Monday, February 3, 2014

Forgotten Husband (for wives only)

Proverbs 27:6a   “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.”  NIV 


At first glance the picture above makes me chuckle.  After a little thought, I ask myself if my husband feels this way. 

I’m tired both physically and emotionally.  I don’t know how much longer I can take life at this pace.  I don’t see an end in sight.  My husband comes home from a long day at work to chaos.  Will we ever have some semblance of peace in our home again?  I’m only one person.  I can’t fix it all.  HELP


This is where I found myself one summer when one of our adult sons, David, was having pseudo seizure after pseudo seizure, (severe panic attacks), along with his Borderline Personality Disorder symptoms.  They were pseudo seizures but there was nothing pseudo about them except their unpredictability as to which type he would have.  He was in major crisis mode and had just moved back for the summer. 

We were visiting with a friend when we got the first call and we rushed home.  That was the start of a very long summer.  We didn’t want our other kids to have to deal with the seizures as they were pretty unpredictable with some lasting up to 20 minutes or so.  If it wasn’t a panic seizure, it’d be a panic attack where he’d be cowering in the corner with his heart racing, sweating, and refusing to go to the doctor or hospital because they were going to kill him.  I’d be the only person that could usually settle him down and bring him back to reality somewhat.  We had to use a baby monitor to listen as David slept.  Many of the seizures happened at night so he slept on a mattress on the middle of a floor.  Between that and attempting to keep the other kids from too much collateral damage, I was at the end of my rope.  

Near the end of summer, Mike, my husband, and I needed a break.  One of David’s friends, Matt, agreed to come over for a couple of hours so we could go out.  I made the mistake of telling him to give us a call if David seized.  We were gone about 20 minutes and the call came.  Matt had said we didn’t need to come back right away, but I immediately went into MOTHER MODE, and Mike saw our date fall apart.  I said we didn’t need to go back with my mouth, but my whole mood changed.  As Mike was driving, I could tell he wasn’t happy.  I questioned him and then it came out.  “I just want my wife back.”  WOW! Was that a smack in the face or what? 


I could have shot back with things dealing with the fact that he got to go to work or that he just didn't get all I was going through or even more self-pity, poor me words, but I stopped myself.  After the initial sting wore off, it really sunk in that my mother mode had completely taken over this summer.  I had left little-to-no room for my husband.  I thought that I didn’t have a choice.  I thought I was the only one that could be there for my kids.  After all, I knew best, so I had to be the one to “help”.  I was torn, trying to be there for Mike and our six kids ranging from five to twenty with some having special needs.  What happened to our oneness as a couple?  I had lost sight of it “for the sake of the children.”  Sometimes I truly didn’t have a choice, but I could have let go of some of that control and let others help me.  Sure, Mom knows best, but Mom also needs a break.  Sure, no one can care for your child better than you, but others can care for your child.  


That simple statement in the car was a turning point for me.  It helped me to refocus on being a wife, too.  I had lost sight of that for a little time.  Even though it hurt to hear, it was music to my ears.  I know I want to look and feel more like the couple below both now and when we've been married even longer.


Stayed tuned TOMORROW for ways to find help and create couple time. 


Prayer:  Lord, help me to keep my relationship with my husband and kids in balance.  Show me ways to be not only the mom you want me to be, but also the wife you want me to be.   


~ Ann Gapinski 

Top photos courtesy of 
Bottom photo courtesy of


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