What I Wish My Husband Would Do More Often Right Now, According to 12 Wives

While these responses come from a personal place, all of them speak to universal truths about being more empathetic, validating, and understanding of a situation we all find ourselves in right now

Marriage gives you a close-up view of all your partner’s qualities — good, bad, and ugly. This isn’t any sort of revelation. In fact, it’s obvious. But it’s good — and necessary — to understand this. A spouse or partner sees things about you that you don’t see about yourself, and vice versa.. Strengths. Weaknesses. Frustrating habits. Weird but adorable routines. If husbands and wives remained quiet about the less-than-ideal things they noticed — the places where they think you’re lacking, the habits they’d love for you to break, the things they’d like you to take a bit more seriously — we wouldn’t know how to improve. Will such discussions lead to arguments or anger? Definitely. But they are necessary. That’s why a crucial aspect of marriage is knowing not only how to accept criticism but also how to dole it out. Easier said than done, of course, but necessary nonetheless.

Right now, in the current COVID-plagued world, we’re all stressed out and seeing a lot more of each other. This gives us an even more zoomed in perspective of what our partners do right, what they do wrong, and what they do that’s fine but just. so. annoying. As knowing is half the battle, we thought we’d ask a dozen women what they wish their husband would do more of right now. One wished her husband wouldn’t downplay COVID fears, another that her husband would do more around the house. While their responses come from a place of personal desire, all of them speak to universal truths about being more empathetic, validating, and understanding of a situation we all find ourselves in right now. Chances are, we’d all be served by listening to their desires and taking them into account. Here’s what they said.

I Wish He’d Validate My Worries About COVID A Little More

“It really bothers me that my husband isn’t taking COVID seriously. I’ll admit, I tend to overthink. I worry a lot, and I catastrophize just about everything. My husband is the exact opposite. He acknowledges that there’s a pandemic, but he doesn’t think it’s as serious as I do. He doesn’t always wear a mask, and sometimes he blows off my concerns. We have two kids, and several high-risk friends and family members nearby, so I think my caution is justified. It’s almost like he’s patronizing me, thinking I’m silly for being concerned. Even if he’s not actually concerned, a little empathy would be great.” – Dani, 37, Ohio

I Wish He’d Take a Break From Facebook

“My husband is addicted to social media. It’s where he gets all his news, and most of his opinions. Normally it’s not a big deal. But with everything going on — the election, COVID, etc. — it’s exhausting. He’ll get into ‘fights’ with our family members over politics, and then come whine to me about what was said. And, while I love him very much, I honestly don’t care. Like, I don’t give the slightest shit that his aunt said COVID is a hoax. I wish he’d take a break, if only to stop getting so worked up and dragging me into it.” – Chloe, 35, Pennsylvania

I Wish He Saw Grocery Shopping as a Shared Job

“I used to do all the grocery shopping before the pandemic, so it seems like I’ve been grandfathered into doing it now. I’ve explained to him that going to the grocery store makes me nervous. Not just because of COVID, but because of all the crazy people out there. We don’t live in the best neighborhood, and tensions are high all around. I wish my husband would offer to do the shopping, or at least go with me more than he does so I’d feel safer.” – Ava, 31, New York

I Wish He’d Play Fewer Video Games

“It hasn’t become a problem…yet. But, I see the signs of him working from home, then grabbing the Switch and playing for hours all night. Our kids are teenagers. They’re more than capable of taking care of themselves. So it’s not like I need him to do that. I don’t really even need much help around the house, because we’re all pretty neat and tidy. I just don’t want COVID to become an excuse for him to become obsessed with video games, and not be able to put them down when this is all over. I’ve thrown out subtle hints and sarcastic digs here and there. ‘You’ve been playing for hours. Did you save the princess yet?’ But I think I’m going to have to voice genuine concern if I keep seeing him with his face buried in that screen.” – Catherine, 39, Florida

I Wish We’d Have More Sex

“It’s pretty simple. I wish we’d have more sex. In fact, I wish we’d have any sex. Full disclosure, both of us have put on some weight, and we haven’t been our sexiest selves during quarantine. I think that’s the story for a lot of couples. But, he doesn’t even respond to my direct questions about the topic. ‘Hey, wanna have sex tonight?’ He’ll either laugh and say something like, ‘Boy, that’s direct!’ Or he’ll ignore it. Or he’ll make an excuse. I know I feel a little bit embarrassed about my quarantine self, so I’m wondering if maybe he does too. That said, I would love it if he admitted that. It would stop me from doing a lot of internalizing.” – Alex, 37, North Carolina

