Be your husband’s cheerleader not his critic…13 tips to help you change and grow


Chances are that sometimes you’re not real happy with your husband.

Husbands — and wives — are highly imperfect beings that are prone to disappoint those they love over the course of a lifetime together. Yet these same imperfect dusty humans are amazingly wonderful men and women desperately in need of unconditional love and acceptance .

And marriage is supposed to be a safe place
where partners find solace from the harsh realities of life.

While there is a place for respectful, loving correction when it is truly needed — not just when you think you know what your husband should do or be — don’t jump on him with critical comments that display your impatience or displeasure when he drags in at the end of a long day, weary from the world’s battlefield where he may already feel attacked or deficient.

No man wants to keep coming home to that night after dreary night.  In a long ago far away lifetime, I was a wife on the road to becoming an ex-wife who often complained and sought perfection more readily than offering praise for jobs well done, with acceptance, love, grace, gratitude and prayers to the Heart that changes hearts.

And I learned the hard way — through the devastating loss of divorce with all its consequences that reach decades into the future — that being a husband’s critic is not the way to win his heart or secure a lasting, happy marriage.

But God.

And other chances.

So humbly I share what I have learned in my brokenness hoping these words touch a needy, willful heart with wisdom, healing, guidance and a warning: change your negative wifely behaviors now because your husband just might decide one day that he’s done with your grumbling and moaning and seek a new life with another woman.


  • Commit to change beginning with your own heart. Mine was sorely hurting from an origin littered with alcoholism, violence and fear. And those wounds left big holes in my woman’s heart that translated into pain so deep I tried to fill the void with demands of perfectionism from another human being who was wounded in his own way. Foolishly I thought that I was the only one who could keep me safe and well cared for. When your grow up shattered you learn how to survive which is not the same as learning how to live a life of love.
  • Tell someone your story. Don’t keep secrets. Stop hiding behind a pretty mask that makes it look like you have it all together. You don’t. Your control camouflages your deep seated fear. And fear is a powerful motivator very often in the wrong way. So let go. Open up. Share your heart and your hurts. You don’t have to pretend that you are strong and know everything.
  • Forgive those who have hurt you. Easier said than done, yet very doable by relying on God’s grace and love and forgiveness of you. It is humbling to accurately access our own heart in light of God’s word and realize you need Him in order to be whole and to carve out a life, a marriage, a family, a calling worth having.
  • Ask your husband to forgive you. And you may have a list a mile long of all his infractions, and many of them may be real, but you can only change you. Be the one to go first. It won’t kill you, I promise. But it is a step to slaying your selfish pride. As honestly and humbly as you can, go to your precious husband who is a gift from God and repent. Tell him you are sorry for being so constantly critical. Let him know you purpose to do all in your ability to change from his harshest critic into his sweetest cheerleader! {AND PLEASE don’t be confused or feel condemned by my words if you are in an ABUSIVE MARRIAGE. If you are, GET OUT NOW and seek help. Read my experiences within an abusive relationship here.}
  • Find a supportive group of women who seek to improve their marriages, maybe at your church or online. Or perhaps share your struggles with a trusted mentor who has been where you are. {Sheila Kimball Mentoring offers a free mini-mentoring session. Click now for details.} And don’t discount the need and value of speaking with a professional counselor.
  • Pray to God who loves you best of all. Whose plans for you are Yes and Amen! Ask Him to forgive you. Ask Him for help. Believe He loves you like crazy. Read through the Gospels of Christ and follow the example of Jesus in learning to love and obey God, and love and be kind to others, most importantly your husband. Read through the Psalms to soothe your soul. Remember that God will never let you go. He may allow you to suffer the consequences of your lesser choices, but even when you do, please trust that the lessons come from His heart of love for you. Your are absolutely precious in God’s sight and of great worth.


As you take baby steps towards becoming the wife of your husband’s dreams, keep surrendering even though you stumble. Get up and try again. Add positive practices into your marriage to brighten your husband’s life, perhaps open his heart to you and/or God, and hopefully make your marriage better.

  • Smile. Not only may smiling physiologically make your brain happier, it represents a loving, open, accepting attitude. A smile is inviting. A frown makes a husband, who is very likely battling his own inner demons, want to move away from you.
  • Let your tone of voice be soft and endearing.  Choose to ditch the critical speak and think and find a way to say the same thing in a gentle, uplifting way. Even when you need to say something uncomfortable to your man there is a way to approach the topic that is less threatening to his masculine mindset. Serve him up a good sandwich.
  • Be interested in his work and his hobbies. Don’t pooh-pooh his efforts on the work front or deride what gives him pleasure in his off hours. Make it your intent to see the value in what he values.  And your husband will be a happier camper, more open to meeting and fulfilling your needs, when he feels accepted by you. So bring him blessings everyday, not curses.
  • Love his family. You don’t have to like all of them, but they are his blood and that means something. Respect his relationships that were formed before you came into his life. Be kind, be gracious, be hospitable. Don’t try to isolate him from the people he loves. His heart is big enough for you and them.
  • Be his affectionate, loving playmate. Recognize that lovemaking is not a curse, but a gift that a husband and wife share freely, joyfully. Invite God into your marriage bed. Seek help if you have difficulty in this area because it is vital to a strong, healthy marriage.
  • Pray, pray, pray for your husband. Pray all the time, in every way, and know that Father is listening and is at work in your husband.
  • Let your husband know he’s your heroOften! No matter the circumstances your lives may be experiencing.

Then breathe. You are woman, but you don’t have to roar. 

Be kind! Be his wife and helper, not his fixer. Be a valiant prayer warrior who knows that wedded bliss will not materialize by warring against your man with criticisms and complaints.

Be his number one fan and cheer him on to the greatness locked inside him…

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One thought on “Be your husband’s cheerleader not his critic…13 tips to help you change and grow

  1. Such great advice, as always, Sheila. I really need to work on the way I approach things with my hubby as I often say things harshly without thinking about my tone first. Something to pray about.
    Thanks again for speaking life into our lives.