The Bat and the Butterfly Net

In every marriage, there are assumed roles.  The man is supposed to take out the trash, clean up after themselves and protect the home and it’s occupants.  That means when the dog vomits on the floor or the kids have an accident in someplace that is not the bathroom man dons his cape and takes care of business.

Then I think about all the things guys just do not know, but since it is our role we do it.  Regardless of how long we are married, our wives want to be pursued and valued.  The problem is unless our wives tell us what that looks like then it is a futile endeavor.

I remember having a long day.  I traveled 300 miles to get home and I was exhausted.  When I walk into the house we had a bat flying around the house.  We had isolated the bat in our sun room.  That is the room where we have an addition that has a hot tub and shower and an area to socialize.  My wife was happy to see me, but more to have me get rid of the bat.

I had no idea how to catch this elusive creature.  I went down in the basement and then into the garage to see if there was anything I could use to catch this bat.  All I found was my daughter’s butterfly net.  So the bat was on the ceiling and was almost invisible.  We have a wooded a frame type of ceiling that had plenty of knots.  The bat looked like just another knot in the ceiling.  Once I slowly stepped in and closed the door behind me all heck broke loose.  The bat started flying circles around the interior of the room.  The bat was flying so fast that has he came around every 1/4 of a second I would reach out to grab him.  The problem was that the bat flew so close to me that I had to use the net as protection for me and then once I realized a broke away from me then I could try to snag him. My daughter and wife were crying from laughing so hard.  They actually filmed it.  It was a picture of utter futility.

We finally got the bat out by opening the window and tried to push him out.  Bats are incredibly agile. The bat had to land and scoot through a small opening to get out.

That is the picture I get when my wife says you just do not get it.  Here in this example, I think I have done something totally cool and somehow I missed the boat completely.  I have missed the boats so many times that my passport has lapsed twice.  The point I am making is that not check this box or check that box.  It would be really nice if we could just have our wife give us the list of things that we can do to make them happy.  We actually ask for the list and it actually makes them even more angry.

I liken it college exam where the professor lets you know that it is open book and open notebook.  That is code for do not bother trying to find the answer in the books, because this requires critical thinking.  So the critical thinking is what women cannot understand that guys do not have when it comes to romancing our wives.

The answer is that they want us to write the play book. They want us to think about them enough to plan.  To take enough time to find something new to do.  Yes the flowers, candy, cards, jewelry all are part of checking the box.  But getting a reservation at that restaurant that you always wanted to go to and you made reservations.  That is big.  Finding a card that is appropriate for the situation and adding some heartfelt words is the minimum.  The words are again about effort.  They want to know if we care enough to romance them and that equates to giving it mind share and actually planning something without saying what do you feel like tonight.

So if you are having that common talk with your wife that just goes in circles. Think of me trying to catch a bat with a safety net.  Recognize the futility of it.  Then do something different like open a window. let the bat out, get some fresh air and think about what you are going to different for your wife to make her feel like she is worth planning the perfect date.

Plan time with Wifey

Have you ever think to yourself, boy things are going great with my wife.  We are spending a lot of time together and having fun together.  Then you want to share that fact and then you realize that you are missing the boat.  That can be a major blow when you think things are going so right.  So after my wife sees my jaw hit the ground, she patiently goes through the process of educating me.  She wants to be part of my purpose.  Where I do not just end up places with her, but rather intentionally take her places.

One aspect of that is to take her to someplace new.  Just not the same old same old.  So we can create new memories together that are distinct from the memories that we have already created.

The other aspect is the purposeful conversation of what do WE want to do this year? What about in five years?  How we want to live purposefully together to make them a reality.  When you start dreaming the list starts to get quite big.  Then you sit down and prioritize both based on importance and also you’re your ability to make that happen financially.

It is an eye opener when you start thinking about living purposefully for ministry and things outside of your home.  Mind blown is when you realize that you have not done that with your soul mate first.

So now I need to slow down and think, do I even have a short-term plan in my own mind with my wife much less understand if this is a shared desire.  So my encouragement to all husbands is to see really how you are doing with your wife.  Be prepared for an answers that you may not see coming.  Woman are about plans and being romanced.  With my wife the words mean very little.  It is always about my actions and what I do.  Right now, it is about courting her and desiring new experiences with her.

Apparently wives do not like drifting through life and just watching the dates on the calendar get X’d off.  Living with purpose is a good thing.  Living with a purpose that is totally aligned with your spouse is magical.

Plan the date fellows and have a conversation about your collective dreams.  Then put in a plan to make it happen.  Make a plan. Make a sate, make a life with your wife.  Empty nesters will see the urgency of this process, but trust me, every couple will eventually reach this place if you do not plan it out together.