Friday, January 14, 2011

Of Husbands Set Free

Another reason I'm grateful for this season of unemployment? New growth in compassion. As in, here is yet one more thing which carries me to other worlds--and to you who are also there. Places I'd never ventured before.

As in, The Land Of Having Your Husband Home All The Time.

Heh. A few of you have asked me to write some more about that place and how to keep your sanity there.  ツ

Some of you have mentioned that your newly-freed (retired, unemployed) husbands want you to drop everything, plop! And travel all sorts of places with them, rather it be down the highway, the state or down to the hardware store. And I know... with every, "Aww, Honey, I want you to go with me!" suddenly you recall all those Bible verses about submission and you think, "Ack! If I don't go with him, I'll be in trouble with God."

So you go with him (and go and go) and, because we all know when a woman takes two days off, it takes her two weeks to catch-up, there's this new river of stress running through you. And you're doing laundry at 10 p.m. And you've forgotten what quiet, alone time even feels like.

And you wonder why you ever complained about your pre-retirement/unemployment life because, actually, oh, those days were ordered and downright sweet. In comparison.

Sound familiar? Well, I've been there and even now I'm still finding my way to a new normal. And it's taking time.

But here is what I know for certain:

God makes a way where there is no way. So yes! It's ok to ask Him to show you the ways to live in this new place happily.

Communication and compromise? Vital. Sit with your husband and ask for his input--which days of the week will he most likely want to go places with you? When are the tv shows on that he likes to you to watch together? When will he want to go on vacation?

Maybe even come to the table with a written list of all you must do in a week. From there, try to come up with some sort of a chart in which both of you get what you want. Time together, time apart. Time for fun, time for chores. Time for his hobbies, time for yours.

Men, generally, enjoy figuring-out problems, finding solutions, especially when you're dealing with math-like, time-table solvable problems. It will make it easier for them to see and understand that Life is not going to run smoothly if you, the homemaker, are gone all the time and have no time for the house or yourself. If your chart-making is going especially well, maybe you could sign him up for a couple new chores(!)

Another idea--find some hobbies for your husband if he doesn't have any. (Many men just don't know who they are or what they like and they need a little shove, uh, help.) Find friends for him, also, if you can. Guys who will get him out of the house so you can be happy with some time alone while he's out being happy with guys who have similar interests and ways of thinking.

Of course, this is just a blog post and not a book, so I'll end it here, hoping I've given those of you who've asked for help a couple starting points. Tom and I have been together nearly 24/7 for over four months now and hey! We're still speaking and we haven't killed each other. We're talking real progress here. :)

May you find even greater progress with your guy-at-home, and above all, lose the guilt! 

In no way did God ever create submission to your husband as a means of abandonment of you, the amazing person God spent all these years re-creating.



K.E. said...

It is an adjustment isn't it? When my father retired, my mother couldn't even clean house, because he was "underfoot" all the time.
She was so very happy (and he was too) when he found a PT job. When they moved back to Florida, he would help my uncle during harvest time (once a farmer...), and actually move to their house for several weeks. My mother was in heaven!

Unknown said...

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Ann said...

My husband went through a job loss in 1994. We had three small children at home and it was a trying time but we survived for the better I think. Paul went back to school and I went to work. Even now when we are both employed Paul likes me to go with him even to the "hardware store". I makes me feel loved that he considers me his "best" friend. He doesn't have a lot of male friends and sometimes I think it would be good for him if he did but then I think I'd see less of him and I'm glad he relys on me. He posted a picture of me on his Flickr site and titled it my traveling buddy!!! I'm glad it was my picture. Thanks Debra for all your insight into you life. You help me in ways you'd never imagine. Have a wonderful day.

Jan said...

I am on the other side of the fence in this discussion. My husband has been an at home husband most of our married life. First as a farmer and then as a partner in therapeutic foster care. Now he is working and oh how I miss him. The days are long without him there to talk to and share with. I am blessed that even while home all those years he had lots he wanted to do by himself leaving me the free time I needed.
Our 6 kids certainly benefitted from his sustained presence in our home while they were growing up!
I will be glad when he retires and is not obligated to someone outside our home!