I really want to be a good wife. You know, the supportive, stalwart wife that anticipates her husbands needs, comforts him in times of distress, always lends a listening ear, and never unnecessarily interferes with his life. I want to be the kind of wife that plays and laughs and somehow maintains a sense of humor while raising children. If on top of all this my husband could come home to an immaculate apartment with the appetizing aroma of a lovely homemade dinner wafting heavily in the air, the dry cleaning and laundry all ready and done, the light-bulbs replaced, the bills paid, and the table set, well, I’d like that too.
I don’t know that I’ve ever in my life met a woman like that, but I have a very specific vision of how I want this to go down. That is the person I want to be. The kind where people look at my husband and go, “Wow. Now I know why you got married at age 20,” and, “Do I smell freshly baked chocolate chip cookies?”
Full disclosure: I am very much not this woman and the most that people can say when they look at Oliver is, “Did she kidnap you? Was it blackmail? You don’t have to live like this.”
It’s hard to imagine that wanting to be a better wife could be a bad thing. It sounds like such a noble thing. “Oh I just wish I could be more loving to my man.”
Yeah, well. Maybe.
I was talking to a good friend who has been struggling lately and shares the same desire. Wants to be a better person, wife, and eventually, mother. Who doesn’t want that? In my attempt to support her I suggested that one of the things that helps me make better choices is to remember the kind of person that I hope to become.
“That is actually one of the things that has been holding me back. I get so focused on who I want to be that I get frustrated with who I am currently and I start making poor choices because I’m not comfortable with who I am.”
Whoa. We’ve got like five light-bulbs going off in my head now. Could that be it? Could that be why I’ve been spinning my wheels making the same mistakes with my husband?
Oh most definitely. During the day I feel full of peace. I take Zoe to the park and read books with inspiring messages about what it means to create a loving home and be a supportive wife and I feel so zen and capable of anything. Then the minute my husband gets home and the slightest bit of stress is introduced into my happy zone, I snap and the dream of becoming that woman evaporates before my eyes like so much hot steam. Screw this. I’m never going to be that person. This is too difficult. I give up.
What’s the truth here?
I am probably never going to be superwoman. Sorry, Oliver. I am also not the worst wife on the planet. I mean shoot, let’s and a little grey area to this black and white. The truth is that right now I’m probably a pretty average wife. There’s some variance from day-to-day, but mostly in this respect I am average. That’s okay. Right now I get to be an average wife. It’s the next unavoidable step on the path to becoming the slightly-more-loving-wife. And that is all I want to be. Slightly more loving tomorrow than today and slightly more loving next year than this year.