My husband is a hard worker. I didn’t really know this about him when we were dating and I was pretty sure I was–for better or worse–marrying the class clown. Turns out the same dedication to his craft he pursued while pulling pranks, doing pratfalls, and eating a bowl of cereal without the use of his hands, he now pours into his work. I’m sure the pressures of having four children who eat like they are in a constant game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos contributes greatly to how hard he works, especially in a career that is commission based. I’m so proud of Brian and I know the way he works reflects a love of his job and clients, a love for his family, and a love for God.
But sometimes I need to know that I matter too, on a personal level. I matter even between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 (sometimes 7) p.m. I remember having this weird cycle back when I was nine months pregnant with Joel. It would go like this:
- I would want to call Brian about something dumb (“Hey, your favorite juice was on sale so I bought a bunch!”).
-I would worry if I called him he’d think I was in labor so I wouldn’t call and if I called I’d hope he didn’t pick up if something important was going on at work.
-Then I would call him about something slightly less dumb (“What time will you be home tonight so I can have the casserole ready?”).
-He wouldn’t pick up.
-I would be super mad- “I could have been in LABOR and he didn’t even PICK UP!”
The poor guy couldn’t win. That’s when we tried to develop a system- if I call twice in a row, it’s an emergency. We continue to work out the kinks in this situation as we figure out how to each be considerate of the other (Wonderful Husbands- if you call during nap time and the ring wakes up The Baby we are likely to lock you out of the house when you come home for dinner) and faithful to our responsibilities.
So I wanted to give a quick insight to the husbands. Sometimes answering a phone call or making a phone call has a much greater impact than the call itself. On the rare occasion my husband answers a call of mine while he’s in a meeting (usually with a “Hey, I’m in a meeting- is this something quick?”) it tells me I’m valued. This lasts long after whatever I called him about stops mattering. It contributes to my overall sense that our marriage is important, which is hugely important on the nights he’s got an appointment that keeps him from being home during the time I have to put the kids to bed. If his client walks in 30 minutes late, so he knows he’ll be 30 minutes later coming home than he told me, it means SO much if he can pause what he’s doing to communicate that to me. I have been guilty of almost hoping my husband had an accident on the way home just so it wasn’t one more late night without letting me know ahead of time.
And Hard-Working Husbands, what respect your co-workers, clients or employees will have for you when they know the respect you treat your wife with. It isn’t shameful or wimpy to let your wife know when your plans have changed, but instead implies an understanding that time is valuable- something the people in your work environment can benefit from knowing, too. And in a day and age when workplace affairs are all too common, I think it’s a great way to build trust with your spouse to keep her updated on your work schedule instead of creating unaccounted for times. This also communicates a lot to those you’re working with about your commitment to your marriage.
So answer her call. Make the calls when things have changed. Love is in the details.