Ah, Jared's Java. Pleasant taste. Slight Monsterism.

Welcome to the home of my mind, where I brew my intellectual and spiritual joe. Sit back and let me pour you a cup or two. I promise not to cut you off, even after you get the caffeine jitters.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Uncle Sam Wasn't Always a Jack-Booted Thug

I hate paying taxes. It's no secret. I imagine the power the tax payers could generate if they could merely keep their income taxes. How much more good could be done by private people/groups than the government, which is infamous for fiscal irresponsibility. Well, I am getting some of my money back...in the form of a vacation at the beach! No, that is not what I'm doing with my tax refund! It is being paid for by a federal grant through the Northwest Marriage Institute, which is attached to Agape Counseling Center in Portland. There is a six hour marriage seminar at the Chinook Winds Hotel and Resort this Saturday from 12:30 to 6:30, after which you are presented with your certificate to pay for the room reserved for you and for your dinner over at Sambo's Restaurant (I've heard good things about them, if memory serves me). After what happened at 1am Wednesday morning/Tuesday night, we desperately need to get the heck out of Dodge for a day or so.

So, if you live in the Pacific Northwest and would like to go, please let me know in the comment section by 3pm today with some sort of contact info (like the email address you use publicly so all the spam can go there and stay off your personal account). You must be registered by this afternoon, or the rooms will be canceled. I'm already on the gravy-train, so hop aboard. Right now I believe there are still some slots left.

Speaking of a marriage seminar, I have been pondering a parodox in spousal relations. I hear so many women say, "I just wish my husband would open up to me and allow himself to be emotionally vulnerable. It would make me feel closer to him." Then, when their husband says something like, "Man, I hate this job. I wish I could quit and do ___." they turn around and say, "You can't quit that job! We need the money really badly right now!" Some might say, "Yeah, so?" The truth is, that very woman who is begging for openness from her husband has just murdered that very hope...again, for the __hundredth time.

Men are simple creatures. We just are. Our philosophy of being tends to be practical and unspoken. We don't tend to give a ton of extra thought to how we express ourselves. We just express ourselves. If you've ever watched Everybody Loves Raymond, you see a common pattern for spousal relationships in the dynamic between Raymond and Deborah. Most episodes really go something like this: Ray is accused by Deborah of not expressing himself in a certain area/realm of his life/relationships, Ray attempts to express himself, everyone gets angry at Ray for attempting to express himself in Ray's way, Ray learns to keep his head down and mouth shut, and that Deborah is always right. Don't get me wrong, I love the show. I watched it religiously growing up (the first three seasons, I think; maybe it was two). It is carried out with comedic genius at every turn, and it isn't unlike our lives which is why we relate to it.

My point is this: I believe most good and honest men do try to express themselves and make themselves vulnerable to their wives. Many wives quickly take a baseball bat to their attempts because they either fear what they hear (ie "I so badly want to quit this job") or, from their perspective, they don't say it the right way.

So, if your husband says he hates his job and wants to quit and do something else, the proper response question (even if he has already elaborated on a few details) is, "What makes you feel that way?" If you give him the opportunity to express himself emotionally, he'll probably go back to work the next day with enough strength to not just get through it, but to live in the moment there and be the man that God calls him to be.


clumsy ox said...

Have a great weekend away!

I'd love to get out of Dodge too, but we did that over the Easter break, so now I have to face the music for a while...

R said...

I agree with you on that.

But you have to see that a woman's motivation in responding in the fashion of "you can't quit!" is her need for security. That is also where a man can come in and see that when she responds this way.

I witnessed my own husband come home week after week for years and years saying he wanted to quit. I am not perfect, but I would not say "you can't quit." That is not what he was saying. He did not even want to say exactly *why* he wanted to quit if I asked *what made him feel that way*. It was more that he needed to say it because he was miserable and I needed to confirm his misery and say, "just persevere and God will reward you. He sees you and knows you are faithful." It took a long time, but God did indeed bless him greatly.

You know, it would not make marriage fun if we were all perfect from the beginning. It is wonderful to see the both of us grow through the years by God's hand. Neither of us can turn and say he or I did it. You are right; one lesson I learned from marriage that shines out is how we respond to one another. I have learned to thoughtfully react instead of mindlessly reacting. We must be deliberate with our love and calm and calculated with our reactions. A soft word turns away wrath...

KingJaymz said...

I understand that it is the woman's need for security that makes her react that way, but it is a fearful reaction. Trust me, I'm writing this narrative because it has played out so many times in my own home.

Some men never say "why" if it has often already been said. But the bottom line is that a man must be free to express his feelings of desiring to quit. If the woman reacts out of fear, she severs her husband's freedom to talk to her. The depth and breadth of every emotional chasm in a marriage starts with a single shovel full. What you said, R, totally underscores my point here: We must be deliberate with our love and calm and calculated with our reactions. A soft word turns away wrath...

~*SilverNeurotic*~ said...

Hope you have a good time this weekend.

My parents are like that, though their roles are reversed. My mom's the one with the "big" job and she's not the best at communicating. Neither is my dad, but his problems are often health related and there's only so much that can be done about it.

Niki said...

We have a bit of role reversal here. It's usually me saying I want to quit my thankless job. ;) We laugh and Benny reminds me that there is no one better suited to do my job than me. He's right. But I do know what you're talking about.;)

Have a great weekend! But I may chat with you tomorrow! Afterall, it's Friday.

The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Hey, go check me out, 2 posts down...I awarded you the Thinking Blogger Award!

~Jennifer said...

You watched Everybody Loves Raymond when you were growing up? Oh, now I really feel old.

I'm a good wife. When my husband told me he hated his job, I said, "You should quit, and find something you really enjoy." He stayed for 12 years. :-P

However, he got laid off after 12 years, which we figure was God's way of agreeing with my advice. Now, finally, he has a job he really enjoys. The commute stinks, though. Oh well.

Good point, though!

And thanks for your terrific beauty tips! ;-)

Sally said...

I feel old, too, by the growing up w/ Raymond statement...unless he's really been on for a looonnnng time. LOL

KingJaymz, I agree w/ you on the express yourselves thing. Hubby and I have been married 6 1/2 years, and it took us more than 4 years as husband and wife to START to learn how to communicate effectively with each other.

Hubby just went through a career change where he took a HUGE pay cut...and if it wasn't for everything I learned in the first 5 years of marriage, I would have reacted terribly when he came home, broken and depressed, and told me he had quit his job.

I had seen, month after month, what his job was doing to him AND our marriage, and I was ELATED when he told me he had quit. He was so worried about the money part, and I was, too, but I knew God would get us through it. I was just glad that hubby would be happy again.

He just started his new career, and I'm so excited for what is yet to come.

An AWESOME book that helped me learn the differences between husbands and wives is called
"Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs" by Emerson Eggerichs.

Qtpies7 said...

The Love and Respect book is awesome! Its a must read!

I just wanted to say "Thanks for the guilt trip!"

Actually we are learning to communicate better, but I still freak over insecurity issues, but I'm trying, and he is trying to understand those freak outs.