• My wooden leg named Steve

    by Christy Sillman

    “You’ve been neglecting your leg.” The physical therapist went on to describe how a ligament in my leg is so tight that it needs regular stretching or the pain in my hip and knee would worsen. Neglecting my leg, eh? I shave it, I walk on it, what, do I need to take it out to dinner and buy it a drink or something? It’s a leg for goodness sake. Apparently my leg and I need some one on one time.

    This whole exchange got me thinking. What other things do I neglect?

    My first thought was my amazingly wonderful husband. It suddenly dawned on me – I’ve been treating my husband like my leg!

    I’ve just gotten use to him being “there” and supporting my “weight” and I’ve been running all over our relationship without even stopping to recognize how vital he is to my everyday functioning.

    My husband does a lot for me and my son. It can’t be easy when your wife has a chronic illness which directly affects her energy levels. He has to do what I can’t do, every day. He does it with his whole heart (pun intended) and remains empathetic towards me. He’s my freaking hero.

    One of the most common compliments I get is how personable and friendly I am. I excel at customer service and try to make others feel comfortable and happy when around me. But, as soon as I get home, it’s another story. I’m easily frustrated, highly critical, and generally grumpy. My poor husband definitely gets the short end of the stick. I don’t like the person I am to him.

    So I tried something new the other day. I pretended my husband wasn’t my husband and instead that he was someone I was hoping to get a job from (get your mind out of the gutter). I acted like I was on a wife interview. I put my best food forward, remained upbeat and positive, and treated him with the upmost respect.

    I could almost see the weight lifted from his shoulders. The room felt brighter, the smiles were wider, and although I was putting forth some serious effort I felt better on the inside.

    Why is it that in marriage we tend to neglect the person we need the most? Why do I give my best self to others when my amazing husband is the one who deserves it all? How do I make this positivity experiment become an organic approach to my marriage?

    I’m developing a marriage mantra – “I will not make my husband fire me, I will be wife-of-the month.”

    This doesn’t mean I plan on being Mrs. Cleaver or some 1950’s crap like that. It means I want my husband to be happy. I want our marriage to be positive. I want the home we’re building to feel safe, respectful and light.

    I believe this starts with me. He deserves so much more from me.

    Sometimes my leg hurts and it makes me really grumpy.

    Sometimes my husband can be absent minded and we frequently have communication break-downs, but his intentions are always good.
    I need to give both some more of my attention. Maybe some stretching, emotionally and physically, might do the trick.

    Hello bed yoga. I’ll always find a way to multitask.

    • Lovely thoughts today Christy.

    • Really sweet column, Christy. 🙂

      • Judy N

      • February 6, 2012 at 4:08 pm
      • Reply

      I liked this a lot, especially the part about not being fired as a wife. That’s a very helpful concept!

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