Role Of A Husband: How To Face The Changing Phases And Growing Responsibilities

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Marriage is the union of equals. When a couple gets married, they vow to take care of each other in good and bad times. And, a good relationship builds when wife and husband share responsibilities equally. Both the partners have individual roles to play, and their physical and mental investments in the relationship are different.

In this journey of togetherness, what is the role of a husband? If you are soon getting married, or are married and want to play your role to perfection, then read on.
MomJunction helps you understand the different hats you have to wear as a husband at different stages in a marriage.

Role As A Husband

Your role goes beyond merely providing and running the family. To be a good husband, you need to keep your wife and family happy. Here is how you can contribute:

  • Be a leader: When you are a leader you automatically know how to take charge of the house. There is a natural flow of things and ideas. And, a good leader knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. But, remember not to be bossy.
  • Protect her: This is your prime responsibility. You must protect your wife from all dangers, and violence – both physical and mental. She must feel secure in your presence and not otherwise.
  • Love unconditionally: The best way to love unconditionally is to ensure that you satisfy her emotionally. Assure her, let her know that you respect her, love her, and value her, and also show these in your actions.
  • Fulfill needs: The primary needs (food, shelter, clothing) have to be fulfilled. Besides, understand if she has any other needs and meet them. She will have different needs at various stages of her life.

[ Read: How To Be A Good Husband ]

  • Be patient: Wives can ’nag’ and go overboard sometimes, but she has your well being at the top of her mind. Accept her as she is, and if you do not like something about her, let her know subtly instead of criticizing her upfront. Don’t dislike her for small things. Instead, focus on the positive things that you like in her. Being a little patient can go a long way in cementing your relationship.
  • Be available: You vowed to be there for her and love her in sickness and health. That precisely sums up your responsibility. Do not leave her to deal with her problems all alone. Make her know that you are there for her no matter what the problem is. Your presence will give immense strength to her.
  • Have a good behavior: Be a gentleman and show it in your behavior. The way you talk or address a situation speaks miles about you. Also, remember that if you have children, then they will learn from your behavior. So, don’t involve yourself in calling names, criticizing, yelling, or abusing your wife.
  • Spend some us-time: A good husband will do more than just provide for the family. You should spend some quality time with your wife by taking her out, talking to her, and sharing your goals and dreams.
  • Involve: Get into a habit of being actively involved. Be it grocery shopping, gardening, cleaning the house, or settling accounts – involve yourself in all the activities. This takes away a substantial burden off your wife.
  • Be authoritative, but in the right way: A husband must be firm if the wife indulges in things such as gossip or mud-slinging. He must be the gatekeeper of the relationship and must stop any behavior that proves detrimental to it.
  • Respect her: You must refrain from talking about your wife’s private matters with friends and family. You need to build the trust by respecting her and upholding her dignity.
  • Take her opinion: You should consult her in all the decisions, big or small. By doing so you show her that she is important and her opinion is valuable to you.
  • Balance: You should maintain a good balance between being a parent and a husband. Most often when couples become parents, their focus shifts entirely from their relationship to the child. Avoid that because your wife still longs for your attention.

Responsibilities will always be there. They tend to increase or decrease depending on the situation and phase you are in.

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[ Read: Wife And Husband Relationship During Pregnancy ]

Responsibilities Of A Husband During Pregnancy

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During pregnancy, a woman is overwhelmed with emotions. Along with the happiness of seeing a baby, come some not-so-pleasant things such as nausea, morning sickness, fatigue and more. At this stage, she can use all the help she can get – both physically and emotionally. Besides taking care of her health, you could also do these:

  • Pregnancy can be frustrating sometimes. So, let her voice her concerns and anxieties to you. Provide emotional and physical support and reassure her that you are there for her. Help her deal with her worries. You could also talk to the doctor to get an idea of how you could contribute to her well-being.
  • Help her with household chores especially in the first and third trimester. Don’t wait for her to ask you to do the chores. Do the best you can.
  • Read pregnancy-related books to get an idea of things. You should be as prepared as she for labor and delivery. You could talk to a few friends and their partners, who have been pregnant, to get information. Also, speak to the gynecologist to clarify any doubts.
  • You could opt for a maternity photo shoot to cherish the wonderful memories of pregnancy.
  • Take her out to shop for maternity and baby clothes. There is nothing like ‘retail therapy’!
  • Women are obsessed with their weight. Just tell her not to worry about it and promise her that you will help her lose weight, when the time is right.
  • Make her feel special being pregnant. Hold her bump, talk to the baby, and tell her how beautiful she looks with the bump.

