Four Guys, a Girl, and a Hotel Room in Vegas…

This post was originally published October 24, 2010.

And you won’t believe where we’re going…

A year ago I reviewed a book calledSpilt Milk, and while I enjoyed the entire book, there was one passage in particular that never left my heart.  Author Linda Vujnov writes:

“‘All men are idiots, and I married the king of them.’ I was stunned as I read the license plate frame while leaving the grocery store.  Although I had a few ideas of my own for a personal license plate frame, this one wouldn’t have made the list of options.  The disrespect was pooling in the parking lot stall…When we find a man who becomes our husband, wonderful things transpire.  Not only does this man acquire new titles like husband, lover, and dad; he no doubt becomes our rock of Gibraltar, protector, best friend, and biggest fan.  As wives, the importance of encouragement, respect, and support for these men whom we love should be forefront.  Equally important is reminding them how much we love and need them.”

I promise we’re heading to the hotel room now…

A week ago I flew to Las Vegas to speak at BlogWorld and New Media Expo.  I enjoy speaking at various conferences around the country partly because it is my only chance to spend time with blogging and social media colleagues, and BWE is uniquely enjoyable because the crowd of 4,000 attendees is far more diverse than many of the other events I attend.  I especially was looking forward to hanging out with a dad blogging buddy this year and also had the pleasure of getting to know three of his colleagues during our whirlwind night after a long day of networking and learning at the conference.  During some downtime between evening events, the five of us crashed in one blogger’s room and chatted for about an hour.  I was struck by the fact that I suddenly had this unique window into the mind of dads other than those in my own family, and what was most compelling was how different they were from my own husband.

A word about my husband: he has faults.  Tons of them. He is not terribly handy, tends to miss details in instructions, and particularly when it comes to our rambunctious son has a short fuse.  But he is also intelligent, supportive, hard-working, loving, kind, and unbelievably loyal.  He is just as willing to come to the aid of someone else’s wife as his own offering to pick up medicine at the store and drop off food to friends in need or during times of illness.  Despite the fact that he and our son are like oil and water, in general he is better with children than any other man I’ve met, keeping them occupied, entertaining them, teaching them, guiding them through tasks, knowing instinctively how to care for them and meet their needs better than many moms I’ve met.  His support has allowed me to change my focus on a dime and take my professional life in new directions. Not only did he tolerate my shift from devoted housewife to work at home mom, but he purchased the laptop that facilitated this change and without prompting, took on more of the household responsibilities, all while excelling at his own job, which takes him out of the house for eleven hours a day.

Our marriage works for me because my impulsive and entrepreneurial spirit has been yoked with a steadfast, constant old soul. Even as my income has risen to match his, there is an unspoken understanding that his job carries more weight in his responsibility to build our retirement, secure our family’s health insurance, and earn the pension that will cushion our savings in our golden years.  He is the anchor that allows me to travel without fear on uncharted waters…

But what happens when the impulsive and entrepreneurial spirit is the husband? In that hotel room I could feel that I was with kindred spirits, idea people, dreamers.  And yet the weight of responsibility that intrinsically comes along with being a father and husband – yes, even in 2010 – was palpable, almost stifling.  At one point I asked one of the dads if he feels like he is less able to chase after his entrepreneurial goals because he is “the man,” and without pause, his answer was yes.

I am not saying that this is the case in every relationship, but the same internal and external cues that not only pulled me to leave my career in education and stay home full time to raise my children also exist for dads, telling them that instead and above all else, it is their responsibility to provide their family’s financial security. I have long thought and written about the complicated choices that women face, and I wonder now if men in actuality have fewer choices than women when it comes to the direction of their lives…

Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. – Ephesians 5:33

I gave my husband a knowing look and a wink when the “honor and obey” part of our marriage vows entered into discussion with our pastor, but the bottom line is this: My husband is the blessing in my life that has allowed me to live a blessed life.  The responsibility of fatherhood for those who truly take it seriously is a weighty one that I do not believe I will ever fully understand and which fills me with awe.  I respect those men in that hotel room, the ones who are providing their wives and children with a soft place to land and at the same time, in stolen moments, are trying to create a greater life for themselves and their families.  It’s so easy to take jabs at our husbands, that tribe of idiots from that unhappy woman’s license plate, but let’s instead make an effort to praise and support them.

What are you going to do this week to let your husband know what he means to you?

Leave a Reply


  • Very well written and very touching. You are extremely fortunate to have such a loving and supportive partner. -Carrie

  • Incredibly well put. So often women are quick to nag and insult their husbands’ “lack” of participation in such things as chores and the kids, but it is amazing the weight that is put on men in their role in the family. Like you, my Hubby is pretty stinkin’ amazing and I thank him and remind him daily how incredible he is and how much we appreciate all the work and sacrifices he makes for our family. I think it does a lot for a man to hear that all his efforts are noticed and appreciated. My Hubby always seems to walk a bit taller when he hears it. Thank you for sharing! I’m a new follower!

  • Wow, that was a fantastic piece. You are so lucky and don’t take it for granted. I don’t have a husband, but one day when I do, I hope he is everything you have…

  • Great piece. It is hard for any involved parent to take the kind of entrepreneurial risk that you have, and that the dad bloggers have too. It’s so important to have a supportive partner. I really loved this post. Going to give Dave a hug right now.

  • Amy~
    What a great post!! Love this!

    Our family is the middle of moving and things have been quite stressful lately. Your blog has inspired me to do something special for my hubby this week.. not sure what.. but I’m eager to do something fun/sweet 🙂

    Have a great one!

  • Thank you for the piece Amy! We had a blast hanging with you too. Your own entrepreneurial spirit reminds me so much of my mom who is the most amazing woman on the planet (only second to my wife).

