Updated: Apr 6
In recent days, practically every state in the Union has received an order that bans gatherings of more than 10 people. In the wake of this horrible novel virus, we have also been encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. This advice came with a large amount of Americans taking on working from home and becoming instant homeschool teachers.
A change has come!
Not only have some of us been forced into a vocation we never prepared for (teaching), but we've also been forced to spend time with our spouses. More time than usual. A lot more time than usual. Way more time than usual, and in a closed space . . . together. "Houston, we may have a problem."
We love our spouses, but we also enjoy our careers. The two are not exclusive. We enjoy working with teams on deadlines, carrying on conversations at the water cooler, designing projects for the CEO, all of it! These things offer us a sense of accomplishment we don't find within our relationships. That's not a bad thing. Our outside interests should compliment our marriages. The problem arises when we allow our outside interests (jobs, friendships, hobbies, etc.) to take the place of marriage.
During these "work from home" times, even when we're in opposite working corners, the silence can become deafening. I personally love watching my spouse at work. He goes about it with such an authority and confidence that's . . . well . . . very sexy! And yet, there is a hint of arrogance in his voice as he gives directives to his teams, and an heir of "I know who I am" when he is engaging with his peers and above on those all-important teleconferences. It is so fascinating to watch! I just want to order some gourmet popcorn, recline in a plush, leather chair, and watch him work on the big screen! And while I am enamored with his knowledge and ability, I can't take it every minute of every day. His skill and expertise are unmatched and yet, I can sometimes find his mannerisms to be quite irritating - especially if he's unusually loud and I'm trying to concentrate on my subjects and verbs. This is when the littlest move he makes seems magnified to the hundredth power for me.
For instance, have you ever realized how long your husband's head is? When he's on the phone chomping it up and commanding his teleconference audience, I'm looking at the back of his head. As he bends down and leans toward his laptop screen to look at the diagram in front of him, I am discreetly observing the distance between the base of his neck and the crown of his head. I imagine that it's long enough to serve as an aircraft runway. Of course it's not, but these are some of the casualties of working together, every day, in a small space with the love of your life. What to do? What to do?
This is a time for remembering. I remember when I became comfortable with kissing Byron. You know how it is at first. As a woman in the beginning of a courtship, we usually wait to be approached. I wait for you to put your arm around my waist and gently apply pressure to the small of my back, beckoning me to come closer and closer until you place your lips on mine. But as the relationship grows, we become more comfortable. I remember his arms around my waist and my hand cupping the back of his neck as we kissed. The way I remember his neck then is the way I make myself view his neck now. It's not the length of an aircraft strip. It is the perfect length AND width and I love every inch of it!
What can we do when we are working from home in opposite corners with our spouses? How can we fight off irritation and annoyance? Well, in these closed spaces: 1. Look at your own screen! Hahahaha! Let's become so engrossed in our own work that we are unbothered by his. 2. Plan little breaks for the both of you during the day. Observe his work day and learn when he is least busy . . . and then surprise him! Maybe you can prepare one of his favorite snacks for him to chew on while on calls or even better, you can be a midday snack. I am sure he will prefer the latter! And last but not least: 3. Take some time to be thankful. In these days, be thankful to God for a husband who is W.O.R.K.I.N.G! These are some uncertain times. Being blessed with a job is a privilege that should never be taken lightly. Carve out some time to encourage him and tell him what a BEAST he is in his field. Tell him how happy you are that he takes care of you and the family - even if you earn the higher salary. Make him feel like the king you want him to be!
In these trying times it may not seem like it but: We are indeed, BETTER TOGETHER!
I love marriage!