It’s always a bit mind-boggling to me when I get responses like… “I’m not a _(fill in the blank)_ so I couldn’t relate.” If you can look for the underlying principles and apply them to your own situation…you can learn a lot from everything.
So here you go:
“Once upon a time…
…There was a husband feeling lonely in his own house…even though he was surrounded by his family.
He stewed on his predicament: Lately, when he tried to focus on his job, it seemed like he would get consumed in it and his wife would retreat and avoid him. Seemed like nobody understood him.
“How can I possibly do everything good enough?” He thought. “If I spend enough time with the family, work suffers. If I spend enough time at work, the family suffers. Where’s that elusive line of balance?”
A bit dejected and feeling powerless, he opened his journal to clear his head and dump out his thoughts:
“I struggled to see positive yesterday in my beautiful wife because my mind was caught up in a few things annoying me. I don’t want to tell her these things because I think it just depresses her. Seems like I need to be extremely delicate about bringing up things that are bothering me. Maybe I should just list my annoyances here? Ugh…it’s tiring even thinking about it.
Hmmm…she must feel the same way — because she rarely, if ever, brings things up. Just like I don’t.
I wonder how I can help change that. I don’t love that she feels so scared to talk openly to me and I think I need to take responsibility for my part in contributing to that.
Certainly I’m not resonsible for her choices and reactions. But I am responsible for the way I treat her — loving or unloving.
But I don’t think it’s beneficial for me to bring up annoyances I have in the midst of feeling annoyed.
I think it’s better to write about it first, get my emtions sorted, and also remind myself of her amazing qualities — which FAR outweigh any perceived weaknesses.
She deserves to be fully seen — not criticized and nitpicked.
I want to be a loving, empowering husband who she knows she can trust and rely on for support, encouragment, love, tenderness, and understanding.
Am I being that??
No. I don’t think so.
I certainly want those kind of attributes in her too, and she has been all of that and more at many times in the past.
But I guess I need to admit that if she’s not doing it now…neither am I!
First give, then receive. That’s how it works.
And even if I don’t receive anything from her — I will receive the joy and peace of giving.
I’m so easily beset by it. That ego. “I’ve got so much responsibility…why can’t she see that? Why does she have to get so offended just because I am trying to do my job and I’m not as focused on her?”
Easily offended myself.
You can do your work AND love her well at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. It’s not her. It’s you.
You can’t change her. You can change you though.
And it doesn’t have to be complex.
Let go of pride.
Smile and love her. Take interest in her. Serve her. Talk to her. Spend time with her. Be genuinely interested in her and don’t find fault with her thinking or comments. Speak softly and tenderly. Lovingly.
Disagreeing doesn’t serve her…let her talk through her thoughts and give her time to digest them. Respect that beautiful, tender, loving, strong woman. She is God’s greatest gift to you. Take care of that precious gift.
Yes. It’s true.
Thank you sweet woman, for doing your best to serve me, love me, serve the children, love the children, and take care of yourself and your responsibilities.
I’m sorry for not loving you well the past couple weeks…like you deserve. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.
Praise her. Compliment her. Same with the kids. Focusing on and pointing out faults isn’t loving and it hurts them.
Look at how amazing they truly are! Then tell them!
That’s how to love.”
Miraculously…the pen-paper-mind-dump combo had completely dissolved the poor husband’s whiny, powerless, victim mindset and he was able to love others well again, and felt free and light.
And he lived happily ever after…
…For the rest of that day. 😉
Huh…crazy how much I feel like I have in common with that mysterious husband from once upon a time! 😉
Now the challenge…actually doing those things!
Feels good to remember the truth though…that’s the first step to living it.
Hope you have a wonderful day…
…Make today amazing!