I Wish He’d Comfort Us More

“I do my best to comfort our kids about all that’s going on. There are fires everywhere. And, while we’re not in immediate danger — thank God — it’s still absolutely terrifying to look up and see an orange tinted sky. So I try to be a source of support for the kids. He does too, but he turns it off as soon as they feel better. I need to be comforted too. Believe it or not, I’m scared shitless about the state of the world. I don’t need him to coddle me, but I wish he’d treat me more like his wife than just another adult. I need more sensitivity, and less matter-of-fact information these days.” – Lori, 36, California

I Wish He’d Be More Conscious of Clutter Right Now

“Clutter is probably the number one source of all my anxiety. I’ve gotten a lot better since we married and had kids, only because it’s really impossible to live in a clutter-free environment with two middle schoolers. They know they need to pick up their things, but they don’t understand the concept of anxiety. He does, and he still leaves a lot of his stuff all over the place. Then, he gets defensive when I bring it up. I know we’re all tense right now, but clutter has always been one of my triggers. Even before COVID. I wish he would remember and respect that, even though we’re in this new normal.” – Carolyn, 38, New York

I Wish He’d Handle the Laundry More Often During Quarantine

“My husband is the king of piling up his laundry like a game of JENGA. We’ve always done our own laundry, because we work such different schedules. I usually do the kids’, too, because it fits with my schedule. What I hate is when his laundry piles up for, no joke, like a month. He literally waits until his closet is bare, then he decides it’s time to do it. I don’t want to do it for him, but I also don’t want to have to dodge the leaning tower of shirts and pants that exists near the wall in our room. I don’t think I really noticed how intrusive, obnoxious, and really inconsiderate it was until quarantine. Now I can’t unsee it, and I wish he’d get into a more frequent routine before it drives me nuts.” – Annie, 36, Connecticut

I Wish He’d Take the Dogs Out More At Night

“Now that the seasons are changing, it gets darker earlier. I hate taking our dogs out after dark because we have a lot of bats in the backyard. Our routine over the spring and summer, in the midst of quarantine, was him taking the dogs out in the morning, and me taking them out at night. I’ve mentioned it to him, and he just dismisses me by saying that the bats aren’t going to bother me. That’s not the point. They do bother me. They don’t have to fly through my hair to bother me. In this time of pandemics and wildfires and all the bullshit going on in the world, the last thing I need is more stress. Especially stress that can be avoided through a simple switch of responsibilities.” – Mari, 37, Oregon

I Wish He’d Complain More

“My husband doesn’t complain at all. At least not to me. But, I come home and I tell him everything about my day which, for the past few months, has included a lot of stress and irritation. I feel like I’m always complaining. I ask him about his day, and he’s always just so calm and unfazed. He doesn’t complain about work, or the kids, or the world, really. And that makes me feel strange, because I feel like most wives would love a husband that didn’t complain. I guess it has to do with empathy. Because he doesn’t complain, it feels like he doesn’t understand where I’m coming from. Not the specifics, but just the general vibe that things kind of suck right now…and that’s okay. I need more of that compassion.” – Claire, 31, Colorado

I Wish He’d Stop Seeing My Feelings as a Reflection of Him

“My husband waits on me hand and foot. Not literally, but there’s nothing he won’t do to make me happy. And that’s a lot of pressure. Think about it – do you know anyone who’s happy all the time? Especially right now? My husband sees me sad, and he takes it so personally. Then he tries everything he can to cheer me up. And sometimes it’s exhausting. Sometimes I want him to just let me wallow in it until I’m ready to come out. I love him, and I know he means well, but I’m entitled to the validity of all my feelings, not just the good ones.” – Beth, 32, Ohio

I Wish He’d Have A Bit More Confidence

“Right now, I need my husband to be more sure of himself. He lost his job at the beginning of quarantine, and has been down on himself ever since. I’m working, and we’re doing fine. Financially, we don’t have to worry. But it scares me to see him like this. He’s really spiraled downward, and is just really beating himself up. I try to tell him that he’ll find something, and that so many other people lost their jobs just like him. But, it’s not working. I wish he could see himself the way the kids and I do, and know that his worth isn’t tied to the job he used to have.” – Andrea, 32, Texas