I had the privilege of touring my husband’s place of employment recently. Due to the unique clientele they serve, his facility is typically off limits to the public. However, because of some recent construction they were allowing the family members of the employees to tour the building.
Within five minutes of entering the building I was introduced to a woman who enthusiastically shook my hand and gushed over my husband. “Did you know we call your husband Captain America? He is so wonderful and I feel so much safer when he’s on duty” she said to me. I have a pet name for him too and let me tell you, it’s not Captain America. I won’t share the name with you but let’s suffice it to say that it’s on the other end of the complimentary spectrum. Of course, I now add the word Captain to the front of it because that’s what wives do
This incident did get me thinking about how my husband is treated at work and how he is treated at home. For instance, I get home from work last week to find out that my husband has cleaned the bathtub and toilet for me in my bathroom. Sounds really sweet, don’t it? Do you want to know my reaction was? “D*mn it! You know I really hate it when you bleach my bathroom!” His version of cleaning is to spray bleach over everything, let it sit and then rinse it off. The bleach smell lingers for days and gives me a headache even though I do have a shiny bathtub. Of course, he and the kids were rolling on the floor with laughter because they had been taking bets on how soon I would notice the smell and what my reaction would be. The point is, instead of graciously accepting my clean bathroom I nagged at him for doing me a favor while at work he is showered with adoration (ok – maybe that’s a little strong but you get my point). Over the long haul where would you rather spend your time?
- Be more meaningful when complimenting him. It’s not unusual for me throughout the week to tell him how thankful I am to have him in my life but I don’t always really tell him specifically what it is that I appreciate about him. I think the ‘you’re wonderful’ can get a little stale if you don’t say what specifically it is that makes him wonderful. Even if it’s something as simple as the way his hug makes you feel when everything is going wrong that day, he needs to know that.
- Help him out with his chores a little more. My guy is the laundry man of the house. Quite frankly I don’t even think about putting on a load of laundry unless I’m stripping the beds to wash the sheets. When I see the basket is getting full I’ve been trying to throw in a load of laundry so it’s one less he has to do. This really doesn’t cost me that much time but shows that I’m trying to make his life a little easier.
- Asking him what he would like me to do differently. At work I solicit feedback all the time as to what could make me better at my job yet I seldom do that at home. I asked him this week what I could do better. His response was “Nothing, I think you’re perfect just the way you are”. I don’t really believe there isn’t anything I could improve upon but I appreciated his answer. When pressed he did say that I could ask him to get another tattoo. He traded a second tattoo for a second dog last summer so he’s not allowed to ask for another one (tattoo that is). His thought process was if I would ask him he would be doing me a favor and wouldn’t be breaking his promise. That ain’t gonna happen!
It’s so easy to get caught up in our busy lives and not realize how we are treating the ones we love. Stopping periodically to truly let them know how much they are appreciated is truly important. He is my Captain America but I think I’ll stick with my other pet name for him