we haven’t blogged in a while and there hasn’t been any particular reason. i realized the other day that kyle blogged about what he has learnt since become a husband and i never shared my learning experiences- so here it goes.
i don’t have a cute summarized ten points, in fact i only have six and that is not because i feel that i am smarter or better at doing the spouse thing than kyle is, it’s just i tend to categorize more. by no means do i feel i have figured men out or how to be the perfect wife, i’m just going through life day by day and trying to be the best wife i can be.
one.be explicit. no one is a mind reader, especially men towards women so if you would like something done be straight forward with your words. don’t belittle but be clear with your words. i realized early on that my version of ‘clean the kitchen’ did not translate to my expectations of a cleaned kitchen. kyle cleaned it, but what i really meant was scrub the sink, stove and counter tops as well as putting the dishes in the dishwasher. little things like that can cause fights because expectations haven’t been clearly stated.
two. respect before love. i had been told prior to marriage that men need to be respected more than they need to be loved; easy enough i thought. i quickly learnt that i lacked a proper understanding of how to respect my husband. as kyle mentioned in his post, husbands are called to be leaders, as a result of that, wives we are called to support them, respect them. for me that means, constantly encouraging, appreciating the hard work and the sacrifices that he makes- even on the days when i don’t feel it i challenge myself to find at least one thing, praising him publicly and only correcting privately. one of the worst ways i have heard to disrespect kyle (or men in general) is to criticize them in public- in front of friends or family, save it for later.
three. learning his language. attached to respecting him is learning his love language. it is easier to show love through the way we feel love, however, if our spouse feels love differently then we need to adjust that. kyle feels loved through physical touch yet i find it through words of affirmation or even acts of service by loving him how i feel loved the feelings are not going to be reciprocated. learn your husband and learn how to love him, it’s part of respecting him and who he is as a person.
four. his family. i love family stories and could listen for hours. one night kyle and i got talking about childhood memories and summer traditions. i noticed subtle differences in how he was raised, the way things were done around home and what the expectations were. these early foundations that were laid are the basis for some of his habits and the decision making process he has now. that small epiphany released a sense of peace in me and stopped my desire to change his thinking to be like mine, we were raised differently, not one better than the other, just different and different is good, it provides another perspective. his stories are important to who he is- listen.
five. relax. my type a personality doesn’t always serve me the best with a husband who is type b and very go-with-the-flow. i have a tendency to assume that i know how to do it faster, better, quicker, cleaner etc. sometimes my way is more efficient but a lot of the time it does not matter. relax and be thankful he is willing to help because if i were to constantly be re-doing or correcting everything kyle did, he will eventually stop helping. pick your battles because in the grand scheme of things how a towel is folded does not matter.
six. shoulder to shoulder. kyle has always done hockey pool’s and i’ve always had zero interest; i like hockey, i’ll watch hockey but pool’s were out. i think of quality time as face-to-face yet i’ve found some of our best adventures and conversations are done side-by-side, that’s when he’s most engaged. [semi] against my will i was put into a hockey pool for playoffs and the joy and laughter that it has created is unimaginable. men enjoy doing things together, shoulder to shoulder; find out his interests and give some of them a try, even if you don’t like them, the fact that you tried will make him happy and show that you care about what he cares about, which comes back to respect.
in the end of it all, remember that your spouse is a good willed person and that you are on the same team [not easy mid-argument] fighting for the same thing, a great marriage.