Ask Mary Jo: Husband trying to fix problems & showing your partner love

Hi Mary Jo,

I have a great husband, and he is always trying to fix things about me. How do I tell him I need to take care of these things and it’s my responsibility?


Dear Jean,

The way men and women communicate is very different. Most women communicate to build closeness whereas most men communicate for problem solving. Because of this biological difference, women can become frustrated with their husband’s fixation with trying to fix the problem instead of listening, while men are baffled about why their great solutions aren’t appreciated.

I would advise you to be direct and explain that when you share issues, his active listening produces intimacy, trust, and relief for you. Explain you are not seeking advice right now and that his presence is all you need. Many men don’t understand this, and your husband likely offers solutions so that you don’t have to suffer through the problem. Help him understand that when you share a personal problem with him, you are sharing your deepest concerns. Reassure him that if you need his help further, you will reach out, but for now you need him to just listen and understand what you’re feeling.

Hey Mary Jo,

I have a beautiful wonderful wife, and I tell her every single day, but how do I show her I love her more every day?


Dear Fred,

I am glad you asked this question because most of us are good at talking the talk, but when it comes to showing our partner love, we forget that this is the most important part of loving someone. Since there are a million little things that show your partner love, I suggest working within categories such as these:

  1. Practice good communication. If your partner is hurt or angered by something you said, ask them why. Sweeping feelings and hurt expressions under the rug leaves your partner feeling alone and can lead to resentment.
  2. Practice being kind to each other. Couples should prioritize cherishing each other and making small gestures of appreciation. Everyone wants to be appreciated; in marriage or long-term relationships, kindness and thoughtfulness become more important. An unexpected cup of coffee or tea, offering to do laundry, taking over a chore your spouse finds difficult, or bringing home a small token of affection means so much to the person who loves you most. Research studies found that couples who helped with the chores rated their married life as happier than couples where one person did the work.
  3. Practice protecting each other. Your partner must feel like they are your teammate. They need to know that you have their back, and they can count on you to keep what they say between the two of you. Defending your partner against insensitive remarks helps your partner feel protected and safe with you. Praising your partner in public and showing them respect with your words goes a long way in helping your partner feel valued and adored by you.
  4. Give your partner attention outside the bedroom. Practice giving your partner attention outside the bedroom from the moment you get up to the end of the day. Sending them a text to ask how their day is going or asking about the day ahead in the morning (and REALLY listening) helps your partner feel supported. Going out of your way for them and making sacrifices reassures your partner that they’re number one to you.
  5. Lighten up and play together. Your wife will feel closer to you and loved when you take the time to let go, lighten up, and have fun with them.  When is the last time you both cracked up about something and laughed until your jaw hurts? A sense of humor evens out those rough spots everyone goes through. If you can’t remember the last time you and your partner had fun, it’s time to act. Plan a party, take a trip, get together with friends for a camping weekend, or download and watch your favorite comedians. Playtime is ageless; no matter how old the couple, it’s an integral part of expressing love for each other.