As a proud veteran myself, I thought I’d do my own part in honoring the men and women that have fought and died for our country by using a picture of special attire from Sunday’s game as part of the NFL’s “Salute to Service” campaign. Some things are more important than football.
This one felt like the week 10 loss to the Lions, it seemed like we could have won. But we can’t blame this one on a hobbled Jay Cutler and the subsequent decision to keep him in the game.
First, though, I’d like to share something personal.
Relationships take work. That is, if you want them to work. As a child raised by a single mother, my wife as well, we wanted our son to have what we didn’t. A present, loving Mother and Father. Getting pregnant’s the fun part, then the real work begins. I’ve had to take some big steps in the last few weeks and it was eye-opening and painful.
As men, we don’t generally want to hear from our wives or girlfriends what they think we are doing wrong, and we really don’t want suggestions. We like to hear how great we are, and are always up for a double-dose of accolades. The special women in our lives show their love by making these suggestions. It’s because they see this untapped potential. It sounds like dissatisfaction to us, it feels like they are telling us we are not good enough.
The flip-side of them continuing to guide us is an apathetic downward spiral. That’s when you really have to worry. That’s when it might be too late because they have given up. If they’re still hearing you, no matter how begrudgingly, it’s something very special when you can get bury your ego, drop your defenses, and acknowledge that you do better. You can always do better. Throwing your hands up in the air and admitting that you don’t have all the answers. It has nothing to do with pride, it’s all about humility.
I needed to get over myself long enough to do whatever it took to keep my family together. If I had to get down on my knees and beg, the same ones I got down on when I proposed, I would. Just like a lot of my fellow men, I thought everything was fine, until it wasn’t. My son wasn’t going to grow up with divorced parents because Daddy wasn’t going to suck it up, listen to what Mommy had to say, and pour everything he had into making it work. Yes, I also got down on my knees and begged. It didn’t feel shameful at all.
Who’s right and who’s wrong really doesn’t come into play, at this point, when your special lady friend (Big Lebowski) has had enough, it’s probably important to only look at your part and ask “What can I do?” The things that make women mad make no sense to us a lot of times, and they communicate in a code that even Bill Belichick hasn’t cracked yet.
So far, every couple I’ve researched that has been married 20+ years has had one or more of these “near collision” episodes. Maybe, the raw communication that occurs as a result is why their marriage ends up lasting longer, in a day when people are so quick to give up. I will not.
Having said all that, I wouldn’t trade these last three weeks for anything in the world………….
Thanks for letting me share. Now onto that Bears football stuff you came here for.