By Franchesca Lane-Warren (www.bossygirl1980.com)
When I got married 4 years ago I was so happy to become a wife. Me and my husband had dated for nine years and I was ready to be married. When he proposed I totally engrossed myself in everything to do with a wedding. I planned a beautiful wedding and honeymoon but after all of the hoopla was over I had a big shock. Not only was I a wife by the Mrs. in front of my name but also in my actions. That is right…I now had to adjust to not only being a wife on paper but I had to now perform wifely duties (gulp).
Before I lose some of you let me explain. Before I got married no one explained to me what happens after the wedding and that being married changes the dynamics of a relationship.
Let me give you an example of what I mean. Right before we got married I was offered a job in another city. I was so pumped that I quickly accepted and began planning my move. After we were married, I was on the phone chit chatting with my BFF about my move when I noticed my husband kept giving me the “side eye.” When I got off the phone, I inquired why he was looking at me crazy. He asked me, “What if I don’t want to move?” I was floored. I had forgotten to even ask him his feelings about the move. I had totally taken him out of the equation. After a lot of talking I realized I was not going to move until further notice.
The single (and even engaged me) would have packed up and moved anyway but the title of wife made me think that I should at least consider my husband’s feelings. At this moment I realized the first lesson of being a good wife””playing your position and learning your role.
How could I learn my role? What the heck was my role? These were all questions I had to learn (and quickly) if I wanted to stay a wife and in a happy marriage.
1.The first thing I had to do was swallow my pride. I had to stop thinking I had to be right about everything and that everything in our relationship revolved around me. When my husband and I talked about the possible move out of state he brought up questions I had not even considered like: where would he work? How would this drastic move affect our son? After sitting and talking with him for what seemed like hours I realized a huge move did not make sense after having a huge wedding.
2. I had to learn to keep my mouth shut at the right time. Wow, this is a process that I am still working through. When we finally did move (a year later) I wanted to buy another house ASAP. Without researching the area, I found a house and had gotten us approved. (As I look back at this how inconsiderate is that?) All I needed was for him to sign the paperwork and physically move us. When I finally showed the hubby the house he immediately nixed the house and the neighborhood. Something told me to argue with him but instead I shut my mouth. We continued to look for houses together and guess what? Four months later we found a better house, in a more established subdivision with better schools. What about that first house? The house’s value has went down almost 40 percent, the subdivision is not finished and the last time I looked the developer had went bankrupt.
3. There are times when he has to take the lead””even when I want to. I had to learn that every decision is not for me to make and sometimes the one with the more “level head” needs to make decisions. There was a time when I had to go to my son’s former school over his preschool teacher recommending him for Special Ed due to his mild stuttering but my husband stopped me and asked me to stay at home. Instead he went to the school and settled the matter. A few days later I sent an email to the school administrator and teacher when I was more level headed. What would have happened if I had gone to the school angry? Nothing would have been worse then me acting crazy at a place where my son had to attend on a daily basis. I am blessed that many times my husband will refer some decisions to me or will ask for my opinion or we will come to a mutual agreement about issues.
Now I am not an expert, doctor (I am still in process of getting my PhD), or therapist but I do know that a lot of marriages that fail are ones where neither party knows and/or acknowledges their roles. Learning my position has allowed me to have a happy marriage””what about you?
What do you think about assuming your position in a marriage? Does it work for you?
Fran is the owner and head writer of lifestyle blog, www.bossygirl1980.com and lifewiththreekids.wordpress.com. You can find her on twitter @Bossygirl1980 reliving the good, bad and strange world of parenting.