Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To Be The Best Wife My Husband Could Ever Dream Of

Yesterday I was in a meeting and all the participants were giving a brief life story to the group. Something one of the guys said caught my ear and I've been mulling over it ever since. He was talking about his family, his wife and three boys. He said:

It's my goal (and my wife knows this) to make it so that my wife really thinks that I am the best possible husband she could possibly find.

You know... that's the first time I've heard someone say that. I've heard a lot of people say they think their spouse is the best husband or wife ever. I've heard a lot of people talk about wanting to be a good spouse. Isaac and I spend a lot of time talking about how to keep a strong marriage. I've never really heard this particular goal, though.

I've been thinking about it since then, and one thing that makes it so striking is that this goal has absolutely no expectations of the spouse, only of himself. When I hear him say it I of course think it's super sweet and his wife is probably so happy to have such a sweet husband... but really.... she could still be a completely and obviously flawed individual that isn't building into their marriage. His goal to be such a great husband is not dependant on what a great wife she is... it's just his desire to love her that much.

That's pretty tough. It's also incredibly beautiful.

What would change if that were my goal as a wife? To make it so that my husband can't imagine a better wife. What would that look like?

My marriage has always been super important to me, but somehow this particular way of saying it is really challenging to me.

There is a danger, of course, of putting all of your value and worth in your spouse's opinion of you. That's NOT the point of this. It could be that your spouse is never satisfied... in fact that's nearly guaranteed because we're humans expecting perfection and ending up with... other humans. The point is to love my spouse well.

I think I may have mentioned on here before Judah was born that Isaac and I read an article that talked about the emotional effect of a newborn on a woman.... and saying it was a similar emotional attachment to a woman having an affair.

How sad is that? A child, the culmination of the love between the parents of the child... can end up being a similar emotional distraction that an affair is.

Picture 444
I see why that is. A newborn is at times all-consuming in their dependence, and in the amount of energy and time they take. I LOVE my baby boy. I breathe in his scent, I think about him when I'm away from him, and I exert so much energy just to keep him happy and make him smile. When he's sad it breaks my heart, and when he's smiley and content I feel satisfied. If you read all of that out of context it really could sound like an affair.

All that said, I think it's extra important post-baby to work to connect with my hubby. The week after Valentines Day we got our first date without Judah with us. It's tough to get those in, even though we have fantastic roommate babysitters, because while I'm pumping most of the week at work I want to feed him myself as much as possible to keep up my supply and his familiarity with me (after two days of Isaac watching him in the day, Judah often comes close to refusing to eat from me). In any case, that date was wonderful. We went out for a nice meal (appetizers AND dessert - big meal for this seminary couple!), talked politics, went on a walk, held hands, swung on swings in an empty park, and generally just enjoyed being together.

I love those times, and we do need to try to keep going on dates despite the feeding dilemma. However, even when we're not on a sweet date alone, how can I be the best wife Isaac could dream of in this period of life where we're passing Judah back and forth and trying to get through the weeks and pay the bills?


junglewife said...

What a great goal. And I love that it makes me focused on me and my flaws rather than my husband's flaws.

I totally agree about the baby thing. I have NEVER understood the people that say, "Our marriage is in trouble, so we decided to have a baby in hopes that it would bring us closer together." Yikes!

Our lives definitely go through seasons. And in the season of having a newborn, you definitely have to devote more time to that little life than you will when he is older. But if you are focused on having a good marriage (and I can tell by what you write that you are!) then you recognize that, and do what you can, despite limited time/resources, to strengthen your marriage in this season of life.

Rach said...

Great reminder! I think a baby can pull a couple closer together or further apart, like almost any big change in life. You just have to be cautious to make sure it's the former, not the latter. I also feel like a sense of humor gets Jason and I reallyyyyy far. Like when we wake up to find our son lying horizontally between us taking up as much of our king size bed as possible....sometimes you just have to laugh. We love laughing at Judah together. :)

AHLondon said...

Well done, Kacie. I cannot stress enough how important this is. I'd comment more here, but I might have mentioned it once, or twice...or more. BTW, @Rach, do all kids know how to turn sideways in their parents beds?! They don't do it in their own. So why do I get heels in my ears? And my mom's comment that it is payback isn't an explanation.