When I first got married I was determined to figure out how to do this “wife” thing well. Desperate to be a good wife, I made note of what ‘good wives’ did.
* She cooks meatloaf.
* She vacuums every day so there are lines in the carpet indicating its cleanliness.
* She sticks love notes in his brief case.
* She buys and wears lingerie.
* She likes wearing lingerie and wears it three times a week.
* She gives him his space when he gets home.
* She hangs up the phone when he walks in the door.
* She learns facts about football and watches games with him.
* She prays for him everyday.
And the list grew and grew.
Eventually, the list in my head of what a good wife does, so completely overwhelmed me I cried. I felt inadequate. I started to shut down.
I assumed the list in my head was in my husband’s head too.
I grew bitter. And in a moment of complete exhaustion, I yelled, “Your expectations are ridiculous!”
To which he replied, “What expectations?”
“The list… the list of hundreds of things I need to do to be a good wife,” I sobbed through the snot and the tears.
His blank stare dumbfounded me. He had no such list.
I had so broadened my scope of things to do, I had diminished my vision of simply loving him.
Do less. Be more.
“Honey,” I said feeling the entanglements of expectations loosening their grip on me, “I can’t do everything good wives seem to do. But I can do three things. So, tell me your top three things and I will do those well.”
After all, I could spend a whole marriage doing a hundred things half-way with a bitter attitude and an overwhelmed spirit.
Or, I could do 3 things whole-heartedly with a smile on my face and love in my heart.
His 3 things were simple… Be an emotionally and spiritually invested mom with our kids, take good care of your body and soul, and keep the house tidy. (Notice it says tidy- not perfectly clean.) That’s it.
He could care less about home cooked meals. He is fine with me hiring someone else to vacuum lines into the carpet. And he’s totally okay if I watch 48 hours mystery while on a different TV he watches the man cub events.
Now, he didn’t say anything about lingerie. But, he could argue that it is a subplot of me taking good care of my body. The problem is I’m much more of a sweatpants kind of girl. Yes, Victoria has a little secret and I haven’t a clue what it is.
But that’s a topic for another day entirely.
For today, I’ve narrowed my scope to three things which has broadened my vision for a great marriage.
I am a three things wife. It’s simple. But simple is good.Leave a Comment