Monday, March 23, 2009

Don't shoot the messenger

So I've got alot on my mind, and not alot of time to put it all down. Bear with me.

Mark and I have a strong relationship. Rock solid. But rock solid doesn't mean it's always happy. It doesn't mean it's free from painful times. Last week was just such a time for us.

I know what I am going to say is not a popular way to see married life. But for me, it is what my psyche and soul can settle comfortably into.

My husband needs to be put back on the list. He needs to be my number one priority. He cannot be neglected or sidelined simply because he can take care of himself, or because he doesn't complain. He needs to be first in my life. This has not been the case lately.

I know that I am a really good mother. I have moments of doubt, but I know it because I try damn hard to be so. But I don't try so hard at being a wife. I don't put a tenth of the effort into it as I do to being a mother. Why?

Because Lily NEEDS me so much. She needs and depends on me for survival. But in a way, so does Mark. I am his lifeline, his partner, his friend. I even work at my friendships. Why wouldn't I work at my relationship?

Because it's easier not to. Because it takes time I don't have. Because I am tired. Yes, all of those are true... but in neglecting him I am neglecting the cornerstone of our household. I am neglecting the foundation of our family. Without him, we crumble.

Yes, I know that's soooo not women are taught in our society. We are taught that marriage is a partnership, it's 50/50. But In doing so, we deny some of the basic truths of our genders. Women are more nurturing. Women can multi-task. Women think with their soul and hearts and spirits as well as their minds. Women can run a household, nurture their children, be a good citizen, make time for their friends, and take care of their man. Men can think logically and not let emotion dictate decision making. They can make definitive decisions. They are analytical and driven. They want to provide and protect.

Now I am not saying that some of these traits don't cross gender lines. Many of them do, and can. But our strength as women lies in our softness, our kindess, our nurturing tendencies. When we are competing for power in our relationship, we defeat ourselves. When we are trying to maintain ALL of the power, we are defeating our man. And no defeated man is happy, I can tell you that. I speak from experience.

I am a nag. I am unkind. I snap. I wrestle for power. This comes naturally to me, whether it is something I have been taught or personality.

But when I do that, I hurt my husband. I anger him. I defeat him. And then he is unhappy. And if he is unhappy, so am I.

And damnitt, I want to be happy!!!! I want him to be happy!!!!

So, I have been attempting, to the best of my ability, to humble myself. To think of Mark FIRST. To think of him as a person, not just my husband. As my friend. As my great love. To give freely to him without worrying if I am giving up control. To surrender to the role that seems to echo soundly with my concience. I am a wife. I run this household. I stay home because he provides. And I love him, dearly.

Now don't get me wrong. I am no June Cleaver. But I am striving at every point in my day, to think about something I can do for Mark. Make him tea. Make him lunch. Tell him I love him. Clean the house, cook a meal, do the laundry- without complaint or calling attention to it.

For the rest of my life, this man is my companion. After the babies are gone, after I am old and wrinkled. I am his, he is mine. I want to cultivate the kind of love story my children will be proud to tell. No, this way is not the popular way. It has nothing to do with feminism...but it has everything to do with love. It has everything to do with happiness. And I'll take that over power any day.