In 2013 I started on a wellness journey with many food and lifestyle changes following the principles of Paleo. My husband has come willingly on this journey with me and is supportive and involved. So much so that he now helps provide the male perspective in our beginner Paleo workshops.
5 Things the wife can do
No one likes to feel they are doing things wrong. This eats away at self-confidence and can be interrupted as not being good enough. Remember to treat your husband like a best girlfriend. Think about what you are saying and how you are saying it, and then think about how you would react if being told this. Would you keep nagging a best friend, telling her that she is eating the wrong food all the time? Yes, there is room to plant seeds for thought with your man. Yes, there is room to communicate what you are learning and how you are feeling with your food changes, but try to refrain from making him feel wrong and inferior
for not doing the changes yet himself.
When we love and want the best for him, it is hard to not put pressure on him to do what is working for you. He is his own person though; he is the expert in his life. He needs to come to his own conclusion and decisions. You know yourself that you dislike feeling pressured. In fact you are more likely to push back and resist even if it’s a good idea, simply because of the pressure. When the changes are his idea the changes will be more sustainable long-term.
The positive ripple effect comes when we focus on our own being. Love yourself, love your improved health. Be an example of what real food can do to your body. Stress less about him and put the energy into your own awareness, growth and relationship. Negative tension and arguments is not wellness. This is not good for your health or the health of others in the family.
Love your man for him. Appreciate the strengths, skills, knowledge and capacity he brings to the household and the relationship. Which of his strength or skills can support you and the family with food and lifestyle changes? Let him become the expert on something and feel valued and validated for his contribution.
- Is he tech minded?….ask him to research the best water filter system.
- Is he good at any sports or activities?...ask him to teach you something.
- Is he good at financials?...ask him to do a budget of sickness and wellness. E.g. Pharmacy and medical bills, take away food etc compared to organic whole foods and grass-fed meats.
- Is he science minded? ...ask him to help you understand an article on the immune system or micro biome.
Is he better with bones then you?...ask him to be the expect bone broth maker.
You want him to support your new food and wellness passion, how can you support his passions? Has he not been able to enjoy a favourite pastime because of pain and stiffness? Is he competitive? Plant the seed to challenge himself for a month to see if food changes may help improve his e.g. Golf handicap. Then let it go (remember take the pressure off).
This one has made the biggest difference! Like when teaching your children, use positive reinforcement and let him make mistakes. In the early years of our marriage when I accepted my husband’s assistance in the kitchen or asked him to help but then hovered over him and wanted to control how the carrots were cut and make sure everything was done the way I do things it was stressful for us both and really didn’t teach him much at all. It was only when I completely stepped out of the kitchen and was prepared to gratefully eat something not quite perfect did we start making progress. Slowly he became more confident in the kitchen and is now enjoys stepping up as the ‘expert’ in a few dishes. He now takes on the role as 'chief granola maker' and makes a delicious curry and breakfast soup. He likes to cut the vegetables really small, whereas I like to cut them bigger...but letting go of control is freeing and rewarding!