Moving Buddies

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We recently moved to a new house and it started out as one of the most stressful times in our marriage.  I was constantly frustrated with my wife and I felt like I was the only one packing while she picked out paint colors and sanitized kitchen cabinets.  I thought she was being slack and I was getting overwhelmed at the task and annoyed with her.

Then my buddies came over and within a few hours we had moved 14 truckloads to the new house. That’s when it hit me – I was expecting my wife to act like a man! 

Whenever we expect our spouse (or kids) to fill a role they weren’t designed to play we’ll inevitably frustrate ourselves and them. 

Your wife isn’t ever going to be the hunting, fishing, or moving buddy you want her to be. And that’s okay, because you don’t have to be her shopping and pedicure girlfriend!

It’s necessary to have male friends to help you move or to talk with over a beer.  But they’re not going to sanitize your kitchen cabinets. Take a look at your relationships and make sure you’re not expecting people to play roles they weren’t designed for.

Out of the Dark

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What do you do whenever you run into something that you’re not good at? Maybe a spin class that kicks your butt, or that musical instrument you started to learn how to play. We all have things we’ve gotten ourselves into that turned out to be a lot harder than we had realized.

Walking out of a dark theater into the midday sun hurts your eyes and you want to shrink back inside to the comfortable darkness. The same is true when we encounter something that shines a light on a weakness. We want to run away from it because it shows us for what we really are.

It’s easier to ignore the shortcoming and stick with what you’re good at. That way you never have to acknowledge the deficiency. You can go on pretending you’re the man. When you avoid the uncomfortable light of difficult new things your world gets smaller. You’re like a trapped rat hemmed in to a dark corner by rays of brilliant light.

But if you’ll embrace the discomfort of the arduous new challenge then your world will expand. You’ll grow with a newfound confidence and enjoy a life that is both large and bright.

Fix the Problem

  My '09 Dodge Ram  

My '09 Dodge Ram 

I know a guy who said he couldn’t jog anymore because of knee pain. Been hurting for years, he said. When I asked if he had seen a doctor about it he said that was too much trouble. “More trouble than not being able to run for the rest of your life?” I asked.

He wasn’t thinking clearly. That much was obvious. He was an active guy who worked out and had young kids, but he was willing to live with pain forever rather than go to a professional who fixes a dozen knees like his every week.

It’s easy to see the error in this guy’s thinking, but sadly, many men commit the same error when it comes to their marriage. They choose to live in pain rather than confront a fixable problem.

Not getting help for a bad marriage or a hidden addiction is unhealthy thinking. Professionals fix a dozen problems like this every week. Choosing to remain broken is a form of laziness. Getting better requires effort. And real men make the effort.

As men, we fix things. We fix our trucks when they aren’t running smoothly, and we had better fix our relationships (and our knees) too!