Oh Redbook, You Came So Close to Being Right

Y’all know that sometimes I hop around the internet to see what others are saying about relationship stuff. I read articles by professional therapists, entertainers, whoever the romantically busted are that write for Men’s Health and teenagers trying to give each other advice on Tumblr. God help us, that’s even worse than Men’s Health. Almost. Then, of course, I choose the worst of the worst and have some fun with it here. Occasionally I run into something surprisingly good, so I’ll post that, too.

This is neither. Or both. Whatever.

10 Questions Men Are Too Scared To Ask Women

Nine of the 10 are entertaining and even have moments of insightful. I don’t agree with every word of the other nine but not enough to pitch a fit. Number 8 is downright hilarious. But there was one….

Q:How can a woman hold it together for everyone else but have such a short fuse with her husband?

A: I’m not even going to attempt a sports analogy and instead use what I know best: Elmo. He’s adorable β€” until you realize that the person behind the cuteness is not a preschooler but a 50-year-old man. What’s mildly irritating in kids is infuriating in adults. I call it Extra Child Syndrome. With four young kids in our house, I need to know that my husband’s got my back. Anything that creates more work, whether it’s un-dyeing the laundry he turned pink or rescheduling that missed appointment, frustrates me. It isn’t fair that a husband bears the brunt of his wife’s frustration, but be flattered: Your wife knows you can handle it, because you are, at the end of the day, the only other grown-up in the house.

So what’s wrong with that, Sharideth? Seems reasonable.

Yeah.

No.

A lot of a man’s validation and security comes from the support and encouragement of his wife. If he is the only one getting the ass end of her on a daily basis, that’s going to getting frustrating. And hurtful. And demeaning. And beat down. He can take it? Sure. But only in small doses.

Why would a woman reserve the worst of herself for her husband? Blergh. Just the thought of it makes me feel all greasy and yuck inside. Can you imagine the response from her if all she got from him was complaints about things she does? Woo boy. Moaning. Wailing. Gnashing of teeth. Unlimited text messages and calls to her friend would be tested.

Our spouses are suppose to see us at our worst and love us anyway. But we are not suppose to be willfully thrusting the worst of ourselves at them. He/she should be our main focus of all that is good and right and sexy. I know that isn’t going to be 100% of the time. It can’t be. We’re people and people are flawed and will behave badly. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. But we do have to try. We vowed to love, honor and cherish. There was no “only when we feel like it” at the end of that.

I do understand getting frustrated with your spouse, legitimately or otherwise. It happens. Kids are life-sucking leeches. Adorable, but exhausting. As a mom, I know there is very little to give at the end of the day. Bosses can be subhuman. Any number of things can drain away our happy place and make it all too easy to lash out at the person closest to us.

But kindness is not hard either.

Pasting a genuine, albeit weary, smile on your face when you have had a crappy day and letting your beloved know that he left his power supply for his recording console in the middle of the floor and you tripped on it when you were carrying disgusting teenage boy laundry down to the basement so could he please move it or maybe take it to the studio is fine. Bitching about it the second he walks through the door is not.

What? That example could happen to anyone.

And I totally bitched.

The point is, I know my husband is never trying to make my day harder. And I should never treat him like he is. How unfun is that? For both of us.

So Redbook, you did well. Mostly. But no. We don’t reserve all our bad attitude for our spouses. Just…no.

Who gets to see the worst of you most often?

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8 comments on “Oh Redbook, You Came So Close to Being Right

  1. Thanks for writing this. Everybody can be nicer than “advice” columns give credit for. I for one am tired of the “wives as nags” trope that populates so much advice/comedy/commercials. It’s not funny, it’s not cool, and it doesn’t have to be that way. My wife isn’t that way, and it’s stupid to assume that’s how wives must be. Also, thanks to you I might be inspired to rebut #3 on that list. We aren’t cavemen.

  2. Yeah, I think they mistook “honest” for “worst.”

    Yeah, my husband gets my most honest me, which includes the worst parts of me. But if he’s the only person that I’m blowing off steam with, that’s not fair to him or me or really anyone. So yeah. Sometimes he sees the yuck. But sometimes some online friends see it. And sometimes best friends see it. And sometimes my blog readers see it. I like to spread out my awful. πŸ˜‰

  3. “Our spouses are suppose to see us at our worst and love us anyway. But we are not suppose to be willfully thrusting the worst of ourselves at them.”

    That’s a very good summary of not abusing unconditional love right there, good for everyone.

  4. Jennwith2ns says:

    This post is AWESOME. Kudos, Sharideth. Although I do take exception to this sentence:

    “If he is the only one getting the ass end of her on a daily basis, that’s going to getting frustrating.”

    Because what if he really really LIKES her ass? πŸ˜‰

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