Family

10 ways to jump-start your husband when he breaks down (written by a man)

Posted August 7

Men are like three-day-old chocolate-filled donuts. We may seem a bit crusty on the outside, but we're still a gooey mess on the inside. Rarely, but inevitably, we crack and those gooey emotions rise to the surface for all to see. That's when we need your help. This list provides nine ways for you to jumpstart your husband when he breaks down.

Here's the catch

Your car might break down for a plethora of reasons. It takes practice and skill to find the cause and to respond with the appropriate action. It's the same with your husband. Not every point on this list will work every time. It's up to you to thoughtfully consider which method will work best in your specific situation. That's your homework.

1. You be happy

There's something lifting about happiness. It's contagious. When your husband is down, all he might need is a little infectious positivity. It might be hard for you to understand how happy your happiness makes him, but rest assured that it's not only comforting, it's game-changing.

2. You be sad

"Hold up. But you just said be happy. What gives?" Again, analyze your situation. Sometimes taking things down a notch is the best decision to make. Sometimes your husband might want to be sad for a while, and that's OK! Support him in his sadness until it passes.

3. Do absolutely nothing

Sometimes there's nothing better you can do than simply allow your husband to spend some time in his "nothing box." We love that. What does that mean? Watch this video:

4. Ask him to teach you something that interests him

Distracting him with his hobbies is a great idea. Taking a sincere interest in them yourself is even better. He loves that.

5. Physical contact

Not only is it comforting, but physical touch can actually make pain go away and make wounds heal faster. Spend some time cuddling, or just hold hands for a while.

6. Slap him in the face

OK, don't actually slap him in the face. That could be bad. But sometimes we men are a little over-dramatic about some things. Sometimes we sweat the small stuff. If he falls into this category, your husband might just need someone to look him in the eyes and say, "You're being dramatic. Suck it up."

Be careful with this one. If used in the wrong contexts, you run the risk of trampling his feelings (yes, we have those). Try it out on small, inconsequential circumstances. It might just be the jarring he needs to clear the brain fog and help him to lighten up.

7. You guessed it—food

Men can get hangry too. They might just be one burger away from normalcy.

8. Give him a little nap-time

Because sometimes you just have to reset and sleep it off. Take the kids for an hour or two and let him just crash like he did back in his college days.

Small acts of service like this are important and appreciated. It shows you're dedicated to the relationship and just plain care.

9. Make him laugh

This one is tough. Some men can be pretty stoic. This might take the form of spontaneous tickling, terrible one-liners or could be as simple as imitating certain bodily noises (if you catch my drift).

10. Reassure him

Words are powerful. Remind him how much you love and look up to him. Express confidence in his abilities. Compliment him on his positive qualities and let him know, no matter the circumstances, that eventually everything is going to turn out OK.

Your man needs you

It can be hard for a man to be emotionally available. We're cultured into feeling that feeling is not masculine. It's a lie, and we need your help reminding us of that. Life is hard. Sometimes your man is going to break down. He might try to hide it. He might be ashamed of it. He's going to need your help. Use this list to thoughtfully identify the best way to pull your man out of the dumps. If we missed anything, be sure to let us know in the comments section.

David Snell is a writer for the FamilyShare team, specializing in humor writing. He's trilingual (English, Spanish and Movie Quotes), passionate about all things communication and is always up for learning new skills.

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