Thursday, August 13, 2009

Yes, I Love That Man of Mine

I have been so ungrateful lately. I have good friends and a good family. And I don't thank the people who support me like I should. So thank you to all of you for your constant stream of positive input and encouragement, for your prayers and the efforts you make on behalf of me and my family.

But most deserving of my recognition today is my husband - Big Man - for his efforts as of late. I've not been very good about recognizing his contributions for a while now. Because I have been very frustrated with our life for a while now. And I kind of blamed him for a lot of our struggles. Some days I still do. But I am realizing that I bring a whole box of blame to the table too, although I think my box is like the size of a shoe box, while his is more like a refrigerator box moving box. Anyway, whether I want to acknowledge it or not, my emotions are just as much of a drag on our marriage and family life as his issues are.

The thing is...he went above and beyond for the last month and a half and did something I wasn't willing to do. So I need to give him credit. After several years of working in an office, and another year and a half of either unemployment or partial employment, he took a job working out in the 113 degree sun all day, in the hottest July on record here in Arizona, doing something that was so physically draining that he could barely make it into the house at the end of the day. He did it for very little pay compared to what he used to make and he tried really hard not to complain (I think he was just so tired and sick from the heat he couldn't speak). He didn't want to take the job when his brother told him about it. He knew it would suck. But at my request, he humbled himself and made the sacrifice so he could take care of his family.

The job is over now, so we are back to worrying about money again. But he learned alot about himself. And I learned some things about myself too. While I seem to have lost most of my confidence and direction, he seems to be regaining his. I kind of blamed my loss of self-worth on him for a long time. I am realizing that my lack of confidence, which has NEVER, ever been a problem for me before, is more due to my not taking the time to stay educated and prepared for a time when I might have to help support us financially again. I can get mad and blame him for being unsupportive all I want, but the truth is, I didn't do anything to take care of myself the last few years; not physically, spiritually, mentally or financially. I kept waiting for him to do that. That's why I got married. So I would finally have someone I could count on to help me meet my needs. No matter what they are. I didn't always have that growing up and that's what I thought marriage was about. Filling that void...right?

Well, I am learning that I have to be responsible for my own peace and happiness, regardless of what my husband does or does not bring to the table. And I am learning that I need to accept his offerings with more gratitude. Maybe his gestures are not as big and grand as I want them to be. Maybe his growth is not happening as quickly as I need it to happen. I need to acknowledge the fact that it is happening at all. He is moving forward, albeit in babysteps, and that is more than I have done for a few years now. And it took him putting himself in a really difficult situation for me to appreciate his efforts, because truth be told...I would not have been strong enough to take a job like that and suffer through it.

So I want to publicly thank Big Man for putting himself out there. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is to me, and to him. It's a sign that maybe, just maybe, he is starting to overcome some of the dysfunction. That maybe he is more willing to keep an open mind about his future. That maybe he can overcome his demons and find his life path. And if he can do that, maybe I can too. Then maybe our boys will actually end up with highly functioning parents who can offer them something of value as they grow into adulthood, like support and love and direction and guidance.

He and his brother are going to start their own business because of this job that he took. It was truly the job from hell. But he lived through it and I am excited for him to be successful with this new venture. He and his brother have earned it with blood, sweat and tears. Literally.


Melanie said...

What a nice post about your husband! May your marriage be blessed this year!

Connie Walsh said...

These posts are the hardest to make. Congratulations for stepping up to the plate. It is so easy for us to be critical of our men. Not fair but easy.

Banner said...

You deserve some kind of award when you have worked a summer in Phoenix. You don't know how good a shower can feel till you have worked in Az, in the summer. AND, did it without a total heatstroke. Basically you are on the verge of one all the time when you are working in Phoenix in the summer. You just figure out how to hold it off long enought to get home!! YOU GOTTA BE TOUGH TO WORK IN AZ. IN THE SUMMER!!

The Sports Mama said...

Love this post! As I'm sure you know from reading me, I often need to remind myself to be grateful for Coach. I heard a saying once that has always stuck with me concerning my marriage:

Although he might not love me the way I have always thought he should, he does love me with everything that he is.

It's my job as his wife to remember that, and to find ways to appreciate just who it is that he is.

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