Eating Humble Pie, by Vanessa
Let’s start with a little analogy. You’re driving along and you notice something just isn’t right with your car. Maybe there’s a strange noise. Maybe you notice it’s not shifting right, or you have to really press on the gas to get the thing moving. What do you do? Shrug your shoulders and wait it out? Keep driving until the car goes ka-put on you and you’re stranded along the interstate with smoke pouring out of the hood and some guy that AAA sent is hooking your vehicle up to a tow truck? Or do you take your car to someone who knows cars, who can help fix it up and get you back on the road again?
I’m an Option B kind of person. So let’s say my marriage is a car, and I heard a ping. I felt like something just wasn’t right. I decided to get some help.
I started The Love Dare.
I started this a week ago. It was DAY TWO when The Husband started asking, “What is going on?” “Did you make a resolution and start a week late?” “Do you want something?”
Have you ever had humble pie? ‘Tis bittersweet.
Days 1 through 4 were tough enough on me. Then I hit Day 5. “Love is not rude.” Have you read Proverbs 25:24 lately? No? Let me share it with you:
Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
That was me. I was quarrelsome. I was irritable. It is a wonder that The Husband hadn’t taken up residence on our roof yet.
One of the guiding principles the book gives when it comes to practicing etiquette in your marriage is this: No double standards. Be as considerate to your spouse as you are to strangers and coworkers. Oi. From the time I was 19 until I was about 27 or so, my main job was always receptionist or an administrative assistant. It didn’t matter how a client of one of my bosses treated me. It didn’t matter what kind of day I’d had. My job was to be pleasant to these people. And I was darn good at it.
Why, OH WHY, is it so gosh darn difficult to treat my husband, the man I love more than any other person in this entire world, with that kind of respect? How is it that I can be snapping at him for not taking out the garbage, yet the phone rings and I can answer with a syrupy sweet greeting and all the kindness I possess for whoever is on the other end?
As I continue with this dare and I pay attention to how I speak to The Husband and how I think before speaking at all (NOVEL IDEA!!), I wonder how long I have been like this. We’ve been married just six years, but even one day is hard enough if you’re around an irritable, disagreeable person. (I know, I have a toddler and a preschooler.)
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not nominating myself for Worst Wife in the World or anything. I do know The Husband loves me and there are many things about me that he appreciates. We’re each other’s best friend, we know how to have a good time, and we make a good team. But it never hurts to try to make some improvements, right? I mean, I know I could sit and say, “Well, this is just who I am.” Why would I want to stay the same when there’s the potential to effect positive change?
Especially when it only took TWO DAYS for him to notice a (his word) DRASTIC change.
Last night when we were getting ready to go to bed, I came in to give The Husband a hug. He put his arms around me, and as we parted, he playfully took a hold of my ponytail and we were nose-to-nose.
HIM: You’re doing The Love Dare, aren’t you?
ME: *sigh* I didn’t want to tell you. I also didn’t think you’d notice so quickly.
HIM: When did you start it?
ME: (whining) Last Monday! You started asking questions on the second day! I’m a horrible beast of a woman!
He laughed and assured me otherwise, then he pointed out all the things he’d been noticing and he was so genuinely happy. It made me so genuinely happy.
I also know there are things The Husband can do to improve — no, he is not perfect — and I know there are things he is working on. But I’m the only one who can change ME. Well, me and God. Because I sure as heck can’t do this on my own.
Our Yorkie is a female dog. Here’s to there only being one of them in the house from now on!
Because there’s more to me than two adorable little girls. There’s more to me than diaper changes. I’m more than bottles and sippy cups. More than cribs and high chairs.
I’m a Christian, a woman, a daughter, a sister, a friend.
I am a wife. A role I treasure, and a role I am always trying to improve upon.
And now, a role I am blogging about. That, and the other roles that make up my life. But mostly, being a wife and what comes with that. Consider yourself warned.
Visit Vanessa at http://muchmorethanmommy.wordpress.com.
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