My husband, in addition to being easy on the eyes, is also wise. Last winter, we were having a number of little fights about fairly inconsequential stuff. The kids were about 14 months old and we were struggling with how to make sure I was communicating relevant stuff he needed to know (or do) without bossing him around and micromanaging him. Something that neither of us wanted. As we were discussing the issues surrounding that particularly thorny issue, he made a very wise analogy which sticks with me today. He said, “I don’t mind you telling me to go San Antonio. I just don’t want you telling me how to get there.”
Communicating the WHAT was not the issue. Communicating the HOW was the issue. So from then on I was perfect and never ever told him how do anything ever again.
If you just fell out of your chair laughing hysterically, then that was a perfectly appropriate response. I still fail miserably today. Now, part of the success story is that I can at least RECOGNIZE when I am telling him how to do something that a perfectly responsible 40 year old man could figure out for himself. But sadly, I’ve not stopped doing it. Entirely. Yet.
This struck me because a couple of days ago Bray had to go spend the day downtown for work. This is my normal commute, and I proceeded to tell him how to get to where he was going even though he already had a route mapped out. And when he didn’t jump around and say “thank you wife for that wonderful instruction on how to drive my truck this morning,” I proceeded to criticize his route for lack of efficiency.
Let’s just take a minute to reread that. What the heck was I thinking??? I have a husband who was born and raised in Houston, often travels for his job, is a better driver than I am, and I’m picking a fight over the way he’s going to drive into town. Was I high? Had I popped one too many Zyrtec? Had my sleep deprivation led me to misunderstand what he was saying?
This the best part though. And proof that God is ALWAYS teaching us a lesson, even in the small stuff. Bray had proposed taking Westpark to 59 and I’d proposed driving in on I-10 (this only means something if you live in Houston). He left the house and I followed shortly after him to drive into work myself. There was a massive accident on I-10 that was causing folks from the west side to spend nearly two hours to get into downtown. So, are you ready for this, I had to take Westpark to 59 (HIS route) to get into work because of the horrific traffic on my route. I’m not suggesting God had His hand in an accident on the freeway, but I’m just suggesting He allowed me to learn a lesson from the circumstances of the morning. Ouch.
I like to be in control of any given situation. I’m ridiculously scheduled and planned. But unless I remember to let my husband be the man in the relationship, then I’m going to be in a whole heap of trouble. I’m comforted by a poster I used to have in the ’80s: Be Patient, God’s Not Finished With Me Yet. Thank heavens.
If you’re married and trying to control the dickens out of the HOW of the way your husband gets to San Antonio, then I encourage you to take a step back with me and let him make his own decisions. I assure you, I’m writing this post as my own accountability tool because admitting you have a problem is half the battle.
Elizabeth Mason says
OMG .. Gindi . thank you for a laugh and the wise words .. Marriage is always a work in progress .. I stayed away from it for almost two decades because somehow I thought I would learn better on my OWN how to be in a relationship .. now WHAT WAS I THINKING … remarried now .. I have so much to learn .. but I do say now .. He is going to do it HIS way .. and walk away
Yup! I can so relate, Gindi. In fact, I’ve kind of written about this “controlling tendency” over at my place too. We must be like two peas in a pod. 🙂 Thanks for this encouragement and for your vulnerability too–a refreshing reminder.
Thanks Beth – it’s good to know I’m not alone in this battle! I’m headed over to your blog now – I love finding new resources to serve as Godly marriage reminders!