Disclosure: I had no intention of writing this blog for at least another 5 years. I’d be older, more mature, years wiser, and my mistakes would be far enough behind me that they could then be turned into a teachable moment. But no.
This past Father’s Day was the worst. Not because of anything my husband did, but because of everything I did (and didn’t do). In a condensed version, I completely forgot it was Father’s Day that morning. I remembered later in the day and wrote a nice Instagram post about my dad, but still forgot to say anything to Cody. After he left for worship practice that afternoon, I texted him something along the lines of, “Crap, babe. I totally forgot to tell you, but Happy Father’s Day!”
Somewhere between the afternoon and evening my day had turned sour, but I went to the store to pick out a Father’s Day card. After an hour of reading through cards, chasing kids around, and finally picking out the card we wanted, I went and waited in line for a cashier. At that point, I was beyond irritated that it took so long, and that my kids were being antsy and disobedient. When the line started to move I noticed the gal in front of me had the exact same card as we did, and all of my emotions instantly came to a head. I put the card back (after all, I didn’t want the same stupid, generic card as everyone else), loaded the kids up, and went home. We didn’t say another word about it. The kiddos didn’t even say Happy Father’s Day to their daddy.
Fast forward to the next day. Early in the morning Cody and I were sitting in bed, enjoying our coffee, when the infamous words, “I need to talk to you about something” came out of his mouth. He was smiling at me, but tears started rolling down his face. I could tell that he was hurting, and I knew it was because of me and how the previous day unfolded. It was the first time I had ever made my husband cry.
We proceeded to have a long conversation that involved many tears, loving rebukes, and apologies. It was the most difficult and uncomfortable conversation we’ve had in the seven years of our marriage, but it made us better, and I learned a few things that I’ll never forget.
1. I have to be intentional.
I’m a planner. I love planning ahead. I love buying gifts for people, celebrating birthdays, and writing notes for special occasions, but I have to remember those special occasions. I have a tendency to forget special days, and when I do remember at the last minute, I think, “Screw it” because I haven’t had time to plan. It legitimately puts me in a bad mood. I’ve had to be more intentional. I write everything on my calendar (or set reminders on my phone) so I don’t forget. I try to buy gifts a couple of days in advance. I ask Code if he wants to do anything specific for holidays. I have to stay intentional with our relationship.
2. I have to keep an eye on his love tank.
My husband’s love languages are words of affirmation, acts of service, and gifts. In that order. He really feels loved when I write him a note, buy him a gift, and surprise him with it. To have a day like Father’s Day, a day when dads are supposed to feel loved and cherished, come and go without feeling loved in any of those areas really affected his love tank. One of my responsibilities, as a wife, is to be constantly watching his love tank and doing what I can to fill it.
3. I cannot let my emotions get in the way.
Like I said earlier, if I don’t have time to plan, I tend to have a bad attitude. When I get emotional I can’t think straight, my judgement is cloudy, and my decision-making ability is broken. Because marriage can be an emotional roller coaster anyway, it’s important that I don’t let my attitude or mood dictate my actions.
Why did I want to share all of this? Because I believe others can learn from my mistakes and maybe avoid them. When we go through difficult times in our marriages, it can either stunt or stimulate our relationship with our spouse, depending on how we choose to respond. We need to choose wisely.
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