When Daniel and I were first married, every night before bed, he’d ask me, “Did you lock the front door?”
I’d respond, “Yes.”
Then he’d leave the bedroom, walk all the way down the hall, stop at the front door, and check to see if it was locked.
I’d fume inwardly (often for hours), “What does this mean? What does this mean about me?” And I concluded, “It means that my husband thinks I am an idiot. An irresponsible idiot. An irresponsible idiot who can’t be trusted!”
A decade into our marriage, I’d mellowed out a bit. By then I’d learned that my husband has a detail-loving personality. I realized that his lock-checking routine doesn’t mean anything about me, per say. So, instead of fuming, I became condescendingly tolerant. “It’s just something he does, just the way he is,” I told myself.
But recently, it finally hit me what it really means when Daniel double-checks the front door before bed.
A new friend and I were chatting about marriage. We howled with laughter as we discovered that both of our husbands are lock checkers. “It used to make me so mad!” she mused. “I thought it meant he didn’t trust me to do the simplest task!”
While we’ve both outgrown our overreactions, we were still stymied by the question,”Why does he do it?” We pondered in silence; finally, one of us spoke, thoughtfully.
“What if it means that he loves me and the kids so much, he’s making absolutely sure we’re all safe?” It finally clicked: For two decades, my husband has been extra vigilant in caring for his family, making sure no harm can reach us during the night. That’s just the way he is.
One thing I’ve learned is that I attach too much meaning to my husband’s actions. And I’m usually wrong.
What it means, at least for me, is that I need to quit worrying about what he means and simply trust that his intentions are noble.
And maybe I’m finally learning what it means to love my husband just the way he is.