Today, I feel kind of worthless. I woke up not feeling well, so I went back to bed. Got up again, met Eric for lunch, came home, and since then I’ve been sitting in front of the computer. Unfortunately, all I can seem to think about is how worn out I feel. Hopefully, I’m dealing with allergies because I’ve had more colds to deal with this year than I ever care to have again. Because I feel so “great,” Eric has likely found me slightly less exciting.
Last night he asked me to listen to something on the computer when I was just about ready to hop into bed. By my response, you would’ve thought he asked me to go out into the dark, cold night and clean our gutters. This afternoon, I was talking to him and he interrupted me to tell me something he was afraid he’d forget. While I didn’t get angry with him, I did get abnormally offended by it.
I think we can all agree that when our bodies are under the weather, we not only lose our mental and physical energy to accomplish seemingly easy tasks (and… can I just add that I’m so glad we have leftovers because the thought of cooking right now sounds so exhausting!), but we also lose our will to be understanding and giving. When I’m feeling tip top, it doesn’t seem to take much effort on my part to shower Eric with affection and see to it that his belly is full and his worry tank is low; but, give me aches, pains, and a runny nose, and all bets are off.
When you or your sweetheart is under the weather, it’s essential to be understanding (e.g., not take what he or she says so personally and be empathetic to his or her needs, etc.), but it’s also important for the one who’s sick to be guarded. Plan ahead. When you are feeling well, think of small, low key ways you can remind your honey that he or she is special to you so when you aren’t feeling well.
Primarily, when you are feeling tired, run down, or sick, let your boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse know that you are not feeling like yourself and ask him or her to extend extra grace to you. This will soften the situation before you have the chance to accidentally fuss at or push the other person away. In the time we’ve been married, I believe the majority of times Eric has hurt my feelings has been when he’s exhausted or sick. So, learn from our mistakes and be sure to communicate how you’re feeling to your significant other before a significant fight breaks out or significant words are exchanged.
Aside from making each other aware of how you’re feeling, find a small way or two (it’s good to have a list of ideas to choose from) to remind your sweetie that you love him or her even though you are not able to give as much. If he likes touch, gently rub his back or shoulder and say, “I love you,” or if she is into words of affirmation, write a quick note that says, “I love you. Please forgive me if I don’t show it very well over the next few days.”
There is some deep-seeded sense of entitlement that comes over me when I’m feeling icky. It’s as if I’m given the right to be a grump because I’m not feeling 100% great (though, I’m not). Over the years, I’ve learned that I’m not entitled to treat my husband poorly just because I have a sniffle or a headache. I haven’t been able to find such an allowance in the Bible anywhere. I appreciate the grace Eric extends me when I am sick, but I need to go the extra mile to treat him well even when it doesn’t come naturally to me.
So, when you’re sick, find small ways to show your sweetheart that he or she is loved and be sure to let that person know in advance that you are not feeling well so you can both be on the same page. If your honey is sick, go out of your way to show gentleness, even if it’s not natural for you. Even small acts of kindness (e.g., going to the store for soup and medicine, taking on a task to ease your sweetheart’s load, etc.) can go a long way to show love.
What do you generally do for your family, friends, and significant other when they are sick? Do you tend to treat people poorly when you are under the weather?