"Love is a verb," my vet tells me soulfully as we hold down my dog for his shots. "Marriage is a choice you make every day," I respond while breaking up dog biscuits.
My dog's vet and I grew up on the same street and have been catching up on all the breakups among our now-grown neighbourhood friends.
There aren't too many good role models of healthy marriages for our kids to see on TV and in the movies. We are all they have, and we are pretty boring. Marriage isn't all fireworks and thrills like on TV.
Coincidentally, I read this (sappy but lovely) blog post entitled "When you think your love life is boring". Writer Lisa-Jo Baker details how her husband will never run through an airport to stop her getting on the plane, but he will unload the dishwasher, love her when she is sick, and always show up to be a father and husband even while driving the white minivan with a broken air conditioner. (I really recommend that you read it.)
Sheryl Sandberg famously said that your choice of partner is one of most important life choices that you will make. I remembered that yesterday as a neighbourhood mom came to pick up her daughter and was in awe as my husband tidied up the kitchen. It's not the fact that he tidies the kitchen that makes him a keeper -- it is because we split domestic tasks without complaint. (That is a blatant lie, I complain about chores all the time. He doesn't). But also because he supports me and my crazy work ideas, and I support him and his need to stress.
- Lifestyle TV: He said, she said: Top partner turnoffs
- Relaxation techniques for busy moms
- How to survive having a teenager
It isn't really trendy to be a happy wife; too reminiscent of Leave It To Beaver, aprons, and valium-popping stay-at-home-moms. But Fawn Weaver (who I met at BlogHer) started a Happy Wives Club and it's now huge. She writes about the club:
I don’t know about you, but for the first 7 years of my marriage, I couldn’t seem to find any other women who loved being married. Have you ever received marital advice from someone unhappily married? Welcome to my world! My desire was to seek out women who were like me: Not Stepford. Not Desperate. Just madly in love with their hubbies!
I'll admit, I found the Happy Wives Club to be a little over the top. I'm happy, but I don't need to be so damn cheery about it. First, I wouldn't want to tempt the fates; none of us are immune. And also, I would be more likely to join the 'happy but cynical -- marriage is hard but worth it' club. (Disclaimer: by marriage I mean any long-term commitment where you are choosing to be together with or without kids.)
And since my husband gets me, he would fully support my membership.
Please send me this post when I am complaining about getting ready for our vacation -- trip day is the worst marriage day of the year.
Want more chaos? Another coincidence! Last year, I wrote about how I don't "mommy" my husband, in fact it may be the opposite.