The Number One Complaint I Heard from Wives (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a discussion I started last week in Part 1

I would like to confess one of my bad habits: I wait until the last minute to pack for a trip. Not every time, but usually.

There are too many details to manage in my detail-oriented mind. It shorts me out, so I put it off until the clock forces me to act. Bad policy, I know.

This drives my wife to distraction. I don’t blame her. I am not proud of my disorderly conduct, especially when I really like things to be orderly.

I took a short trip last week. I knew I had to pack by early Tuesday evening. I have a packing list—several, actually (one for regular trips, another for camping). When I focus on a list, I do a much better job of packing.

What would you expect my wife to say? Hmmm. She said just two things.

Thing #1, in a kind tone (really): “Would you like me to help you pack?”

I told her at what time I planned to pack and that I was using my “list,” which I now store as a checklist in Evernote.

Then a little later, thing #2: “Are you sure you don’t want my help?”

By then I was mostly packed.

My very kind wife of 32 years, who could predict my every move, refused to naggravate the situation by throwing spicy words at me. Instead, she conquered me by kindness. Or, better, she helped me conquer myself through her kindness.

Rather than sniping and griping, she offered her help, without saying things like “You always…” or “You never…” Unwilling to belittle me, she completely won me over with her love. She used her power to persuade me, not her bitterness to force me. I get packed with time to spare, and she keeps her sanity, and our love is stronger. Wonderful arrangement, don’t you think?

But life goes fast and we get in a hurry and we tend to rush the ones we love and forget that the power of patience must preside over every relationship. Patience pushes out the boundaries of love so it can grow ever larger.

With our patience we say, “I love you, so I will help you. I love you, so I will wait.”

When you are involved with a human being, patience is an absolute requirement if you want that relationship to last and grow.

My wife has no trouble getting me to talk to her. Can you see why?

P.S. Ours is not a storybook relationship yet. We still, each of us, can get a bit snippy. But that is getting more and more rare as time passes.

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