It’s not about the nail!

If you haven’t seen this, WATCH IT NOW! It’s really funny, and it hits home to anyone in a relationship.

Pretty funny video, huh! But… it also peeved me a little, and I couldn’t figure out why. I mean, AJ and I have read so many “marriage” books I can’t even count them. And I agree with what most of those books say: men often try to “fix” something when women just want to verbally process it.

This little video didn’t bother me too much until one day I made some comment about my [very extreme] stretch marks on my stomach.  Like, in the context of my daughter saying “mommy, your stomach is so squishy and striped!” and me saying, “yes, that is one of the permanent sacrifices I made for my kids, haha.”

AJ replied, “Well, I don’t know why you don’t just get a tummy tuck.” I looked at him. For a long time. And said, “yeah, well, maybe one day…”

And then my loving, sweet, faithful husband muttered as he walked away, “It’s not about the nail, it’s not about the nail.”

WHAT!?!?!?! IT’S NOT ABOUT THE NAIL?!?!? Did he REALLY just say that?!? Oh man. That really, um, shall I say ticked me off.  But why? I couldn’t quite place why  I got so irritated about that comment! I can see why he would say that; a tummy tuck would “solve” the “problem” of my stretch marks (sort of). But it still made my blood boil.

As usual, I didn’t launch into a huge argument, rather I stewed about it for several days (while of course glaring at him if he happened to be in my presence while said stewing was going on…) and I tried to internally process it.  I finally came to the conclusion that “It’s not about the nail” makes women look like stupid idiots who can’t solve problems and refuse to listen to good advice.

I can guarantee you that when they “complain” about a situation, most women (and I say most because I haven’t actually met all women) have indeed thought through almost every possible solution to the problem. They’ve run it through their heads and analyzed it from every perspective, and asked themselves the question “what if” a dozen times. They’ve considered their own emotions about the issue, but have also recognized the emotions of the other people involved. They don’t need any more opinions on how to “solve” their problem.  Not really. I venture that what they really might need is advice on how to manage their problem.

The pastor of our church recently made this distinction: “Not all problems need to be solved. Some need to be managed.”  It’s so true! Instead of telling me how to solve the problem, I need my husband to ask me why I have chosen NOT to solve the problem!

For instance, I have obviously considered how to “solve” the problem of my stretch marks. I’ve asked myself hundreds of questions, specifically concerning a “tummy tuck.”

I’ve decided that, for now, I do not want a tummy tuck. (OK, part of me does want a tummy tuck, who wouldn’t?!?) But, having grown up with self-image issues, it is a big priority to help my daughter love herself just as she is. And getting a tummy tuck might, just might, send the wrong impression. Now, when she’s in college or older, it might be a different story. But for now, my “problem” can’t be “solved.” It needs to be managed. I need to know how to handle the fact that I’ll never wear a two-piece again. That every time I look in the mirror I’ll see a stomach that has been literally torn up, all the way past my belly button. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to post a picture, haha!)

So guys, next time you think “It’s not about the nail” realize, of course it’s about the nail! But it’s might be more about how to manage the nail, because sometimes pulling the nail out will just leave a bloody mess! :)


3 thoughts on “It’s not about the nail!

  1. Pingback: Why I’m Content With “Just” Two Kids | Life in Full Bloom

  2. Asjia

    Can I just say – you make me laugh! Everything you feel is what every (almost every) mom feels like at some point. Well, at least I did – still do! As for “managing” the nail (i.e. – belly pouch and “squishy” stretch mark belly), it might just help if our husbands would “lift” us up a bit with an encouraging word about our image or show us admiration for the sacrifice our bodies made to create a family, rather than say, “gotta work out.” Sure let me add that to my list.

    1. ada26 Post author

      SO true! Unwanted advice often is heard as criticism. The hard part is that our spouses hear our “complaints” as a request for advice, when often we just want support! Tough going all around! xoxo


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