Friendship, Journal

Find the Friend Who Doesn’t Always Agree With You

A coach’s wife was recently telling me how her child felt ill after a long car ride followed by hiking the stadium stairs to their seats for a football game. As she was getting the kids settled for the game, the child expressed that her stomach hurt. My friend said, “I just paused, looked at my child and said, ‘We do not throw up at football games.’” And then she continued with her story about how the team played.

Only a fellow coach’s wife would nod along with this story without having to pause for further explanation, and that is just one of many reasons I adore coaches’ wives! Our stories about game day are so much shorter when we are chatting with each other because we get it. We get the stress of traveling with kids to an away game, and we understand the joy of sharing about a win.

I can always rely on my coaches’ wives tribe to share what they did in a situation. Better yet, this special group is always the first to jump in when I need a reminder that I am doing the best I can and good enough is just that…good enough!

I’ve been reminded more than once that rarely will I encounter something someone else hasn’t experienced. It’s such a blessing to hear, “Hey, I’ve been there,” or, “Me too,” when I just need someone to understand. Sometimes those simple phrases are enough to flip my perspective altogether.

But here’s the thing, depending on the day, and the response, the advice may hurt more than it helps. Yes, a few encouraging words can keep me from pulling my hair out, but the wrong words may nudge me further in the wrong direction.

I’ve learned the hard way that you can always find someone who agrees with you if you look hard enough, regardless of how inaccurate the perspective. There is always someone ready to continue a pity party and, in my case, I’ve often found someone to helpfully craft the perfect sarcastic remark to send a great zinger back at a conflict target.

I’ve been on all sides of this scenario. It is SO hard to fight back my emotions when a coach’s wife is telling me about a hard situation. Instinctually I want to jump to their defense and make sure they know they are heard and loved. Sometimes it seems like the only way to do that is to agree with them, even when my previous experiences provide another perspective.

Misery may love company, but negativity breeds discontentedness, and that’s a recipe for disaster.

Coaches’ wives, we need to hear the whole truth. We need to hear that our frustrations are heard, but more than that, we need to know we will get past our current situation. We need the reminder that someone else has been in our shoes and lived to tell the tales. We need the perspective we are missing that suggests there are two sides to every story and that some things feel more personal than they were intended.

This crazy life has too many amazing aspects to let the hard dominate!

When you are the wife who can offer a healthy perspective don’t be afraid to be the voice of reason. Don’t shy away from doing what you can to pull your fellow coach’s wife out of their pit. She may bite the hand you offer, but that doesn’t mean she’s not listening. Help her see the bigger picture and let her choose whether or not to continue to wallow.

When you are the wife who just needs someone to hear you, don’t be afraid to say something. We all need a listening ear. But, wisely choose who you talk to when you are in a bad space. Choose the tribe member you know will help you see the bigger picture, not the one ready to pile on more muck. While a mud bath can be a good thing for your pores in the short term, it does very little other than make you stink if it stays on too long.

You will never regret choosing to get out of the pit, and you will never regret encouraging someone when they need to know you hear them. Be the coach’s wife who says thing that your tribe needs to hear. They will thank you in the long run!