A message from my husband that shook me to the core—but made me a better wife. If every woman in America read this, it would be awesome.
It was a Tuesday and I was busy doing my usual stuff—complaining that everything wasn’t perfect and acting kind of crazy—when my husband passed me a note. It said some woman he knew suggested I read a book about relationships and how to make my husband happier.
I was floored. Some woman? From where? What did she know about our relationship and what had my husband told her?
I collected myself and asked my husband, “Am I really that bad?” His answer: “Worse.”
“I don’t make you happy?” I asked. Then he kind of jingled his empty beer can and looked at me from his couch.
Instead of doing my usual and telling him if he wanted another beer he could get up and get it himself and instead of asking him if he knew that was his 9th or 10th beer in the last two hours, I decided to just turn off my insanity for a moment and get him another one.
When I returned, he looked pleased. I continued to ask him questions.
“What work do we need to do on our relationship and what am I doing wrong?”
He explained. “Even when you’re here, it’s like you’re not here.”
I tried not to get defensive. “What does that mean?” I asked sincerely.
“Like when I’m watching a game or something. And I need dip or chips or a beer or whatever. It’s like you’re not even here.”
It was true. For years, I had ignored him when he drank beer and demanded appetizers or for me to bring him a bucket he could pee in so he didn’t need to leave the couch and miss something. One time, he was watching porn and asked if I could turn up the volume for him because his hands were busy. I glanced at him and instead of helping out, I frowned and coldly said, “Do it yourself.”
I went online and found the book his female friend recommended. It was something about how to use a stripper pole for exercise. Great idea. I ordered it. Since I didn’t have a stripper pole in the house, my husband recommended I just “kind of dance around” when I bring him beer. I was surprised how quickly and creatively his mind worked. I’d never taken the time to notice that.
Flash forward several months and things have definitely improved. Is it perfect? No. But what is? My husband doesn’t worry about service anymore, and I am truly present, which means I am kind of “on-call” until he passes out and I have to clean up his food and urine and sometimes vomit. Then I have “my time” where I do whatever I want before getting up for work the next day. I usually spend “my time” sleeping, which is perfect.
In conclusion, I’m proud of my husband for having the courage to talk to me and offer me feedback on how I’m doing in our marriage. If he hadn’t done that, we may have gotten a divorce and he’d be with Glenda, the stripper who told him to get me that book.
Wish I could write more, but I hear a beer can jingling! Bye!
Editor’s note/update: This story was submitted by Dale Piper or Elks Grove, Mississippi. It is told in “the voice” of his wife and is meant to reflect the spirit of what she would probably say in real life. Or should say, he says. They are divorced. She has the kids. Dale is part-time DJing at the strip club. It’s complicated right now.
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