4 Simple Ways To Protect Your Husband (Even If He Doesn't Need It)

Just because he doesn't seem to need it, doesn't mean you can’t look out for him.

man hugging woman from behind Kvasha Ekaterina/ Shutterstock 

I wrote this post about protecting your wife, and a reader requested one about husbands, especially in terms of making sure that you don’t undermine him or allow others to (e.g., the kids, your parents). 

This is a good point! Unfortunately, many men will never admit to a desire to be protected, which is too bad because it is a basic human want within an attachment relationship. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t look out for someone who doesn’t seem to need it, just as I advise men! Here are some ways you can protect your husband!


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Here are 4 simple ways to protect your husband — even if he doesn't need it:

1. Be on his side in public

It is worth noting that many women feel that a man can stand up for himself, and therefore they don’t need to publicly show that they are on his side. 


Of course, any man or woman can stand up for themselves, but within a loving relationship, you should be able to count on your partner to be a source of support when you are feeling insecure or challenged by others. 

Even if your partner doesn’t agree with you 100%, that can be discussed later and not in front of anyone else.

Many women find it hard to individuate from their families of origin and unfavorably compare their husbands to their dads or even their brothers. 

When women like this have parents who make passive-aggressive comments to their husbands, they feel stuck in the middle and don’t choose sides. Worse, they often agree with their parents to avoid rocking the boat. 


This is especially common if they were raised by self-absorbed parents to be people-pleasers.

In popular culture now, it is generally always assumed that a man should side with his wife over his parents. Happy wife, happy life. 

However, women are generally expected to be closer to their parents (maternal grandmothers are usually closer to grandkids than paternal grandmothers, in my clinical and general life experience), and thought to be less assertive than men in general, so they end up deferring to their parents more often than not. 

This can leave their husbands feeling thrown under the bus, and emotionally abandoned.

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2. Don’t undermine his parenting

Women that I see in my office often consider their role to be the "protector" of the kids — which even goes so far as to "protect" kids from their dad’s bad mood. 

Protecting your husband would go a much longer way to help everyone in the family, including the kids, than this self-righteous and often dramatic "protection." 

As long as a man is not abusing his kids or being scary/violent, there is nothing wrong with kids learning that adults can have moods, which include good moods and bad ones. 

Everyone doesn’t have to parent identically, and if a child has identically-acting parents, they are missing out on learning the key fact of life that everyone is different.


Of course, if a woman feels that her husband is always snapping at the kids, she can tell him privately.  

Here, I discuss when men can be controlling and difficult, and if your husband acts this way, you owe it to him and yourself to bring it to his attention so he can work on it.

But if you call him out in front of the kids, particularly in a patronizing way, this is not respectful. He is likelier to react even more angrily when he is publicly shamed/corrected in front of the kids, so the interaction will go even worse. 

And the kids are at risk of being alienated from him if they pick up on your disdain for him over time. Helping your husband be his best self in front of the kids protects him from this worst-case outcome.


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3. Help him be his healthiest self

Similar to the post about how men should protect their wives, it is loving to help your partner achieve his best in terms of his health. 

Honestly, men do not take as much offense as women do about gaining weight or not having the women’s preferred fashion choices. 

Within a loving marriage, encouraging your husband to come to the gym, not having snacks in the house that he binges on, and overall trying to help him live his best life are generally taken fairly non-defensively by the majority of men who feel loved by their wives. 

Also, helping your husband stick to a good sleep schedule is loving and something you would do for your kids, why not him? 


If you love someone, help them be healthy.

Your husband who just stayed up too late, missed his time to go to the gym, and then ate a whole bag of chips is likely not feeling positive about himself. Protect him from his basest impulses if he is at all open to this; again, many men do in fact take this as supportive behavior assuming they feel otherwise loved and respected.

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4. Don’t set him up to fail

Don’t ask who is hotter, you or the 20-year-old model on Instagram. Don’t put him into double binds. 


You would not ask your kids who’s a better mom, you or the perfect one on TV, so don’t do this to your husband. 

Protect him from saying something wrong in situations where there is no right. Instead, since you are usually feeling insecure about yourself in these moments, ask directly for love, affection, and/or attention. 

Note that if you are big into hints, this could be something to do with your upbringing and it might be useful to read this.

Overall, from my observations, men tend to require less from relationships than women. But that doesn’t mean your husband doesn’t deserve to be protected and cared for in different (but foundationally similar) ways. 


Love and protect your husband and you may see a much softer, more trusting, and infinitely more vulnerable side to him

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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.