I received the most meaningful compliment from my husband today, and I don’t think he realized he was giving me one.
A little back story…
If anyone knows my husband, James, you know that he likes things. He has books as decoration; tons of records that look cool all lined up, but he never listens to them anymore; a plethora of blu-rays, half of which he’s never seen; an assortment of random collectible (and some not collectible) trinkets, and framed pictures of which he’s made a giant collage wall (which, admittedly, looks pretty cool). I’ve known this quirk about him for a while, and I’ve accepted it.
In our house, he wants a place to himself, where he’s surrounded by a bunch of things he likes and thinks look sweet. I get it… He wants a man cave just for himself, for the times he just wants some peace, and to let off some steam. I support that desire—one of our rooms in our three bedroom house is all for him and his stuff.
Tonight, he came home a completely different man.
We were on the couch after William fell asleep, and he was talking about selling nearly all of his man cave possessions because he came to the realization that it was pointless to have so many useless items. He said he barely spends any time in his room to begin with, and when he does, he’s just looking at the TV anyway.
So, where’s the compliment come in? He continued by saying this: “I’d rather look at how nice *this* (pointing around the house) stuff is. This is more enjoyable to me… I guess I just realized what’s more important.”
Again, where’s the compliment, Sarah? Well…
I decorated this house. I chose the colors, the wall decor, hung our gallery wall pictures, and meticulously picked out our furniture. It took me three months after moving in this house to find the perfect curtains for our living room. I made this house a home, and he recognized that today. He acknowledged a part of my job that goes virtually unnoticed—the fact that I want this house to be uniquely ours and something we enjoy spending time in.
To clarify, he has definitely told me he likes the items I have picked out, or told me I did a good job decorating. But what he did this time was different. He appreciated his home. A home that he paid for, but a home I put together to make it warm, inviting, and cozy. A home that he enjoys being in. So much so, that he wants to spend more time in it and less time with random stuff.
And BONUS compliment at the end: “I guess I just realized what’s more important.” Oh, he’s good… He’s acknowledging our family here. With as hard as he works, he deserves breaks and down time, but his downtime has become more focused on me and William, and savoring the life he has provided for us instead of staring at items that have no emotional value to him.
There are not a lot of times where you get compliments or thank yous as a SAHM (or as a mother/wife in general). It unfortunately can be a thankless job. But often times, the compliments are there… they may be hidden, but they’re there.
So next time you get an encrypted message with finger waving/pointing, listen closely. It might just be your husband telling you to keep up the good work.
At least, that’s how I’m taking what he said! 😁