Marriage Monday: Where are the Directions?

My husband can do a lot of things very well; putting stuff together is not one of the things on that list. When we first married, the situation of putting together furniture or other household items caused many fights. I thought the man was CRAZY! A typical fight in the Camp’s early marriage would go something like this…

Something I had ordered would arrive in a box to our home in pieces. My husband, Eric, would immediately begin to question my decision making skills about ordering the furniture. I would remind him that because of his frugal nature he had vetoed the expensive piece of furniture that would have been delivered in ONE piece. Of course I would say it with a sweet smile on my face. The box would go into a corner, even though I was anxious to get it out and put it together. Eventually, he would work up the mojo to drag it all out and start putting it together. The whole time he would have a terrible attitude about it all. I would try to help, but that made it worse. He spent the most time making sure all of the necessary pieces were there while secretly hoping they were not and he could box it all back up to ship it back.

There would always come a point in time where something wouldn’t work and he would become VERY agitated. Finally, I would ask the question to end all questions, “Where are the directions?” That was it! The Camp fight was on. I couldn’t understand why this one question would cause my beloved husband to act like a mad man. It wasn’t like I was asking for him to explain to me the molecular structure of wood. I mean, I was just going to look at the directions and figure out where he messed it all up 😉 How could he be so arrogant as to not want help?

I thought he just had some serious issues. I could not understand how we had the same fight every time this happened. How could he not appreciate me wanting to point out what he did wrong and fix it for him?? Wait.. what?

That was it. We were newly married and the man of my dreams wanted me to think he could do everything well. I didn’t realize it was insecurity and not arrogance. He didn’t want me to think I had to come in and rescue him. When asking where the directions were, I had no idea that I was communicating to him that I thought he was incapable.

Above all, men need to feel respected. We ladies don’t realize how fragile the ego of the man we love is at times. I could be all feminist about it and say, “that is his issue, he needs to let go of that”. But, I don’t want to. I am glad my husband is a real man. Marriage is about recognizing the needs that your spouse has.

I learned how to communicate with Eric when he was frustrated in a way that he didn’t perceive as me questioning him. After many years of marriage, most of the insecurities he had are now gone and we communicate much more openly. However, I am convinced that if I had of continued down the path I was on with him, that may of never happened. Instead of building him up, I would of been feeding into those insecurities.

So, how does furniture get put together in the Camp house these days? By me! That is right, my man is so secure now he has no problem letting his woman put stuff together. I am pretty good at it anyway. There are times I get stuck or need some help and he is more than happy to come to my rescue. I am more than happy to let him, because women need to feel loved and I love it when he helps me!

(Proverbs 21:9) “It’s better to live alone in the corner of an attic
    than with a quarrelsome wife in a lovely home.”

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