It’s no secret that I am not a musical person. If you ever stand next to me when I’m singing you will soon find out that I can’t sing at all. I’m serious. As in I’m tone deaf and don’t even know it. Whatever is coming out of my mouth sounds awesome, but to the normal ear it sounds awful, or so I’ve been told!
When Aaron talks about music it starts to sound like the teacher on Charlie Brown to me. Wha-wha, Wha-wha. Over and over again. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s just that I don’t get it.
What happened recently was that I let my lack of knowledge about my husband’s job cloud my thoughts on his art that he was creating. Aaron’s a song writer and has been writing a lot of amazing songs, that I love, and so does everyone else, but for some reason I had forgotten that he might need to hear that encouragement from me. I assumed he knew it. I also didn’t think I had much to say except for “that sounds awesome, honey” and honestly I felt as though my lack of knowledge of music would make my opinions less valid to him.
Recently Aaron told me with a gentle heart that he didn’t feel any encouragement from me. First of all, it felt as though my husband took a knife and stabbed me in the heart. This is the man that I love with all my heart, and he’s telling me that he doesn’t feel like I care about him or his work. I was crushed.
My first instinct was to stand my ground and find something that I didn’t think he was supporting me in. To throw that pain back on him if he was going to put it on me. I didn’t have time because that lump got in my throat and the tears in my eyes and I couldn’t even talk. I was so hurt. I was hurt that I had hurt him.
I was also embarrassed because I had no clue he had been feeling this way and that was hard for me to accept. I want to be connected to my husband, but what was happening was that life was moving so fast around us and we were just talking at the dinner table with the kids and then heading on to our own things. I didn’t have time to encourage him. He didn’t have time to encourage me. We had begun the gerbil spin as I like to call it. It’s as if there are two gerbils in a cage together and they are each spinning away on their own wheels. Each doing their own thing and not thinking much about each other. Oh they may eat from the same dish, and sleep right beside each other, but otherwise they are busy on their own.
This gerbil spin has been the biggest obstacle in our marriage in the past few years. When Aaron spoke up about what he was feeling, it was as if he had jumped off his wheel, ran over to me, and was telling me that he needed me. My husband needs to hear encouragement from me more than anyone else. People all around him are telling him he’s awesome, and those don’t compare with my words at all.
Ladies, I want to encourage you today to examine your marriage today. Are you two gerbils spinning away at life and not even noticing each other? If so, be the one to step off that wheel and go get on the same wheel with your spouse. Ask him what he needs from you. Tell him what you need from him.
I want to be Aaron’s biggest fan. I promise your man has people cheering for him no matter what his job is. The question is are your cheers the loudest. Are you cheering for him, or are you waiting for him to first cheer for you? Let’s be cheerleaders for our husbands and our marriage!
Jonathan’s work is way over my head. I mean, I understand it, but not totally. Then toss in his MBA class load and I’m all like “Uh….” I have to find myself pretty hard to stay focused when he’s talking about it all, mostly because I just can’t keep track. He’s crazy smart, so I struggle with not feeling adequate in our conversations (mind you – Jonathan hasn’t made me feel that way!). But, I’ve seen what it does to him when I don’t encourage him and don’t fully engage in what he’s telling me.
I try to do little things to spur him on. Like yesterday, he had a major presentation before his boss. So about 30 mins before the meeting I sent him an email just letting him know I was excited for him and knew he’d do super. I’m pretty sure he didn’t actually get it until *after* the meeting, but still, he appreciated knowing that I was thinking of him and standing beside him the best way I can.
So appreciated this blog post, Jamie! As a newlywed, I need to remember this. My husband needs to HEAR I’m proud to be his wife. Thankful for you!!
I love that Sarah! It’s so good to encourage our men in what they do even if we don’t get it at all!!!
Yes Amanda – never forget it!!!
Great reminder, Jamie! Everything works so much better at our home when my husband and I cheer each other on. He can be the man he wants to be, and I can be my best. Our words (or lack there of) really hold so much weight!