Listening To Lies
So I got called out last week by my husband. He doesn’t do this often but when he does I am so thankful for his patience and kindness with me. I can be one ugly duckling.
It started out innocently enough.
He simply wanted to have a conversation about how we do the dinner dishes. All he wanted to do was talk about the possible goal to have the dishwasher emptied before dinner so that we can load and go after dinner.
But something triggered in my head and this is what I heard him say, “Why can’t you have the dishwasher empty before dinner? What do you do all day? Is this such a hard task? Why can’t you do more? Why are we always living in dysfunction? Can’t you just get a plan and stick to it? Can we just agree to do something and then know it will get done? DO MORE! Stop sitting around! Act like you own the place and run this home!”
So clearly I wasn’t responding to his actual question when I got extremely tense, raised my shoulders, clenched my fists, gritted my teeth and squeezed an ugly smile out and said, ” Sure love, I would love to do the dishes one more time during the day”. He then backed up slowly knowing it was about to get ugly.
This extremely handsome and patient man was hurt. And I could see in his eyes that I failed to show him love or to even listen to his idea and be present. I was listening to lies in my head, perverting the conversation and destroying our communication.
So then I hear in my head, “Why can’t you love your husband well? Just move towards him and listen to his desires. He loves you. He doesn’t want to hurt you. Why is this innocent question of dish logistics showing such a huge chasm in your heart? Why are you so hard hearted about the damn dishes?
And my answer is because I love myself more than I do him. I don’t even want to think about adding one more thing to my list. I don’t want to agree to something knowing that I will fail. I will inevitably forget about unloading the dishwasher because I will choose to sit on my butt, drink my afternoon coffee while I boss my kids around and expect the world to serve me. I am a me monster. And it’s devastating.
With a humbled heart I apologized for listening to lies in my head and being cold to his desire. I still haven’t been able to agree to getting the dishwasher unloaded before dinner. But I am trying to think of him more, and I am thankful to have such a tangible way to show him I care.
Here are some tangible ways to help you move towards your partner.
1. Be mindful of your spouse. Don’t assume you know what they want, people change all the time. Listen to their words, not what you think they are saying.
2. Observe and be thankful for all your husband does. Take some time and note all there is to be thankful for. You will be surprised at how much you will write down. And then I encourage you to be vulnerable and share with him how awesome he is and how much respect you have for him.
3. Laugh together. Turn on Jim Gaffagan, sit next to each other on the couch and laugh. Sit close enough to touch and feel the other person’s laughter. It’s awesome. This might be one of my favorite things to do.
4. Get away from the house. It is so easy and comfortable at home, but it can lack inspiration or romantic atmosphere at times. Simply going on a walk with a few questions in your pocket and listen. The walk might turn into an incredible conversation, but it might not. That’s okay. Walking side by side in silence is still okay. There doesn’t need to be an epic expectation of some incredible connection. Just being present and available is showing love.