What we need from you

I’ve read many articles from the LEO husband perspective. Those sharing the needs, helping to explain what hand we’ve been dealt, and how best we can support our husbands. And rightly so. As a wife, I want to ensure I’m doing, being, and creating all that my husband needs me to be as his pink behind the blue. So much so that I began to ponder. On the flip side. What is it I need from my husband…

Just like when one is on duty, our duty at home can come with a load. Especially those with opposite schedules or the familiar “two ships passing in the night” kind of families. Living with two years playing the role of a married single mom, with a full time career, two small children, and the other host of responsibilities that come our way, I have fully savored the challenges of this life. So I can confidently say, I understand.

To add to the equation, we women are complicated creatures. (Yes, I know, you knew that already.) One minute we want you softly holding our hand, the next minute we don’t want you to touch us. We want you to look deep into our eyes, then wonder why in the world you are just staring at us! We love you lying next to us, but kick or shake you to stop snoring. Yes, we can be a bit of a challenge some days and complicated to understand. But we are different from men for a reason. And that “different” is what you fell in love with!

Some wives don’t need much. Some wives need too much. Kids or no kids, working wife, or not, there are some basic fundamental principles that shouldn’t be overlooked.

1. Communication

Yes, communication is first because it’s the heartbeat of every marriage. We want and desperately need that communication from you whether we know it or not. We understand we can’t know everything you deal with. We understand there are things you can’t talk with us about. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tell us anything at all. Save those “can’t” conversations for your peers at work, but share with us funny stories, light hearted moments, and even the scary moments you may have encountered. We love you and we want to share in part of your world! Our heart is on the street (yes, that’s you) and we want to share in part of what we miss out. If we can’t handle the scary parts of the job, then slowly introduce that in. But don’t shut us out. 
We know your holding everything in is only going to wear you down. We want you to talk about those things. If we can be trusted for you to share, then please do. (And wives, if they can’t trust us, we need to do something about that!) There should be no secrets between us, outside of what you can’t legally talk about. And we have to trust each other with things we wouldn’t share with others. Like the home is the safe haven for you off duty, your wife should be your safe place where you know you can talk about anything. If you don’t have that between each other, then please seek help as that is what will keep your marriage thriving! 
I would also add, my husband and I actually had to discuss the best way to communicate with each other. He helped me understand how my tone and timing weren’t always the best. And together, we found better ways to communicate with each other by simply discussing what communication means to each other!

2. A listening ear

We don’t always need a quick fix or solutions. And please remember, we aren’t the domestic disturbance you dealt with on Friday night! Sometimes we just need to vent our frustrations and get them off our chest. We will work on our timing to make sure it’s not after you arrive home from being on duty, but understand, we are human and sometimes we forget the traumatic events you deal with at work. Forgive us if we unload at the wrong time. And patiently help us understand when a good time is. Also, understand that sometimes our frustrations are a cry for help. Which leads to my next point . . .

3. Empathy and appreciation

We want to know you see and acknowledge our sacrifice at home. We don’t ask to be coddled, we don’t need you to channel some inner feminine energy (because we really love that tough guy edge that comes with being a LEO!). We simply want to be acknowledged for the hard work and sacrifice we make for you to live your dream on the streets. It doesn’t have to be daily, or weekly, but every now and then, we need to know you see our place and all that we do. We need to know you are proud of what we contribute to the marriage through paying bills, cleaning house, laundry, dishes, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, or through our career. You don’t have to gush. But a well-timed “Honey, thank you for the way you … make sure I always have clean uniforms, a prepared meal” etc. Or even, “You are such a great mom, I know you don’t hear that often enough.” Slip a little note into our purse (where we will see it) to let us know how much you love us. Little things to confirm we are doing the right things goes a long way.

4. A little help

And I say a little because we know you already have a full plate. As wives, we don’t want too burden you with anything further than you are already burdened with. We know you have a stressful job and the last thing we want to do is stress you further. But from time to time, we would love your help. We would welcome the break for you to bathe the kids on your night off. We would love for you to cook a meal so we don’t have to think about it. It doesn’t have to be fancy. But you can search out meals online. Or, gosh. Even macaroni and cheese in front of a fresh bouquet of flowers in the candle light will make us smile! Throw a load of laundry on; make the bed; do the dishes. We aren’t asking for you to do it all. But little things (without us asking) help relieve the load. And if we’ve taken on too much, find the right time to talk with us and help us to see where we can make adjustments.

5. Time with us

We know your time is valuable and you need time with your friends outside of work. But please don’t neglect our time together. Outside of God, the most important relationship you will have on this earth is the relationship with your wife! We need the quality time to really connect and keep the oneness of marriage alive. It’s easier to share you with your friends when you’ve made the time with us. Especially if your schedule doesn’t allow us to see you but a few times a week.

I’m sure this article could continue on for a while, but my prayer is this would open up some healthy conversations between wives and husbands.  It’s not meant to condemn nor blame, and I would hope the attitude of respect for the husband, and love for the wife, would be the tone of any conversations had. We all need a lot of grace, understanding, forgiveness, love, and respect within the walls of a marriage.  And dare I say most, in marriage.

The grass is greenest where you water it. So make sure you are pouring a lot of “water” into your marriage!

– Melinda Merritt