Please read this title in jest. I do have a wacky sense of humor and am a self-proclaimed exaggerator. But for the more literal folks, here is an introductory disclosure – my marriage isn’t really in danger, and I am not headed for separation or divorce. I haven’t googled local divorce lawyers yet, but I would be less than truthful if I didn’t admit to an occasional daydream consisting of a Katie Holmes-executed escape directly into the strong arms of an extremely good-looking billionaire with a secret room chock full of riding crops and 24 hour maid service (Fifty Shades reference).
I love my husband, despite his own fifty shades of complicatedness. He is a real-life human with both annoying flaws and endearing qualities, and I have fallen in love with both. For every extraordinary skill he possesses, he has a personality quirk that makes my eyes twitch. He is well aware of his ability to drive me insane and does it without a second thought. I know exactly what sends him into an angry spiral of incessant ranting and I proceed without a moment’s hesitation. We are the textbook definition of marriage.
I have practically no complaints about my husband as a father. He still tries to ‘seek’ out my daughter every night after a grueling day at work, pretending not to notice her extensive tangled mess of hair peeking out of the shoe-box sized basket she has squeezed half of her body into to hide. He always allows Emma, age 3, to help him with various projects, knowing full well that now this already nightmarish project will take twice as long since she is involved. He is definitely a great dad.
Although I rarely complain about his parenting, I feel as though I still have plenty of grievances that I voice. I will spare you the lengthy list, but if we compared notes, I am sure we would have a lot of the same grumbles. His relentless clutter results in piles of his ‘stuff’ everywhere. He never does any item on my to-do list in either the order I would like it done or in the speed I request. He tells me he is out of deodorant as soon as I arrive home with ten bags from the grocery store. He seems ill-equipped to make a doctor’s appointment for himself. He sporadically leaves the seat up.
I imagine these are typical husband antics, albeit a bit more reminiscent of Homer J. Simpson than your spouse perhaps (I am a total Marge by the way). Most of the gripes I hear about husbands (or read about) are quite comparable and cause similar agony and frustration. I am not alone in my aggravation. Ask a woman if she ever wanted to kick her man in the shins while wearing metal cleats and you will likely get a heck yes. I would be suspicious of any woman who said no. So for all of the other women and wives and girlfriends out there who can relate to my plight of being driven crazy by your man, and I am betting there is a boat-load, I wanted to share my glimmer of hope with you.
Today, out of the sheer blue, my husband called to ask about dinner. Even though it is a Friday, I was planning on cooking because, according to my often skewed memory, I cook every single night of my life. I told him the menu. He asked if that was what I wanted to eat or if there was something special he could pick up for me. Was this man really asking about what I desired? Naturally, I was confused by his interest/concern/consideration. Unable to respond to his question, silence loomed. After a moment or two, I was told to put the steak in the fridge and he would take care of dinner. He would select the restaurant, choose my entrée and arrive with food in less than thirty minutes. I hung up the phone and smiled, half tempted to check the house for hidden cameras. I didn’t have to cook. The timing of his sweet gesture was perfect.
You might have the type of husband who does this thoughtful gesture on a regular basis, but I do not. I have a modern day caveman at home. “He want food now.” He isn’t demanding about it and he always thanks me for any meal I serve, but he isn’t cooking or cleaning up the dishes. He would gladly give his life to protect me and our daughter, but he does not write me romantic poems or show up with Gerber daisy bouquets ‘just because’. My bouquet came in the form of a delicious veggie panini slathered with goat cheese, gratefully eaten by me on a Friday night. It was just as loving and just as beautiful as any poem. So the lesson learned is if my husband can display consideration, even if in the form of a sandwich, there is hope for the entire male species. My heart is still swooning.
This is an original post for Jersey Moms Blog.