The Importance of Asking Him For Help
It had been a particularly long day full of siblings fighting, messes being made, and the baby being extra clingy. I was fighting a cold as well, so I was both emotionally and physically exhausted. I remember looking in the mirror as I washed my hands after changing the millionth diaper for the day.
My messy top bun was now hanging down by my left ear, the circles under my eyes resembled war paint, and the food and slobber covering my shirt all screamed, “Help!”
So when my husband arrived home and entered the scene, I felt this huge surge of relief. He walked in the door, just as I caught a whiff that it was time for another diaper change. I fully expected sympathy and compassion after one glance at the sink full of dishes, the living room full of toys and laundry, and the biggest mess of all, which was me!
Oddly, he didn’t seem to notice any of these things. His nose apparently didn’t pick up on the poopy diaper smell either. He kissed me on the forehead in usual fashion, and then said he was going to go outside and do some work in the yard before dark.
Disappointed he didn’t swoop in and save the day, take the baby, and insist I take a nap while he made dinner, I took the next couple of hours to fester while he took care of the yard.
My thoughts gained momentum of frustration over the situation.
How could he not see that I needed him? That the yard could wait, and I had been waiting all day for his arrival? Why didn’t he notice the mess, the dark circles and crazy hair, or at the very least- the poopy diaper? Could he not change ONE diaper??
I will save you from the details of the argument that ensued when he re-entered the scene drenched in sweat and covered in grass, but here’s what I learned about myself and my husband.
First, husbands aren’t mind-readers. Also, typically, when men set their minds on accomplishing something, they get laser-focused and might even become temporarily unaware of their surroundings. This isn’t on purpose, it’s how God made their brains to operate.
Finally, our response to this matters. We can let our hurt feelings and disappointment turn to offense, which in short order will lead us to resentment and anger. We can feel sorry for ourselves and dwell on how unfair and unkind our husbands are.
But what if we could actually prevent all of this by just asking for help? What if instead of expecting our husbands to read our minds, anticipate our needs, or come to our rescue without prompting, we just ask them for help with what we need? It’s easy to think, “Well, I shouldn’t have to ask. He should just offer.” But I just showed you where this thinking leads.
More often than not, our husbands are willing to help, they just don’t always see where they can. I can’t think of a time when I’ve asked my husband to help me and he has refused. It might be that he needs to do a few other things before he is able to help, but he does want to help.
As nice as it would be for husbands to see what we’d like their help with on their own, the goal isn’t to be married to a mind-reader who is just like you. It’s to honor God within your marriage and reflect His love at the center of our relationship – and I’m learning how just a little humble communication takes a big step in that direction.
Wife Step: Spend the next few minutes reflecting on how you typically respond when you feel your husband isn’t helpful, and how you can instead identify what you would like help with and how you can respectfully communicate this with your husband. Pray and ask God to help you respond with love if his response isn’t what you hope it will be.
Elizabeth Oschwald is a freelance writer, blogger, and joy-seeker. She lives in central Illinois in an ever-improving rustic farmhouse with her husband and seven children. They are a blended family, which means the journey she pictured for her life and the one she’s found herself on are definitely different. But it also means she knows firsthand how God takes broken things and makes them beautiful. She loves to write transparently about their raw and real family life, her experiences in single motherhood, and how Jesus can add joy in every season. You can connect with her at www.addingjoy.com, on Facebook, and Instagram.