When we first got married I honestly (and with the best intentions) believed in one of the quotes that’s often given as advice to married couples.
“Happy wife, happy life.”
I thought it came from a place of love and encouragement that, as men, we should support and love the ideas of our wives and as a newlywed, I wanted to give Maison the world. The way it was presented seemed a bit off putting but I assumed good intent. I figured that the men who had come before me lived with a good sense of humor. They knew that marriage had its ups and downs but if you put the needs of your wife above your own, it would ultimately serve the marriage. I figured that as a good husband I would “agree” to Maison’s requests as a way of serving her.
I mean we’ve all heard this quote in some variation right? “Don’t forget, in marriage one person is always right and if you are the husband – it’s not you.”
Seemingly harmless. But … for us especially, that proved to be further from the truth. I’m learning that the best way to approach any relationship (especially your marriage) is with honesty. I assumed that when Maison made a request or asked me a question, that I was supposed to bend over backwards to find the best way to make it happen AKA make her happy. I figured that (somewhat selfishly) to both make her happy and avoid arguments (make me happy), the best solution was to find the answer she was looking for in the question she was asking. I never stopped to think that maybe she respected me and loved me enough to value the opinion and knowledge that I brought to the marriage.
This assumption led to a pattern in our marriage …
- She would ask a question.
- I would answer based on what I thought she wanted to hear.
- She would act on that answer.
- I would (unknown to Maison) reinforce the belief that what I was really thinking wasn’t good enough for her (because I had responded based on what I thought she wanted/need and not what I wanted/neeeded) and this would in turn affect my actions.
- We would get in a fight unrelated to the original request.
So. What is the point of all of this?
Well let me explain.
I’m learning *daily* that Maison values my thoughts and opinions. That she actually wants me to voice my opinion. She desires for me to LEAD the marriage and not just bend to make her “happy”.
So, where is the disconnect? Well, in the spirit of 100% transparency, it comes in the form of a lack of self confidence. To be honest, I’m scared that if I share what I’m actually thinking, Maison will be unimpressed or disagree and this means I’m not enough for her. She is ultimately not satisfied with ME as a husband.
Men, I’m speaking to you.
But that’s because I’m speaking to myself.
My wife needs me to stand up for myself. Be confident in who I am and was made to be. She wants me to lovingly lead our marriage. She wants to know that I will protect, love, and serve her above everything.
To put it simply: as a man, I need to stop trying to impress my wife and start honestly communicating my thoughts. This is serving my wife. It makes me uncomfortable to know that I could be wrong or make a mistake. I want Maison to think I’m perfect. But … I’m not … and that’s ok because I don’t think she expects me to be. At the end of the day, I know she married me because of who I am. To her, I am more than enough. And the best/worst part is that I’m the only one getting in my way of seeing that truth.
Yes, I want a happy wife. But part of her happiness is also mine.
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