The other night I was anxiously awaiting my husband after work. I had worked 7a-7p, and I left him sleeping in bed in the morning so I hadn’t seen him all day and I missed him.
There is so much vulnerability in missing someone. You can’t help but realize how big a part of your life they are, and your heart feels wide open and unprotected. It’s not a bad thing to be open that way but being vulnerable and knowing you need them makes you feel like you could easily be hurt and can make you way more sensitive to small issues.
It takes practice not to withdraw when you’re feeling so revealed and unsheltered. Most people are taught to protect their hearts at all costs, but it’s difficult to experience real, soul shaking, extraordinary love that way. Missing someone is the most basic level of vulnerability in relationships and when you can open yourself and accept that feeling instead of suppressing it and acting like time apart doesn’t matter, you will be much more prepared for the positive emotions love can bring as well.
Anyway, I was wide open, missing him and anxious to see him when he came in the door like a hurricane.
“Why didn’t you unlock the door for me?” was the first thing he said to me with an attitude. No “Hi” or anything.
Like most women would be, I was surprised by the attitude and felt annoyance creep in. It wasn’t how I’d pictured his homecoming starting that evening. I hadn’t received my kiss, and he wasn’t acting as happy to see me as I was to see him.
He launched into a mini tirade about how hot it was at his job that day, how annoyed he was with coworkers and customers and eventually how much he wants to change jobs.
I watched from my seat on the bed as he took off his work clothes and got ready to get into the shower, complaining the whole time. The annoyance wanted to bubble to the surface, but I remembered some simple, Queenly tips for just such an occasion and applied them.
#1 I am not required to participate in his bad mood. I was in a good place, and just because he wasn’t at the moment didn’t mean I couldn’t continue to be happy and vulnerable and open with him. As a matter of fact, participating in his bad mood would probably have made it even worse and ruined the night. Remaining calm and maintaining your own feelings will ensure things don’t get out of hand without you meaning them to.
#2 His bad mood doesn’t have to be about me. As I listened, I realized him complaining about me not unlocking the door was a symptom of his mood, not the cause. It’s easy to complain about everything when you’re annoyed about one particular thing. It’s also very easy to assume that complaining directed toward you is all about you. I let him vent and found the real reason for the mood instead of taking responsibility for it upon myself. I didn’t have to get defensive and upset because it the mood had nothing to do with me.
#3 Embrace silence. Not the silent treatment by any means, just embrace centered, peaceful silence while listening. I kept my emotions in check by not responding more than “hmm” to each point of his speech. I gave him my attention and let him get the issues off his chest that he had been holding onto all day without comment or judgement.
#4 Return to the routine After he was finished venting (I make sure he’s finished by remaining silent for at least 2 minutes after he stops talking) he plopped down on the bed beside me and we just looked at one another for a moment. I smiled gently and said, “Can I get my kiss now?”. He exhaled, finally, and gave me my kiss. “Sorry,” he said looking a little sheepish afterward. “I just got frustrated. But if you know I’m coming home, unlock the door!” Which leads to tip 5
#5 Know when to be submissive. No, submissive is not a dirty word. It’s an important part of handling a King. Cranky kings want to be acknowledged and listened to. It’s not always about your own feelings as Queen- you have to know when to validate your King’s feelings as well. (Don’t worry, if you do that, he will definitely return the favor.) A very simple way to show submission is what I did at the time. “Yes dear,” I said calmly and evenly. “I will next time” and that defused all his tension. He gave me forehead kisses and squeezed me tight. Submission isn’t being a doormat, it’s picking your battles and learning that everything doesn’t have to be a fight for your respect. When you’re showing him respect, he will go out of his way to show it to you in return.
The rest of the night proceeded just as I wanted it to. We watched the news together, found things to laugh about and cuddled until we fell asleep.
One person CAN change the relationship all by themselves, especially when it’s the Queen! If I had lost control of my own feelings and took on a bad mood just because he was in one, the night could have ended in a shouting match or worse. Because I maintained my own positive mood, he was able to shed his bad mood and join me on the positive side.
I advise you to be the Queen you are and decide on the tone of your relationship or marriage. Make up your mind now that his negative attitude will not be met with more negative attitude but the strength, grace, and control of royalty.
Love is a game of chess, not checkers. It’s a long game where the Queen is the most powerful piece and you have to use strategy and be moves ahead in order to get the you and your King your personal happily ever after. Start making small changes today and they’ll end up being life changing changes in the future. If you want to learn more about being the Queen, honing your strategy and conquering his heart forever, sign up for my #ChessNotCheckers Love Challenge by clicking here!