As you may know from recent posts, my husband started his own company a little over a year ago. He is also involved in two other start-ups, which means he basically works three full time jobs (yikes!) It sounds crazy, and it is crazy. But we both decided it was necessary to work all three jobs (yes, we are a little crazy too – in a good way. I hope.), so he is doing so. And it’s really stressful. Like, really stressful.
For those of you married people, you know there are mountains, big and small, to overcome to make the marriage successful. And I believe one of them is to appreciate each other in who they are and what they do for the family and to show that appreciation. Well, it’s hard to fully appreciate the other person when you don’t know the full story of what they do, and to be quite honest, I don’t think the other person will ever fully know and understand how hard, stressful and rewarding the other person’s “job” and “role” can be. However, it is helpful when each person has the opportunity to live the day in the life of the other, experiencing a teensy bit of what their life is like.
Now, to string all of these thoughts together, I wanted to share what happened to help me understand my stressed out, passionate and hard-working (understatement) husband.
Recently, my husband and I needed to go to an event together in the evening, but it was about an hour away from where we lived, so we decided to spend the whole day together out where the event was going to be held. It was close to where he usually worked, so I would follow him around and pretty much watch him work. I wasn’t thrilled (it isn’t too entertaining to watch someone work), but my husband was excited to show me what he does. And as I observed, I learned a couple things: 1) he speaks in a totally different tone when working – short, to the point and somewhat aggressive (he never talks like that to me), and 2) he has to fight for integrity, for the right decision to be made, about every other minute of the day. It was all fast-paced and stressful. Exciting, but stressful. And I was glad I didn’t have to be a part of it every day.
Then we watched The Intern a couple of days ago. It’s the movie with Anne Hathaway (love her!) and Robert DeNiro (he really played the most precious character ever.) If you are involved in a start-up or are like me, a supporter of a start-up, you should really watch this movie. It will open your eyes to the different perspectives of those all involved in building a company. It definitely opened mine. I knew the stress my husband dealt with because he shared about work all the time. We prayed together almost every day concerning work. But to see it all, big picture, was like receiving a revelation. Being in charge of so many people, so many projects and constantly having to make decisions is not easy (understatement, I know.)
My husband and I chatted for awhile that night after watching the movie. As much as my heart about our crazy life and his role in it had softened and changed through the film, so had his. He was able to see to my end of the bargain. We knew this in our minds, but our hearts finally realized we could never compare our jobs with each other. Something so obvious became a supernatural, powerful revelation to us.
I don’t think I’ll ever fully understand how hard and how fun a day in the life of my husband is. But he won’t ever fully understand mine either – unless we completely switched roles. We decided we are okay with that and that we needed to commit to showing each other appreciation for what each of us did for the family. It’s hard for both of us at times because we both want approval and fall into the pit of wanting to feel important by what we do. But we already approve of each other, and most importantly, God approves the both of us for simply who we are.
I started writing this post to try to convince you to watch The Intern because I loved it so much, but I guess the message God imprinted on my heart just had to be shared. Well, I hope it was encouraging for you…serving the other person is hard work. Really hard work. But I’ve never regretted serving my husband, and he’s always made sure to serve me above his desires (he has been more successful than me. Poop. I’ll keep getting better.) It seems to work well in a marriage.