I realized something last night.
Brock asked for my opinion. It was about something where I have no expertise and that ultimately comes down to his personal decision.
But he still asked for and valued my opinion.
He does this frequently. In fact, often enough that I sometimes get annoyed.
“Why do you want to know what I think? It’s your decision. It comes down to what you want.”
But last night, I realized something.
That him asking for my opinion (even and maybe especially in areas where I have no particular insight) is a sign of respect. Of openness. Of equality.
And the reason that I get annoyed is that I’m not used to that from my husband. At least not the first one.
There were decisions we made together – options that impacted us both. And then there were decisions he made on his own. And he never wanted my input on those one way or another.
I was used to that independent streak, especially because I carry quite a strong one myself. When we weren’t involved in a joint venture (which was often, including the weekly grocery trip), we were usually operating solo.
So that means when I hear, “Lisa, can you come give me your opinion on something?” when I’m in the middle of my own project, I can get a little irritated at the interruption.
Until last night’s realization.
He’s not asking me because he really needs my input; he’s perfectly capable of making decisions on his own (and often better than I am in the midst of a crisis).
He’s not interrupting me because he either doesn’t value my current project or with any intention of annoying (not even remotely part of his character).
He’s asking for my opinion because he cares about my opinion. Even when it’s about something that is his own decision to make.
And that’s worth an interruption any day.
On a related note, I called my mom for her opinion about a project I am working on. She was thrilled:)