As parents, we spend a fair amount of time agonizing over our mistakes. Certainly, we would have done many things differently. If only we hadn’t been grown children ourselves when we made our relationship choices and eventually married. Most of us had no idea our marriages would end. If we had, we wouldn’t have walked […]
I was thinking about my last column. I knew something was missing. I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
Then it hit me.
It wasn’t just that I did primarily everything in a supposed ‘partnership’ called marriage. I was actually okay with that. I was comfortable, even proud in my role as a problem solver and rescuer. A challenge, aka, a problem, actually energized me.
I know, sounds crazy but it did.
Well, okay I will preface that by saying that I didn’t like every bit of it. I really didn’t enjoy mulching two acres by myself when we first bought our house or painting rooms. It had to be done, though – so I did it. That’s what being an adult is about. We do things we don’t like to do. It’s called growing up.
I think what I did not convey in my last column is the lack of being worried about.
I didn’t have that kind of husband. It wasn’t only that he was comfortable letting me do things that a lot of other husbands would do. It was that he never worried about me. If I had a problem he didn’t wonder how I would solve it. If I was put under anesthesia for oral surgery he didn’t wonder how I would drive myself home. If I was hit by a car and thrown into another car going thirty-five miles an hour with all three of our kids in the car he kept working.
That is what I was trying to say. I am not only ready for someone else to do the rescuing, I am ready to be worried about.
One day, many years ago, I was sitting at lunch with three of my girlfriends. At that point, I had been married about eighteen years. It was just a coincidence that all three of them heard from their husbands in a matter of fifteen minutes. I remember witnessing the conversations with amazement.
“All of your husbands just called you just because??” I say.
“What do you mean?” they ask me slightly confused.
“I mean it was just a nice conversation to check in with you. It doesn’t seem like they were calling you for a reason. They didn’t ask you to do something or tell you something important,” I say.
“Yes,” they respond, still bewildered at my inquisition.
“Wow!” I say. “If my husband calls me during the work day, I ask him if everything is okay. He never calls me to check in or see how I am doing.”
This was a watershed moment for me. I do not believe I would have had the epiphany if I had not witnessed three calls at once coming from a friend and spouse who just wondered how the other was doing.
My husband always said he was a busy man. I believed him. I appreciated him and is hard work. Then one day after that lunch we were driving out of town. He had to work that day so I had decided to go along for the day and we would leave town after. His phone rang while we were on the road. It was a colleague. I sat and listened to them talk for forty-five minutes. The first five minutes had been about work. The rest had been social talk.
“Hhmmm,” I thought to myself. “Busy man.”
It’s a strength to be a problem solver. It makes you know you can handle things on your own. As I have said many times, my mother was a wonderful example.
However, it does make you a little less needy. So much so that you might be putting up with things you are completely unaware of.
When, in fact, we all deserve someone who worries about us. Someone who worries if we are struggling and worries if we are happy.
Someone who loves us enough to worry about us.
(Photos courtesy of Pexels)
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