I recently read a blog about being a butthole wife. Guilty. It’s true though isn’t it? If my husband was reminding me to do things differently all the time (like I do) it would drain me too. I would always feel inadequate. Like I could never do anything right. And he doesn’t deserve that from me. Not from anyone.
He’s a work-horse husband.
Before we were married we went through this really amazing pre-marital counseling program. It shed a lot of light on how we see things because of the way we were raised. How we watched our parents handle conflict. How we were disciplined. What we were inadvertently taught about how to handle money. What was important to us when raising children, how to discipline them, what to teach them about responsibility, money, conflict, etc. It was very eye opening and it saved us a lot of tears down the road. That experience was a priceless investment into our marriage. Even then we understood that investing in our marriage had to be intentional. So at least once a year we attended a Christian marriage conference to keep our goals and focus intact. We always found we had drifted from the previous years goals.
Life gets in the way.
I can’t remember which conference or book it was….but I remember a bit of information about husbands that were supporting the entire family by themselves. It recommended he sign up for weekly or bi-weekly counseling. Not to “fix” anything, but to offer him a safe place to unload his stress, anxiety, and worries just from being the only breadwinner. I strongly believe in counseling, so this seemed like an excellent idea to me. The world is always busy telling me that I should be the one that he can unload those fears and worries to. After all, I am his wife. If he can’t come to me as his safe place, then what kind of message is that sending? What is that teaching our children about the sanctity of marriage?
The truth is….I can’t be his only safe place. I am busy picking up his laundry as if he’s a toddler. I’m cleaning up half-ass jobs that he is not doing right. I’m always rearranging the silverware drawer and angry because he can’t tell the short forks from the long forks. I’m wiping the sticky counters from his mishap breakfasts before work, after I’ve stuck my elbow in it. I can’t be his safe place because I’m too busy being his condemner. I can’t let him unload his crap because my tray is already full of crap that I’ve been carrying around since I woke up that day. I can’t rightfully ask him to tell me how to help him be happy and then criticize what he opens up to me about.
I can’t be his safe place because my heart isn’t in a safe place.
He is a work-horse husband. He started a new job in the last 6 months and he is working non-stop to be great at it; to make sure his company knows they hired the right man and made the right decision. He answers calls after hours, is always in-tune to his emails, and uses his spare time reading articles about how to improve what he’s doing. Not to mention, he changes clothes as soon as he gets home and gets in the floor with the kids until it’s bedtime. He knows that I’ve been watching the clock since 3 P.M. for him to walk through the door to give me a break. Sometimes I don’t even have anything to eat for him. Isn’t that pathetic? I’m so tired and full of my own day that I failed to fix anything or have anything planned. Know what he says? “It’s okay, we’ll put something together.” Yeah. It’s okay with him. Is it really? I don’t know. But he sure didn’t respond the way I do to him with things he doesn’t get done. Things that aren’t even important. He could seriously say, “That’s two days this week. I reminded you last week that it was important to me.” But he doesn’t.
He doesn’t because his heart is in a safe place.
He works so hard for us. He doesn’t get to take a nap when he’s tired at 2 P.M. and the kids are laying down. He doesn’t get to turn the world off for a few hours a day and find solace in his space. I love him so much it would make me physically sick to be without him. There have been numerous times in the recent past that I have prayed that the people at his new job are kind and helpful to him. Sounds like I need to refocus that prayer, huh?
He deserves better and I’m going to give it to him,
Your Mediocre Mom