Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Single Way to be the Best Spouse

Something I've learned is that marriage is not a competition, but when it hits rough patches as they ultimately do, competition seems to be the way discord manifests itself as a symptom.

I'm not a marriage expert.  Unless you call being married enough qualification to be an expert - which, honestly, might just be enough in most circles.

The biggest thing I've learned in my 41 years on this planet and in the 8 years of my marriage is that respect, loyalty, love and honouring your vows are the ONLY ways you can be your best version of the spouse you intended to be the day you got married.

And the single most important thing I've learned is never to click on some crazy person's blog about how to be the best wife, or best husband.

While the husband ones aren't so bad, the wife ones are truly abhorrent and derived straight from the pages of a book that's so antiquated that it forgot to let people who pour over every letter within it, that the world moved on, women wear pants and work bloody hard.  In many cases it forgets to remind those crazy ass women that it's their turn to be the bread winners, so racing home at night to get the house cleaned, dishes done, meals prepared and the beer chilled, just in time to paste a ridiculous frigging smile on your face as your hubby walks through the door, is bloody insane.  It's forgotten that the virtues of feminism and equality prevail in a modern world, and no person with half a brain in their head is wearing the goofy smile anymore.

You can't be a better wife by doing all that - all that can do is make yourself depressed, anxious, constantly on edge and looking for what you might be getting in return AND that's what gives rise to competition and discord in a marriage.

SO - the best way to be your best version of the spouse you always intended to be, man or woman, is to share equally in the work of daily life, without grumbling and begrudging every second of it, recognizing that your spouse is devoting as much or more to the same ugly tasks of day to day life, and revel in the few and rare opportunities you get to be free of those encumbrances.  Respect your partner for all that they bring to your day to day life.  Fawn over meals even if they're dismal attempts and massive failures, with immense praise, knowing how many planets and stars had to align for your partner to even get as far as they did with it.  And be loyal.  Look past the disgruntled face, the worn out sighs, the disheveled hair...pour your martini and hers.  Bring them chocolate and flowers, beer or movie passes.  Get the sitter all lined up in advance, and ask them out on a real date - the way you did before you were married.  Show your partner, that through thick and thin, you see how beautiful they are, you love them, and you respect them.

Marriage is never perfect.  And there's no simple checklist to make it better.  Do what your mama taught you and just be a decent human being.  Everything else will work itself out.

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