Friday, September 3, 2010

Reflections for September 3, 2010

Clueless Is Not an Incurable Condition

As I drove into the driveway, it was difficult to contain my excitement. My wife, who was eight months pregnant, and my three-year-old son met me at the door. My excitement was evident as I shouted, “Guess who came to see me at school this morning?” She replied, “Who?”I responded, “Coach Varner visited me at school and offered me my old job back”. With a concerned look, she inquired, “What did you say?” When I told her that I had accepted the offer, the look on her face was bewilderment. Her lack of approval was puzzling to me. I was clueless to the insensitivity of making a life-changing decision without consulting her.

A few weeks later, our second son was born. The morning before he was scheduled for his six-week check-up a friend visited us. From the time he drove into our driveway, my mind went to work. He was driving a truck. We had secured a house near my new job. We had to relocate within the next three weeks. It all made sense to me. Truck, helper, house secured, and a free day were all the ingredients needed to move. The fact that we had not packed the first thing did not register with me as a problem. We slept in our new house that night. I was clueless to the insensitivity of putting my wife though this ordeal.

The following years were difficult. Although we rarely argued, there was always tension in the air. My work was my life. It was not uncommon for me to leave before the children were up and get home after they were in bed. Since we had chosen for my wife to work at home until the children started school, she had little contact with adults. By the time I arrived home, she was desperate for conversation. I wanted to relax. I read the paper or watched television as she attempted to share her day. The conversation often ended with these words: “You are not listening to a thing I say.” I would respond by repeating her comments verbatim. I was clueless to the difference between hearing and listening. I heard the words, but she needed for me to listen to her feelings of loneliness and frustration.

Her feelings of isolation took a toll on our relationship. She became jealous of the things she perceived to take precedence over her. She began to see herself slipping down my priority list. Her insecurities caused her to cling and her clinging caused me to feel caged. The tension grew. Her attempts to discuss the problem were met by silence. I was determined that my home would not become the verbal battlefield I had experienced as a child.

As the months passed, my wife became deeply depressed and I became frustrated at my inability to make her happy. I thought that I was a good husband. I was faithful; I worked hard; and I gave her my paycheck each month to pay the bills. My frustration drove me to my knees. I cried out to God that our marriage was broken and I did not know how to fix it. When I arose from my knees, I realized the answers to our problems were to be found outside of ourselves. It was overwhelming.

In the months that followed my willingness to learn more about my responsibilities as a husband grew. I began to seek help and God began to show me things I had never seen before.

No comments:

Post a Comment