It is a great book, by Gary Chapman, that I read a couple of years ago. The book was incredibly enlightening for me and Steve. The catalyst for me reading this book was when Steve told me that I disrespected him when I left my shoes out. Really? Shoes disrespected him?! When he used the word "disrespect" I knew that my lack of shoe control was more than just tidiness.
After reading the book I realized what the love languages are, and what a love tank is...and how important it is to speak the right love language to your partner in order to make sure their love tank is full.
Steve's love language is acts of kindness, or acts of service. When I do things for Steve, like put my shoes in their place, his love tank gets filled and things are great. And when I don't put my shoes away, his love tank gets drained, and he gets pissed and our relationship suffers. This is why I make such a effort to have the house clean and tidy when he comes home from a trip...to fill his love tank.
Wanna know what my love language is? Physical touch. As stated on Gary Chapman's website, physical touch is when "nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch."
Folks, see where this physical touch love language can be an issue when your husband is an airline pilot, and gone days at a time?
To lay it all out, that is the point of my blog after all, my love tank recently went dry. It sucks. I was in a sour mood. I got pissy with Steve. I had a general pissy attitude towards a lot of things. And here is the tricky thing...it wasn't really Steve's fault.
It all started a couple weeks ago when we hosted Easter. Actually it really started when Steve was gone on a trip before Easter weekend. When Steve is gone on a trip, guess what? No physical touching.
As for Easter weekend, it was a wonderful weekend. A very full weekend, but still very wonderful. On Easter Sunday we had our entire family, both sides, at our house. Dinner was casual, so not much work in the kitchen. This meant for a lot of relaxing and talking and visiting and drinking. The weather was perfection, and after a long winter we all just loved it. The day really was about as perfect as it gets.
The only thing not perfect? Well, guess what doesn't happen when family is in town? Physical touching.
Then Steve left for a trip. Again, wanna know what doesn't happen when Steve is on a trip? Physical touching.
Then Steve gets home from a trip, and sees that lovely box of tampons on the back of the toilet. Which, has to be the biggest bummer for a pilot coming home! Wanna know what doesn't happen when the box is out? Physical touching.
See where I am going with this?
And see how this really isn't Steve's fault?
See how slowly, over a couple of weeks, my love tank was drained?
See how this is an occupational hazard that impacts the pilot wife whose love language is physical touch?
I believe communication is key in a marriage. So, I let Steve know that my love tank was empty. At this point in the game, he knows how to remedy that. But, keep in mind that nothing is instantaneous with little kids around. Not to mention, my "switch" can't be flipped in a second to make everything all better again.
In the meantime I was still stewing and sour. I was laying low and not doing much around the house. I just needed a breather. If you recognize what it is when your love tank is low, you know how it truly does effect your attitude about pretty much everything. At least it does for me.
While laying low, Steve was doing a great job of managing the kids and giving me space. He even started a project of making me raised garden beds.
He even made the beds counter top height for my tall ass with a degenerative disc. I know my chiropractor appreciates that. As he was making the beds I was sitting on my ass drinking beer, and the kids were happy as clams playing in the sand box.
The day continued on just fine, with a quick trip out to Lowes and dinner. Things start getting really good when we got home...
As the kids were playing in the sawdust on the garage floor and I was covering the sandbox, Steve put a philips head drill bit into his finger. The drill slipped as he was driving some deck screws into the wood. I heard it happen, and immediately went into the garage to see Steve holding his finger. I saw blood. I walked briskly into the mudroom to get a washcloth. After dropping about 35 drops of blood on the driveway, yes Ben counted the drops, Steve wrapped his finger in the cloth.
I knew it was bad. I asked Steve if we had to go to the ER. He told me to give him a minute.
30 seconds later he told me we "had to go."
I ran to our neighbors to see if they could watch the kids. They was able, thank the good Lord. We ran back to the house, where Steve was really suffering.
Our neighbor told me "I got this" as I ran to get my keys, phone, and handbag. Steve and I were off to the ER.
On the short 5 minute drive, Steve felt like he was going to get sick, and was sweating profusely. I was driving 85 miles on the highway. I had no idea what was happening, so I just wanted to get to help fast. At that point, I thought he actually cut his finger rather than a puncture. I had no clue how much blood he was losing. Hell, I have no clue how much is a lot of blood to lose.
We arrived and he was seen in about 1 minute. I guess ERs are quiet at 7:30p on a Saturday night? By that time, everything was starting to calm down. Steve's pulse was all of 55, and his BP was something like 107 over something. He rated his pain as "4".
While there, he got a tetanus shot, a Rx for antibiotics and pain meds. He got x-rays to show the bit penetrated 2/3 of the way. No bones or ligaments were hit. He washed and soaked the wound thoroughly.
All in all, Steve is okay. The pain has been consistent this past week and he is having some nerve issues in both his finger and up his arm. With time, I am sure the pain will be all but a distant memory. I pray the numbness goes away.
And all through this, Steve was still trying to fill my love tank...bum hand, and arm, and all. Bless his heart (in the Northern sweet tone, not the Southern tone).
So, what lesson have we learned here? For the men reading this blog: don't let you wife's love tank get low. For the women reading this blog: don't let your love tank get too empty before telling your husband. Nip it in the bud so it doesn't erupt into a huge issue where it takes a man drilling his finger for you to snap out of it.
Sometimes it takes a dramatic event to step back and really focus on the blessings and love you do have in your life.