It was steaming hot, delicious, and perfectly sugared and creamed.
He brought it to me at 9:45am, after having gotten up with Eli at 7:30am.
That’s right – he let me sleep in. Til 9:45am.
I know, right? I’m one lucky broad.
I say all this like it doesn’t happen every day.
I’m serious people:
Paul gets up with Eli each morning, letting me sleep in like a pathetic college kid, and waking me up to the half-gone day between 9:30a-10:00a with a steaming cup of coffee Every.Single.Day.
I’m not telling you all this to brag. I mean, I totally could be bragging, and I’d be right to do so. My husband loves me well in these small ways every.single.day.
I’m telling you all this because lately, I’ve been a horrible wife. I’ve been keeping records of his wrongs.
Like, it makes me so mad when he empties and refills the dishwasher, but neglects to wipe down the counters and stove.
It drives me bonkers when, after cooking my favorite meal – asiago cheese egg-in-the-hole bagels with bacon – he doesn’t wipe the table off, and leaves the dishes in the sink instead of taking them to the dishwasher.
Want to know what really drives me mad? When he takes his sweater off at bedtime – so he can comfortably curl up next to me – and throws that sweater on the otherwise clean and clear floor.
And good lord, when I come home from a 10-mile-run during which I enjoyed an hour and a half of uninterrupted “me” time while you solo-parented our child, would you please not ask me how it went? Geez!
You can punch me in the face now.
One night, after a fight, I went to sleep in the other bedroom. Not necessarily because I didn’t want to sleep with him (though I didn’t), but because my mind was racing a million miles a minute, and I needed to get clear. So I googled stupid things like, “What to do when your husband doesn’t appreciate you.”
[Before you go any further, just know that I am keenly aware of the incredible irony of my previous sentence.]
I stumbled across this blog. The author tells about how, when she told her mom she wanted to leave her husband, her mom said, “Do this first: Make two lists. The first should be a list of ‘everything that makes him impossible to live with’.” She assumed the other list should be of his good qualities. But instead, her mom said to write down opposite of her grievances all the ways she responded to them. Then, her mom said tear the sheet in half and throw his side away. She was to reflect on HER side of the paper.
I’ve been thinking about that a lot.
Then, yesterday my husband – the very one who makes me coffee each and every.single.day after letting me sleep in, and who usually takes that morning time to do the one chore I absolutely hate doing (dishes – you know, when he fails to wipe down counters. Ugh.) – shared this blog from Business Insider, declaring that, scientifically speaking anyway, the one thing that practically guarantees marital bliss or destruction is kindness. Are you kind to your spouse? When he invites you into an intimate moment – whether it’s about a bird chirping or snow falling or a funny video or a job frustration or straight-up sex – do you turn toward him, listen to him, affirm him? Or do you turn away? Do you ignore him, or worse, make him feel like he shouldn’t have bothered because you just don’t care?
Turns out, marriages that last are always built and nurtured by two kind and generous people.
And recently, anyway, there’s really only been one kind and generous person in my marriage.
The other one has been a raging bitch.
I’ve held him to these impossible standards and unrealistic expectations. I’ve kept a tally of minor grievances, even making shit up when the list isn’t long enough to match my unreasonable and disproportionate rage, while failing utterly to notice the myriad ways he loves me so well Every.Single.Day.
Whatever list I may be able to make of his “wrongs” – which, I’m sure you’ve noticed, are *just so horrible* (she said, tongue dripping of sarcasm) – the corresponding list of my responses is dastardly.
I wrote him an email at 1:30am this morning to tell him I’ve made the right list. That I’m trying.
That he’s a good lover, a champion friend, and a faithful and long-suffering teacher of generosity and kindness.
That he deserves to be noticed, acknowledged, hugged, kissed, thanked, seen, heard… every.single.day.
I apologized for being a demon woman.
And I told him I would have asked for his forgiveness if I thought for even a second that he hadn’t already forgiven me.
But he had.
And he does.