A Guide To Being The Perfect Wife
If you’ve read my most recent post, then you know I am dedicating this month to talk all about marriage since this month is our one-year wedding anniversary. Well, I’ve got a year under my belt doing this wife thing which basically means I know everything there is to know about being a wife so, I thought I’d share with you how to be the perfect wife. Stick around y’all, you’re in for a real trick or treat – but you get to be the judge of that!
Before I was married, people would make comments like “Marriage is hard” and “Good luck honey. You’re going to need it”, or I’d hear the complete opposite like, “Your first year is amazing! You never fight over anything during the first year because you’re just so in love”. Well, news flash, I’ve found that marriage is indeed hard, and I’ve found that marriage is also a ton of fun!
(Side note - we did talk about expectations before we were married, but when you’re in it to win it, things are much different than when you’re just talking about it and haven’t experienced certain issues. You can’t possibly know what marriage brings until you’re in it, well that’s how I feel about it.)
Now, before you continue to read this post I want to preface that I do believe God created women to naturally be able to do some things better than men such as organizing, cleaning, being detail oriented and what not. I also believe that God created men to be naturally inclined to do things better than women such as keeping the atmosphere light by joking and not taking everything so seriously, being able to provide for the family, etc. I believe that God created men and women to complement each other, which is why I believe marriage is difficult sometimes and why we as women struggle with certain things that men don’t. Whether you and I are on the same page about this or not is irrelevant, but I felt I needed to mention that because it might help you understand the rest of this post and where I am coming from.
Okay moving on…One of the hardest things I’ve struggled with in our first year of marriage, which is something I don’t think anyone tells you when you’re engaged, is that you are likely going to struggle with this idea of being the perfect wife. You probably know exactly what I’m talking about, too. Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a minute. A wife in the 50’s was always done up, popped out babies and was still looking flawless after birthing six of those bad boys. She had a home cooked meal waiting for her husband after a long work day, the house was also spotless, and she served him with a smile and never complained. Later on, in the 60’s things changed a bit and women went to work, but they still were taking care of all of the household responsibilities as they were before. I remember growing up in the 90’s and my mom was a super mom and wife. She always had dinner ready, took us wherever we needed to be, volunteered as “Homeroom Mom” at our school, took care of the laundry, and basically did everything with a smile. So now that I am married, I felt that I was expected to do the same and that it would come easily for me.
To my surprise, our first few months of marriage were hard for me because I thought that my husband expected me to be perfect in the cleaning department, cooking department, laundry department, and hot body department. I thought I was the only who had to do everything all the time. Of course, he offered to help me, but I always refused his help because I truly believed it was my job to do this. I also had big control issues. For example, I think there is a right or wrong way to fold the towels and you don’t just throw them in the closet. You should place them nicely in there because it looks better. Also, there’s a right and wrong way to load the dishwasher. (I KNOW you know what I’m talking about!) So rather than accepting his help, I did it myself because I knew it would be done the “right way” and done at the “right time”.
I also really struggled with feeling guilty when I’d go to spin class or did anything small for myself because I felt like that was taking time away from us. Another thing I felt guilty about was when laundry would pile up or dishes were left out overnight because I couldn’t get to them before bed. I’d wake up early the next day to get it done before work so that Justin would come home to a nice spotless home.
Before I knew it, I was being so bitchy and resentful to him because I was completely burnt out on trying to be the perfect wife. How could he not know what was going on? Is this what being a wife really is? Faking being perfect but slowly dying inside every day because I really feel like a failure? I literally had a breakdown one afternoon and cried to him saying “I just can’t be like your mom or my mom and be this perfect wife. I can’t keep going on like this.”
The guy had no freaking clue what I was talking about, but I couldn’t have asked for a better response from him. He gently sat me down and said, “But I never expected that of you. I do try to help but you always refuse it because you like it done a certain way” and that’s when the bell went off in my little bitty ‘ol brain. My husband does not expect a perfectly put together home, a wife with a full face of makeup who wears a cute outfit every day, or a dinner on the table at 6:00 pm every night. Sure, he would love that and who wouldn’t, but those are the expectations I put on myself, without ever asking him what he wants or needs from me, his wife.
If you asked him what his version of the perfect wife is the number one thing he would say is for me to be happy. For me to go out with my friends and not worry about things at home like laundry because he is willing to help with that. His version of the perfect wife is for me to enjoy my job and move up in the company all while bringing home the bacon because he knows that having a sense of accomplishment is a big part of who I am. A perfect wife to him knows that a house that smells like vanilla and might be messy is far more comfortable than a home that is perfectly put together, but you can’t make anything dirty. My husband’s version of the perfect wife is someone who walks in the door every day after work and plants a big ‘ol kiss on his lips and then asks how his day was. You see, we had different meanings of what the perfect wife is to both of us. All I had to do was ask what that meant to him!
So dear sister, if you want to know what the perfect wife is this is what you must do:
1. Take your perfect wife expectations and throw them as far out of the window as possible.
2. Prepare yourself to have a sit down, calm conversation with your husband. If that means you need to pour yourself a glass of wine and light some candles to calm down, then do it.
3. Bring his favorite beverage to him to show that this will be a civil conversation. I mean, when guys hear “We need to talk” that makes them nervous so calm his nervous down with a drink.
4. Be honest with your man and tell him how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way, all while being calm and not aggressive.
5. Ask your husband what his expectation of a wife is. Be really quiet during his response and actually listen to his words. Do not have any expectations for what his response should be.
6. Continue discussing until common ground is found.
7. Kiss and make up!
The best thing that happened after our conversation is that I realized I already am the perfect wife to my husband. He does appreciate everything I do for him and for us, but I must allow him to help around the house. I also must not be so picky about how things are done. There really isn’t a right or wrong way to do household chores, rather we just do them differently, but still complete the task at hand. Lastly, I had to stop making it so dang hard on myself for no reason at all.
I hope this inspires all the women out there to just have the conversation with their spouse and to stop assuming certain things. We can all be the perfect wife to our spouse, we just have to figure out what that means to our significant other.