Note: Trying to increase my writing and blogging to two times a week- wish me luck! :-)
I have mentioned that my first and foremost job is being a wife. “Behind every good man is a good woman.” I believe that the more we adore our husbands, the more they can accomplish. The Bible says that a “house divided cannot stand,” so I make every attempt to strengthen my husband rather than tear him down. Studies show how… ummm… fragile a man can truly be, so, as a wife, it’s my job to build up my man and not tear him down. My husband has only recently started to appreciate this.
I am like a puppy dog when it comes to love. It sounds so demoralizing, but who doesn’t love a puppy?! Puppies are unconditional in love and adore you. I am unconditional in my love for my husband and adore him. He complained when we were first dating and married that I liked him too much. Say what? I would compliment his smarts, his looks, his body (ow-ow!), and his sense of him. I pointed out the I could compliment other men. After all, I typically dated more than one guy, so the attention use to be dispersed. Now it was condensed admiration, like a laser. He asked me to tone it down. Not possible.
The first year of marriage, my husband began whistling a different tune. We began interacting with other couples, and we both saw something disturbing. We saw women openly criticizing their husbands. We saw open anger and hostility. We witness men brow-beaten by their wives and looking empty and hurt. My husband became okay with the abundant affection more quickly. Doesn’t everyone prefer to be adored than despised. I almost feel like that’s a part of my mission and Mrs. Bauer blog: to encourage women to both love and respect the man they married.
A couple months ago, I throw a baby shower for my baby sister. Flying back home, I chatted with another passenger in the TSA line. I showed her the pink cupcake and pink puffed rice treat I was bringing back for my Mr. Bauer. She was shocked. She said I was a good wife because she would never do that for her husband. Thank you, I smile modestly and with such satisfaction. “No,” she went on, “you are a really good wife. I would never do that for my husband. He can get his own husband.” I was taken aback and answered, “Well, we’re still newlyweds in my mind and heart, I guess.” She said she was a newlywed, married not yet one month. I stood there. I was sad for her, her husband, and her marriage. I wasn’t judging, but I was sad. It didn’t take that much effort to bring my husband a cupcake, but it still spoke volumes to him. I was quick to say, “Well, I’ve been married before, and it didn’t go so well. But, I like this one, so I want to keep him around!” It helped lighten the mood and ease the awkwardness.
Yesterday, for our date day, the hubbie and I took a cupcake decorating class. (Real men decorate cupcakes! :-) ) He went into the store to buy more frosting, and I introduced myself and him to the group while he was gone. “I’m Laura, and this is Joseph… when he gets back!” One of the ladies asked, “And who is he while he’s gone?!” I exclaimed, “He’s always the most wonderful man in the world!” He retorted, “Well, then he sure isn’t my husband!” Ouch. I’m glad he wasn’t there.
As wives, our jobs aren’t to beat down on our husbands. I will share the story later of the worst impasse my husband and I arrived at last year. It wasn’t my shining moment(s), and how I reacted still pangs me to this day. My father-in-law brags to others that I treat his son like a king. I do. Joseph gets enough criticism from the outside world- work, friends, himself trying to be a good provider- that our home should be a safe place. My heart should be open to him at all times. My first job is being a wife, so I study on how to be a good one. I witness other good wives and take notes to follow. I witness bad wives and take note, too, on how to not be. I read books and pray and am intent.
That is the key: being intent on being a good, loving, and supportive wife. If we treat our husbands like boys, they will act like them. I’m proposing if we exalt them as men- great men- that they will respond as such. If I treat my husband like a king, he’s gonna be sure to fulfill that role a lot more than if I treated him like a serf. This is the best relationship I’ve been in yet, and I’ve been in a lot of them. I respect my husband, and he respects me, too.
I encourage other women to bite their tongues a little bit more. So what if he doesn’t carve the turkey how you would? Or his wrapping job isn’t ideal? You’re not his guardian; you are his partner, lover, and confidant. Married men, be gracious to your wife. We aren’t taught how to be good wives, but we will try to find the way. And, for those that are single, ladies: find a man worthy to be treated like royalty, and, gentlemen, step in to that role and don’t settle for a woman who won’t treat you as such. Life is more enjoyable when you work with your partner rather than against. My ideas and admiration may be a bit outdated, but I think my husband’s a lucky man. And, he’ll be quick to tell you that, too.
Happy MONDAY! Love, Laura