What thoughts come to mind when I mention the word ask? How do you feel about asking for something? Are you hesitant? In asking, do you feel you have to somehow lower yourself? Do you feel it means you’re weak, can’t do it on your own, or must be dependent on someone else?
Consider what a young child’s attitude is when asking something of us. He asks without even a hint of uncertainty in his request. Why? He knows he is loved. He knows he is a priority. He is aware that he is not sufficient on his own. He has no issue with asking. He is free to ask without hesitation.
With Childhood Abandon
How wonderful would it be if we would feel this same abandon in our marriages. I don’t how it is in your marriage, but it took me a long time to feel bold enough to ask my husband for help—and I must say, I still sometimes have a hard time.
I would fume after dinner as I struggled with “my responsibilities” to clean up the kitchen, bathe the children, finish up laundry. All the while angry, that he could just sit and relax while I ran to and fro. Didn’t he notice? Didn’t he care? He seemed oblivious to what I was going through.
Differences Between Men and Women
But just because we women have a million super highways of thought racing in our brains, we can’t assume that this is true of the men in our lives. After a hard day of work and eating a wonderfully prepared meal, our husbands are usually inclined to kick back and catch up on the day’s biggest news events.
And they may even be in their “nothing box.” Thinking on—well, nothing. They’re able to do so because their focus is so specific.
Armed with that information, I changed the way I dealt with this frustration by adapting in a couple simple ways:
- Live with him in an understanding way. I stopped putting an unrealistic expectation on him when it doesn’t come natural to him. My problem was I expected my husband to notice, and if he didn’t, it would upset me. It was another situation where my expectations let me down. I had set myself up for disappointment. It wasn’t fair or helpful to either of us.
Just ask! Although we love it when our husbands notice our plight and rush to our aid, do yourself—and him—a favor and be bold enough to ask, rather than to wait for him to move on his own. My husband has assured me that even though he may miss the opportunity to offer to help, he loves it when he’s given a chance to be my hero. It might be harder for us women to give our spouse credit for helping if we’ve had to ask him. But better to ask and receive his help than fume about him not noticing. I’ve chosen to be thankful for his help—unsolicited or not.
How wonderful it would be for us to feel completely comfortable asking for assistance, realizing that we are a team, and that our husbands’ intentions were always for good. And if they just noticed or realized, they would certainly jump in and lend a hand. Knowing that, we should simply extend an invitation to our husbands to participate in the daily running of the household when we need a hand.
And this goes both ways. I don’t always know when my husband could use my help in a specific way. But I love it when he asks. It’s an opportunity to serve him. And that’s what makes a marriage the best it can be—a heart’s desire to serve and help each other.
Question: How do you let your spouse know when you could use help? Share your answer in the comments below.