It isn’t often that my boyfriend gets things for himself. In all honesty, He’s too busy getting the kids and I things we desire, such as Legos or video games. I never noticed the pattern until recently, when he came home with a furniture catalog in hand and the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. He flipped to the page that seemed to hold a reclining love-seat with charging station built in. I now realize that my humor is a bit dry at best, and often times the signals are lost from what I meant to say to how it’s actually received.
“Look babe, we can sit together!” he said, the sheer excitement dancing in his eyes. “And, if your phone is dying, you can plug it in! How cool is that!?”
I chuckled a little, “Or I could just take it downstairs and plug it in, pretending it doesn’t exist!” – I was meaning this to be humerus, but I noticed the excitement dull a little. Great…there I go again. “Go ahead and get it,” I said a little too harshly, almost sounding like I wasn’t happy about it.
To be honest, I was excited to get a new couch, since ours was the exact opposite of comfortable. He thumbed through the catalog, explaining all the ideas that danced through his mind. “We could get the kids bunk beds, and I could set up a little desk underneath the top bunk -” I love when these ideas hit him, because he gets so excited.
When bedtime came that night, I almost forgot about the furniture purchase. He turned and looked at me, asking “so it’s okay that I get the couch?” Confusion crossed my face – we had discussed at length that I was fine with the couch, why was it still an issue?
“Yes babe, I already told you.” I said as I watched him look down almost like a wounded dog.
“I wasn’t sure.” I couldn’t believe this man, I have no problem with the new purchase, not only was it needed, but it was something that made him happy. He doesn’t do that too often, as a matter of fact, hardly at all.
I sat back and looked at everything I had gotten over the last two years. I had a fitbit on my wrist, a tablet on the charging station, an xbox one and games connected to his t.v. that was in dire need of replacing, a car that was in far better condition than his, new clothes that were hardly ever worn, all while he had just the bare minimum. Our children had all new clothes, toys that they rarely played with, whatever their little hearts desired they got. How could we be so spoiled while this man worked to get us whatever we wanted?
He sent me a message today, excited that he made the purchase. Sadly he seemed to think that I was upset, given the fact that I just woke up and was barely able to text what I did. He apologized for making the purchase, and my heart broke. I told him that he had no reason to be sorry, he is always giving us what we want, even if we don’t need it. He never complains, he only gives. I told him that he needs to start getting for himself, even if it means that we don’t get things that we really don’t need.
Lesson ten: Put others before yourself.