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The Night My Meatloaf and I Got “Stood Up”

from photo bucket
from photo bucket

I worked an extra two days this past week in the pharmacy.  My husband appreciates it when I work extra.  So – I try to do this as a gift to him whenever I can.  Monday night I made an extra big meatloaf so that Greg wouldn’t have to cook supper the next night since I was going to be at work.  (Although – he doesn’t mind cooking when I work.)

When I told the kids I would be working extra – they REJOICED.

“YAY!!!!!  We get to go to Grandma and Granddaddy’s house TWO afternoons this week!!!!!!”

Yep.

They miss me SO MUCH when I am gone.  🙂

We usually always eat supper together as a family at 5:00pm.  But when I work – I don’t get home until 6:45ish.   So, sometimes the kids like to eat at Grandma’s.  Plus – they get to have pizza or mac-n-cheese at Grandma’s – so it is an extra special treat.

I walked in the door Tuesday night – Greg hugged me in the front hallway,  looked at me very sheepishly and said,

“I WAS going to wait and eat leftover meatloaf with you.   Really!  I was!  But….  Mom made country fried steak.  And rice.  And gravy.  She just insisted that I eat with them.”

Country fried steak is Greg’s FAVORITE.  No one makes it better than his Mom.  She is an awesome cook!

Apparently – leftover turkey meatloaf doesn’t hold a candle to Mom’s country fried steak, rice and gravy.

Then he said, “I’m going to run to Lowe’s to get the rest of the slats for our daughter’s new bed.  Bye!”

I COULD HAVE:

  • pitched a fit.
  • got really upset and said, “I expected that we were going to eat together!!!!!  You know how much I love eating together!”
  • said, “You don’t love me!  If you loved me, you would have waited and eaten with me!”
  • fumed about Greg liking his mom’s amazing cooking better than mine.
  • reamed him out for not sitting with me while I ate.
  • assumed that I was not a big enough priority to Greg.
  • given him the silent treatment the rest of the night – or a long lecture – or multiple long lectures.

What good would any of these responses have done anyone?

Thankfully – none of those options even remotely tempted me.

WHAT I DID:

  • understood how much Greg loves his mom’s cooking and told him, “I’m glad you ate with them.  That was so thoughtful of your mom to invite you to eat with them and for her to make your favorite meal.  I can’t blame you for going for the country fried steak over leftover turkey meatloaf.”  I smiled and gave him a HUGE hug.
  • ate my leftover meatloaf in the great room with the kids and asked them about their day while they played with Legos and wooden trains.  I enjoyed my meatloaf, too!
  • thanked him for getting the wood from Lowe’s so that Haley’s bed would be ready for her new mattress the next day.
  • thanked God for Greg’s wonderful parents and for their love for him, for me and for our children and that they live so close by and we are able to enjoy being with them so much.
  • made a mental note, “Make country fried steak more often!”
  • texted him a few flirty messages, “You are probably going to owe me a long massage tonight after standing up me and my meatloaf! ;)”  He said, “You’re probably right.”
  • thanked him for helping our son later with his homework.
  • enjoyed my amazing massage and all of Greg’s attention and a wonderful time of emotional/physical connection after the kids were in bed.

I hope this might inspire you to respond to your man with grace.

You have the power to decide whether to make something a huge, painful ordeal or whether to turn the evening into a memorable time of closeness to cherish.  Use your power wisely, my friends!

24 thoughts on “The Night My Meatloaf and I Got “Stood Up”

  1. Great example of responding with grace. , and sounds like your house is a fun place to live! I love ‘happy meals’ (a.k.a. any meal I don’t have to cook). That puts leftovers into that category. 😉

    1. Joanna,

      Thanks! I like leftovers, too. 🙂 It is SO MUCH MORE peaceful and there is infinitely more power to bless our marriages when we allow God to empower us to respond in His grace. Everybody win! 🙂

  2. Oh oh, I am not sure I fall in this category… Yesterday, dh and I were taking on webcam.

    Then, he said : ok I will call you later. (But it was about 9 pm. And lately, he doesn’t call me later, after this time.)

    Me : Why don’t you just say that we will talk tomorrow?

    DH : Why should I? I might just call you tonight.

    Me : Looking at what you have been doing lately, I doubt it. You always say the
    next day how you wanted to call me, but were busy with so and so and so.

    DH : (Surprised/hurt look on his face.) Ok, then, if you want. We’ll talk tomorrow.

    Me : Have a good night.

    Now, I must say, I felt guilty. He seemed surprised but a bit hurt. I think he was thinking why am I so picky on words? But, I don’t want him to promise something and not do it. And he knew he wasn’t going to call me back. And I don’t like fake promises, even so insignificant, as a time to call back.

    Anyway, I wonder, while reading the post today, could there have been a better answer or graceful attitude from me?

    1. Yas,

      hmmmm…

      When he said, “I will call you later”

      I think it would probably be wise to just say, “Ok, Honey! I’d love to hear from you any time.” ANd then give him the freedom to call or not whenever he is able to. 🙂

      I don’t think he was purposely intending to hurt you or “lie to you” by saying he would call later. And, later could mean the next day, just as easily as it could mean later that night – it seems to me.

