I sent him to our produce guy for the stuff from our list.
He came home with 3 overflowing bags of green beans.
“They’ll keep awhile,” I said.
“Why do we buy fresh if we let it sit out a day or two first? Could you do them tomorrow and I’ll find room in the fridge?” he countered.
“Sure.” I’d fit it in. I’d get it done. It would mean not doing some other things but the beans needed to be done because he was right about the freshness.
Every free minute of the day, I spent cutting and cleaning beans, and still only got through one third of them. There were lots. And two kids who needed my attention. Plus daily household stuff, like wanting to eat meals and running a blog and small business.
When I finally got the toddler down for the night and the little guy quiet enough, I was going to start in on the blanching. My sweet husband was a mess. He’s been sick for 4 weeks, struggling with good days and bad days. Yesterday was a bad day.
And as he laid in a heap on the couch, I thought of what I’d want most if I felt like that. Having just had a baby and going through a rough pregnancy, it’s pretty fresh in my memory. I just want someone to be there with me so I don’t feel like I’m all by myself.
I went over, crouched down so I could look him straight in the face, put my hand on his arm and asked if we could watch a show together.
His eyes lit up for the first time all day.
“Aren’t you busy?” he asked.
“The beans can wait, don’t you think?” I answered.
“I was hoping they could.”
Now, I know what he asked me to do – do the beans and get them done. But I also knew he was in a lot of pain. I knew he was hurting in more ways than one.
So I took a chance. I respectfully approached him in a way he could hear me and made a suggestion.
He could have just as easily said “No” and that would have been fine.
But I’m glad he said yes.
I’m glad that I know that his love language is physical touch, but more in the way that he likes me to just sit and be with him, in close proximity.
And I’m glad I took the time to show him that what he’s going through is more important than my never-ending to-do list.
This is a rare opportunity for me. Because my husband has a chronic illness, sometimes I forget to stop and take care of him. We just keep on keepin’ on. And sometimes that’s necessary. But sometimes I just need to stop, and take care of his needs.
She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
So would it have been harmful to leave him alone last night? He certainly didn’t ask me to come sit with him. But sometimes bringing good is more than just not doing harm.
Dare you today to seek something good to do for you husband. Search for and fulfill a need he has – big or small. It could be household stuff, it could be paperwork, or anything. But approach him respectfully, and help him somehow.
Has this ever worked for you – noticing and suggesting help for a need? In what ways do you bring your husband good? Would you join with us in the comments?
*photo courtesy http://www.flickr.com/photos/48289187@N00/7856571180/in/photolist-cYfYTN-dxgWcV-92AdnK-ayL3DX-aKj9Xv-dQYKtM-8JDwkE-8Se7KX-7Pew4W-boPXdp-dqBsTg-dqBmqa-dqBCS3-dqBytC-dqBAgh-dqBofF-8qyZkL-d61YvQ-e9Kw3Y-dqBniD-abQui6-8WHnxk-d621gJ-d61Y95-d621Nh-d61ZtY-d61Z2o-e9DQYV-a528nF-9EdkL8-8fyMuN-9vhB6y-9veAfF