I Should Have Stood Up For Her

Photo Credit: Vicky Pratt

Photo Credit: Vicky Pratt

(There are purposefully no names in this post)

I am going to share a major hurt with you. I strongly dislike showing my weakness, but this one is necessary because I learned so much from it. Here goes:

Years ago, my fiance (at the time) and I took a job at a junior college. It was his second college coaching job, his first was as a student coach. We made wonderful friends there, almost immediately. You see, in coaching, no matter where you go you will have friends in the coaching staff. You won’t always like them, but you will have a support group none the less. At this particular place, we were actual friends.

There was one coach’s wife in particular who I loved! She was fun and witty. She even had a special part in our wedding day. We walked together and talked together. We made brownies and dinners for the players together. She was my friend, a great one. I mean REALLY great!

I am sure anyone reading this would be surprised to know that we have not spoken in almost 5 years. Well, here is the story…

There were four coaches wives at this school, including myself and my friend. One of them lived in a town about 45 minutes away and we rarely saw her. The other lived across the street from me. One day I will blog about difficult coach’s wives and how to handle them, and she will likely be an example.  She was married to the coach who made all of the staff decisions, we can just leave it at that.

She and I went quite a few places together. There were times she was fun and I enjoyed being in her company. Other times, though, she would tell me things she surely should not have. Many times what she would tell me I would later find out was untrue. One time in particular, upon hearing that my husband was being considered for a D-1AA position in Arkansas, she told me “If it doesn’t work out, you need to stick around because {someone} is getting fired soon.” That someone was supposedly my friend’s husband. I listened silently and in shock. I had no idea what to say. All I could think on that car-ride home was; what the heck am I going to do about this? Why did she tell me this.? Is she testing me? Is God testing me? I, naturally, did absolutely nothing.

Until a few weeks later, when I confessed the secret to my dear friend. I had kept it inside for so long, but finally felt like she needed to know.

A day or two earlier, I had told my husband and our roommate, they both shrugged it off and said there is no way he is getting fired. They were right, I am sure, he was too good of a coach to be fired.

I will never forget how upset she was and how hurt she was.

In my mind, she had to be upset with the other coach’s wife, not me. I had done nothing. I was simply a fly on the wall. I knew he would not be fired.

I have become much wiser over the past few years. I now know that there are so many things I could have done differently. Up until a few weeks ago, if you had asked I would have said the best thing for me to have done is NOT tell her.

Yesterday, I was listening to the Christian music station, and it dawned on me. The DJ was talking about standing up for people when they are unable to, or when they are not around to stick up for themselves–more specifically Leviticus 19:16 “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.” My duty as her friend and sister in Christ was to stand up for her and her husband. I am bound to do all I can to protect the life of my neighbor, against wicked things. My greatest mistake was not doing anything.   I should have told her that she can’t tell me things about my friends or say untrue things about them to me. It is not right. It is hurtful and can change a strong relationship. It is okay to have courage to stick up for others, even when you are in a position that can effect  your spouse’s job.

I can’t wish to go back and change that interaction. In fact, I don’t want to. It was an experience that I have learned so much from. The only thing I can do is continue asking for forgiveness.



Don’t Talk to Me About My Husband, Please

football_closeup-1024x682I work at a retail store that supports the school that my husband coaches for. We get an influx of donations every day. It is not uncommon for me to know the donors. Many of their children attend the school. Many of them know me. Some know me well, some know me too well.

To say my husband is passionate on the football sidelines is probably, somehow, an understatement. He is loud. He turns his hat backwards when talking to an umpire about a call, good or bad. He says many things that are meant for motivation. He knows how each child is motivated athletically, and treats them accordingly. He cares for the boys that play for him.

In the past (at the Collegiate level), it was common for him to be the only male role model for the boys that played for him. Some of them never had a person at their games. We were their people, my husband and I. I have accepted roses on Senior Day because there was no one else. If a player had a problem, they spoke to the coach about it- whether the issue was with the coach or completely unrelated.

Now, we are at the High School level. Things have certainly changed. Not in a bad way, it is simply different. Most of the players come from very supportive families. They have several male role models. Some of them tell my husband significantly more than they would say to their parents. When a few of them have a problem, they generally speak with their parents. Then their parents speak with the coach- whether the issue is with the coach or completely unrelated. Each player has a different relationship with my husband.

None of the above is a problem. It is all great communication. Either way, he has lot on his shoulders. He has worries and concerns for so many kids.

Sometimes people visit me at the store. Maybe their intention is to come talk to me. Maybe they just decided to on a whim. Neither is an issue, except when they decide to talk to me about something related to my coach husband. Maybe he was disciplined his players in a way they didn’t like. Maybe he said something on the sideline that they didn’t like. Maybe he isn’t playing their son as much as they would like. I get it, my husband is a coach.

If they are coming to me to get advice on how to present an issue with him, I will assist them. I don’t want or need details. If they want to discuss an actual issue, I won’t speak to them about it. I just won’t. In any other profession, it would be unacceptable.

It has also come to my attention that because I now have a son, we can throw him into the conversation to make me understand more easily the point that is being made. Again, please don’t speak to me about it. We are and will be different parents for two reasons. 1.) It is life. All parents are different. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that we will parent exactly the same. 2.) I am married to a coach. It is likely, that I will take the coach’s side, within reason, when it comes to sports. Children have a tendency to come home with half-truths about things that are said, how hard they work at practice and how hard their teammate that just took their starting spot at works practice.

I love all of my husband’s current and former players. There is a deeply special place in my heart for them that they are incapable of understanding. The same goes for current and former players’ parents. I mean this with ultimate respect and kindness – Please, Don’t Talk to Me About My Husband! It puts me in a very uncomfortable position, and I don’t like it.

[Photo Credit: Sanders on Sports]