      It sounds like this is a situation where instead of assuming the worst about him (he doesn’t want to talk to me and doesn’t want to call me and other things are obviously more important to him than I am) – you could assume the best, “He loves me and will call me when he can. I’ll enjoy it when he calls. If he can’t call, he has a reason for that, and I will be fine.”

      What do you think? 🙂

      1. Dear PW,

        This is what happened. Yesterday later in the night, I called dh, but he didn’t answer. I thought, maybe he is sleeping, but maybe he was hurt. I didn’t know. But this morning, he didn’t call me, as he usually does. So, I thought he was probably very hurt and went in his “cave”. So I was worried, scarred and anxious
        the whole day.

        At the end of the afternoon, he called. He had a little voice. He told me he forgot to charge his phone, so he couldn’t call me this morning until now. Plus, he met some friends after church so they talked for a while. That’s why he came home later then usual. He felt guilty he hadn’t charged his phone and I thought he was mad the whole time :S

        I wasn’t angry. I was relieved. But, I didn’t say anything. I didn’t tell him what I thought throughout the day. I just listened to him.

        Later, when we hanged up, he said: talk to you later. Didn’t he learn anything from what I said yesterday? But don’t worry, I took your advice, and I said: later, only if you give me a holy kiss. Which he did! So, I guess I will leave it like that!

        I have another question. Dh is looking for an important document. He had given me a copy, so he asked for my copy. I told him maybe he needs the original, so he should find his copy. But the truth is that I don’t want to give him my copy. I think that he is being messy with his documents and I don’t think it is fair that I give him the document. I think he has to look for it by himself. I don’t want to “mother” him. Plus, if I do mother him, he would complain.

        I had offer to place his documents, but he didn’t want to. So, why is he coming to me now? Not fair.

        Now, I feel a bit guilty. My character is one that is very organised, unlike him. So, I know exactly where to look. Unlike him, he will have to make an effort. I don’t want to make it easy for him. But, Proverbs 31 does say that “she does him good, not evil ALL the days of her life”.

        I am hesitant. Is there a right thing to do in this situation? Thanks again.

        1. Yas,

          I am glad you handled the “I’ll call you later” thing with more grace. That is wonderful!

          What is wrong with giving your husband the copy he gave you?

          What is God’s purpose for you as this man’s wife?

          What kind of love does God ask you to have for your husband? Check out I Corinthians 13:4-8 and Ephesians 5:22-33 and Galatians 5:22-23 to see how God expects a believer to act and see what answer you might come up with and we’ll talk about it! 🙂

          1. Good morning PeacefulWife,

            I knew you would not agree with me, but I didn’t expect you would have Bible verses to back it up. I did cry, I felt like an unkind wife. So, well, I gave him the document. I guess it was the right thing to do. I didn’t want him to “take advantage” of the fact that I classify everything, since he doesn’t and it takes him more time to find things.

            Now, I am not trying to justify anything (promise…), but lately, I feel like I am doing much more than dh. And I sometimes think it is not fair. With the scriptures you gave me yesterday, I have a feeling that this feeling is not right. Like, I should always be ready to serve and not compare who is doing more. I think my purpose is to be his helpmeet, to help in areas where he needs help and to be graceful about it.

            Plus, he is very nice to me lately. Just, that he asks me to do a lot and they are things that he cannot do or that he is not agile in.
            Maybe one day, the opposite will happen. I know we reap what we sow.

            I think that I already know the answer. The answer to what I just wrote is that we serve unto God with a cheerful heart and it is God that rewards us, not man. (Easier said than done 🙂

          2. Yas,

            This is hard. It is dying to self. The old sinful self HATES TO DIE. It does not go down without a fight.

            This is an issue that MANY wives have – so let’s talk about it…

            If you want fair – ok. Let’s talk about what is fair.

            Justice would dictate that every one of us deserves to go to hell and be separated from God forever. It only takes ONE SIN in our life for us to deserve hell in God’s holy eyes. One bite of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil brought curses on all of creation and on men and women. ONE SIN. A bite of fruit.

            Fair would be:
            – I deserve NOTHING from God.
            – I would only receive bad things.
            – I would be eternally condemned.

            PRAISE GOD FOR HIS GRACE AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE THAT WE DO NOT DESERVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            Let’s treat our spouses with the same grace that God gives to His spouse – US.

            Comparing “who is doing what” and “who is working harder” and “who did more chores” and trying to divide everything exactly 50/50 is one of the most destructive mindsets in marriage today according to a minister I highly respect who has been counseling couples for 45 years.

            And, according to him, the hardest thing to get people to do is to look at their own sin and responsibility. He says – “All marriage problems could be fixed if we would all die to self.”

            You may be doing much more than dh. You may also have many years of disrespect, pride, self-righteousness,etc. to try to make up for like I did.

