y’all, I’ve tried.
I’ve tried to be the magical unicorn of marital perfection. unfortunately, after several attempts at the trophy, I wound up more like the wifely version of a gimpy llama. meh. sorry, babe. (xoxo)
but for real… not all of us are unicorns. #amiright
especially this gal.
I’d like to think I’m a pro after 2 1/2 years of marriage *wink* (and honestly our relationship is a beautifully rock-solid & giddy part of my life), but… who am I kidding. mostly what I’ve learned through experience is like… REAL DIFFERENT from what I was told before we got married.
the things I’ve learned in this wonderfully messy hands-on experiment of loving another human being have been contrary to what I thought it would be, unique to what the majority of people told me it would be, and so much freakin’ better than anything I could have imagined.
honestly, most of what I’ve learned through experience, in contrast to what I was informed by countless others that wifehood would be like… is how to be a bad wife.
the things I was told would be expected of me, the things I was told make up the DNA of a “good wife” (whatever that means)… well, I don’t seem to have most of those things. I don’t seem to have the attention to detail, the naturally submissive nature, the perfectly clean home, the desire to let myself disappear into a new role.
it seems that those of us women with strong personalities or deep passions or huge dreams or “other” than the average stereotypical wife are left out of the equation. it seems that, according to tradition & expectation, we’re doomed to be “bad” wives. I’ve seen really phenomenal women shut down because they’re too loud or too independent or too opinionated or too not-feminine or too unemotional or too spontaneous or too whatever-doesn’t-fit-our-perfect-model-of-wifelyness. and while all of our qualities have the potential to overrun us and define us in unhealthy ways, there is no personality trait that is inherently bad or in any way disqualifies a woman from being an outstanding human being… let alone a fantastic wife.
well, if that’s you, then firstly… you’re in good company, because we are all different, and the way we love our husbands SHOULD look different.
and secondly… here is your personal guide for how to be a bad wife. possibly the worst 😉
yup. here’s the proof of just how bad a wife I am.
#1 I STAY MYSELF
even though I’m married (and lovin’ it!), I have kept my own identity as a human & as a woman with God-breathed Divine worthiness & individuality. I’ve kept my likes and dislikes. I’ve held onto my hobbies and grown my talents. I pursue the precise passions that have been stitched into the fabric of my heart with abandon… and I encourage my husband to do the same. though we’re one, we’re also unique. it’s the sweet blend of differences that creates the fabric of our relationship and makes us work. I don’t disappear into the concept of “us”- I bring all of myself into the unity. honestly, that’s what my husband married me for, anyway! he loves these things about me and would never want to be the reason that I abandon the things that make me who I am. I don’t disappear into my wife-ness and let that absorb the rest of my identity, regardless of what ridiculous advice I recieved prior to getting married. I am a wife, but I am more than a wife.
#2 I PREACH TO MY MAN
yup. this girl preaches. in fact I actually promised him I would when I stood in front of one hundred and three people and spoke my marriage vows to him. I promised to preach the gospel to us both, each and every day. while I love that he guides me and leads us with so much wisdom and faith… I also preach truth to us and take my turn in guiding us with the words Jesus gives me to speak over my husband, our marriage, and the journey we’re on together. we both have the opportunity to change the direction of our lives when we use our voices in tandem & trust. while so many people tell women their only place in the home is to follow blindly, I have an active role to work alongside my husband, continuously moving us together towards Jesus, each other, and holy becoming.
#3 I DO THE “WRONG” THING
sometimes I don’t do the dishes (or even make dinner). sometimes I put together the furniture. or move the furniture. sometimes I work while my husband tidies the house. sometimes we do things differently. sometimes that’s the reason we stay sane. sometimes, I remember that to beat myself up over the fact that that’s what works for us is stupid and makes no sense because the point of marriage is unity & beauty, not sexist expectations.
#4 I STAY HONEST
I respect my husband enough to trust that he can handle my femininity. I’m a natural empath with heavy emotions and deep convictions, and I share these with my husband because he places high value on my opinions and my wisdom. I’m honest (but kind) when something he does bugs me because I believe it’s better to be honest and straightforward than to be silent and let bitterness grow. see, we both reserve the right & the privilege to honesty and emoting in our marriage. it’s not nagging or whining when there is a voice full of respect and compassion instead of selfishness and bitterness in the heart. if there’s bitterness… well, perhaps there’s a deeper issue at play than honesty.
#5 I’M HIS ALLY, NOT HIS MAID
we serve one another in love. my role as a wife isn’t simply a maid, or a second mother who cleans up after him and takes care of him when he’s sick (though those are a part of it!). my role as his wife is to be his greatest ally, deepest confidante, and closest friend. the depth of the holiness of that is so much more beautiful than simply a list of chores or a shallow to-do list. isn’t this so much more beautiful? my role as a wife isn’t limited to how much I can complete around the house or how good of a chef I am. it’s found in being the warrior at my husband’s side, the defender at his back, the one who’s not afraid to storm the castle & fight for love alongside him. it’s not found in the fleeting, but rather in the fight.
are you a bad wife, too? you’re in good company 😉