Our living room floor was littered with backpacking gear. As my husband, Corey, calculated each ounce of weight he was adding to his pack, I calculated ways to keep him from leaving.
Who was this guy I married anyway? This man who can’t go a year without either climbing a fourteener in Colorado or canoeing some Buffalo River rapids. This husband who would choose to abandon me for trips that I felt were a waste of time and money.
Each time he planned a new adventure, I grew a little more distant. And a little more cunning. In my mind while he was gone, I would run a hundred scenarios in which I had the opportunity to make him feel inadequate and guilt-ridden.
By the time he arrived home from whatever mountain or river or trail he was exploring, physically exhausted, but spiritually exhilarated, I was a loaded weapon—poised to shoot my ugly words and cold attitude at all the good things this trip gave him.
His “man-trips” brought out the “mean girl” in me.
The Catalyst for an Attitude Change
Then one spring, he decided to build a canoe. In our garage. Our vehicles were demoted to the driveway. It was beyond my comprehension why he would want to do such a thing. As the construction supplies piled up in the garage, the ugly thoughts piled up in my head. Corey and the other woman, as I dubbed the canoe, were really starting to make me mad.
But one evening when I opened the door to call Corey in for dinner, I was struck by the look on his face. Intently focused on his task at hand, he looked peaceful. He was absolutely content, and I was absolutely bitter. I realized standing there in the doorway that I was becoming a person I didn’t like, and in doing so, I was trying to steal one of life’s greatest joys from the man I loved.
The Choice to Be Supportive
I was faced with a choice. I could support Corey or continue to drive a wedge between us until one of us broke. The decision was easy enough; the follow-through was not. Of course, in theory I wanted to support my husband, but that required something from me I wasn’t convinced I could do. I had to choose to be supportive when I didn’t feel supportive.
Making a hard choice and waiting for your feelings to catch up to what you know are the right actions is a painful process. But when I sought encouragement in Scripture, I found my dilemma to be a common one.