Monday, June 27, 2011

Modern Translation: The Awesome Wife’s Guide (Rule #9)

(This is the 10th post of this series. To read the entire series, click on the label to the left that reads "Modern Translation Series.")

* Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him.

I feel like Carrie Bradshaw right now. I always found it ironic that Carrie started each article she wrote with a question and then by chance her life that week played out into the perfect talking points to answer said question. I don't think you could have scripted a more perfect scene to give me something to write about today than what happened to me this morning. (Er, happened by me rather.)

My parents have a third vehicle, a pick-up truck, that we are using while working on the new deck. It's been parked at our house for a couple weeks now, over to the side of our driveway. At some point over the weekend the truck got moved to the back of our driveway and in the direct line of fire for my Jeep pulling out of the garage. 

Act One: 

Long gravel driveway that winds uphill towards a large double-bay garage. It's sunny & slightly humid for 8:15 am. A woman with a serious case of the Monday's begrudgingly walks out of the house and into the garage. The garage door opens - SCENE:

("Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey blares on the radio and out the open sunroof of a Jeep.)

Woman: "JUST A SMALL TOWN GIRL..." (beats hands on steering wheel like a drum kit)

She thinks to herself... (internal monologue) "Awesome Monday morning song! Maybe today won't suck after all... maybe today will ROCK!"

Woman: "LIVING IN A LO..." (Loud THUD sound with a slight metal undertone.)

Woman flinches because her headache has, instantly, once again risen from the pain scale # 4 she has been dealing with since Friday afternoon back up to an 8. 

She realizes what has just happened and says, out loud, "Daddys gonna kill Ralphie!"

End Scene

I don't know that I can great my husband with a warm smile today. Today does not rock. Today sucks.

I called him to report the accident. His response was calm; he is almost always calm. I received a short but potent lecture along the lines of "and this is why we always look behind us" that made me feel like a 16 year old again. (Which, under any other circumstance, I might embrace.) It was the perfect jump start to a downwardly spiraling morale. 

A good 15 minutes were then spent metaphorically "beating" myself up. It's what we good perfectionists that are too hard on ourselves do. Then I sat down to write up today's Modern Translations post and seriously, could today's topic be any worse given how much I've just disappointed myself and my husband? How can I write about pleasing him when I've just majorly displeased him?

As if he read my mind, I then received the following text message from the Hubs: "Sorry for the reaction. It's okay, I'm not disappointed. Crap happens. We will fix it and move on."

Unfortunately and thankfully, I find it much harder to please myself than my husband. 

About a year ago my husband came home from a night out with the guys much earlier than I was expecting. He had gotten a speed ticketing. For about 1/3 of a second I thought about giving him a lecture, until I saw his face. A lecture was not needed, he had already given himself one. I didn't say one negative word about that ticket and still haven't. He punished himself enough, I could tell. 

I know exactly why my husband is so hard on himself but I have no clue why I set such high expectations for myself. We are very fortunate to have each other because I think we would both be big hot messes of stress, frustration and unhappiness if we didn't. 

One of my jobs as his wife (and likewise for him) is to not only work to make him pleased with me, but pleased with himself as well. When he cuts a board too short, scratches a freshly painted wall moving furniture, rips a hole in his pants or overcooks the pork loin, my job is to tell him it's okay and for the first time in my life, it honestly is okay with me. In any other relationship I've had in my life these things wouldn't have been okay. I've b*t#hed out ex-boyfriends for far less in the past. I don't know if that is a sign of maturity or love, but I am so glad to be in this place now.  

I think the world of my husband and I wish he could see himself through my eyes. I recognized early on this role that we fill for each other- the cheerleading squad, biggest fan role, so I made it a goal of mine to tell him each and everyday just how awesome he is... at least until the day he believes me, and maybe a little longer. I think I am starting to see myself as he does and it's a much prettier sight than what I see with my own eyes. 

I am so grateful to have a husband who supports & loves me, and who makes me calm down, take a breath and trust him that the mistakes I make are okay and not worth beating myself up over.

Dear 1950's Housewife, 

I respect my husband, I believe in him and I trust him, perhaps that is why I find your rules easy to digest. It is because he shows me in so many ways that he respects and believes in me that I find them easy to live by. I take my role as his biggest fan very seriously too. 

In my wedding vows to my husband I said "I believe in you and I believe in us." My husband is helping me to believe in myself too, which I desperately, desperately needed. I think you were a big believer in the philosophy "you get what you give," which is why you worked so hard on being what your husband needed. It's unfortunate that some relationships aren't equal and some wives or husbands give without getting back. We are very, very lucky ladies to have husbands that fulfill our lives! 

Have a pleasant day, 

The 2010's Housewife

1 comment:

  1. This is an easy one for me. I greet Brian at the door everyday, and most often than not with a smile and 'how was your day'. Asking him how his day was is very important for us. He works in mental health and as you can imagine some days are more taxing that others and he needs to be able to debreif. I am so glad that he can do that with me and know that I'll support him. We have very good friends of ours who the wife worked with Brian and her husband didn't understand that at all. Luckily she could come to us after a bad day. My mum now works there too and she does the same, without a partner, she needs to come to someone who understands.
    Sorry I digressed there for a touch.
    The only times I don't great him with a smile are if I've had such a terrible day that I just can't, but on those days i do my best, and thankfully those are few and far between.
    Brian is a worrier. I'm more optimistic and know that what will be will be.
    Recently there was a big upheaval with his work that his was not impressed with at all, to the point that after much discussion he told them that if they did what they had planned then he would be looking elsewhere. He believed that they didn't value him at all. I reminded him of certain events and discussions that he had had with various members of management that proved that they did value him. I don't think he completely believed it but it did help. In the end the company did make things fairer and he's much happier. They showed that they valued him and he's staying on.
    The point I'm trying to make is I nurtured him through those tough times. I supported his displeasure with his work, gave him a place to let it all out, and would support his leaving if it had come to that, but going back to work myself if needed.
    We are a partnership and need to work as such.