THE HUSBANDS | THEY ARE UNDER A LOT OF PRESSURE TOO
I don't always have my shit together. And I often complain. Because, well, I'm human and a mother of 3 and the daily drill of life can be daunting at times. And I openly share my thoughts with the world on this process because I'm a writer and I like to share. But the other night I felt a shift in my household and I briefly paused. Just when I felt the weight of the world closing in on me, I stopped paying attention to that feeling and watched my husband. I watched his body language, noticed his breathing, and looked deep into his tired eyes. And suddenly it came over me. They're under a lot of pressure too.
I've known this. In fact, it's on my mind on the reg. But we don't always pay attention to details. We often get caught up in our own shit. The hiccups of motherhood make our heads spin and we are often too dizzy to make sense of what's happening with them. And it's funny, I didn't really understand it until I payed close attention. And it's really not all that funny.
I've always thought it was interesting that women surround themselves with women constantly and it's because relationships between women are greatly appreciated and needed. It's sort of like fuel. We need it, and it fuels us up like gasoline and we can run steady for days and days. But when we run out, we immediately plan something with the girls, because it's survival. This is not the case with men. As they get older, their male relationships fade a little into the distance. They don't prioritize friendship, because they're busy prioritizing work. And more work. And if it's not work, it's the occasional fishing or hunting or game of golf. Occasional being the key word.
And it isn't our fault, it's just the way men are. It's how they are built. And although at the end of my day, I often bemoan that I'm spent and my back hurts, he doesn't. Maybe here and there, but mostly not. They don't talk about it. They are famous for it. They just don't want to talk about things. They work and work and work and then, they like to decompress. Women like to decompress with girlfriends and wine. And talk till the sun comes up. Men want to have a beer or a scotch and watch the ball game. Alone. And not particularly on purpose.
But the shift I noticed the other night was after a close observation of my husband. And what I learned was this. They are under a lot of pressure too. They are in the middle of their lives trying to make it count. They don't have time to notice if the floors are dirty or if shoes are on sale. They don't have time or even thoughts about making plans with the guys for a Monday night beer. For them, it's go time. It's making choices to feed their family. It's more work, less play. It's more stress, less leisure. It's a daily drill that isn't letting up any time soon. And this period of time, in the domestic life that we're living, we must pay attention to what they're going through too. Open up the communication and let them know we're grateful for all they do. Book a sitter and take them to dinner and wear something he's never seen you in. Encourage them to play a round of golf this weekend instead of watching the twins while you take your oldest to ballet. Offer support. Offer kindness. Offer love. In a day and age where we are all fending for ourselves and trying to keep up with everyone else around us, slow down, lay off, and take a walk down the street with your husband. And let him tell you how he is. Might do wonders for your marriage. Note to self.