Monday, February 14, 2011

How was your day?

Years ago, I made a conscious decision that I would become intimately familiar with what David does for a living (even back when I worked). Why would I do this? Certainly not so that I could have burdens to bear and stress to endure or because I don't have enough to think about. For me, it was a decision about how to best partner with him in marriage.
For David (and for many men I suspect) so much of what is going on with him emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually is tied up with what he is going thru, achieving, chasing, or dealing with at work. Knowing what he does and how he processes it, as well as the dynamics of his workplace have helped me to listen, understand, know how to pray for & with him, as well as give advice or have discernment about a situation from a different perspective (when he asks of course).

Now there are several key components to doing this:
1. I am only familiar with David's workplace and co-workers from his perspective (and there are 2 sides to every scenario). If an issue arises, I often just listen or simply ask him to think of it from the other person's perspective.
2. I think about his work, job endeavors, and career path as "ours." And it is ours- we make those decisions together and I live with the commitment, hours, and travel required, picking up all the extra slack. BUT, he is the one who owns them everyday so I have to remind myself that my attachment to them is for his benefit First, not mine.
3. I try (very hard and fail often, and yet keep trying) to only give advice or an opinion when asked.
4. I visit the office for various things and engage with co-workers often; I interact and build relationships as the opportunity presents itself without regard to office politics and challenges-- they are always changing and I don't need to concern myself with those.
5. David has always worked with women and many times needed to travel with them. Knowing each of these women (and their spouses if they have them) creates a natural protection for my marriage. There is a clear knowledge and respect by these women for David's wife and family and therefore a decreased opportunity that a inappropriate or uncomfortable situation could present itself.   ***This is not because I have anything to worry about where David or his co-workers are concerned! This is just SMART, PROACTIVE, marital strategy.

The idea of really understanding the answer when you ask "How was your day?" may not appeal to you but I have learned that even in the busiest seasons of our lives, this practice has helped keep us connected. I'd encourage you to find out one new thing this week about how your spouse spends his/her day.


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