It wasn’t meant to be a post about famine and wars. When I sat at my computer to write about my own selfishness, I was going to write it as an explanation… perhaps a blessing, even, to my husband.
You see, every day he gets up early, walks the dog, cleans the cat boxes… every day before work, he does so much for me.
When I was working, my shifts were all over the place, and I was either working before it was time to walk our dog, or I was still asleep as I had worked so late the previous night. I could not consistently – no… I could not often make a consistent effort to walk our dog in the mornings. So he did it. No questions. No complaints.
I asked for the dog. He walks him, and feeds him every morning.
Now I am not working, but my medication drugs me, so I can’t wake up until after 9 most mornings. Still, though I am home nearly all the time, and he works full time at a busy job, he continues to walk and feed our dog every morning – all without question. All without complaint.
Shortly after we were married, he began cleaning the cat boxes. You must understand that he is not the animal person in our household. I am. I didn’t ask him to do this, but I did struggle with the dust and the smell, and he just started doing it on his own.
My husband takes care of the vehicles, takes care of the lawn (as I have an allergy to grass) cleans out the furnace filters, calls repair people when we need them, takes out the garbage and recycling, does most of the errands… all without question. All without complaint.
When I asked to adopt, he agreed. When we lost our children, he stood by me. When I struggled to work after that loss, he asked for a raise in his job. When I asked to quit my job and go back to school, he supported me. When I left construction to return to my previous (lower paying) job, he backed me up.
When I came home in tears and told him that my Psychiatrist put me on medical leave, and my counselor told me I likely would never be able to work more than a day or two a week without falling apart, he told me we would manage.
After watching a video, and telling my husband that I was going to start eating a nearly vegan diet, he said, “okay.” And when in fear I asked him what we would do if I could never work again, he told me we would figure it out.
And when after all of my failures, and all of my struggles… after I had been diagnosed with Autism, with years of brokenness accumulated through my life, I turned to him and asked if he regretted marrying me? He said it was the best decision he had made in his life.
With all of his kindness and support, do I return the same? No. I get frustrated when he makes the floors dirty, or leaves the cupboard doors open. I get annoyed when he doesn’t dry the dog’s feet, and get angry when he eats what I consider too much food.
He is so good to me – yet in expressing how I struggle with my own sensory issues and inflexible thoughts, it comes across that he is the selfish one when in fact, that title belongs to me.
I don’t believe I am always wrong in my anger, or irritation – but that doesn’t mean he is choosing to be cruel.
I am the selfish one. That is not what he tells me; it is what I know. And I just want to say to him, Thank you. Thank you for being so kind, and so patient, and so accepting, even when in my brokenness, I cannot return the same. I am trying. Thank you for showing to me what unconditional love looks like.