Sometimes in your relationship with your spouse, it can be easy to think “he isn’t hearing me or listening.” I know I have fallen prey to this mindset too many times.
I actually had a struggle with this a few months ago. I had mentioned how I would love a back massage for my birthday. I have three babies all under the age of three so my days are filled with bending over, picking up kids, piggyback rides, and playing “superman” on the couch. All that takes a toll on my body so I thought a back massage would just be the best gift ever.
For my birthday my husband made me an amazing breakfast, got me my favorite snack foods, bought me a movie I had been dying to see, and we ended the day with him cooking steaks on the grill. I’m a huge foodie, so it was an amazing day. But the back massage never came.
I started wondering if my husband wasn’t listening all those times I told him I wanted a back massage.
I would hint at my back massage and say things like, “Man, a back massage would be so awesome right now” or “I realllly want a back massage…oh well.” I was mostly teasing but at the same time trying to hint that I really wanted a back rub.
Each time he would say, “I haven’t forgotten” or “I have a plan.” A day or two after my birthday, I put the kids down earlier hoping I could meet my hubby in bed for a back massage. But I got to the room and he was already zonked out!
Eventually, I just settled that it wasn’t going to happen. I had mentioned it a couple times over those couple days around my birthday but then I dropped it. I knew he was busy and I just decided to be grateful for all he did do for my birthday and not focus on the one thing he didn’t do.
A few days later, I was standing at the sink doing dishes after a long day with the kids and trying to clean up after them. With the sink running, I didn’t hear my husband walk through the door. I didn’t realize he was there until I felt two firm hands on my body. With my hands in warm soapy water doing dishes, my husband started rubbing my shoulder muscles, neck muscles, then my back. It felt amazing.
We stood there in silence as he just rubbed my back. After a few minutes he stopped, and he quietly whispered in my ear, “Thank you for all you do.”
He always gives good back rubs, but this one meant more than usual. He was thinking of me even though he had had a really long day. And he wasn’t giving me a back massage to appease me, he rubbed my back because he loves and appreciates me.
What I didn’t realize was that there was more in store for me. A few weeks later, on Mother’s Day, we were all sitting around having a relaxing day. While I wasn’t looking, my husband handed my three-year-old a huge container of massage lotion. As they came walking towards me, he said to me “Lay down on the couch. Happy Birthday and Mother’s Day, Victoria!”
He gave me a full blown massage. Except our two toddlers wanted to play with the lotion, so I had lots of little gooey hands on my back. It was like I was being spoiled at a very kid friendly spa. It was perfect.
It meant so much to me that my husband didn’t just remember, he delivered way beyond any expectations. He didn’t think a short simple back massage was enough. He wanted to spoil me and really take his time and give me an awesome long back massage. Sure, it didn’t happen in the time frame I expected, but the effort he put into it was worth the wait. It showed me how much he cares about me, and yes, that he was listening.