Racing Widow and Step 4

My name is Kris, I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I am a Racing Widow.  Let me explain.

As a part of my personal spiritual growth, and in order to better understand how to minister to children of people with addictions, I am working through Celebrate Recovery.  It’s a 12-step ministry focused on Jesus Christ as the Higher Power and the Beatitudes.  I’ve been working on the fourth step – creating an inventory of all the significant events in my life and how they’ve affected me.  There is a guidline with questions to help get people started in how to go about thinking about everything and begin to wrap your brain around it and get it on paper. 

The first question is “Who is the object of my resentment or fear?”  As I was going through my life thinking and writing I moved into the more recent past.  I got to not a “who” but a “what” instead.  That “what” is racing.  You see, my husband works in the auto racing industry.  He builds race cars, goes to the races, goes through tech inspection (makes changes and goes through again) and then changes tires during the race.  He gets paid to do something he loves.  Then, when he’s home, he’s watching racing or reading the racing “gossip” sites and other various articles.  He’s living his passion – and I resent it. 

Please don’t misunderstand, I don’t resent that he is living his passions.  I think it’s a beautiful example for our children of how God can give us paid work doing what we love and an opportunity to be a Christian example to others.  What I resent is the racing.  Let me explain by sharing what I wrote…

1.  The Person; Who/What is the object of my resentment or fear?  Racing

2.  The Cause; What specific action did that person take that hurt me?  It takes my husband away when I want and need him with me.

3.  The Effect; What effect did that action have on my life?  I “single parent” it a lot, I have to rely on myself and keep the “superwoman” facade up – it’s exhausting

4.  The Damage; What damage did that action do to my basic social, security, and/or sexual instincts?  I worry about his safety and the “what if” of family security if he got seriously hurt or killed, we don’t get enough date nights, we don’t get many opportunities to go out with other adult friends to build those relationships

5.  My Part; What part of the resentment am I responsible for?  I don’t control his schedule or career choice- I did CHOOSE to marry the man with the career choice; Who are the people I have hurt?  Bill;  How have I hurt them?  I’ve been inconsiderate, mean, hurtful, manipulative, rude and crass.  I have NOT submitted to the authority of my husband.

So that’s a peek into my Celebrate Recovery 4th step.  I say I’m a racing widow (and I know there are lots of us out there) because in many ways, each time my hubby leaves, I mourn the loss of him.  I won’t go into the whole ugly cycle that I’m working on breaking but what is basically boils down to is fear.  I’m afraid that he’ll get hurt or worse.  I’m afraid that in this economy the team will shut down.  I’m afraid that the the multitude of temptations that there are on when he’s on the road will eventually be too strong for him to fight off.  I’m afraid he likes the race track better than me. 

As you can imagine, there is sometimes conflict over racing in our house.  I was asked recently why I appear to be handling this racing season better than the last.  My answer was that I realized that I can’t control it.  Realizing that you have no control is a bit liberating.  Here’s another little secret.  I stopped asking God to change my husband’s career and started asking God to change my attitude.  That is what has made the difference. 

I asked hubby the other day what I could be doing for him to make his job easier.  I didn’t really get an answer, however I think that the simple fact that I asked was powerful.  I can’t control what my husband chooses for a career.  I can’t control how late his boss makes him work.  I can’t control the rain that delays the race by a day (or two) and keeps hubby away even longer.  I can, however, make our home a place that he longs to be.  I can help him pack and unpack and pack and unpack and…  I can ask God to place a bubble of protection around him – physical protection and spiritual protection.  I can honor and love and cherish him as I promised.  I can respect him as the head of our family – the place of honor that God has given him.

My name is Kris, I am a believer in Jesus Christ and I am a Racing Widow.

Ephesians 5:21-24  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Published by Kris

Jesus follower, racing wife, mom of seven, United Methodist pastor... Trying to live a life worthy of my callings.

3 thoughts on “Racing Widow and Step 4

  1. This touched my heart Kris. You are right, there are many of us out there struggling with the same issues. The truth is that the racing is more than a career, it is a lifestyle. One I have been “adjusting” to for ten years. Through children, moves, job changes, illness and many of life uncertainties… You touched the heart of it here. Fear. Your strategies for coping are words of wisdom for us all.

  2. Kris….

    I offer my reply only as a journeyor and vetran of some of life’s challenges including marital and family challenges.

    It seems to me from what you post that your husband still has some choices around how he spends his time and attention. Yes, there are inherent factors to his job that require him to be away. At the same time, it seems there are choices he is making that keep him in his world of racing.

    Does he really need to spend as much time as he does following up on racing gossip when home? Could he be out of balance on this matter? Or others?

    Certainly there are all kinds of family and career circumstances that require a parent and spouse to be away and pre-occupied. I is easy for many of us to get caught up in the draw of our occupations that we enjoy and give us esteem and satisfaction.

    We should not alllow our occupations as excuses to be out of balance and to overlook our responsibilities to those we have commitments… especially our families. What is it all for if not for the benefit of our families.

    I have heard often of ministers putting “their ministry” ahead of their families and then their family all falls apart. This sounds no different.

    I hope your husband is aware of how his family is being affected.

    With that said…. good on you for looking at yourself and your outlooks first instead of defaulting to blame. You are definitely on a good path if you are looking at what you can control and what you are responsible for first.

    I have found that this has helped me live life so much more effectively and helped me stay away from one of the greatest under-miners of all human thinking…. self-pity.

    It sounds like your pain is very real. I am not saying it is born of self-pity. I am simply saying that looking at your part in the situation will help keep self-pity at bay.

    Sounds like you are on a good pathway.



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