Have you considered if your husband is really your hero? In her book "You Don't Have to Slay My Dragons, Just Take Out the Trash," author Beverly Campbell had a fabulous thought that stirred me.

"It's important that we as women see (our men) as they see themselves; as our heroes, the strong, brilliant warriors who go out and battle for us every day. They want us to see their day's work as their gift to us and to our family ... Several men noted that down deep they live with fear that they won't measure up in some way — and they need to be told that they do. One man noted that part of the bravado he displays of being able to take on anything comes from a fear that his inadequacies will be discovered."

Amid the day-to-day routines, we wives may not remember just what it takes to make it in this world today. I marvel at how many husbands are, at the core, totally committed to their families, to protecting and providing for them, even when it may not be the way they envisioned.

Sometimes when they are at their most vulnerable is when we are at our wit's end. In this weakened economy, I see some wives frustrated that their spouses aren't doing better or aren't more capable of handling it more aggressively.

But as wives, we can recognize that yet again, our role is of nurturer first and THEN Attila the Hun with a spatula. I've thought again of how strong our husbands are and how fragile. A simple yet caustic remark from their wives can cut like a knife. And yet, a simple validation of "Thank you for all you do," or "I love how you care for our family" can be a soothing balm.

Perhaps today is a good time to take out pencil and paper and record a few sacrifices your husband has made for your family. Consider the baseball teams he's quit, sports shows he no longer watches or the lack of time to just be still without constant chaos surrounding him. These things may seem trivial to women, but they are in their own way, heroic sacrifices made on a daily basis that affects how they perceive themselves as real men.

While we were on a date with other couples, the men were swapping jokes and wistful smiles about the downgrade of the vehicles. In their teens, it was a Mustang; then marriage and it's a gas-lovin' compact; then children and it's the dreaded M-word, the Minivan. Out goes the Ford 250 and in comes the seven-seater with three clunky car seats.

In fact, I remember years ago a commercial that showed a man working out in the gym. The loud speaker announces something like, "Would the owner of the tan minivan please turn off your lights." The owner, a man, looks around feigning, "Gee, I wonder who that loser could be?" Though we women tend to accept the inevitable in efficient stride, our good men valiantly grapple with pulling into work with a pink diaper bag on the console.

Not that this is the only sacrifice. Because aside from the cars, it's the loss of being No. 1 to his wife. As soon as the first baby comes, it's the storybook "there were three in the bed and the little one said, roll over and just keep going, dad, because this is my spot." Husbands have to realign their paradigm that as a mother, through sheer maternal urges, you now will fight to the death for your children, but he is optional.

So, on that note, consider today all that your studmuff husband has done and given up to create, enjoy and accept domestic life. Don't wait until he does that perfectly or even sort of well or if he's really a pill today. Look for the hero in your husband and help him revisit that hero in himself.

LIFETip: List 10 sacrifices your husband has made for your family and share those with him.


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