Jaileigh Speaks

Marriage and Family Matters

#9 Don’t be Selfish

I had the whole day planned out. Joel had a day off and I was ready to spend all day with him. I arranged for a babysitter for our child (one at that time) and everything. We would go out and do some shopping, catch some lunch, maybe go see a movie, come back home, and watch a movie.


He informs me that he has a truck coming to our house for him to work on and do some pretty major work on. So, he would be out in the garage for most of the day and told me we could go out later when he had finished. Sounded good, right?


What I heard from this conversation was that the truck was more important than spending time with me. I went into defensive mode so fast (I am a natural redhead to begin with and my temper can get pretty bad sometimes). That fight was not fair. I stooped to a new low that day and realized that I needed to not be so selfish.

Easier said than done.

So, I embarked on a long road to put my needs aside and Mechanic’s first. My friends, this was a hard, but necessary quest to complete. I learned a lot. I learned that Joel works on the trucks and cars that belong to friends because they compensate him for his work. I learned that he takes on these projects because he is working toward providing better for our family.

His work as a mechanic while working for a dealership was not paying well. We were not making it financially with his income from there. I was working fulltime to pay for our insurance. So, we were stressed and I was making his stress worse by being selfish and throwing my little tantrums because he couldn’t drop everything or reschedule incoming vehicles to fulfill my needs. I could not see the bigger picture at the time, but I see it now.

So, what did I do that day Joel had off his from his fulltime job? I took myself outside to the garage and watched Mechanic do his thing on the truck. It was one of the best days I remember spending with my husband.

What about our “date” afterward that Joel promised?

You may be pleased to know that he did take me out that evening. He took me to a restaurant of my choice and spoiled me with something shiny!

After all that, am I still selfish?

Sure. I am an only child. Being waited on hand and foot was the only life I knew.

I had a lot to learn about giving and taking when we got married. I have learned to be flexible. Since I worked in child care and now have two kids, flexibility is my best friend. These days, if something comes up, I just sorta go with it. I make the best of the situation and laugh about it if I need to.

The most valuable thing I learned that day was that Joel enjoys my company no matter where we are. He likes having me out in the garage when I can keep him company or hand him tools (going on a wild good chase is a more appropriate description most days!). I love being out there with him as long as it’s not super humid and hot. We have a heating system in our garage, but no air conditioning.

Are you being selfish in your marriage? Are you putting your husband’s needs before your own? Ponder these two questions and see what you think.

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