The title of today’s post could be slightly off-putting and some could suggest that it is demeaning to women. Or maybe not and I’m reading way too much into my title. Regardless, what does being a “good wife” really mean? And this doesn’t have to be about being a good “wife”… that just happens to be one of MY many titles. This goes for husbands and partners alike!
One of the most important lessons I have learned in life is that first and foremost, I am Allison. I am Allison with or without my husband and children and I was Allison looooong before I met my forever family. I was Allison for 30 years before I became a wife and 29 years before I became a mother, but whether I’m “good” is still up for debate. Let me take you back into time… pre-mommy and wife years. Because yes, I was a mom before I was a wife.
Like most couples, my (then) boyfriend and I had our struggles. Lucky for us, most of our struggles occurred during the beginning of our relationship when we were still trying to learn one another and figure each other out. Before we truly “got” each other. And when I say “struggles”…honestly, that’s an understatement. In reality, we broke up multiple times and the odds were really stacked against us. But then came our unexpected first bundle of joy. Wait… statistically speaking, now the odds were REALLY stacked against us. Even though I was just a girlfriend, I knew well before my pregnancy that in all reality, I wanted to be a wife and not just any wife; an amazing out of this world incredible wife that my hopefully future husband adored and idolized.
Fast forward a little: My then boyfriend claimed I was the sweetest, most funny, kind, and loving woman EVER during my pregnancy. He still dotes on that time, which of course had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was pregnant, with a crappy job, and unmarried…absolutely nothing at all.
No seriously. It really didn’t 🙂 Buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut my husband did propose to me during my 9th month of pregnancy.
We immediately decided we would marry at our church that we found together, Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin. With a motto of “Deliberately Diverse and Fully Inclusive”, they were our church home from day 1. And we immediately were
forced decided to take pre-marital courses with our pastor. And thank goodness we did, because our pastor was instrumental in setting our marriage up for success. What we learned was priceless and in my opinion, makes me not just a good wife, but a good mom as well.
Here are some of the tools we learned and the “golden rules” I try to live by.
- Take a Personality Test: At our first meeting with our above photographed pastor, he sent us home with homework; we were to complete the Myers-Briggs Personality Test. It doesn’t really matter how we scored, but we did learn that we were polar opposite on some pretty fundamental areas. The test suggested that I was an extrovert and my husband was an introvert. Our perceived self’s were also off in comparison to our real self’s. And when I say “our” I really mean my husband. Basically he perceived himself as an extrovert, but really he was just the opposite. This test is still to this day the foundation of our marriage. It’s amazing what a personality test can do for a relationship. It truly allowed me to understand my soon-to-be husband and vice averse. It was like we were literally from 2 different planets prior to this understanding. Post personality test something just “clicked” and we “got” it.
- Communication: Communication is the root of all evil. Think about it… more often than not when you have a disagreement it is due to miscommunication or lack of communication. And if you have different personalities based on your above personality test, communication issues
maywill be amplified. Communication really goes deep… it’s the common understanding about how to raise your children, how you want to celebrate the holidays, what social life means to one another, so on and so forth. Prime example that our pastor used: You go to a wedding. An extrovert is just getting warmed up 3 hours in. An introvert is mentally spent 3 hours in. There has to be a common appreciation, understanding, and compromise; stay a little later than said introvert’s standards and go home a little earlier than said extrovert’s standards. Voila. Hopefully, crisis averted.
- Understanding Your Love Language: This wasn’t actually taught by the church, but it is something that my husband and I stumbled across at some point in our relationship. And again, it was eye opening and really gave us a greater understanding and appreciation of our relationship. The 5 Love Languages is another little “test”. We learned that again, we love VERY differently. Shocker. But all of these differences do not tear us apart, they just allow us to work together instead of against each other. I have to give more in areas I am not as comfortable with and he has to work even harder (happy wife=happy life) in areas that are out of his comfort zone. I promise, this is a game-changer.
- Choose Your Battles: This is definitely easier said than done. I am still a work in progress when it comes to this subject. But yes, it’s a no-brainer!!! Choose your battles. Not all fights are worth fighting for. And at a certain point, just give up. I have given up ALL hope that my husband will ever put the clean dishes from the dishwasher away in the proper location… but hey, at least HE TRIED! Give credit where credit is due.
- The Grass IS NOT Greener: It’s a saying we are so familiar with and yet so many people forget this phrase every. single. day. Water your own lawn before you try to find greener pastures. I shared the intimate details of my parents lawn, here. Fight for what you have and work on all of the above before you abandon ship. Not all marriages are meant to be, but give it a fighting chance!
Through thick and thin, my husband and I made it through the birth of our first son, our engagement, our wedding, and now our second son. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that I am his rock and he is for sure mine. He’s my best friend, my lover, my keeper, my chill pill, and my inspirer (pretend it’s a word to keep up with the “er” theme). And I feel confident in saying, he adores and idolizes me.
Today is not to rub my happiness in anyone’s face, because let’s face it (no pun intended), relationships are work! I truly believe that while yes, my main role and duty is mommy, I wouldn’t be what I am today without being a “good wife”. And in MY world (quite possibly only my world), being a good wife goes hand in hand with being a good mom.
What does being a “good wife” mean to you?