was diagnosed with cancer just a few years into her marriage to Bill Rancic. Bill honored his vows and was there for his wife as she underwent a double mastectomy. There is no doubt that she would be there for him if the tables were turned, because that’s what a supportive spouse does.
6. Encourage your spouse in their role as a parent.
Marriage is already tough, and adding kids to the mix takes the challenge to another level. Even though you might assume your spouse already knows that you appreciate them as a parent, we could all use a little bit of encouragement when it comes to knowing we’re a good parent. Neil Patrick Harris did more than just encourage his husband David Burtka. He let the world know what an awesome dad David is. When in doubt, public adoration is always a good gift.
7. Spoil your spouse just because.
You don’t need a reason to be a supportive spouse. It doesn’t have to be a special occasion for you to let them know you care about them and have their back. Just because love and support is so meaningful and is really the fuel that keeps marriages going. When you’re looking at your spouse and thinking about how beautiful, why not capture that moment like Portia De Rossi does for wife Ellen DeGeneres and let them know. Extra points for posting on Instagram and sharing it with the world.
Marriage ain’t easy. The responsibility of emotionally supporting another human is a lot of work. When you have someone who does the same in return, though, it makes it all worthwhile. My husband may not support me publicly in the way that John supports Chrissy, or Kim supports Kanye, but he’s here for me, and just knowing that makes me feel safe and loved.