[ Read: Lovely Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas ]

  • Sign up for a Lamaze class. It’s one of the best and fun ways to socialize with other couples who are pregnant. It also helps both of you prepare well for the baby.
  • Make yourself available. No matter how busy you are at work, make time to accompany her for her monthly checkups as this keeps you updated about her and the baby’s health, and it makes her feel special.
  • Accept and acknowledge the changes in her body. Let her know that she is beautiful the way she is.
  • Go for romantic walks, as they serve the dual purpose of keeping her physically active and making her feel romantic.
  • Be patient with her temper. She will be agitated and moody because pregnancy can be uncomfortable at times, and her hormones are going through a sea of changes. Do little things such as feeding her, watching pregnancy movies, and pregnancy humor. Do all you can to make her laugh.
  • Be sensitive! If you want to have sex with her, let her know about it but don’t impose it on her. Get her in the mood. However, if she is tired or not in a mood to have sex, then respect her feelings instead of forcing her.
  • Plan a surprise! Take her on a babymoon. No matter how tired she is she will like it and appreciate your gesture.
  • Watch her eating habits. You have to be cautious about this as it directly impacts her and the unborn baby’s health. Make sure she eats a healthy diet, and keep your kitchen stocked with healthy foods and snacks.
  • Remind her about her medications and keep them handy or pin-up a to-do list on the refrigerator so that she will not miss out on them.
  • Pregnancy means cravings! So you may have to let her indulge even in the middle of the night! However, keep a close watch on what she eats.
  • As the pregnancy progresses, it can get difficult for her to get good sleep due to the growing weight of the baby and pressure in her lower back. Cramps can also make her feel restless. So, give her a back and leg massage now and then so that she gets some sleep, and feels relaxed.
  • As the delivery day draws close, be prepared to go to the hospital any time for delivery. Keep a bag ready with your wife’s clothes, baby’s clothes, mobile, charger, snacks, and anything else that may be required
  • It’s natural to panic when your wife goes into labor, but understand that ‘labor is natural too’. Stay calm and composed, talk to her, and be by her side throughout. If there is any last minute intervention, then seek an explanation from the gynecologist.

You are the one she looks up to for strength. So be by her side even after childbirth. If you are a first-time father, gear up for your new role as a father.

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[ Read: Romantic Love Messages For Wife ]

Role As A Father

The love and care of a father is heart-warming. A father’s role in parenting cannot be undermined as it influences the personality of the child. Here is how you can fulfill the role of a father:

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  • Be there: You being there with the newborn can make a world of difference. Studies (1) show that fathers who are involved in parenting in early childhood reported having kids who are emotionally healthy, socially competent, good problem-solvers, and academically brilliant.
  • Provide safety: You needn’t be a superhero, but providing a safe environment for your kids is a must. This could include baby proofing the house, teaching, warning children about good and bad touch, etc. as it becomes appropriate..”
  • Protect the family: As a father, it is your primary responsibility to care for your children, and they should look up to you to seek protection. They should feel safe and secure in your presence. At the same time, you should teach them the importance and boundaries of being independent.
  • Set an example: Children learn a lot by imitating. You need to behave the way you want your children to behave. More importantly, your relationship with your children influences the kind of relationships they would have in the future. Be a role model of the best father to your children so that they too may turn out to be good fathers.
  • Provide emotional support: Father plays an important role in the emotional health of a child. Children who bond well with their fathers have fewer behavioral problems later in life.
  • Be your child’s playmate: Kids love to play with their dads – be it arm wrestling, scrabble, cricket, or sitting up on daddy’s shoulders. So, play with them and spend time with them. This way you can earn their affection and respect.
  • Be a teacher: Just as a mother, you should also teach your children life and survival skills. Discipline them, if required and warn them of the dangers they could face in their life.

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[ Read: How To Be A Good Father ]

Being a husband and father requires a lot of dedication, hardwork, and most importantly love! Remember that love leads the way. So, put in your best efforts and they are sure to pay off. You will have a lovely relationship with your wife and children and in turn have a lovely family.

What is your opinion on a husband’s role in the family? Leave a comment below.

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E. Steven Richardson

(LMFT, Th.M. M.Div)
Eric Steven Richardson runs his private practice, Oakleaf Marriage, and Family Therapy, in Dothan, Alabama. He did his MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Northcentral University and Master of Theology and Master of Divinity from the Golden Gate Theological Seminary. Eric focuses on relationships, helping couples to increase the level of cohesion, satisfaction, and strength. He helps families... more

Kalpana M

Kalpana Nadimpalli graduated in English Literature and Psychology. Her fascination for the corporate world made her do a Masters in Business Administration. Being a mother of two boys, she could naturally fit into the shoes of a writer at MomJunction. She wrote articles on new parenting and relationships. Previously, Kalpana worked as a product information specialist and technical writer. During her... more