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How to be a supportive husband – By Ian Elroy Ogonji

How to be a supportive husband – By Ian Elroy Ogonji

I once heard a woman say, “I am a proud wife of an imperfect perfect husband. He is the only one in this world who can tolerate my madness.” The statement seemed to have come from a place of love and caring, perhaps from a core point of a husband who shows support no matter the flaws.

Donning the hat of a supportive husband is paramount, if not essential. Women crave to have that special person who will love them unconditionally and be by their side no matter what goes wrong. Couples tend to focus much more on supporting each other’s future-oriented goals and seemingly forget the day-to-day support.

Support however, might sometimes be mistaken for clinginess. If your partner hangs on your every word, does whatever you want and follows you to every corner of the earth, how would you describe that? The thin line between a supportive and a clingy husband can be a notch confusing. How you express your love, support and care is what differentiates the two.

It helps to understand your partner’s love language. As Gary Chapman puts it, there are five love languages: Words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.

Fathoming your wife’s love language will enable you to identify the type of support she may need, this understanding will effortlessly help cement a happy marriage. In Gary Chapman’s school of thought, love languages helps to express heartfelt commitment to your partner, in this case – your wife. How, you might be wondering?  Let’s break it down:

Words of affirmation

Your wife needs to know she is doing a good job. All she wants to hear is that she is a good wife, the best mom and generally a good person. Complimenting your wife often gives her validation. After all, everyone deserves validation from their partner.

As a husband, there are copious ways on how you can give your wife words of affirmation – it is a gift wrapped in support. Give compliments more often – tell her she looks good in that outfit, she is a wonderful cook, she performed well on her projects etc. Also, don’t forget to say thank you for all she does. Give her a chance to know that you appreciate her efforts.

Acts of service

Quite traditionally, house chores were known to belong to the woman. The man of the house was known to solely provide and protect the family.

However, it’s the little things you do that make all the difference in a marriage especially when the wife and husband work and both return home tired at the end of the day. Giving your wife support in some areas such as the kitchen, picking the kids up from school and cleaning are gestures that strengthen the bond.

Receiving gifts

Gifts are antidotes that lighten the mood. Life can be so unclear at times, especially in this pandemic period. Gifting your wife something once in a while will help brighten her world. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive – just something she likes, something that leaves a good memory or anything that will add up to something great. Putting a smile on your wife’s face through gifting is something to yearn for. She won’t necessarily ask for the gifts, your gesture and surprise is what will matter the most.

Quality time

Spending quality time with your wife gives you the chance to know her better – in essence, spending time with her gives her emotional support. It’s through this that you’ll discover her strengths and weakness and open the window for you to know when and how to support her. She could need some motivation, encouragement or just someone to talk to.

You can spend time with her through coffee dates, evening strolls, going on vacations or even binging on a series together.

Physical touch

Intimacy is a key component to a healthy marriage. When you are emotionally intimate with your wife, you may feel as if you can see into her soul, know her hopes, and dreams and understand her on a deeper level.

Research shows that oxytocin (a bonding hormone) released during the initial stage of infatuation causes couples to feel euphoric and turned on. Physical touch such as hugs, holding hands, and tender caresses are great ways to affirm your love for your wife.

There are different kinds of support that a husband can give his wife. Being a supportive husband means that you are someone who gives your wife encouragement, and respect, loves her unconditionally, listens to her, and allows her to be herself around you.

Always portray your spouse in the best light

There is a street adage that goes: “support her in public, correct her in private”. A supportive husband should always be on his wife’s side and paint her as the best wife on earth.

Show her that you love her, both in private and public. After all, she is your wife, the one you said ‘I do’ to at the altar, the one you chose to spend the rest of your life with.

Encourage her in her role as a parent

Marriage can be tough at times, especially when kids start coming. You might easily assume that your wife knows you appreciate her as a parent. Don’t assume – invariably encourage her efforts and let her know that your support is always on standby whenever she needs it.

If her love language is words of affirmation, use every opportunity to let her know she’s the best mom ever.

Offer help frequently

Offer to help your wife in doing some house chores. You may decide to prepare dinner some nights or clean the house. Partners that help each other, stay together. There will also be instances when she will offer you her help.

Give assurance that you’re a team

There are times when she might feel like she is going through life alone, despite the many times you declare you are there for her. Always assure her that she can count on you for anything. Anything! And that you are a team! She will feel comfortable approaching you for assistance and guidance.

Be a good listener

Listen before coming to a conclusion. Being a good listener helps to know what your partner is trying to tell you. Sometimes all she needs is someone to vent on. She might not want advice or encouragement, just someone to listen.

Also, in the digital era, it might be tempting to be on your phone when your wife is talking to you. Put your phone away and listen to what she is saying. Give her the undivided attention she deserves. Don’t let the ‘familiarity breeds contempt’ syndrome come between the two of you.


It is human nature to do wrong. By apologizing you show that you are accountable for your mistakes and that you are ready to rectify them. Your apology should also be honest and genuine. This shows your wife love and respect.

Support her dreams and goals

Everyone has dreams and goals that they want to achieve. Give her all the support she needs to navigate through her career and dreams – could be financial, emotional, motivational or just merely advice on how to go about her projects.

Let her know that you are rooting for her to be the best version, always. And when she accomplishes something, telling her ‘I am so proud of you’ will go a long way.

Be empathetic

Always put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Think of how you’d want them to treat you if you were in their position. If you notice that your partner is going through a challenging situation, think of what kind of help they might need from you and provide it without them having to ask. Instead of criticizing them for doing something incorrectly, accept their way of doing things and correct them with love.

Remember the details

It is common for men to forget crucial dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Remembering these special days and gifting your partner goes a long way.  Don’t be the husband that forgets your wedding anniversary, or worse, your kid’s birthday. This might paint you as an unsupportive husband.


Being a supportive husband begets a healthy bond. The best part is that your partner will always reciprocate.

Allowing your wife to know that she can count on, and trust you with her darker side of life cements a solid foundation. As a united front, it’s essential to have a safe space for each other.

Understanding your partner’s love language makes it easy to know which support your partner may need. It’s not rocket science, and neither is it Greek. It is the path that leads to a happy and healthy marriage.

Article written by:

Ian Elroy Ogonji

E: theogonji@gmail.com

T: @ianogonji

IG: @ianogonji


Ian Elroy Ogonji is a journalist with published work in The Star Newspaper, The Standard Media, Business Insider South Africa among other publications.

He mirrors society through the lenses of a creative – from writing relatable articles to creative stories that resonate with the new world.

His vast experience has allowed him to amass a wealth of knowledge which he now uses to effect positive change in society.

When not writing, Ian enjoys traveling, taking photos, and watching cat videos on YouTube.

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