Nine years ago today, my husband experienced a life threatening health crisis. As he began to recover in the hospital, his physician pulled me aside and told me “I want this guy skinny and as close to vegetarian as possible”. Ok, doc, so basically you saved his life so that you could slowly kill both of us? You see, my husband is a proud carnivore and becomes quite difficult to be around when he doesn’t get his regular dose of meat.
Once released from the hospital, the real crisis began. My mother who came to help with the kids actually flew back home early because the tension in our home was so great. I now believed that I had three children to take care of instead of two. I began to systematically remove every crumb of foodie pleasure from my husband’s diet and replace it with the food recommended by the physician and hospital nutritionist. My husband grew angry and bitter. His sulking was peace shattering. Tensions grew as we stayed on this health journey for some time.
Something changed suddenly. God used my exhaustion to wake me up and recognize that my attempts to be helpful were hurting all involved. I made a choice to just stop running his foodie life. The most amazing things happened. The tension in our home lifted as he began making choices for himself and at first he went a little crazy with food but after his first revealing blood test, he began to moderate himself. He is now accountable for his choices and I don’t worry.
In looking back on this, I can now see that my motivation was fear. Once I began to let go of my fear and stop treating him like a little boy, he no longer felt the need to push back. He didn’t need me to be his mommy. He needed his wife, friend and lover.
For some, the crisis comes in the form of a massive heart attack and for other people it is a diagnosis of cancer or organs that are failing. As humans, we launch into fear mode and that often manifests outwardly in controlling behavior. Men need to be men. They need to make their own decisions and live their own consequences, even if that means a shorter lifespan. Relax and ease off of these wonderful testosterone driven creatures. However many days that God gives you together, it will be sweeter for both of you.