Water spillover at lake

Dude Skill #7: SERVE – Part 2


Continued from my August 14, 2023 article

Why Husbands Don’t Serve Their Wives

Maybe your dad wasn’t Archie Bunker, but he probably didn’t provide a good example of how to serve one’s wife. Serving our wives even if we did have a good model is tough. Why is this?

Not Dealing With Stress

A physician concluded in the 1950s, “Stress in addition to being itself, was also the cause of itself, and the result of itself.” Stress can seem like an umbrella term to describe our entire lives. But can we be specific? At its basic level, stress is the response of the body to any demand for change. Stress can be either good or bad, it depends on the duration. When something triggers this response, our fight or flight mechanism is engaged. Nerve chemicals and hormones are related so we can flee to safety or face the threat. Once the danger passes, the body restores itself to normal functioning. But when stress becomes chronic, the same chemicals and hormones that were helpful in short bursts remains , preventing your body from resetting and relaxing. The psychological aspect of chronic stress creates an overactive fight or flight response within us. We view every demand as a threat and constantly look for potential threats.

Understanding what is going on inside you is the starting point. If you are giving to respond properly to stress, you need to recognize how it plays out in various arenas. Psychologists have recently started using the term spillover and crossover describing work-family stress. Spillover occurs when a man’s stress at work leads to a man’s stress at home. Crossover occurs when a man’s stress at work leads to a wife’s stress at home. You can transfer your stress not only from one location to another, but also onto your spouse.

Water spillover at lake

Spillovers and Crossovers

I was raised near a lake that had spillover — a place to house and disperse water when it got too high for the banks and dam. The spillover was about two-hundred feet long and four-hundred fee deep. It absorbed thousands of gallons of water to keep the lake in equilibrium. When we don’t have good outlets for stress, our wives and children become our spillovers. They did not sign up for that job. And when you’re taking on that much pressure, the amount added to the equation seems unbearable.

One way to reduce the spillover is to have some bridge activity that helps you disengage from the grind and reengage your family. It could be listening to a podcast, exercising, doing light yard work, or even watching a TV show. There are only a couple rules: Tell your spouse about your intentions with the activity, and make sure it doesn’t take up the entire evening. Otherwise you defeat the purpose.


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