Friday, May 18, 2012

Appreciation for My Husband

I had a feeling that my husband was a little out of sorts before he left for work. He was unusually quiet and wouldn't let on to what might be bothering him, if anything.  Whenever Paul falls quiet I always assume he's mad at me, and really, poor wife that I am, I give him lots to be mad about.  I've been gone an awful lot lately and maybe that was bothering him.  Or maybe it was because I'd been spending a lot of time on the computer when I am home.  I decided that the reason for his silence is that I've been neglecting him.  My biggest weakness, I fear, is that I am always busy and often gone leaving Paul to manage the household on his own.  Frankly, between both of our busy work and volunteer schedules the only real conversation, if you could call it a conversation, that we've had in the past week concerned the dinner menu.  That's pretty ho-hum, wouldn't you agree?

Paul does an awful lot of giving in our marriage and I am quite good at the taking end of things.  When I first began my involvement with Roses for Our Lady  a little over a year ago, Paul was less than thrilled.  "Oh great," I'm sure he thought.  "Here's another project to keep her involved with something other than the family."  When I'd ask him to come to the holy hours and other Roses events with me he'd usually decline and say "That's your thing, not mine."  So here he was this past Sunday, kindly helping out with my thing, our annual May Crowning, and telling me that he is eager to help again at our next event.  I've got to admit that I've got a way-fabulous husband.

So while at daily Mass, I prayed intensely for him as the host was elevated, and in my mind I pictured him standing there in the sash waiting to help carry the vara of the Blessed Mother in procession, and I was overcome by how handsome he is.  Why is it that men always look so fine as they age, more mature and dignified, and women, well, personally I've been feeling pretty fat and frumpy lately-still overindulging on Easter chocolates and neglecting daily exercise.  Maybe that's what's really bothering Paul; I know it's been bothering me, anyway.

After Mass I made my daily holy hour and had enough time for some spiritual reading so I pulled out Style, Sex and Substance:  Ten Catholic Women Consider the Things that Really Matter edited by Hallie Lord.  It's a great little life handbook intended to help women grow in faith and improve their relationship with Christ.  It's written by ten Catholic bloggers that I greatly admire.  I am so grateful to my friend, Kathy Frymark, at the Salzmann Library for adding this little gem of a book to the library catalogue so that the women of the Milwaukee area can benefit from the words of wisdom within.  During this particular holy hour it just so happened that I read the chapter on marriage, We Said Yes, by Danielle Bean.  Danielle's words about her own marriage and how a woman can best love her husband by caring for him, lifted my heart and inspired me to try to be a better wife.  I'm sure that reading that chapter was God's intention for me today and I left my holy hour with a renewed zeal to love my husband and to let him know how much I appreciate him.

Danielle offers these five tips to build and strengthen a marriage:

1.  Make time for each other.
2.  Say "I love you."
3.  Do things together.
4. Apologize.
5.  Pray.

Her advice seems pretty straightforward and easy.  So this weekend I think I"ll cross off every unnecessary thing I had planned on attending from my calendar and I'll stay home with my family just hanging out and enjoying their wonderful company.  God blessed me with a marvelous husband.  It's high time I let Paul know how grateful I am for the gift of his loving and faithful companionship by making time spent at his side my priority.

"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord."  Ephesians 5:22


  1. Anne, this is such a beautiful post and a great reminder for me ,and maybe others, to remember just who I said yes too!

    The spiritual reading material that you mentioned here sounds like something I could really benefit from.Thank you.

    I love the photograph too. God bless you and your husband.

    1. Lisa, it's a great book! You can find it on Amazon. Thanks for your kind words!

  2. Anne, this is so lovely. I too often think about how much I neglect my husband. Now that he is retired, he will sometimes want to take me out to a nice lunch, and I, usually behind with everything at home tell him, "I can't. Too much to do here." Am I crazy!!! Thanks for reminding me of what is really important. The Lord spoke to me through you today...and I'm very grateful

    Love the picture of Our Lady's procession. What a beautiful statue. Our Sweet Mother....


