I absolutely adore my husband. He's an amazing father. He's a great provider that never lets us go without. He's loving. He's funny. He's smokin' fine. He's Mr. Wonderful. Has he always been? Smokin' fine, yes.
We've been married for 5 years now and are raising two awesome kids together. We bought our first house together. We have two dogs together. We're doing this whole marriage thing the best we can and so far were doing a pretty darn good job. Our bills are paid. Our kids like us. Our dogs like us. Even our cat likes us (and that was quite a feat being that she came into the relationship with me and is...well...a cat). So, to me, that's a success in itself. HOWEVER, we did have our issues at first. I realized there were a lot of things that annoyed me and I was spending far too much time feeling disdainful in my marriage.
My husband needed some training.
So naturally, I did what any good wife would do...I made a list of his faults and the things I wanted him to change and I got to work on my game plan to fix him. Now, these weren't major things. In fact, my BIGGEST issue was that he is a super messy sleeper and when he gets out of bed he slings the covers and sheets everywhere and that drove me nuts....I'm a little OCD...Ive accepted and embrace that about myself.
Wanna see my list? Okay, here goes:
- The messy bed.
- There was almost always some type of beverage container on the table.
- There were these awful shorts with holes all over that he was obsessed with and I hated.
- He cooked meals that I didn't like.
- He got undressed and left his clothes on the floor.
- He would get our daughter dressed and she wouldn't match.
- He would make plans for us without consulting me first.
- He would buy the 'wrong' brand of toilet paper...or cheese...or whatever.
- He would try to get into 'debates' with me about politics and/or beliefs.
To get started, anytime he did one of those things I didn't like, I would nag and complain. He'd get out of bed and throw the covers and I would loudly sigh and say "You KNOW I hate when you do that, why can't you just sleep neatly?!" Or I would pick up the glasses and and wave it in his face saying "Look! Another glass you left out!" To my utter shock...that annoyed him. Crazy, I know! I soon realized that this approach wasn't exactly working. SO, I decided that maybe I should do a little reading and go for a biblical approach instead. So I prayed. I prayed for God to fix him. I prayed that he would see the error of his ways. I prayed that he would 'get better'.
A few mornings later as I was making my bed up to military perfection I had a bit of an epiphany. "Maybe it's ME...maybe I'M the one who could make a few changes..." So I went about my day cleaning up, doing laundry, taking care of the baby, you know, normal stuff. But this day I decided I'm just going to keep my mouth shut. So I did. When he got home that night and sat down with a glass of wine and then left the glass on the coffee table and went to bed I cleaned it up without complaining. And when he left his clothes on the floor before he messily climbed into bed I picked them up and put them in the laundry. This crazy thing happened...I realized that I wasn't as annoyed to do those things. But surely the rest of my list still needed to be tackled so I looked it over and decided I would keep an open mind and open heart as I did so.
- The messy bed- My hardworking husband isn't sleeping well so he tosses and turns and then gets up early.
- The glasses- He worked hard again today and wanted to sit down to decompress.
- The holey shorts- They just so happen to be comfortable and why shouldn't he be comfortable at 4AM?
- Meals I didn't like- My husband cooked our family dinner. Which also means my husband made it possible for us to have groceries to cook said dinner. Maybe I should branch out a little and stop eating like a toddler. Hey, this pasta is actually pretty good...
- The clothes on the floor- He's tired, Caitlin, just pick up the clothes. Does it take that much effort to just pick up after him a little? He does make it possible for you to stay home with your daughter after all...
- Mismatched daughter- My loving husband is not only spending time with our daughter and nurturing a relationship with her, he's nurturing her independence and allowing her to have some creative freedom. She is dressed. She would be adorable in a trash bag. Its not like she's going to a ball like that. Oh yea...his income allowed me to purchase those clothes. I could have laid something out and didn't. She is clean and fed.
- Plans without consulting- My husband wants to spend time with me. He wanted to surprise me with a fun outing. He enjoys my company and wants to have me around. He wants to make me happy.
- 'Wrong' brands- Caitlin, you're kind of a control freak. You don't necessarily HAVE to have the toilet paper with the aloe...he did get the soft stuff and it all does the same job. Relax.
- Debates- My husband is trying to communicate with me. He actually wants to get into my brain and know what I think and why I think it. He wants me to have a strong belief system and be able to support why I have it. He wants to GET TO KNOW ME BETTER.
That hit me like a freight train. I suddenly had so much appreciation for him and our relationship and the things he does. Since that light bulb came on in my head and more importantly in my heart, out marriage has thrived. Of course we still needed to get on the same page about some things but we had the tools to do so. I continued to pick up after him without complaint and make the bed without nagging. He would come home to a clean house which is what made him happy and I did my very best to keep an open heart and show appreciation for what he did instead of complain about things that really weren't that important. When he was able to come home to my support and have me take some of his stresses from him he began to sleep better...which meant he wasn't tossing and turning and slinging covers everywhere. Which made me happy. Everything began to fall into place once I got into my biblical role as a wife.
We go to counseling. We go to marital classes and conferences. We continually work on our marriage because its a living thing. We nurture it and grow it. Now, we RARELY 'fight'. We talk, we listen, we try to fix it before its a problem. We are a team instead of two individuals.
So how do you train your husband? You train yourself to be an amazing wife.