I mentioned a week or so ago that I'd had a revelation about my marriage. I didn't mean to leave anyone hanging. Between cold weather, kids' basketball season, life and what not, our rural internet service keeps failing us at unhandy times & I haven't been able to get on here.
My revelation was just one of mindset, small & simple. It may not be as exciting as some inquiring minds were thirsting after.
I'll try to explain.
The blurry guy in the photo is my husband, Mitch. I took this picture while we were exploring along the shores of Lake Superior for our 15th
anniversary a couple of summers ago.
I share this post with his blessing.
In places such as facebook, I often see posts that look like this:
"Not to brag, but I have the BEST husband in the entire world!"
"Who's married to the most AMAZING hubby in the whole world?? THIS GIRL!!"
And the more heartwarming & humble:
"I truly am blessed to be married to the greatest husband in the universe."
be totally honest, these posts sometimes find me shaking my head. I feel that if you appreciate someone, it's more
meaningful to express your gratitude to that person than to a
social media platform. And there are so many ways to do it!
Anyway, the last time I saw a Best Husband in the World proclamation, I had a thought that made me smile. My simple revelation:
I am NOT married to the best husband in the entire world.
The guy I'm married to doesn't always understand my emotions or say the right thing. He doesn't surprise me with fancy pre-planned trips, or shower me with
extravagances (which is usually the superficial explanation accompanying said
claims.) He is, in fact, downright challenging sometimes (and so am I!)
But he's my husband, and I care about him more than anything in the whole world. That's what matters to me.
A few thoughts I've collected from this:
1. The Best Husband in the Whole World is just like Bigfoot. You can't prove he's real.
2. It's NOT a competition! A relationship is personal, unique to
the people who are in it. Words like "best" & "better" are
really not verifiable in the land of relationships.
You know what I'd like to say to the beholder of the Best Husband in the World?
"Like you could even know, Napoleon." (Sorry, it's the only movie I can quote from, and I do.)
Comparison is the kicker here. If someone tries to tell you their
spouse is perfect, don't believe it, because none of us are, and you'll
be setting yourself up for letdown if you do.
It is said that "Comparison is the thief of joy." Don't let them trick you into it.
all have strengths and weaknesses. My husband might not plan surprise getaways with fancy itineraries, but we have our own fly-by-the-seat of-our-pants kind of adventures that I love. He may not shower me with the extravagances mentioned above, but more important to me is that we have always agreed on our personal spending & had a healthy financial partnership in our marriage. While he's not always fluent in expressing himself verbally, he doesn't have to for me to know his values & beliefs, because we share the same ones. Yes, we irritate each other some days, but I love that he is still learning things that I find interesting and that I can still make him laugh. I find it amusing the way he reads bedtime stories and there's no one else's shoulders I'd rather see our children on.
He's my husband, not the world's for ranking.
4. I'm not saying gratitude isn't good, because IT IS. Effective praise is an important part of relationships. I understand most people love
affirmation, and the boasters of the World's Best are mostly
well-meaning. But with all due respect, stop already. Learn how to give a compliment. A genuine compliment involves noticing specific things in other people. I'd rather receive a genuine unique or detailed compliment than a generic (or unrealistic) blanket statement any day.
Bottom line - comparisons are not compliments.
5. Also, I believe that far better than being placed on an unrealistic pedestal, is to be loved unconditionally. Just
as it's not necessary for our kids to be the best at anything for me to adore them with all of my being, my husband doesn't have to be perfect or hold an imaginary
world title to be #1 in my book, either. We may not be the best husband or wife in the world, but hopefully we're always trying to be our best for one another & accepting of each others' imperfections.
So anyway, this was my revelation. When
I saw the latest spiel in my facebook feed about someone having the best husband in the
whole world, a light bulb went off. I wanted to comment:
"I do not have the Best Husband in the Whole World.
But I like him a whole lot anyway."
PS: We are not the best parents in the world, either.
But we try to do our best & love our family like crazy.