The other night as my husband was getting ready for bed, I heard him mumble at me from the bathroom, “you’re a good wife, but not a good roommate.” By prefacing his criticism with a compliment, he was trying to more-delicately let me know he didn’t appreciate the chunks of toothpaste and hair dye I had left all over the bathroom sink. And, when it comes to the good-wife part, he was certainly lying.
As a sat in bed, perusing social media, half-listening, and wearing a fleece yoda onsie, I couldn’t deny the truth: I’m kinda a crappy wife.
And, like a lot of wives, my mediocre wife status isn’t because I have nothing more to give after taking care of the kids. I could probably take five minutes out of my day to shave my legs and take six seconds to smile and reciprocate a hug, a real hug, when he walks through the door. I could take seven minutes at the grocery deli to order the annoyingly specific food he eats and even text him something …ummm… personal that would make his day in twenty seconds flat. I could even intentionally make a 6pm dirty-dish-check a habit just because it means something to my husband who also works 17 hours a day but just, unlike me, never complains. And, possibly most importantly, I could get off my damn phone at night and strike up meaningful unmmm…. conversation.
No, the reason I’ve been a less-than-intentional wife lately is because I take this guy for granted because we took some vows and had some kids and built a life together, so duh- niether one of us is going anywhere. And so it is with couples everywhere. (Not usually the couples in couples therapy, admittedly. Usually the real, no-excuses catalyst for the withdrawal-of-relationship-effort is resentment and/or depression which is exacerbated by resentment.)
So. This Father’s Day I’m going to give this man a present he really wants but has probably resigned himself to never getting: His wife’s renewed effort and consideration in little, every-day ways. That’s it. It’s not expensive and it’s not actually that difficult.
And, it needs to be said since this is how it is with many men and not just my husband, when I actually make an effort in these little ways, the benefits come back to me ten-fold with his positivity, helpful attitude, and affection.
Just something to think about, from the therapist who is cutting this post short to go shave her damn legs for once this week.
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