Today I was in the kitchen making tuna and rice. It’s Saturday morning and we literally have nothing in our house. You guys ever have that? Where you’re like, “I’m hungry and there’s literally nothing to make except for leftovers and a can of tuna”? Well, that’s where I was at. I was really hungry, and while opening the can of tuna, I sliced my finger (okay, I guess sliced is a little dramatic… but it hurt, and I could feel the knife blade go in, and I already had low blood sugar. Usually I have to eat by 8:30 but it was like 11:30 at this point).
Now, what I normally would’ve done, is I would have said, “Okay, I need to take care of this myself.” I would be dripping blood and going to the sink and feeling all woozy because I have low blood sugar, and then I would kind of hobble my way to the bathroom and try to scrounge around the drawers… and you know Band-Aids, you can just never find them (and I don’t know if your bathroom drawers are as pristine as mine, but seriously) and then I’d find it but I wouldn’t be able to get it on, and then what would end up happening is that I’d start to feel resentful towards my husband.
That’s right. My husband was home. In the past, I would’ve been like, “Oh, he’s not taking care of me, I have to do this all myself, woe is me. He’s in the shower. The kids are screaming. I have to parent. I have to cook myself food.” And the whole reason why I haven’t, and why it’s been so long since I’ve eaten, is because we had a special time this morning. But now, there he is getting his needs met and leaving me out in the cold. I’m like wah, wah, wah, cry, cry, cry. It feels really crummy.
Thankfully, what I actually did when I cut myself and started to bleed and feel woozy, was bee-line it into the bedroom. I sat down on the floor and called to my husband in the shower, “I’ve cut my finger. I have low blood sugar. I am woozy. I need you to go into the kitchen, finish making me what I started and bring it to me.” And wouldn’t you know? He was like, “Okay.” Hero time! He finished up his shower quick, got dressed, went round into the kitchen, made me my food, brought it to me with a smile, and I felt cared for. I felt protected. I felt happy, and he felt good because he was being of service, which men are so great at.
Then I was eating and saying, “Thank you so much. Thank you.” So I was appreciating him, and then he actually came to me and said, “Do you need anything else?”, because he felt like he was helpful in my life, and that he has a role to play.
Here’s the lesson here: the price we ladies pay when we just try to do it all ourselves is intimacy.
If we’re constantly trying to do it ourselves and we’re not letting our husbands in to help us, or when they do help us, we micro-manage them, then there’s no role for them. There’s no connection. There’s no being close. There’s no friendship. There’s no, “I’ll help you. You help me. You have skills.”
My husband’s skill is that he’s good under pressure. I’m terrible. I melt into a puddle on the floor. I cut my pinky and I’m like, “I can’t handle anything!” So when I asked for help, I was saying, “You are helpful in my life. I need you”, and he was able to come there when I called.
The other price we pay, is building up this wall of resentment. We just want our husbands to take care of us, because it feels so good to be taken care of, but we leave no space for that. So we build up our wall and we have unrealistic expectations about what it looks like for someone to care for us. We want them to just know exactly what we need. We go, “Oh, I’ve cut my finger and I’m bleeding and crying!” and prince charming just comes out of the shower and makes food, and he gets a washcloth to wash our bleeding hand. Then he asks us if we need anything else, and he takes care of the kids and washes all the dishes and folds the laundry and says, “No honey, you relax, I’ll take care of it.”
Ladies. It’s unrealistic to expect that. We need to ask for it. So, don’t just try to do everything yourself. Provide space for your husband to be of service, and make requests in really specific ways like I did. “Go to the kitchen, get me a washcloth”, and then of course appreciate, because everyone likes to be appreciated. I didn’t do this. Like I said, it’s been a learning process.
What I hope is that you can take something away from this and change your marriage, which then will eventually change the world.
Have a fantastic day!