Just before I got married, someone asked me what I was most excited about.
My answer was, “I’m just so excited to be a wife. I’m going to be better than the best wife he’s ever dreamed of. I’m going to serve him and love him…” blah, blah, blah. I went on like that for awhile.
At the time, not only was I being totally serious, I also felt really proud of myself for being so humble.
Here was the problem.
That whole theory unraveled for me in my first few months of marriage. It just plain didn’t work. Not only was I always conducting this sort of performance for my husband—the cooking, the cleaning, the doing whatever he asked me to do, the always saying “yes” and always being whoever he needed me to be—I was also slowly withering away.
He wasn’t getting the truest or best picture of who I was.
In fact, things really started to go bad after just a couple of weeks.
For example, I had strong opinions about his work life that I never felt comfortable expressing because I thought it would make me sound like the nagging wife I never wanted to be. And when you have strong opinions you don’t express, they build up like a volcano.
They’re going to come out sooner or later. It’s just a matter of where or when and how explosive.
I’ll never forget the day this all came to a head.
We were having an argument and it was about to go explosive. I could feel it. This had happened before. I was angry but trying to hide it. He was trying to get me to tell him what I was frustrated about. He was poking and prodding a bit. I was swearing up and down I wasn’t frustrated about anything and oh, by the way, why didn’t he just drop it?
But before things could get out of hand, he said something I’ll never forget. To this day, I still don’t know how he had the foresight to say something like this.
He said, “Go ahead, be high-maintenance. I dare you.”
What he was essentially saying was, “you don’t have to hide what you need or want from me. You don’t have to keep your opinions to yourself. Having strong opinions doesn’t make you selfish, or high-maintenance or a nagging wife. It makes you a person.”
Something clicked in me in that moment. I realized my husband actually wanted me to have opinions and ideas about things. He wanted me to disagree with him, to fight back, to share my thoughts. He wanted me to show my emotions and my thoughts about things. He didn’t want me to be “better than the wife he had always dreamed about.”
He wanted me to be myself.
What I’ve come to realize over time is that it really isn’t humble at all for me to think this marriage is all about me being the hero, always the “yes” woman, giving my husband whatever he wants. In fact, that was only really serving to feed my ego. My marriage would be better if I was actually in it.
Relationships are about two people with wants, needs, thoughts, feelings and desires. The minute one or the other person pulls their needs, wants, thoughts, etc out of the equation, the relationship falls apart.
These days I focus much less on being humble in my marriage.
I’m not looking for my husband to say, “she’s better than the wife I always dreamed of.” I’m shooting for him to say, “I knew her completely and I loved her well.” The crazy thing is, as I focus on this, I think I’m closer to him saying the first one as well.
This is an excerpt from a short eBook I wrote titled, 5 Things You Should Know Before You Get Married. To read more, download your FREE copy now.