How to Support a Spouse Who Works an Emotionally Stressful Job

My husband is a nurse. I didn’t think much of it at the start of his career, but nursing has to be one of the most stressful jobs I have ever seen.

In the beginning of his career, my husband would be bustling around the house getting ready for his shift, putting on his nursing shoes and sometimes I wouldn’t see him in the evenings. The long hours work and the changing demands at the workplace put a lot of emotional stress into my husband’s life.

I wanted to help ease his stress, but for a while, I really didn’t know what I was suppose to do. I asked to give his a hand with things, but my stubborn husband would simply say, “It’s O.K., I’ll do it.”

It wasn’t until I noticed my husband started suffering from insomnia and lost his appetite that I decided to make a change.

To support my husband with his emotionally stressful job, I did the following things:

Maintain open and compassionate communication. The last thing I wanted to do was add an extra element of stress for my husband. Each evening I would ask about his day which allowed him to unburden his work life release some of his stress.

Get him new mens’ nursing shoes. If found a great guide here on the best ones for men. Here’s a stressor that can easily be averted: sore feet. I got my husband the best shoes for male nurses so he could handle the long hours moving and standing on his feet all day. However, even though my husband now has these shoes specifically for nurses, he always appreciates a foot rub at the end of a tough day at the hospital.

Performing some of the chores my husband typically did. Without his permission, I started doing some of the chores while he was working late or picking up an extra shift. When he would come home and find those chores completed, I would see his face light up and his mood completely brighten.

Complain less, care more. O.K., I’m not perfect. We did argue from time to time but I started putting in a little extra effort by complimenting my husband and reminding him how great he is and how much he means to me.

Get active. On the weekends, I planned dates and other family activities that completely broke all routines. I did this to not only relieve his stress but also to rekindle our relationship. Sometimes we would just go out for a walk in the park and that was all we needed to build a deeper connection and keep our lives in sync.


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