You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. – Matthew 7:5
I’ve always tried (and hoped) to cultivate honesty in my relationships and been (cautiously) prepared to accept that there are times when this will (seemingly) turn round and bite me in the ass.
Tonight was one of those nights.
I was explaining to my dear best friend about a gripe Husby and I were having and she offered to come and bang our heads together for always bickering. She even suggested (when I politely declined her offer) that had she been present, it would have been less like offering an opinion, more like what would’ve happened.
She then pinged me (for my enjoyment and education, but mainly for my education) this article about How to be a Lonely, Frustrated, Angry, Overwhelmed, Worried Wife
I’ll spare you the list of them she charged me with, but she did so with incredible bluntness (and, in all probability, no small degree of courage…that or she knows I’m prepared to listen to the painful, raw, truth from her because our friendship is *that* good) and lots of what she said hit very close to the bone.
Her: If you insist on carrying the weight of responsibility for everything, how is he ever going to TAKE responsibility? It has to start with one of you.
Me: But what if I relinquish it and NEITHER of us takes it?
Her: The apocalypse will happen.
Me: I KNOW!
At which point I got told in no uncertain terms to stop being silly. Points were also made about Husby being meant to be HEAD OF THE HOUSEHOLD (made in caps, at length), me having agreed to this and signed up to it and yes, even though this might be ‘for worse, for poorer and in sickness’ I should still be damn well doing it cheerfully. Or at least making an effort to.
Meanwhile I made ineffective and disingenuous arguments trying to put myself in a better light and suggest that I do try, I do make an effort and I do not do many of the things I was charged with, at least, not often. Or not frequently, anyway.
I then showed Husby the list.
He laughed incredulously at first and (thankfully) said that I didn’t do the “outrageous” ones, but that I did do 10.
I looked at #10 on the list. “Be grumpy, unhappy and negative about everything. NO smiling! Absolutely no gratitude!”
Me: I DON’T do that! I often thank you for things. And I’m not always grumpy and negative.
Husby: No, not number 10 – you do 10 of the things on the list.
interrogation gentle questioning, he got it down to 7 which I sort of do and three which I do do.
The three he holds me most guilty of are
1.Take charge of the marriage and family as much as possible. Boss your husband around and be sure to tell him how to do everything the right way – YOURS! Be as tyrannical as you possibly can.
2.Take on ALL the weight of the responsibility of the marriage and family until you stagger beneath the load and refuse any help your husband offers to you. Though I utterly refute that I refuse his help, to which he did agree.
73.Tell your husband to do something urgently and then do it yourself before he can get to it.
The sad fact is, much as I’d like to deny it, those are probably fairly true.
They’re shortly followed up by
60. Berate him like he is a naughty little boy and you are his very angry mother. I have tried consistently hard not to do this, and evidently, have consistently failed. Husby has a very ‘first son’ relationship with his Mother and I only ever wanted to be ‘Wife’. Sadly when you become ‘Wife’, no-one gives you a manual explaining ‘How to get your husband to Do Things’. Or the sequels ‘How to manage your feelings when your husband doesn’t Do Things’ and ‘A comprehensive explanation of why your husband will only Do Things to Keep You Happy, not because he recognises that Things Need Doing and takes it upon himself to do them’.
11. Keep yourself sleep deprived and do not do ANYTHING nice for yourself. You want to feel as deprived, exhausted and unkempt as possible to get the maximum effect on your marriage. Yes, I’m still utterly terrible at going to bed at a reasonable hour, but not on purpose to make myself miserable. I couldn’t tell you why I do do it though. Lack of self-will to get there early I guess. And the internet. I do like the internet of an evening, and there’s always more to do…
12. Tell your husband his ideas are ridiculous and worthless. Make fun of him in front of other people to really stomp him into the ground. This is something he’s brought up before (to my shame, a number of times) and I have tried hard to stop and even Husby had to admit I’ve succeeded here. Now to try not to gripe that he’s chosen that one. Nope, – didn’t manage not to gripe.
So alongside wishing fervently that there was an equivalent blog list somewhere with ’73 ways to be a whiney, passive-aggressive, hen-pecked husband’ from which I could point out to him some of the things I struggle with most about Husby, I suppose I need to pay close attention to these. After all (much as it frustrates me) the only person I have the right and ability to control is myself. So I guess I’d better make a start on it.
Wish me luck!
And if you (assuming you’re a wife) look at the list and manage to find fewer than three solid problems with your wifelidom, I salute you. If you find three or more, I hereby invite you to join me in attempting to overcome these nasty, relationship-buggering-up attributes.
Though given my readership, I fully expect most of the wifely types out there to be in the former camp of shiny goodness. Be ready with my welcome pack when I make it in there with you…