January 13, 2014

The Best Husband in the Entire World : My Marriage Revelation

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.


FYI: 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."
 

To 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.)


3.  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. 


We 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.


22 comments:

  1. Hooray for you! I find perfection boring, differences of opinion keep us on our toes and marriage is not about diamonds and flying off to Hawaii and leaving the kids behind. It is more about understanding and tolerance and spontaneity and LOVE, and throwing the necessities into the car on a Friday afternoon and heading into the wilds to climb a mountain or go canoeing and camping out for a night of or two.
    Understanding and acceptance are a solid basis for a good marriage. Superlatives are delusion.
    The best advice we got when we were married, was from an uncle who said "cut out two words, always and never and you'll be all right".

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  2. That is excellent advice, Arija!
    And I agree - I love imperfection and differences best.

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  3. Well said. And I really like your quote "comparison is the thief of joy." Soooo true.

    Lovely family photo.

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  4. May I just say that when I read the superlatives in social media, I can't help but roll my eyes. To be "best" at anything is nearly impossible - let alone where marriage and family are concerned. We're all fallible and have good days and bad. I'm certainly not a perfect wife, so I don't know what I'd do with a perfect husband (or child, or grandchild, or friend...). Perfection is often overrated and boring. I think marriage is about communication and caring about another person enough to make sacrifices. It's about seeing someone else's point of view. It's about really caring for another person so you both want to work hard to make the relationship succeed. I have this quote on my blog: We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. -William Somerset Maugham, writer (1874-1965)

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  5. What a wonderful post and tribute to your husband.

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  6. Your husband may not be "perfect" or "the best", but as a man I have to say he is very fortunate to have such a wise wife.

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  7. Very astute observation about the difference between comparison and superlatives. I'm so glad to have the opportunity to share somewhat in the beauty of your life, Amanda, and I'm really glad you are such a good and faithful correspondent to give me a glimpse into your very full and wonderful life! Blessings from an imperfect admirer... :-)

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  8. You're so right. The whole idea is to love someone with all their faults and imperfections anyway.

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  9. Great post. As soon as people start saying anything (or anybody) is the best in the whole world my toes start to curl!! I also think it leads to competitive parenting and such like, where ever party, birthday etc etc has to be the "best in the world" - its just not possible.

    Having said that we all went for a swim in the ocean this evening after a 112+ degree day, which was just about the best swim in the world!!!!!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  10. I love your thoughts and I couldn't agree more!

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  11. Beautifully written Amanda-

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  12. I love your honesty here! And I have to say, I always kind of roll my eyes at those "I have the best husband in the world" posts on facebook. The most recent one I saw said something about her husband arranging a fancy trip for them and a spa day for her. My husband has never done those things for me, so does that mean he's worse than hers? Heck no! I 100% agree that comparison is the thief of joy. I'm just now starting to figure that out ;) I think my husband is the best one in the world FOR ME. That's for sure.

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  13. Excellent post!! Yes, unconditional love, the good with the not so good, is the way to go!

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  14. This is such a wonderful post and you and your husband are very lucky ! What I found most important in my many years of being married is to never try to change the other person. Acceptance and tolerance and being there for each other is more important than a romantic weekend once in a blue moon.
    And I love the quote " Comparison is the thief of joy"! Goes right up on my wall.Thanks a lot for a very wise post!

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  15. Amanda,
    I read every single word! Well stated, with passion, truthfulness, passion and love!
    Your family photo is delightful!
    Happy New Year!
    Jemma

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  16. Amanda,

    I could not agree more! Great job on this post.

    When things get rough I think, "would anyone believe J is not perfect." I know it, but the world has no idea what goes on in our relationship.

    I can be a roller coaster of emotions and have my little quirks. J knows that and usually accepts it. Would anyone else?

    I am me, J is J and God brought our hearts together for a reason.

    To add to your thought, I get annoyed at people who say "My Husband is my Best Friend." I don't agree. J and I get along great and we can get on each other's very last nerve. We are co-workers you know, (lol). J doesn't talk to me like he does his BFF from college. They get each other on a man level that I will never know. I talk to my Mom and Sister about different stuff than J and they give me support in a way J can't. I think that is real life and I don't see anything wrong with it.

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  17. You couldn't have said it any better. I LOVED it.. Every word so true and from the heart. What a beautiful family you have.

    Hugs~

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  18. A good marriage and a good husband are works in progress... and work is the key word here! I don't know how I missed this post earlier, but glad I found it today. xo

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  19. I got goosepumps while reading and seeing the pics - that's how it is, and how it should be! It is the relationship, the two people, that does make the difference!!! For themselves, for one another, for the family! Sound and beautifully written reflections, Amanda!

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  20. This is an awesome post! Thank you for sharing! Those best husband things bother me too...and besides no one is perfect. What a boring world that would be?!? I love the picture of your family!

    Linnea

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  21. I really, really liked this post . . .

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  22. And I liked reading this wonderful post again this morning. It makes me go back to a personal revelation on Love. Realizing that Love wasn't more or less . . . Love Just Is . . . Not sure where I was going with all of that but your 'not the BEST husband' piece brought those thoughts back to me.
    I love reading you Amanda . . . and adore the photos of your children, adventures, home, more . . .

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