            God will reward you for obeying Him no matter what your husband does. Your obedience to God is independent of your husband.

            But – your obedience to God also paves the way and makes it easier for your husband to obey God.

            Maybe God gave you to your husband because you have strengths where he is weak?
            Maybe God gave you to your husband to bless him – just because – not because he “deserves it” in your eyes.
            NONE of us deserve anything good. But God empowers us to give good things to those who don’t deserve it. That is the essence of God’s love.

            It’s time to lay down the pride. And lay down the measuring stick. And stop comparing.

            You cannot accurately judge who is “doing more” in your marriage. Only God can judge that. And, really, God is not interested in who is “doing more.” He is interested in both of you obeying Him and in you both glorifying His Name. THAT is the goal here. Regardless of the cost – are we willing to bring the greatest possible glory to God?

            Part of becoming a believer in Christ is that you lay down your “rights.” Sinners don’t have rights before a Holy God.

            We lay down our wisdom, our rights, our desires, our goals and we pick up the holiness of Christ, His wisdom, His desires, His goals, His power, His love, and we seek His will and His glory ABOVE ALL.

            Yes, your purpose is to be your husband’s helpmeet and to be graceful and gracious about it. You’ve got it! 🙂

            You are together. You and your husband are “one.” When you bless him, you are blessed. When you hurt him, you are hurt.

            And – Jesus counts the way you treat your husband as if you are doing what you do to HIM.

            It is all about our relationship with Christ.

            Sending you a HUGE hug! I know this part is hard!!!!!!!!

            But – it is the way to the abundant Life that God has for you.

            If you get a chance, check out Grace Filed Marriage by Dr Tim Kimmel. 🙂

      2. Dear PW,

        I have been reading your last answer over and over and over since this afternoon. I don’t really know what to say, but thanks. It is so deep to swallow in one shot. I will also look for the book you mentioned. Have a good night.

    2. I can SO relate to the statement, “I don’t like fake promises even if it is so insignificant as a time to call back.” I had to smile, because you sound just like me. When my husband says, “I will call you later,” I hate it when he does not call back later — the same day. I am so surprised to know that someone else feel’s the strongly about something like this too — which might be insignificant to many. I always tell him that I take his promises literally (from anyone), no matter how small. So I do get disappointed when I expect him to call back and he does not… because whenever I say anything, I follow through on it. I think the main thing is that I think “deeply” about everything, while my husband does not….so to simply say “I will call you back later,” does not seem like a “commitment” to him.

      I like April’s suggestions…

  3. oh April, where were you ten years ago when I constantly had expectations of my husband and would get so bent out of shape when he didn’t comply!! This is a beautiful example of grace and flexibility. I spent years (and still struggle) being ruled by my emotions! Now I feel I may have swung too far and have too few expectations and perhaps don’t speak up enough about what I would like or need.
    Thank you for your continuous godly input!

  4. I would never have expected my husband to wait and have dinner with me if something was prepared for him to eat. I think it is special if he waits until 6:45 when he is used to eating at 5. The idea of tearing him a new one for eating without me would not have crossed my mind and I do not consider myself graceful by any measure.

    Usually I read your posts and am inspired but since the first set of possible scenarios would never happen around here I doubt I would do any of the stuff you did such as saying I’m glad you ate. Perhaps that is where I need to find the inspiration here? Either that or I am missing something key.

    1. Elka,

      I am giving examples of how I have seen many wives respond to a situation like this in the first list.
      I don’t expect my husband to wait for me if he wants to eat with his mom and dad. The idea of getting mad at him did not cross my mind – but this is how MANY, MANY wives are living every day. I hear from wives who stumble over exactly this kind of thing.

      So – my hope with this post is to reach the wives for whom the first set of options is a real temptation every day – and to offer some examples of how to handle a situation with grace.

      I hope that clarifies things a bit.

      Thanks for your comment!

      1. I am so sorry I was thoughtless in my comment. I realized later that even tho I would never react like the first list there are so many areas that others handle with grace and light where I falter. I was just so taken aback in this instance but must confess that so many other times when you give examples of poor behavior I see myself. It is nice to know I do not fail in this one little area. Even if I know there are so many other times when I do react with a lack of respect

        1. Elka,

          This is one of those times that you can praise God there is an area that you don’t have to focus on much. 🙂 Every wife has her own areas where she does well and others where she struggles. I’m thankful that you don’t struggle in some areas. That is a definite praise. 🙂

          Much love to you!

  5. @Elka Bolhafner I could see this causing a rift. Its not just the eating without her. She is working at the pharmacy to help support the family per her husbands request. I think she has mentioned several times she would prefer to stay home.

    Then she didn’t get to eat dinner together with the family because of the workload (they ate together – without her). That might make you feel resentful or unloved of how hard you are working. Maybe even left out.

    Peacefulwife did the right thing handling the situation with grace and I am impressed by her response… a lot for me to learn from this site!

  6. What a great way to respond! I have to remember to fully think through the situations sometimes before reacting. It is hard to respond rather than react sometimes when our feelings are hurt.

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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