Collaborate without boundaries

Learning Curves--Days 4 and 5

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Checking in with my husband on what he needs or what I can do for him was easy.  It's something I do least once a day when he calls.  I think this has less to do with the fact that I'm really that thoughtful and more to do with the fact that our relationship is by and large a bit long distance.  When he's on the road for the week or sometimes for two weeks, there's a hole here.  I've often talked to other trucker wives or to military wives who plan their days/weeks and run things so smoothly without their spouses that when that person comes home it's almost like they're in the way.  Some of the husbands don't seem to mind but others take that to heart and feel unneeded and unloved as a result.  I never want my husband to feel like a third wheel in his own life, so I began early adding him into my routine, trying to find something I could do for him that would (usually) not only add time for us to spend together when he got home (because there wouldn't be any errands that needed to be run, etc) but would also help us feel more connected.

He does so much for me by going to work every day and working hard that I kind of feel unneeded and superfluous in his life.  He's self reliant and self sufficient.  I know I care for the house and the kids, but since the bulk of the kids are mine from previous marriage, it just seems to fall kind of flat in comparison.  I know that he could get in his truck and never come home and be just fine (aside from the fact that he does love me and doesn't want to be away for that long).  I sometimes feel like I'm way more dependent upon him than he is upon me.  So I wasn't surprised when there was nothing he could think of that he needed.  The best I could do was not complain when he tried to be thoughtful towards me by having someone else go with him to purchase the car we intended to buy.  Usually, we do those things together, but our mutual friend from church had time and agreed to go instead.  That meant we didn't need to drag the kids an hour and a half away to go pick up the car together.  That was hard for me because it meant 3 hours total of time that we wouldn't be spending together, and I'm extremely jealous of our time together when he's home because it's so precious to me.  Turns out, he capitalized on that time to help prepare a Mother's Day gift for me--something that he and my second oldest daughter worked on together.  

I also know that my husband enjoys helping people, and I felt like Wayne could use the time to talk to my husband.  Wayne's been struggling with depression as well, so I felt like not only would spending that time together help Wayne get some encouragement, but it might also help with our relationship since my husband would be able to talk to someone other than me who was also struggling a bit with things.  They thoroughly enjoyed the trip down together, and my husband also enjoyed introducing Wayne to his little brother.  It's not often that my husband has a guy's day out--he never asks for them, so it was a little thing I could do to give him this time.

That brings us to Day 5, the day you're supposed to sit down with your spouse and find out the things you do that irritate them so you can improve upon them, and this one was a bit harder.  Harder because the things that irritate my husband most are things that are somewhat intrinsic to my personality.  Now this isn't the first time we've had this conversation, and I know it won't be the last time either.  It comes up every year or so.  The thing is that when it comes up my husband points out that he knows these things are part of who I am and that while they bother him, they don't bother him much.  So that's the positive.  We only irritate each other on the level where you're irritated because the other person doesn't do things the way you would do them but not on the level where what they do/who they are just grates on your very last nerve.  God forbid we ever get to that point!

And I have tried in the last few years to come up with some type of compromise that fits my personality but also tries to address the issues he brings up.  Sometimes it's more of a 2 steps forward 1 step back kind of dance, and I'm not sure I'll ever get to the point where I "fix" the issues.  All I can hope for is that he sees the effort I make to try to accommodate him and sees that I take it seriously.  Really, so much of the things that are issues right now in our relationship are outside of "us".  They are the circumstances we find ourselves in right now and the power that other people have to influence our lives through the legal system (ex-spouses/custody/etc). that are the sore points in our marriage at the moment, and right now there's no way to change that other than to go through them.  




  • YOu mentioned the one dare was harder than the others.  Those dares are the ones that you can potentially grow the most in Christ in.  The harder it is the more effort and trust in God it takes to do those dares.  And that is when there is growth.  

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