    I raise my sons by the motto that, “if a man doesn’t work he shouldn’t eat,” and that “a man who doesn’t provide for his own family is worse than an unbeliever,” so -and I know this is “old school”- being an excellent provider is priority one for me in my home. From a personal standpoint I couldn’t do what I do if my wife didn’t look at me with similar eyes as it appears you look at your husband. In many ways I’m a giant doofus, but she is so supportive and such a cheerleader that I feel like I can accomplish anything.

    Your post was a very moving read for me and I hope that there are many other men who get to feel that kind of love and respect in their own homes. It makes a world of difference!

    • My husband is equally “old school” – as you described yourself to be – and I LOVE that my three sons have him for a role model of a REAL man. There ARE women out there who appreciate it. Do what you know to be right – modern cultural biases don’t matter as much as your own sense of integrity. 🙂

  • Amy, this is a fabulous post. I know a few men who might want to forward it to someone…

    I would say, though, that everything you write about respect and what kind of soul each partner is, can be true in both directions. Ronit and I have swapped roles a few times in life and I cherished my rest as much as I did times of carrying the family burden, especially because when each of us didn’t work, we took care of the kids.


  • So true! I often think of this as I have had the luxury of working for years without pay to build my business while relying on my husband to do the “real job.” We couldn’t have survived if I had been the breadwinner since i wasn’t winning much bread!

  • Have a Margarita with my other single friends, LOL

  • pokeywinkel

    I really like what you wrote. I kinda scimmed through it and will read the rest of it tomorrow. It is getting really late at night here. I think that is great that your husband loves you so much and takes care of you.

    Right now it is very difficult at times that I have to raise my husbands and my kids by myself right now, but it is working for the Lord’s glory. My husband is going to school, which he will be done in Dec of this year and working about 2 1/2 hours away. Unemployment has paid for all of his schooling for the past 1 1/2 years which is a huge blessing. It is hard on me when my kids say that they really miss their Daddy, but he is working going to school so that he can have a better job soon. We only get to see him for a little over 24 hours at this point, but he will be done in 5 weeks or so. The Lord has really helped us through all of this.

    I really like all the articles you write,they are very encouraging. I’m also very glad that you’re a true Christian and you write about living for the Lord. 🙂

  • Amy, this is yet one more reason to love you. 🙂 I completely agree and am also thankful for a husband who supports us so that I have the freedom to stay home while chasing a few dreams.

    Showing our husbands the respect and appreciation they deserve for all that they do for our families really does fuel them. I’m so proud of mine and I really don’t think I tell him enough. Thanks for the reminder!

  • As a fellow entrepreneurial spirit I can say with utmost delight, “AMEN!” My husband is, like yours, the anchor…the constant.

    While I dip and wave and flit and follow fancies, he provides a backdrop of unshakable love, support, provision, and dedication that IS our family’s foundation. But the unselfish way in which we dipped into our debt-payoff “snowball” in order to fund my first blog conference as an INVESTMENT speaks volumes about his security in himself, his ability to trust me, and his true-heartfelt desire to see me succeed.

    Thank you for posting this.

    Angela < P.S. I think that license plate holder is awful. I also hate most sitcoms for their infantile portrayal of men. Sad that it's what we're putting out there as the expectation for young boys.

  • The first question I have is what in the world was a married, religious woman doing in a room with four other men? For crying out loud! What’s wrong with you woman? Have you no shame?!

    We now return to our regularly scheduled program…It was sooo awesome meeting you in Vegas and I really enjoyed our talk! I appreciate your sentiments here and it’s nice to see someone like yourself talk to struggles that Dad’s face and how Mom’s can help foster that support.

    I’m not as bought in to the whole religious concept and constructs as traditionally they place a woman underneath a man. I’m not saying that’s where you were going but I will say this…Both Men and Women need to support each other. We both have hopes and dreams and goals. We have them for our families as well as for our own selves. It’s important to validate what each person needs in a relationship and to be as supportive as possible. It seems you have that with your husband and that is wonderful.

    I don’t find myself in hotel rooms with strange women often. Okay never! But I would be happy to share a room with you anytime!

    Your new Best Friend…ME!

  • Excellent post, I hope your husband gets a chance to read it. I’m happy that you have each other.

  • I popped by to see what twitter parties were going on this week and I found this amazing post. I have been feeling this a lot lately. The incredible hostile and generally demeaning attitude towards men. I too read a similar license plate the other week and was mortified. Place that same license plate on a car and replace the word with woman and truly most people would write newspapers or scream their opposition. But somehow it is still okay to man bash. I think I blurted something about it in the car while driving my two daughters from school the other day and I was truly embarrassed by the sentiment on the other vehicle. But at the same time I didn’t even want them to read it. In the end I think I said I find some people’s license plates and bumperstickers offensive and mean. Their dad is a man, their husbands will in all likelihood if they choose to marry, be men and my husband is a man. I would be horrified and feel as if I had not done a good job parenting my child if she chose to wear some offensive man-hating bumpersticker or plate on her car. I have a husband who is much like yours. When I wrote for the newspapers here in Ontario and I got a promotion he was first to drop everything and quit his job and follow me to a different city, away from family and friends. My husband is more than a rock, he is someone I am honoured to have in my life. I write and I speak and there are times when that work is plentiful and times when it is not and he never complains. And when I tell him in October I need to travel to B.C. to speak about adoption at a conference or some other event, he occasionally raises an eyebrow, but if it’s important to me then he always finds a way to support me. You have got me thinking about how I need to recognize his value to our family more, so that is something I will work on. Thanks for the thought-provoking post.


  • Lavern

    Could be the most amazing thing I read all year!!!

    asian dating