Sometimes I feel like I’m married to a firefighter. Hubby may not drive around town in a big red truck putting out raging fires, but as an IT guy, he’s the one who comes running whenever something technical goes up in flames in the corporate world. He’s the guy who might have received a phone call during his honeymoon because rolling blackouts at home shut all the company’s servers down. He’s the one who may have gotten a call on Thanksgiving from an employee working in Singapore who forgot it was a national holiday in the States that day. He’s also likely the one who missed dinner with his family on his wife’s birthday because he was stuck at work trying to resolve yet another issue (but to put things into perspective, he was hours late for his own birthday dinner a few years ago due to work). 😛
Suffice it to say, being married to an IT guy can be challenging at times.
I don’t share all this to complain about hubby’s job, although I’m sure life would be different if he were in a calmer line of work. I also don’t share this to brag about how understanding and patient and supportive I am because if I had all those awesome qualities, I would be polishing my halo right now instead of trying to find it. 😉 The reason I’m giving you a sneak peak into the secret life of an IT wife is because I know there are couples struggling in their marriages right now with whatever issues they are going through, and the struggle is real.
I wish I had some great insight into how to better communicate with your spouse or how to keep your love burning strong, but I’m still learning “on the job”, too. But one thing I did realize this week while hubby was dealing with a company phone issue and later on, an email issue, was that I didn’t truly understand what work was like for him on a daily basis. It didn’t hit me until one afternoon during one of C’s massive meltdowns over a homework assignment. Thanks to E (and the power of sibling rivalry), she had gotten thrown off while counting for a math problem, and promptly began wailing at the top of her lungs in frustration. As if to prove she might one day consider a career as an opera singer, she raised her volume up two notches and her range another octave. By the time her cantata was over, my ears were ringing and my blood pressure was off the charts.
That evening when hubby was venting about the issues he had faced at work that day and feeling the pain of an oncoming migraine, I suddenly got a peek into his world. For a moment I understood what it was like to walk in his shoes. The overwhelming level of frustration, anger and anxiety I experienced during C’s “performance” gave me a glimpse of the emotional stuff he faces at work EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I told him, “I get it now. It’s like you’re constantly dealing with tantrums and meltdowns at work.”
He smirked and joked back, “Yes, I have a lot of kids to deal with.”
Boy, he sure does, and those “kids” aren’t even half as cute as ours are (even when they’re singing opera).
Sigh. Poor hubby. The struggle out there in the working world is real. So real, that it
sometimes a lot of the times follows him home and places a strain on us, our family life and our marriage. But instead of letting the stress and busyness divide us, I’m learning to choose empathy. I’m finding ways to better support hubby as he fights fires. I try to make his life sweeter, even if it means spending half an hour with wrinkly hands submerged in a bowl of water in order to deseed four pomegranates, hubby’s favorite winter fruit (FYI, some people prefer the spoon method). We’re both learning to lean on God more and to rest in His saving grace. And we sneak in as much time as possible whenever we can to catch up and support each other throughout the day with a text message or two.
The secret life of an IT wife may not be a glamorous one, but it’s the one I have and the one I’ll make the best out of … because the IT guy I’m married to is worth it.
Lastly, I want to give a shout-out to all the amazing wives of those in uniform who fight literal fires, chase real bad guys and put their lives on the line each day to protect others. You ladies have my deepest respect, admiration and gratitude.
Take a listen to Beyonce’s song, “Halo”, a reminder that we can all wear a “halo” and show grace to the people in our lives.
Who has been a source of strength and support for you? Who have you been there for?