The other day I was working when it suddenly struck me, “my husband is a good husband,” I thought to myself. All at once, I felt this sense of urgency to tell him so... I wasn’t sure I had ever come out and just said it to him, plainly. It was also funny that in that moment, I was defining what a good husband was to me. Apparently this is not something that I had actively thought about previously....
Being a good husband is different than being a good person, or a good friend, or even a good lover (though, I will argue that is a part of it.) Being a good husband is multifaceted, but really, being a husband at all denotes a level of responsibility. The roles between men and women are constantly being redefined in our modern society, so perhaps my definition of a good husband is a mix of classical and modern ideas. Whatever I think on the subject, there are likely a million variations on a theme.
In my thinking, though, I started in on the notion of being a good spouse. What makes someone a good spouse, and how do we really define it? I have often been handed down the compliment that I am good wife, and I love to hear that....but what are people really referencing when they say it? Surely, being a good wife is much more than cooking a lot. Hehe.
For me, I think that there are cornerstones in a good relationship: support, compassion, drive, and love. For me, these things really help make up my definition of a good spouse. Not just one of you can have them and call it a relationship--you both gotta bring it to the table. So let’s take ‘em one by one.
I once dated a man who said that I didn’t have to always agree with him, but I need to support him (and vice versa). He was right. He was not the man I married, but this lesson, simple as it may be, has carried me through many times, and many types of relationships. This is ne’er more true than in marriage. There are times when you disagree, but as the song goes you gotta “stand by your man.” And so too should he stand behind you.
There has never been something I wanted or dreamed of that my husband has denied me. He supports my decisions and helps me achieve my dreams. We try to do this for another. Sometimes we do better than others, but overall, support has got to be there, otherwise someone might be feeling like they aren’t very important.
Yes, I’m busting out my Dalai Llama on this one. It’s so important to have compassion for your partner. The Dalai Llama says that “Ordinary compassion, or love, is limited by desire or attachment.” It’s true. Sometimes we even lack compassion for people because we know them so well.... and that just can’t happen in a marriage. You have to have a table for your grief...even small stumbles can seem like huge ordeals if your partner doesn’t have compassion.
This one can be hard, and it takes practice at times, but the payoff if huge.
This may not make everyone’s list, but it certainly makes mine. Drive is important to me on so many levels.... a driven person knows what they want, and I find that sexy. My husband is driven to succeed and makes family a priority in his pyramid of success. I love that. I always know that I am in good hands....
As for my drive? Are you kidding me? I perhaps have a little bit too much drive! Haha. So I keep the two of us busy. But I should perhaps take a moment to discuss how my drive differs from my husband and how that makes our relationship work. I am really driven to have career success, and he is really driven to have a family. Each sort of keeps the other in check.... so I guess you could say we are “working toward having a family” or something like that. No rush.
I excluded trust from my cornerstones because without trust there is no love, and love is the most important thing. If you love each other you automatically trust each other. Love may not be “all you need” but it is the most important ingredient in the mix. Everything, but EVERYTHING builds from love. It’s the foundation of everything you have in a relationship.
One thing I have got above all? Love, baby! I’m full of it.
So how do you measure up? Have you got a spouse who is mostly there on these things, sometimes there, all the way there? Are your cornerstones or definition of a good spouse different than mine? Discuss in the comments below!