After over twenty four years of marriage, I’ve gotten pretty keen to when Jon is feeling neglected and I try to curb other activities in order to save something for him. I remember the first time I heard that phrase about seven years ago from a well-meaning woman who I was sure had just lost her mind. “Make sure you save something for Jon,” she said. Really! Are you kidding! The last I checked, it wasn’t Jon who was up most of the night nursing a new baby, getting up with a toddler at the break of dawn, and feeling the weight of trying to be a fun homeschool mom to a third and fifth-grader. There was nothing left to save. All available energy was being sucked out of me with every nursing hour and every brain cell depleted with every math equation. How could anyone ask me to give more?
At some point in the midst of all that, the six of us were sitting around the dinner table, where I’m certain I was inhaling my food in the hope of eating it at least lukewarm, when my son asked, “Mom, do you notice anything strange about Dad?” Jon generally kept a fairly thick beard during cooler months, and I laughed at the ridiculous sight of him with only half of it. He had completely shaved the other half. Then I heard, “Mommy, he’s had it like that for two weeks.” What! It was true. He had felt completely invisible, and apparently to me he was. Now, in his defense, he wasn’t trying to give me a guilt trip, but it was certainly a point well made:
And Dad needs Mom to save something for him.
In actuality, it wasn’t that hard. With a little effort, I did find that I could accomplish the important things and still have enough extra for him. I learned to relinquish some control and delegate more often even if the job wasn’t done like I would do it, and I changed my expectations. No one (including me) is perfect, so why do I demand it? Definitely harder said than done, but well worth the effort. Since then, I occasionally have a husband who needs me to notice him, and unless I want him shaving half his face (or who knows what else!), I pay attention. I go back to those days and remind myself that when I take note of what Jon needs from me, I end up getting what I need from him. I need to talk; He could be silent for the rest of his life. He needs me to touch him though–a lot. So, if I take the time to do that, even if it’s just a brush on the shoulder on my way by, I find he has a lot more to say. We both win.
How about it moms? When was the last time you took notice of your husbands beyond whether or not his clothes matched or if he could pick up Susie from ballet? When did you last ask him what he wanted you to save for him? I don’t know what your husband might need from you, but he does. Just ask him and keep asking him. Start today. He counts. Make sure he knows you know it. As you begin to notice him in a new way, you may find he does the same and you both end up wondering how you got so lucky.
Others will also take notice because you are creating something rare. It’s called true love. Proverbs 31:11-12 says, “Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Wow! May those words ring true for all of us. And now I need to go find my man before he shaves half his head.