In addition to always finding crunched up cereal in the couch cushions and constantly grabbing hands that are always, somehow, just the stickiest, one of the big things that happens when you become a dad is that you worry more. This, of course, makes sense. You have a family and are tasked with helping them grow and learn about the world. This is the responsibility of all responsibility. So you worry about your kids’ well-being and safety, about whether the world will embrace them kindly, about what their lives will be.
These concerns, and those like them, are natural. And, within reason, they’re healthy to think about. But we all tend to worry about other things, too, things that don’t matter as much. What our bosses think of us. That we’re not stacking up with the other fathers we see. That we’re not good enough for our wives. If they become pervasive, these worries can halt a marriage. We spoke to a dozen wives about the big worry their husbands cast aside that unburdened them and helped their marriages grow. From financial worries to work woes, the worries they pinpoint offer a glimpse of what matters and doesn’t in the bigger picture.
1. That He Couldn’t Provide Us With a ‘Nice’ Lifestyle
“My husband used to worry about whether or not he would be able to provide for us like he wanted to. He knew he’d be able to give us what we needed, but was always concerned about being able to afford a ‘nice’ lifestyle where we could have the essentials, but also most of what we wanted. I like nice things, but I’m not materialistic. It put a big strain on him during the early days of our marriage, especially before we had kids. It was just a lot of wondering — that’s what worrying really is. Once things started happening, I think we both realized that we didn’t have time to worry. We just kept moving forward, doing the best that we could. And that was more than enough.” — Hallie, 36, Kansas
2. That He Was Boring
“One time, my husband told me he was worried that I’d get tired of him. I had to laugh. He’s not concerned with it anymore, but I think he was legitimately scared that I’d just, like, bump into ‘somebody better’ out of nowhere. Guys need to know that it doesn’t work like that. If we love you — and I love my husband — then we love you. Not to sound cold, but it’s like an investment. We don’t just want to see you grow, we want to help you grow. Marriage isn’t — or shouldn’t be — a ‘pump and dump’ scheme. We might get tired of things you do, but we’ll never get tired of being with you. Once my husband really started to believe that, he stopped worrying. That gradual confidence was a huge boost to our marriage.” — Ellen, 39, Ohio
3. That Our Finances Were Never in Shape
“Money is one of the biggest stressors in any marriage. There’s this finance app called ‘SplitWise’. I’m not sure it’s anything groundbreaking in terms of how it works, but it absolutely …….