Sunday, February 3, 2013

Side by Side...

Husbands and wives have very special relationships, don't we?  We know the best of each other, and the worst of each other.  If we've taken our vows seriously, we've been together in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, for better and for worse.  

Sometimes, in the middle of the good and bad, sickness and health, good and bad, we loose sight of the everyday needs our spouse has.  Reason is: we stop paying attention.  Other things creep in.  There are lawns to be mowed, babies to be bathed, laundry to be washed, bathrooms to be cleaned, groceries to be bought.  By the end of the day, when the kiddos are put down for the night, there's rarely anything left to give.  Who suffers?  Our marriages suffer.  When the kiddos are all grown up and moved away, and you've spent years attending to other things, who suffers?  The marriage...because we haven't continued to spend a lifetime nourishing our relationship.

As I've been discussing this topic with several of the men I know, I've found great insight into what really speaks to men.  Ladies, it's not always s*x.  Men need us to be their wife, yes, but they also desire us to be their friend.

Here's what one gentlemen told me.  It's very insightful, ladies... think about it.

"Most ladies spend “face-to-face” time with each other.  You know, laughing, talking, “getting to know each other” over coffee, etc.  You actually look at each other.

 Most guys spend “side-to-side” or “shoulder-to-shoulder” time with each other.  They sit on couches and play video games, or watch sports, or play poker, etc.  They don’t necessarily talk much or look at each other.  But they are spending time together.  Most guys need some “shoulder to shoulder” just hang-time with their spouse.  One thing [my wife] does really well is “side to side” time. "

Now that I feel completely inadequate... let me be honest.  I'm not good at this one.  I'm a busy bee.  I like to be accomplishing something.  If you catch me sitting down, I'm still accomplishing something.  I'm reading, I'm blogging, I'm writing, I'm re-organizing in my head (no comments necessary, thank you), I'm knitting.  But rarely am I just "being" with my husband.  

The last time I sat down and watched a football game or Nascar race with my husband was..... ....... ........ ....... ........ Well, I can't seem to remember.  I need to work on this skill - and I plan to start today!

*One additional tip, ladies.  DON"T wait until the Superbowl to take an interest in football and then sit there and ask questions the whole time.  Husbands HATE that!  Just be with him.  Watch until half-time and then, excuse yourself.*

What about video games?  Okay, so I don't play shoot-em-up games.  I can't play racing games because I get "car sick."  But my husband and I can play Xbox Kinect together.  We can sit in bed and play "Words with Friends" together.  We can get out the board games and I can beat him at Backgammon (again).  

The idea maybe isn't games or tv for you and your husband.  Maybe he likes to read where as you're a chatty Kathy.  Find a book or magazine that appeals to you and just sit quietly with him and be with him.  

I think the main idea in this one is:  Just be with him.  Not because you need something from him.  Not because you need to talk about the budget.  Not because you need to talk about the principal's conference with your 2nd grader.  Not because you have a purpose or a need - just because you need to be with him.

Take away:
1) What are your husband's interests?  Is it sports?  Is it reading?  Is it restoring an old car?  Know your husband's "down-time" activities.

2) In what ways can you spend time with your husband today, or this week, just being with him...just hanging out?

3) How can you show your husband that you're still interested in being his friend?  Think outside the box.  

Only By His Grace,


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