Marriage and relationships, in general, tend to bring things out in people that they may not have recognized alone.
My husband and I have been together for almost five years, and to be honest I did not think that the simple exchange of rings would make much difference.
I was wrong.
Since the wedding, one thing that has become glaringly clear to me is just how patient this man is with me. He has always been patient. He stands by while I go from one cause to another, and just watches, always supportive, while I am jumping up and down on various soapboxes.
I have been aware from very early in our relationship just how supportive he is of all that I do, and all that I dream to do.
There are other areas of relationships though.
There are baby gates.
While all the children who live in our home are not babies, we also share our home with dogs. As much as I love my boxers, I am fully aware that the pizza delivery person may not want to meet them. We have a swinging baby gate at the top of a short flight of stair to keep the dogs from rushing the door (or sneaking out with us, as they like to do).
Recently, the gate that was there broke and needed replacing.
We purchased the new one, and I set about to remove the old hardware and replace it with the new set.
In our house, I tend to be the one who fixes and works on things as I find enjoyment in most projects (except electrical, I am terrible at electrical).
What shocked me was my husband sitting down next to me and picking up a drill. He and I completed the project together.
This should be the picture of a happy, in love couple completing a simple task together.
Instead, it was an exercise for me in learning that I am not the boss of everything, everywhere, all the time.
A few things needed to be changed. On hinge needed taken out and rehung. We were adding a new swinging gate in the hallway as well, and that added it’s own challenges.
Through the whole process, I could hear my tone being short. I could see his loving face, and he was smiling at me. Not letting me fight. Making me laugh. Subtly reminding me to let go a little bit.
There have been a few other repair projects around the house, and they all follow the same pattern.
- I take up the project, somewhat like a martyr, as the one who will complete the task
- He silently comes alongside me and starts to help
- I push back, clinging to my messed up theory that I alone can fix whatever the problem is
- He reminds me I am not alone, and that the responsibility is now shared
- I accept the help, and the task usually becomes fun, or at least not terrible
Is this habit of mine unique to me? Is it a mom habit? Is it the product of going through my divorce with 4 kids?
I am not sure.
What I am sure of is that even though logically and emotionally I know I am not carrying everything alone, there is part of me that still holds to that.
I don’t see it as a strength issue, instead, I see it as a hindrance. I am working on moving past it, to be aware at the very beginning that he is there with me, always.
I will get there, during a project this past weekend, I was openly on the edge of tears as I stated my dislike for electrical work. I said it. I admitted my weakness. Instead of giving up, or being rude, true to form, he was nothing but support and compassion.
Apparently, I am impatient.
It would seem I am bossy at times.
I am also incredibly aware of the rough edges and immensely grateful for people who see past the edges.
I am working on being better.