My husband is a brilliant man. He was valedictorian of his high school class, graduated with honors from college, obtained advanced degrees and certifications, programs computers and is a proven leader at his job.
But God help us if he goes to the grocery store! He returns two hours later. Confused. Battled and addled. Beat down.
Has your guy ever confused the zucchini for the cucumber? Or bought cabbage when you wanted iceberg lettuce?
I will never forget the first time we were dating long distance, and we decided to have a video date in which we made the same meal. It was a spaghetti squash with roasted broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese and garlic. At the time, Nathan only had ever purchased garlic powder. So when the recipe called for 4 cloves of garlic, he bought 4 big bulbs of garlic at the grocery store.
When it came time to mince the garlic, he said, “So how do you do this?” And I told him he only needed to pull out four cloves from one bulb. “Oh!” he exclaimed. We laughed so much during our date, and still do to this day.
We all have our thing or things we’re clueless about, like me and cars. Don’t ask me the make and model of our cars, or how to change the oil (sorry Dad). I’ve told the mechanics some crazy things. I am that stereotypical woman that makes noises to describe my car’s problems.
After the kids were born, Nathan made the trips to the grocery store most of the time since I was busy tending to the needs of the baby. He sent me text message pictures of items and asked, “Is that the right kind to buy?” He would return, plop on the couch exasperated and told me he had to ask employees about nearly every item. “Which aisle are the fire roasted tomatoes? …and the low sodium soy sauce? …and how about the red curry paste?”
Sometimes he would be gone for nearly an hour for just a few items that I think would take 10 minutes at most. “What’s taking him so long?!” I wondered.
I felt terrible for being so picky about everything, so particular about my brands, quantity and expiration dates. He will be the first to tell you that he has learned so much about food and cooking since we have met. He always tells me that I saved him from a life of frozen corndogs and pizza.
When you don’t date (or have a very long engagement) we had a lot of learning to do from each other. And I needed to be more specific with the grocery list and not expect him to read my mind about some things.
Communication is so important, and something (almost married 4 years) we are continuing to learn and work at, because gosh it is work. Kids certainly add another challenge.
We try to set aside date nights and trips away to focus on our relationship, and that helps recharge our batteries so much. I now indicate if I want generic brand frozen peas instead of a can of green giant, and where to find the kalamata olives and the difference between rainbow chard and kale.
Our prayer life should be even more important than our communication with our spouse, done so frequently, clearly and together. The Bible tells us to pray continuously (1 Thessalonians 5:17), pray specifically (Luke 11:1-13) and pray with others (Matthew 18:20).
When a friend calls to share a request or posts on social media, I stop what I’m doing, sometimes get on my knees (depending where I’m at) and pray out loud and very specifically, and try, try, try to keep praying for those throughout the day until God answers. And just like with any physical relationship, our spiritual relationship gets better with time and practice.