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Today I Asked

Today I asked.

I asked a question I was nervous to hear the answer to. 

A couple weeks ago, my husband shared a feeling he had that I didn’t understand. I told him “I’m not sure what you mean by that” and his response was that it was just a feeling he was processing. He is an internal processor, usually thinking about an idea, feeling, or concept for a long time in his head before he shares it out loud. Sometimes he does share before it’s all processed, but it’s not as common as once he’s completely thought it through. To protect his privacy, I won’t share with you what this feeling was. Instead, I’ll share an example of the way he processes decisions.

Four years ago we were contemplating a trip to Hawaii. I visited a couple times with my family as a child, and the first time I ever rode a horse was on a ranch in Kauai. I would love to go back and ride again, and even though he has never ridden horses, I know he would love the experience. This is a man who is in tune with nature. When we go to the zoo and feed the birds off the little popsicle sticks covered in peanut butter and bird seed, he stands arms outstretched, covered in birds! He becomes one with nature. Since horses are one of the creatures that humans can forge strong connections with, I knew horseback riding would be an unforgettable experience for him. 

But to my surprise, he said no to the horses. I explained to him how majestic they are, and the bond he would have with them. Even though they can be scary and have a mind of their own, on a ranch in Hawaii where they quite literally meet new people everyday, he would be fine. I asked him to process the decision and think about it a bit more before he said no for sure. 

This trip to Hawaii did not happen due to the pandemic, so I didn’t think much more about it. We would have the opportunity to ride horses again someday I’m sure; We could revisit the idea then.

About a year ago, he came to me out of the blue and said “I think I’d like to ride horses.” Did I mention he’s a processor? Sometimes it takes a few days, but apparently sometimes it takes three years!

Going back to my opening story, this is what I mean when I say I wasn’t sure if he was still thinking through this feeling he shared. Did he already contemplate it enough to understand, or would it take a few more days, weeks, or years to process? If it was a feeling he had settled on, I was nervous because it didn’t seem like something that aligned with our life and marriage values. But if it was just something he was still processing, I wanted to be there to support him and listen well as he worked through his thoughts. 

So today I asked. I asked him what he meant by the feeling he shared. I was nervous of the answer, knowing it had potential to turn into a fight. It could have meant we were on different pages. But our marriage is a partnership, and if we’re not aligned on something, we need to talk about it. 

Today I asked. I asked a question I was nervous to hear the answer to. 

He answered. 

I listened, and I learned. 

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
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4 Responses

  1. This is a great post. Quite often I ask a question or tell my husband something that he will get mad about. More often than not, he isn’t mad.

  2. I’m the wife of a processor. it ‘s really hard for me still after having just passed the 50 years of marriage mark! I enjoyed reading your story.

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