Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Learning that Being There is Enough

My new found USMC Gal friend and I were talking about something yesterday that really stuck with me. It's something that I have felt quite a few times, but have never really talked about before. Maybe this is something that I've kept inside because I didn't realize that its a common thing (at least it's something that my friend and I share). Maybe a part of me was scared that I was the one lacking therefore I felt this way and wanted to bottle it up, because if I lacked in this area, then maybe then I wasn't good enough for him...

You know those times when our man is stressed from work. He's grumpy, tired, nothing is going right and more is being piled up on his plate. He's far away (maybe he's not) and all you want to do is comfort him. So you begin to tell him that you're sorry and that you're there for him if he wants to talk. So he starts talking (or maybe he doesn't because he doesn't want to talk about it) and you give the best advice/encouragement that you can. He's still down and can't just shake what's going on - he needs time. So then what? Well, at this moment in time, I usually feel like what I said wasn't good enough. If only I had said something better than he would be happier. He wouldn't be as stressed or grumpy. I'm suppose to be there for him and I can't physcially be there to make things better (for those times when they are there: my hugs and kisses aren't doing the trick!).

As I was thinking about this scenario that I find myself in at times, I picked up my phone and texted Mister and asked him two simple questions. 1. "When you're down or sad what do I do that helps you the most?" and 2. "Is there something I can do that would help you during those times that I don't do now?" He first asked me why I was asking him that (so I explained) and then he told me his answers. He basically said that being there and offering an open ear is the best thing that I could ever do (both of which I do). He also said that sometimes he doesn't know what would help. He gets so stressed out and so tired that he just needs space and time and needs to be upset.

What I learned yesterday is that even though maybe to me (or even you) listening or being there may not seem like its enough - it really does have more strength and power than we could possibly imagine. Even if after a long heart felt conversation it doesn't seem like there is a huge impact on our man's attitude, deep down it probably felt really good just knowing that you care and are there for them.

I guess the meaning of this post is hopefully to let others know that if you've ever felt like you weren't able to do enough when your man is all stressed with work, you're not alone. I thought that maybe I was, but I've learned that I'm not and that makes me feel much more at ease. It's not you. It's not them. It's more so the situation. Don't be hard on yourself, just be there and offer support - that's all you can do. It may not seem like a lot, but to our man, it means the world.

10 comments:

Stacie said...

That reminds me of something I learned from a Bible study.
"Do you want me to help fix the problem or just listen to the problem?"
I would start by saying "I just want you to listen, I can fix it on my own" - which helped because then he wouldn't get upset if I didn't take his advice.
This might be true for men too.

KelseyC said...

I like this. I always thought and still do think that what I said (or even me sometimes) isn't good enough too. I'm too hard on myself. Sometimes, just listening is the best thing we can do. It's true even on here!

Ruth said...

it always encourages my heart when i read your posts. they are so practical and down to earth, and speak right to the heart. Keep writing my friend.

thank you so very much for the most comforting words and prayers you offered for me and my family. i cannot tell you enough how blessed i feel to know there are many friends out there, i don't even know, yet so loving and kind to lift me up in prayers in my difficult times. such is the love of God and i'm thankful!

Much love and hugs,
Ruth
Underneath His Wrapping

Jessica @ {Mis}Adventures of an Army Wife said...

I've been in the same situation quite a bit. It's taken me awhile to learn just to listen because I'm a fixer by nature. I like Stacie's advice from above...I might have to ask that question next time I'm not sure what to do!

lola said...

I think that is so true. Just knowing that someone cares and is there to listen means so much!

K said...

You def hit the nail on the head with this one! Great post! I have felt this exact way at times, but I guess Im pretty lucky because my husband always comes back and thanks me for listening or says thanks for doin ______ it really helped me out. I know that mostly he just needs an ear and a hug, occasionally some extra ecouragement. And regardless of what I say in return its a huge compliment for him to even open up to me about things that stress or worry him. And if he doesnt open up right away I know to give him a hug let him know Im here and he will come around in his own time. Its funny when I read other girls posts about their men....men are all basically the same in how they react and treat certain situations.

Kathryn said...

"What a beautiful little boy you have! He is so beyond adorable! The photos turned out amazing too. Probably some of the best baby photos I've seen in a long time :)"

Thank you so much! I could not believe how great the photos came out, she was one amazing photographer!

Great post. This is something I think a lot of us could use. Sometimes it's so hard not knowing how to help our husbands when they are having a bad day. Thanks for sharing! :)

Mr. Superman & Mrs. S. said...

I think its something that we all will feel at one time or another. Our men give so much of themselves and feeling like we aren't doing anything that really compares, I think, is common. Thanks for this though! Great thoughts.

Maranda said...

I think one of the important lessons you really learned, that a lot of people don't think of, is that you asked. Just asking how you can be there and support someone will give you better insight into how to help them. Good for you for taking that step and simply asking...

Neidy said...

Sometimes a sense of humor is in need! Laughing actually releases endorphins and while he says lending open ear kinda helps, turn the situation into something funny. :) Zach and I do that all time. When I was leaving California from seeing him right before he deployed, it was the most heartbreaking thing we had ever done. But thank goodness for a macbook, photobooth, and some silly faces. To this day I have those pictures of that awful moment, but still laugh at every one of them. Especially our monkey faces :)

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