Making Room for My Husband’s Struggles
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)
I love my husband, Kevin. He is a wonderful husband and a wonderful father. Over the past 5 years we have been blessed by his job that allows him to use his skills, compensates him well and has good job hours. I have found a lot of pride in the fact that he has great work/life balance. As I listened to stories of wives complain of husbands working too long, I would be grateful I didn’t have that problem.
Lately, however, since he received a new boss, I noticed increased work hours, anxiety and stress. He works earlier and gets off later which means more work for me at home and less help. I’ve also noticed his mind seems more occupied which means he is not mentally all there during family time.
I noticed anger and bitterness growing as I felt tired, lonely, unappreciated and sad that my nice little world was shattering. Finally, one day, after I asked my husband for help with something and felt pushed aside again. I lost it and told him he is a different person – distant and uninterested. I told him I felt like a nuisance to him and an annoying gnat to him. No, I don’t have the tendency to be dramatic. 🙂
I felt I was holding down the fort at home trying to be supportive of his world and when I needed him just for a second he wasn’t there. As I loaded on him in the car on the way to a church event, when we arrived there he stopped the car. Humbly, he turned to me and acknowledged my intuition that work was burdening him so much it was difficult for him to be there for our family.
As he shared his burden, I could tell the huge mount of stress and anxiety he was feeling. I felt the Lord telling me to just listen. As I listened and reflected back his struggles, walls around my heart started chiseling away. I started to feel compassion for him as I sensed his great burden.
As Kevin shared with me, I started to learn about the battle of a man’s heart in his work. It’s pretty real. I realized just as women have their battles sometimes men don’t always understand, men also have their unique battles. Just as I need support and space to wrestle though my battles – like should I work at home or work or I hate being a mom today and the next moment I love being a mom or I have million ideas of things I would love to do or I feel extra emotional today…- and Kevin gives me room to be a little crazy, he needs that same room in my heart.
As we talked, I could feel the space between us diminishing us. I am grateful we took the time to talk about the battles of our hearts. I told him I’m committed to holding down the fort at home and giving him some space to feel burdened and to figure some things out. I could sense immediate relief in him.
Yes, I do have fears. I wonder how long this battle will be and what the outcome will be. But when I place my trust in the Lord who will work things out in Kevin’s heart and work all things to the good of those who love Him (Rom. 8:28), I have peace.