Monday, November 21, 2011

The Importance of Stepping Foot in His World

I don't think wielding a paint brush is terribly loving or romantic or sexy.

But apparently my husband does.

We're gearing up for our church's musical and spending lots of time working on the set. Though he's swamped and worn out, as he passes by me, paint in my hair, on my face, all over my clothes, and looking generally grody, he pauses for a look, a little kiss, and an "I love you."

It means something to him that I'm there.

It's no big deal, I tell him. I like to paint. And besides, I'd never see him this time of year if I wasn't there. There's no talking (other than "What needs to be done?"), no looking good for each other. Half the time I don't bother with makeup cause I know I'll get enough paint on me to need a shower anyway. We're just there doing the task at hand.

So why does it mean something to him? Why does it make him so loving?

I think it's because I've stepped foot in his world, gaining understanding into the stresses on him, the projects that take him away. I'm there, trying to alleviate some of the pressure by helping in a small way.

I used to think the only way I could make his life easier and enable him to do what he's supposed to do, was by manning the home front, by taking care of things at home so when he got here he could just be. But apparently there's something to being in his world, to witnessing his frustrations, his work load. Seeing him in his element boosts him somehow.

Admittedly, this is easy for me, as my husband works at a church and volunteers are always welcome! But I do it in ways outside of church too. I play in the Regional Orchestra he conducts. When he offers I listen to new music he's composed. I listen as he reads both rejection and acceptance letters from music publishers. All very little things, but ways I can see more of who my husband is and share in his world.

He's mushy this time of year, and all I'm doing is standing around in yucky clothes, swinging a paint brush over walls and flats and stairs and whatever else needs it on his set. Such a little thing to show him he means the world to me.

And yet it matters to him.

Should we wives look for opportunities like this, places we can step foot in his world? Is this a way we can build up our men and show them respect? Could we bring him lunch at the office? Make sure we attend business parties? Listen to his stories from work? Buy gadgets that make his life easier? Does our interest in his job help him do it better?

None of it can hurt, can it?

And personally, the payoff is fantastic.

Is there some small way you can you step foot in your husband's world?

See more Marriage Monday posts at Chrysalis.

For those of you close enough to come, here's the info on said church musical.


Bobbi said...

I recently made an insanely unselfish decision that allowed/encouraged my husband to stay working in China for another 2-3 weeks. Although I later questioned my sanity...He has relaxed and melted under my approval and support. Yes, it does matter!

vwwannab said...

LOVE this Tami! Just a reminder so many of us need. Especially as a SAHM I think I get selfish thinking he needs to help me out more, and that I do enough for him here at home, but there is probably so much more I could do for him more in his element. Granted, his job doesn't allow me to do much there, but he has lots of fun hobbies I don't often partake in. You are such an encouragement! THANK YOU! *hugs*

Messy Marriage said...

Great challenge! I will have to think about this one. I'm so glad that you are sensitive enough to your hubby to realize this need. So glad that you wrote about it here!

Faith said...

Excellent post!! I don't get to step in my husband's world much with regards to his career (he works in a high tech high security place and I"m not allowed in at all!) nor do I work with the middle school kids he volunteers with at youth group..but I DO read and help edit his short stories he is trying to publish and it makes him feel GREAT! (whether i like the story or not!!). This was really good post!! OH...and if I lived anywhere near you I'd love to come see the musical...but NY is a bit far :)

Mac an Rothaich said...

We need one anothers support in marriage for sure. If we aren't going to do that for our spouse who will?

nice A said...

Your post is a great reminder for me, Tami. I need to set foot in my husband's world as I used to do. Things have changed since I gave birth to our late comer baby as if hubby is always the one doing things for me. I'll start it today as it's his birthday. Thank you for your encouragement.

Anonymous said...

Awesome... it's that "helpmate" role that our guys really love. Well said Tami!

I work w/ e-Dad almost full time now (business/computer stuff), and he's loving it. Like you, I used to think doing all the "inside the house" things were the most supportive.

Now if I could just learn to like watching e-Dad tinker under the hood of his car...

Hugs, e-Mom