    1. Patricia,

      I'm so glad that you heard God's voice through my humble words here. Lunch with your husband sounds like a lovely occasion! I hope you say "yes" to that invitation more often!

      I greatly admire your love for the Blessed Mother-she must be so grateful for your love!

  3. Hi Anne,
    Yeah, I'm guilty of husband neglect too :( I don't want to be like this and I pray about it all the time. Thanks for your post on this subject.

    But, good grief, why DO wrinkles look better on men than women anyway? I've got frumpiness down to a science lately, my friend. Care for some tips? Lol! I definitely could try a little harder in this area! Sweatpants, t-shirts, ponytails, and it wouldn't hurt me to forget about those delicious orange scones at Panera either. (I don't know if you have the Panera Bread chain where you are, but if you do, beware those deadly scones. And I never even liked scones before these!)

    God bless!

    1. Mary you are a riot! You always make me laugh! Yes, we do have a Panera nearby. Thanks for the warning about the orange scones-I will definitely avoid them!

  4. Anne...awesome!! Count me in as a neglector! I struggle with this tremendously...maybe the whole hormone thing?

    I read that book in two was such a great read and I liked that chapter too.

    Yes...what is it with men? My husband eats starts eating healthy and the weight pours off of him...and he can't afford to lose anymore!

    He made my mother's day so special that I really have been trying to make an effort to reach out more. Thank you for a much needed reminder.

    1. Theresa,

      Those hormones! They might as well be to blame for taking our husbands for granted, they are the source of blame for so many things! How blessed you are that your husband made Mother's Day so special for you! I am sure that you will be returning the favor on Father's Day!

      The book is wonderful! I always leave the books I'm currently reading on my desk at work-you never know when a rainy lunch hour will keep me inside reading. Anyway, one of my coworkers couldn't believe that I was actually reading a book that didn't have a crucifix on the cover and (gasp!) it had the word "sex" in the title! What happened to the Jesus Freak!

      I love the parenting chapter by Simcha Fischer! She's my favorite!

  5. I happened on this post while clicking on another blog I haven't read in over two years.... Hm. Anyways, I'm a neglected husband. My wife spends herself in "spiritual volunteerism" and has little or nothing left for me. To complain is "unspiritual and selfish", but the reality is I married YOU, not your projects. I need YOU, not the compliments and kudos you get from everyone else for what you do. I need YOU, not the sense of accomplishment you get from doing what you do. I need YOU to pay attention to me because without you I am incomplete, that is why I married you. When a PROJECT is incomplete without you and the project is more important than I am, I know where I am in you priorities and it hurts me in a place I probably can't tell you about. I want to be wanted by you. You need to show that to me because other people and projects "want you" and you give yourself to them... what does that say about me in your life? For what it is worth, from a husband's perspective.

    1. Dear Anonymous,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your perspective. You make some heartbreakingly valid points and I believe that every time I consider saying "yes" to one more project or volunteer effort, it will be your words here that will echo in my mind.

      There certainly has to be a balance between family and spiritual outreach, but family has got to always come first. God made marriage to be a reflection of His love for us and we are to put our spouses first in the order of our lives. In loving and spending time with our spouse, we are loving and spending time with God.

      I will pray for you and your wife as you work and pray together to strengthen your marriage and to find that balance that is so necessary to a healthy relationship. Your wife is blessed to have a husband who loves her so much!

    2. Dear Anne, May your marriage be blessed with your tender heart. I was a seminary graduate and our commencement speaker said to us, "If you are married, your first "church" is your family. The rest of the world can go to hell, but if you lose your family, St. Paul says you are worse than the pagan unbeliever." I did not heed the message and poured myself into ministry for 20 years and ended up divorced, an adulterer and lost my "first Church". God is merciful, but the consequences will go into eternity.

      Don't sacrifice your husband and children on the altar of "service". The balance is what your family needs from you, regardless of what you think you should be doing for the human race and the church.

      You have a good and sensitive heart to see your husband's unspoken grief at losing you. Listen to your heart. Talk to him. Let him be honest with you. The truth will set you free.

    3. Dear Anonymous, thank you for bravely sharing your sorrowful story full of regret and for encouraging my efforts to make my marriage a priority.