n. pl. wives (wvz) A woman joined to another person in marriage; a female spouse.
Wow. How cool it was to look that up and see this definition: a 'woman joined to another person'; not a 'woman joined to a man'. sigh...
So, I want to talk about this a little bit. Being a wife, accepting that role, and loving it-embracing it has been a little problematic for me over the years.
I am fairly sure I knew what it meant to those rearing me back in the day. I knew it mostly UNconsciously then, but I did know it. And much of it I rejected, finally. For a long time, I thought that was because no one wanted me. Meaning, of course, that no 'man' seemed to want me in the ways that I understood. And growing up as I did, homosexuality was not even on my radar.
And then I met Joel.
And many things became clearer. : )
And then, as things will in relationships, they became less clear.
I discovered over the years - as you have probably done, as well - that some of our best times were born in our hardest times. One of the greatest blessings I share with Joel is that we will talk to one another. And stop. And talk some more. And get real about how we are.
But now I'm talking about something different.
This is just about me.
It has nothing to do with Joel as an individual, and nothing really to do with our recent marriage. There is a sort of cart-before-the-horse feeling about my feelings now. I don't know for sure what grew out of what.
These things I do know.
I want to be the wife that I will be proud to have been.
I want to nurture the people & animals in my home. I want to lead and teach where it is appropriate. I want to LOVE all the aspects of my days.
I've had a 'thing' about the dishes for ages, for example. I think that if I spend time doing the cooking (plan, shop, prepare, etc.) then someone else should do the dishes. I mean, it worked like that when I was in high school and Mom did the dishes!
Mom thought the dishes were a breeze compared to the cooking/shopping thing. She was delighted with the arrangement and so was I. I like the more creative part.
I forgot about the 'coulda-woulda-shoulda' monster that lives inside me and totally ignored the fact that Joel is not Mom. Well guess what? Doing dishes is the worst drudgery in the entire world for Joel. She would rather not eat at all than to have to do the dishes. So...how do you think things were working for us in the grand scheme of things - around this dish issue?
Not too well... I'd get to feeling unappreciated or something and would pitch my version of 'a fit', so she'd make a promise that was totally unrealistic, and in two or three days I'd be mad again. Such a delightful little dance. Amazing how many times we've done it.
Here's where I am, now. I've decided to embrace 'wife'. I ALWAYS wanted to be one. I was trained to be one. I know how... what on earth have I been grousing about?
I've found that I like having the kitchen look a certain way and it no longer matters how/who makes it so. AND I found out...sssshhhhhhhhhh don't tell...I can enjoy doing dishes! Who knew It's totally a matter of decision having nothing to do with soapy water!
Now, I get it that the dishes are a tiny matter. And I'm really talking about much bigger things. I guess that what I'm exploring is the true nature of just what 'wife' means to me. And I've come to realize that it has little to do with the dishes and everything to do with how I want to feel as a wife. To nurture my family means a certain attention to what we all eat, even if it doesn't matter to anyone but me. To nurture my family means that I must get some of the things that I want, too. That part is harder for me, but getting easier every second. ('nother story) One of the things I want is a cleaner kitchen. Now, it's easy to have one.
To be a wife is to stand by my wife in whatever way supports her and against any obstacle.
That doesn't mean she's off the hook for beahvior that effects me. But it does mean that she can be as idiosyncratic as she wants/is. It means that I spent some time looking at how she was reared; what she brings to me and this relationship; and how she balances me in the big picture. It means that I know now how and by whom the dishes will be done, and it is not always me. :)
I'm enjoying this exploration and the things I'm learning about myself as I go down this road.
I'm a very good wife, and likely to be getting better.
And while these thoughts are not related DIRECTLY to our recent marriage, they are brought into a new focus because of it. And the word 'wife' is easier to say. and more fun.