I went to a wedding this weekend (I was not in it. yet they still had a beautiful wedding. SHOCKING.)
The pastor. Or reverend. I’m not sure because the church was one of those NAME CHURCH. Like Richmond Church. Or Late Enough Church. No affiliation stated. Okay, I knew that it was probably Christian. And I could pretty much GUARANTEE it was conservative. But when the pastor walked down the aisle, she was a SHE. So I was hopeful. Misguidedly hopeful.
But because I’m so OPEN-MINDED, I heard a line that struck a chord. And I even just gave the woman who believed that a primary purpose of marriage is to make the babies, credit. I’m like a tolerance guru. Like buying this T-shirt from Walt. Even though my politics tries to beat up his politics on a daily basis, we are like totally bloggy buds.
Anyway so the pastor/reverend/youregoingtohellforbirthcontrol person says:
A marriage isn’t always 50/50. Sometimes a partner can’t give 50% and you have to learn how to give more than 50.
Wait? The 50/50 idea is great, right? I mean whether I stay-at-home or work, it’s not all ME. My work. My dishes. My kids. WE SHARE. EVERYTHING. FAIR FAIR FAIR
But sometimes Scott is tired or sad or lazy. WTH!
I cook. He does the dishes. THAT’S THAT DEAL. So why does my sink look like this?
My first thought: Is he saying that I’m not doing enough? (yes, my thoughts go to THAT crazy)
But then I decide: Scott’s NOT PULLING HIS WEIGHT. He’s taking ADVANTAGE of me.
And I get MAD! Well, if he’s not doing dishes, then I’m not making dinner! Instead, I’m on Twitter. Where people APPRECIATE ME. (Although none of y’all have EVER done my dishes. Seriously.)
This upcoming week, Scott scheduled not one but TWO “Scott times.” (We each give each other time to do our own thing. Whether it’s hang with a friend, write (although my writing is shifting to more work-y but that will be NEXT MONDAY’s announcement), run, shop, whatever. Just go GET A LIFE. And then come back and be the awesome parent and spouse that you are.)
Scott: I’m taking Wednesday night as Scott time.
Me: But you already have a race on Saturday morning.
Scott: That doesn’t count.
Me: What do you MEAN that doesn’t count? Isn’t running one of your YOU times?
Scott: That belongs in a different category. Not me time or work time or family time.
Me: WHAT? There ARE no other categories.
So I get off the phone in a HUFF.
And I sit there. Clutching that 50%. Miserable.
Then I write this email (as we know, I’m a much better writer than anything other social interactions):
I feel this push & pull for time between so I want you to know that you deserve Scott time. Even twice in one week.
Maybe I’d do better if we planned over email.
Because my first reaction is to make my marriage a game. Keep score. And that’s what 50% does for me. Who did what when and why aren’t I getting MINE! (which is why I’d also do better over email. more time to think and breathe. more time to remember to be the person i want to be.)
My marriage is about helping my husband to be the best person he can be. Period. Is this easier when he’s doing the same for me? Yes. And most of the time he does.
Don’t start thinking that I’m the wifely martyr either. (stop laughing.) Doing EVERYTHING for someone else is just as selfish (unless they’re like a BABY. then it’s ok.) Not only would it allow me to sit around in self-pity, but it’s just me trying to control the outcomes of the situation. Because I don’t allow the other person to BE AN ADULT.
So I give to Scott for the sake of giving to Scott. Not at the detriment of myself, but as an opportunity to love him. In a tangible way. But also with our clothes on.
I may even feel good about this. I’ll let you know on Wednesday. And Saturday.