The Magnet Syndrome – A Guest Blog by Janet Thompson
Is your husband drawn to you like a magnet? That can be wonderful until you’re stumbling over him at every turn! My friend, Author Janet Thompson, shares some insights from her book Dear God, He’s Home! that I believe will be helpful to you or anyone you know who has a stay-at-home husband.
Listen in on Janet’s conversation with God:
When we were first married, my husband Dave followed me around the house and wanted to do everything with me. He didn’t have any friends or interests beside his job, golf, and me. We quickly remedied that dilemma by finding him friends, serving at church, and starting guitar lessons.
Now that he’s retired and home 24/7, I’m reliving those early years. It seems like every time I turn around, I’m running into him right behind me, or he’s occupying the same space I’m trying to claim. I can’t make a move without him showing up. I try having my “quiet time” outside, only to look up and see him coming out with his Bible ready to settle in across the table from me . . . which would be OK except he doesn’t read quietly . . . he talks!
I get up early and go for my walk, expecting him to be done in the kitchen when I return. To my chagrin, he doesn’t think about eating breakfast, until I do! If I get my vitamins out of the cupboard, he needs his. Bottles fall and pills fly as we reach around each other trying to grab ours off the shelf.
When I go into the bathroom to put on my makeup and dry my hair, he remembers he needs to shave. Since we only have one sink and mirror, that’s a big problem. Last night, I was trying to take a shower, and he had to go to the bathroom, even though he had just been in there flossing his teeth!
It’s like having a perpetual shadow! Lord, I need some space. Why does everything I do, trigger the exact same response in him? If I change my routine to accommodate him, he changes his routine to match mine—he’s like a magnet. Help! I love my husband, but I’m stumbling over him at every turn.
Mentoring Moment with Janet:
My friend, Anita, and I were walking together one morning and I was lamenting about what Dave and I now laughingly call the “Magnet Syndrome.” Anita said she and her husband experience the same thing and then she shared their “breakfast dance” in the kitchen.
Anita also said she had been giving this phenomenon a lot of thought and concluded that the more time you spend together, the more you’re on the same “wave length.” You start thinking alike, your schedules are similar, and your body clocks become synchronized. You’re both hungry simultaneously and sometimes even need to use the bathroom at the same time!
Then she pointed out this is how God intended marriage: husbands and wives become as one. When we each went our separate ways during the day, we had to transition back to being “one” when we saw each other again at night. 24/7 togetherness reflects the oneness of Genesis 2:24:
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Pondering Anita’s words, I realized how right she was. Instead of operating as two separate people in a marriage, 24/7 husbands and wives transition into one body—spiritually and physically. Exactly what we all agreed to in our marriage vows when the pastor said, “I present to you Mr. and Mrs. _____________, (fill in your names) united in marriage. What God has joined together, let no man separate.”
For more on living with a man who is retired, disabled, unemployed, or home from deployment, check out Janet Thompson’s book, Dear God, He’s Home! For more on Janet’s speaking, writing, and mentoring ministry, see her website.