My wife’s birthday was a few months ago, and I have to be honest — I was feeling pretty good about my plans. I had done all the things I rarely do, like plan in advance and save up some extra money to get her really good gift. I was determined. This would not be like the time I bought her a card halfway through the day, or the year we spent her birthday at one of our kids’ sporting events.
I’ll admit, I’ve had some failures in the past. But not this time.
I planned everything, I had a list of things she’d like to receive and do, I made arrangements for the kids … she was going to be so happy. I was feeling good about it all … that is until I saw the tears streaming down her face.
Instead of epic success, this was looking like another “husband fail.”
What happens when we think one thing, but it doesn’t turn out that way?
I hate to admit it, but when I noticed her crying I almost immediately got angry. I took it personally. I couldn’t believe after all the work I put in, that she had the nerve to be so upset about it all. It wasn’t one of my proudest moments, but as I reflect on it, I realize I was hurt. And my pain came out in a not-so-good way.
The main reason I was cut so deeply was because I got a little cocky. Not only did I not “mess up,” but I thought I had exceeded expectations and done really well. Had I not gotten hung up on my own feelings and pride, I would have been able to immediately react with the same concern and empathy that I eventually was able to draw upon.
After I pulled myself together, I was able to find out why she was crying. It wasn’t because I “messed up.” Her tears weren’t tears of sadness at all, but tears of joy because I made her feel special. So, while I expected smiles and “great jobs” and all of that, she expressed her joy through tears. And I wasn’t ready for that.
My biggest husband fails
I’ve messed up plenty of times, just like every other husband has. But a couple stand out pretty big, and are still things I’m not proud of:
1. One big one is putting our kids before my wife, although I’ve stated numerous times my intentions to always make my wife come first.
2. Being stubborn and not considering my wife’s thoughts in certain situations. The biggest fail in this area resulted in our family winding up temporarily homeless because I was intent on making a business idea work that was failing. By the time I realized my error, we had reached the point of no return and we paid dearly.
3. Another big fail happened on our honeymoon, when I decided a good place for our vacation would be a log cabin in the woods. The problem is my wife doesn’t enjoy the outdoors much, or at least the things that come with it, like bugs, animals, crazy sounds at night, or picnics with flies crawling on and hovering around your food. Needless to say, it wasn’t the ideal honeymoon.
How did I bounce back from my husband fails?
I refuse to let my downfalls define me. I’ve bounced back by learning from those trying times when faced with similar situations. In the case of my wife’s recent birthday, I bounced back by changing the focus from me to her.
As long as I was focused on myself, my feelings, and my expectations, it was going to be nothing but bad news. But the minute I put all that aside, and made her the priority and tried to understand what she was dealing with, it all changed for the better.
While I’m not proud of my fails, I am happy to share them in hopes somebody else can avoid some of the pain we’ve gone through. Let my pain be your gain.More On