It’s okay to admit you think you can do better in your marriage. I know I can.
I have a great marriage. Really I do. I’m thirteen years into til-death-do-us-part and I can say with all honesty that I love my husband more today than I did the day I promised we’d spend all of eternity in side-by-side cemetery plots.
And yet… he doesn’t always get the best of me.
It’s the nature of marriage, I suppose, but I know that I can do better. And frankly he deserves better for putting up with me day after day. So this year, instead of vowing to sculpt six-pack abs (yeah, right) or forsake Diet Coke (who am I kidding?) I am going to make my husband the direct beneficiary of my self-improvement efforts. Starting on January 1, I will make every attempt to:
… treat him like a child. I tell my daughters daily how smart and talented and funny and fabulous they are. I hug and kiss them every chance I get. The last words they hear before they go to sleep is how very much I love them. When they screw up, I forgive them — easily and completely. Never have the words “but they know how I feel about them” passed my lips.
… treat him like a stranger. I smile at strangers all day long. I ask cashiers how their days are going, hold doors open graciously and compliment people I don’t know on their shoes or their eyes. When I’m angry or annoyed, I certainly don’t grumble and storm around the mall or the gym waiting for someone to ask me what’s wrong.
… treat him like an employee. I wouldn’t hire a personal assistant and say “figure out what needs to be done and do it;” I would outline my expectations with clear, thoughtful direction. If the job wasn’t getting done, I’d address this fact calmly and with a plan for fixing it. I would do all of this without calling my employee “a selfish asshole who never listens to me.”
… treat him like a boss. When one of my editors tells me something I don’t necessarily want to hear or asks something of me that I feel is too much, not even one time have I thrown a fit, slammed a door or hurled an insult. I listen calmly, react respectfully and it always works out.